Has anyone had experience with Dr Gardner at UPMC and repeat MVDs?

I am in the process of trying to get back to UPMC since the return of my GPN, TN, and VN after MVD surgery 4.5 years ago. My surgery was done by Dr Horowitz at the time, but he has since left. His nurse Lois Burkhart is still there and has recommended Dr Gardner.

Does anyone have any experience with him? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Also, what do those of you who have had a return of symptoms after MVD recommend? Another MVD, Rhizotomy, or something else?

Lois mentioned when I spoke with her today that UPMC will only do MVD twice. I know from looking around here that some of you have had three. I’ll be 43 this year and don’t want to exaust my options too early. However, I am unwilling to let things get as bad as they were before again, so my inclination is to be agressive with treatment. I have tried meds and was unable to tolerate them. Acupuncture helped a little, but I was unable to afford the amount of treatment I needed.


Sorry, hmschmom, I don't see any other mentions of Dr. Gardner on the site. I hope the MVD does the trick for you. and that you achieve lasting relief. Keep us posted!

Is it the same pain you had before? I know if mine comes back I will be right back there getting surgery again.

The 2 years so far without pain has been awesome the surgery was a very small price to pay for the pain free life I have now .

Congrats on your recovery, and your baby... you have your life back and a big present!

Thank you!!!

Glad to hear you are also doing well Vicdoc. I am on a Facebook group and many on there almost get Facebook violent with me when I talk about how great I am doing post op and that I went from horrific pain to having no pain with surgery. Many are very against surgery and feel it should be a last resort. For me it was a last resort because nobody steered me in that direction…I so wish they had because I feel I would not have had to live all those years in pain. That’s why I still remain active in these groups. I want to be an advocate for people and tell my story. I know surgery won’t help everyone and there are risks, but living how I was living was no way to be. I also feel many of the people with this condition don’t have a fantastic surgeon, as I did. Their surgeries were not done the same way mine was…they have less done…and they still have pain. This concerns me. Any thoughts?

Sorry Hmschmom for posting all that on your discussion. I had my surgery at UPMC also, but with Dr Horowitz who is now practicing at Butler Memorial in Pittsburgh. I absolutely loved Lois! She was so helpful. I am terrified that my pain will come back and am interested if the pain you have now is the same as before? Did it come on suddenly or gradually? Do you know why it came back ??

I feel the same way. Until I suffered off and on for 6 years, there was no sense of direction in my treatment, nobody saw the blood vessel in my old MRI until I insisted on and got an appointment with a neurosurgeon. He did see a tortuous blood vessel.

Then he said he operates on symptoms, and it isn’t usual to see MRI issues. So he would have operated back in 2007 based on symptoms alone. My surgery was an MVD of the 9th and 10th nerves and it worked great for me. There were actually 2 vessels compressing my nerves.

I know some don’t have good results, even with my neurosurgeon, but I was desperate and willing to try. So glad I did.

I had 2 vessels also and nothing had been seen on my previous MRI’s. From some studies I have read 2/3 of those having MVD have positive results. Those are good statistics to me. Perhaps many of the other 1/3 had some other cause that would be difficult to fix or something that can only be helped with meds. If it was me again I would opt for surgery just to hope to be in the 2/3 of the lucky ones. It sure is better than living in pain. I am not a gambler by nature, but when you are in agony you lower the bar and roll the dice.

Thank you Laura. I’ll answer on the other post.