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View Full Version : Any reference for spinal surgery at Miami Children Hospital with John Asghar MD



Carlos Alberto
04-27-2012, 09:06 PM
Hello, we rencently moved to US from México and are living in Florida. Here we have two opinions for surgery treatment for the scolisis of our doughter. The one preferred for us is at Miami Children Hospital in Miami with John Asghar and Harry Sufflebarger. Please we appretiate any reference of this doctors and Hospital. The other opinion was in Tampa Shriner Hospital with doctor Kronen.

Best luck to everyone

Pooka1
04-27-2012, 09:13 PM
Hola Carlos!

Welcome!

You have a beautiful family!

Is that a recent picture? I am wondering how old your daughter is. Does she have juvenile or adolescent scoliosis? The surgical approaches are different as far as I can tell.

The surgeons you mention have been used by people on the forum and I hope those people comment on them.

Best regards,
Sharon

mariaf
04-27-2012, 10:30 PM
Hey Carlos,

What a beautiful family, indeed.

I know Dr. Asghar. He used to work at Shriners in Philadelphia and was/is very highly regarded by everyone there, including Dr. Betz, whom he trained under.

I know several families whose children had surgery with Dr. Asghar when he was in Philly and the reports were unanimous that he is a awesome, both as a surgeon and also on a personal level, the latter not being as important as one's surgical skills but it sure is nice when you can get both :)

Best of luck - your daughter. She would be in excellent hands with Dr. Asghar. I don't know his colleague, Dr. Shufflebarger from any personal experience but he also has an excellent reputation from what I have heard.

LSKOCH5
04-28-2012, 06:18 PM
Hello Carlos - welcome to the forum & to the US. Beautiful family - your daughter looks so young! How old is she?
As you can see in my signature, our 14 year old son just underwent scoliosis surgery with Dr. Cronen in Tampa (but at Tampa General Hosp) on January 3rd 2012. We had an incredibly wonderful experience with him, he is so very caring, knowledgeable, did his fellowship under Dr. Lenke, the foremost scoli surgeon. We cannot recommend him highly enough - our son is back to being so very active - hiking (5 mile hike on his 3-month anniversary from surgery!), playing around w his friends, drumming, piano, etc - and last night actually was playing basketball including running the court w his friends (we found out after, he's a little sore today but he had so much fun!). Every day I thank God for this miracle of our son's back being normal & without pain. Please private message me or email me with any questions!
LeighAnn LSKOCH5@YAHOO.COM

Carlos Alberto
04-28-2012, 09:59 PM
Thanks so much to everyone. I did start using this forum some years ago when we were living in Havana. My doughter Lia Gabriela is eleven years old. Her scoliosis is genetic due to hemivertebrae and has two failed surgeries in Cuba. I did read a lot of Doctor Beltz and his team at Philadelphia Shriner Hospital, so I was very glad when doctor Asghar told me he used to work with him. We were planing to travel to this Hospital at Phili but maybe we have a good choice here with doctor Asghar.
The problem with Tampa Shriner Hospital is that there are not intensive care. We also had a great opinion of doctor Cronen. Also doctor Asghar at Miami Children Hospital told us that the surgery will be acompanied with a neurologist and she will be at intensive care. We were to much afraid of a neurological damage since is a complicated surgery becouse she has posterior fusion in her back.

God bless you

Pooka1
04-28-2012, 10:30 PM
Carlos,

I think the issue is who has done the most cases of revision surgery for congenital scoliosis. I understand the surgeons telling you that you need neuro on the case given two failed fusion surgeries.

It's possible Cronen or Ashgar have done many of these cases, perhaps as many as Betz in Philly, I don't know.

Do both surgeons you have seen have the same surgical plan? If they do then that might be the way to go. If they differ then maybe a third opinion from Betz would be in order.

I also think that with two failed surgeries, Lenke in St. Louis might be a good opinion. He takes only very complicated cases these days and you may be dealing with revision issues at this point as much or more than the hemivertebra. He does pediatric but not mostly so this may or may not be helpful.

Good luck.

mariaf
04-29-2012, 10:07 AM
Hi Carlos,

If it is practical to make the trip to Philly, that is an excellent idea. I don't think there is ANY situation, as it relates to scoliosis, that they don't have experience treating. If you do decide to go this route, you should contact Janet Cerrone (her contact info is included in my signature) and she will get the ball rolling for you.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish your family all the best - it sounds like these are all very qualified surgeons, so it will likely come down to which doctor, and which plan for surgery, you are most comfortable with.

Please keep us posted and again best of luck to you and your family.

LSKOCH5
04-29-2012, 11:31 AM
I'd forgotten that Shriners Tampa doesn't have ICU, but more importantly there is now the fact that she has already had two failed surgeries. I'd agree that because of the revision & her age to check out Shriners Philly as well as St. Louis w Dr Lenke w Shriners.

Carlos Alberto
04-30-2012, 04:27 PM
Well, the spine surgical plan for our daughter is almost the same from doctor Asghar as doctor Cronen. It is remove one or two hemivertebraes by the posterior way and make fusion and fixed with metal bar and screws. The diference we noticed is in the hospitals, the Miami Children Hospital has ICU and a neuro surgeon working together in the surgery. Also doctor Asghar asked us for more test at this point as MRI and CT scan. They both told us that it is no an emergency since her back is already fused.

We whish the surgery not for this summer but for the next. But there is a lot of issues we must be assured first. This is an extremly complicated matter especially when we have only four month living in the US. God bless you all.

Pooka1
04-30-2012, 04:37 PM
Carlos!

I agree it is extremely complicated. It is very good that you can take time and think about everything, get all the tests, and plan what is best. I think you and your wife will be confident at that point in whatever decision you will make.

It is VERY good that the two surgical plans are similar. That should give you confidence that there is a right answer here.

If you can't decide, you could ask both surgeons how many revision surgeries on hemivertebra they have done. If one has done many more then that might matter.

I have confidence in you. :-)

Best regards,
Sharon

Kat3573
03-20-2013, 08:18 PM
He's My sugeon!!!! He's amazing!!! The hospital is amazing. Staff were sooo sweet! Clowns visited me, a therapy dog came, the hospital gave me stuff animals. Dr asghar is phenomenal! he clearly knows what he's doing. He really loves his job and connects with his pateints. I have seen a couple doctors an they all said he's one of the best. If ur daughter has a problem even 30 years from now they told me that he will see me again even though I will not be a child any more because only he knows what he did to me. He won't leave you alone if u have any pain as long as he's alive. Thts what his P.A. Told me. Overall he'd one of the best. If another surgeon operated on me I would be fused from T2-L3 (he know because he used to worked at Shriners in Philly) but he values flexiblity over a completely straight spine so I have a tiny curve still (no more than 15 degrees Max). Even if ur not financial strong he offers to operate at Shriners. Trust me you won't go wrong with him

mariaf
03-20-2013, 10:01 PM
Kat,

First of all, yes, I remember Dr. Asghar from his days in Philly and he's everything you said he is. I remember when the wonderful opportunity in Florida presented itself to him, everyone in Philly said they wished him all the best but were very sorry to be losing him. I know that he is still in contact with Dr. Betz (whom he trained under) as well as Dr. Betz's PA - but I was not aware that Dr. Asghar sometimes soperates at Shriners Hospital in Tampa. Did I understand correctly? Is that the case? That is very exciting and good to know in case I happen to come across someone for whom insurance is an issue. Thanks for sharing that - you are very fortunate to have Dr. Asghar as your doctor!

jrnyc
03-20-2013, 10:14 PM
this thread was a year old...
i wonder what happened with Carlos Alberto and their daughter...

jess

Kat3573
03-21-2013, 03:49 PM
Kat,

First of all, yes, I remember Dr. Asghar from his days in Philly and he's everything you said he is. I remember when the wonderful opportunity in Florida presented itself to him, everyone in Philly said they wished him all the best but were very sorry to be losing him. I know that he is still in contact with Dr. Betz (whom he trained under) as well as Dr. Betz's PA - but I was not aware that Dr. Asghar sometimes soperates at Shriners Hospital in Tampa. Did I understand correctly? Is that the case? That is very exciting and good to know in case I happen to come across someone for whom insurance is an issue. Thanks for sharing that - you are very fortunate to have Dr. Asghar as your doctor!

I know he goes to Philly but idk about Tampa. Contact him. He will be happy the answer! In fact he told us that our insurance was a scam. He told me and my mom," im not going to lie, but ur insurance id crappy" XD And we did follow his advice and switch our insurance and my new insurance cover te surgery 100%He was the man who proved to me that you can be a doctor/do what you love and still be able to be yourself. He's one of the only "normal" doctors in my opinion. I hope one day I can shadow him or may be even be his student!

mariaf
03-21-2013, 03:54 PM
Thanks, Kat. I thought you meant he sometimes operates out of Shriners in Tampa for some reason. I wasn't aware that he still operates in Philly at times.

Kat3573
03-21-2013, 03:57 PM
I'm curious, what else do you know about him? I swear, everytime I go to his office I'm always laughing even the day I met him and he announced that I needed surgery.

Here are some conversation me and him had. I record then all because I don't want to forget:

Asghar-I can drag u across the floor with your rods and you will be fine
Me- ow. Don't do that

Asghar-she can ride a bike
Mom- what if she falls
Asghar- don't fall

Asghar- why are you on a wheelchair ur not handicap?
Me- cause they(hospital) won't let me walk


He's hilarious!!

mariaf
03-21-2013, 04:11 PM
Yup, sounds like him. He wasn't my son's surgeon but I met him in clinic a few times and actually got to know him a little after that because I co-moderate a website that deals with VBS (stapling) and Dr. Asghar trained to do that surgery under Dr. Betz in Philly.

I also got to learn about him and what sort of a person he is because I know many of the families of kids he has treated. One story in particular stands out in my mind. One mom from NJ told me that several days after her daughter was discharged from the hospital, she didn't like how one of the incisions looked and was concerned it might have been infected (turns out it wasn't). But she called the hospital on a Sunday, they got in touch with Dr. Asghar and he told her to meet him at Shriners in an hour. She said "but it's Sunday, clinic is closed". He said "Don't worry, I'll open it so I can examine your daughter".

Who does that?

Kat3573
03-21-2013, 04:17 PM
Yup, sounds like him. He wasn't my son's surgeon but I met him in clinic a few times and actually got to know him a little after that because I co-moderate a website that deals with VBS (stapling) and Dr. Asghar trained to do that surgery under Dr. Betz in Philly.

I also got to learn about him and what sort of a person he is because I know many of the families of kids he has treated. One story in particular stands out in my mind. One mom from NJ told me that several days after her daughter was discharged from the hospital, she didn't like how one of the incisions looked and was concerned it might have been infected (turns out it wasn't). But she called the hospital on a Sunday, they got in touch with Dr. Asghar and he told her to meet him at Shriners in an hour. She said "but it's Sunday, clinic is closed". He said "Don't worry, I'll open it so I can examine your daughter".

Who does that?

Only him! I live an hour away from the hospital and he came to an outpatient center that was close to my house and I was his only pateint. He drove an hour and then back just to see me and put up with my mom yelling at him. After my surgery she apologized and he said "don't worry I'm used to it"
And I was like awww I'm sorry haha

Kat3573
03-21-2013, 04:51 PM
Thanks, Kat. I thought you meant he sometimes operates out of Shriners in Tampa for some reason. I wasn't aware that he still operates in Philly at times.

May be he does. I remember him mentioning tampas Shriners. He possibly could.

Kat3573
03-21-2013, 05:12 PM
He came to Miami children's because dr shufflebargar was looking for someone to replace him and he was most impressed with dr asghar.



Also, I plan on shadowing him. I will see him again in august, so that's when I plan on asking him. Based on your work experience with him and his personality, should I ask him? Or wait until I see him again next year? I plan on being a surgeon but not necessarily with spine but it's an option. What do you think? I would like to see him do a surgery

mariaf
03-22-2013, 02:31 PM
Also, I plan on shadowing him. I will see him again in august, so that's when I plan on asking him. Based on your work experience with him and his personality, should I ask him? Or wait until I see him again next year? I'm 14 soon to be fifteen. I plan on being a surgeon but not necessarily with spine but it's an option. What do you think? I would like to see him do a surgery

Well since I'm sure this is something that would need to happen when you are, say, in medical school (depending on hospital rules), there's probably no need to get too deeply into it now. Having said that, and based on what I know about him, I think he would be happy to discuss just about anything with his patients any time.

Pooka1
03-22-2013, 05:20 PM
Hi Kat,

I think there are privacy issues with patients that might prevent you from shadowing a surgeon. I also think there are few if any patients who would want any extra person in the room who isn't a surgeon.

When I went to office visits, there is was no spare time beyond discussing my daughters' cases. I would not have tolerated someone else in the room. Also, there is no chance I would have okayed any extra person in the operating room if asked.

There was a "shadow" in the room during one visit. It was our surgeon's daughter but she was in medical school and doing rotations associated with that. I did not mind that at all and it was cool meeting the surgeon's daughter.

As Maria said, there will be plenty of time for you to shadow surgeons and watch operations if you go to med school. Keep your grades very high and you will have that chance.

Kat3573
03-22-2013, 08:27 PM
Ya that's what I was thinking pooka. I just want to help improve my chances into getting into a good medical school. May be when I'm 18. Everything is just so exciting now! I wanna rush into things but at the same time I don't :s.

Carlos Alberto
03-23-2013, 01:53 AM
Hi everyone my daughter surgery was finally set for May 24 with Dr Asghar at MCH.

God bless you all

mariaf
03-23-2013, 08:31 AM
Hi Carlos,

Best of luck to your daughter. I think you can tell from everyone's posts that she could not be in better hands than with Dr. Asghar. He will take excellent care of her. I will be thinking of you and your daughter and hoping to hear from you in a few months that she is well on the road to recovery.

Pooka1
03-23-2013, 08:46 AM
Carlos,

You have a great surgeon. I think your daughter will have a great outcome.

Best regards,

Sharon

Pooka1
03-23-2013, 08:51 AM
Ya that's what I was thinking pooka. I just want to help improve my chances into getting into a good medical school. May be when I'm 18. Everything is just so exciting now! I wanna rush into things but at the same time I don't :s.

That's not going to get you into a good medical school. Only very good grades in a pre-med program at a good university/college and scoring highly on the MCAT will get you in.

The way you get into a good university/college is take as many AP and honors classes as you can, have a very good GPA, do very well on the verbal and math SAT, have a high class rank, and do some outside stuff that probably doesn't matter if you have the grades and test scores.

It's really all performance-based. Shadowing a surgeon won't move the needle.

Kat3573
03-23-2013, 01:38 PM
That's not going to get you into a good medical school. Only very good grades in a pre-med program at a good university/college and scoring highly on the MCAT will get you in.

The way you get into a good university/college is take as many AP and honors classes as you can, have a very good GPA, do very well on the verbal and math SAT, have a high class rank, and do some outside stuff that probably doesn't matter if you have the grades and test scores.

It's really all performance-based. Shadowing a surgeon won't move the needle.

Oh okay. I just wanted to do something else because it will look good on my résumé. But you can trust me that I'm doing great in school . I'm already top 5% of my school, have a 4.0 GPA unweighted, all of my classes are honors and I'll be taking APs in tenth grade. I'm scared of the SATs though :s

Thanks for your advice! I'll keep that in mind. I'll start studying for the SATs and MCAT. It's never too early to start studying.:D

Kat3573
03-23-2013, 02:07 PM
Hi everyone my daughter surgery was finally set for May 24 with Dr Asghar at MCH.

God bless you all

Good luck! I'll try to remember to come back on on the 23 of may and wish you best of luck again! If you have any questions about the experience or hospital I'm here!
Remember to video tape her when she on the happy juice because she will say some crazy stuff! At least I did!

Pooka1
03-23-2013, 03:18 PM
Oh okay. I just wanted to do something else because it will look good on my résumé. But you can trust me that I'm doing great in school . I'm already top 5% of my school, have a 4.0 GPA unweighted, all of my classes are honors and I'll be taking APs in tenth grade. I'm scared of the SATs though :s

Thanks for your advice! I'll keep that in mind. I'll start studying for the SATs and MCAT. It's never too early to start studying.:D

Well you certainly seem to be on track for pre-med and med school. Keep up the good work. :-)

Kat3573
03-23-2013, 04:29 PM
Well you certainly seem to be on track for pre-med and med school. Keep up the good work. :-)

Thank you Sharon! My parents always told me education should be your top priority right now.

mbeckett
03-24-2013, 10:08 AM
Hello, we rencently moved to US from México and are living in Florida. Here we have two opinions for surgery treatment for the scolisis of our doughter. The one preferred for us is at Miami Children Hospital in Miami with John Asghar and Harry Sufflebarger. Please we appretiate any reference of this doctors and Hospital. The other opinion was in Tampa Shriner Hospital with doctor Kronen.

Best luck to everyone

Hello Carlos,

I had spinal surgery last May with Dr. Nathan Lebwohl who is in Miami. Dr. Lebwohl is the Chief of Spinal Deformity for the University of Miami Medical Center and practices at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lebwohl is an excellent surgeon and I am very pleased with my surgery and recovery process.

Dr. Shufflebarger was originally recommended to me but he does children so I was then referred to Dr. Lebwohl. You may want to see if Dr. Lebwohl also does children and get a second opinion if you haven't already. I believe in getting second and third opinions on surgeries of this magnitude.

Let me know if you have any other questions. You can email me at scoliosisinbrevard@gmail.com.

Marjorie

Kat3573
03-24-2013, 01:01 PM
Hello Carlos,

I had spinal surgery last May with Dr. Nathan Lebwohl who is in Miami. Dr. Lebwohl is the Chief of Spinal Deformity for the University of Miami Medical Center and practices at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lebwohl is an excellent surgeon and I am very pleased with my surgery and recovery process.

Dr. Shufflebarger was originally recommended to me but he does children so I was then referred to Dr. Lebwohl. You may want to see if Dr. Lebwohl also does children and get a second opinion if you haven't already. I believe in getting second and third opinions on surgeries of this magnitude.

Let me know if you have any other questions. You can email me at scoliosisinbrevard@gmail.com.

Marjorie


He was my second opinion. He's a nice man. He convinced my mom that surgery was necessary. If my surgeon wouldn't do my surgery then he woul have.

Kat3573
05-21-2013, 09:11 PM
Good luck with your daughters surgery on Friday! Let us know how it goes!

Kat3573
05-24-2013, 12:55 AM
Good luck with the surgery! I'm sure she will be fine!