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View Full Version : Dr. Lenke won't do my surgery - Dr. Buchowski?



PeggyS
08-22-2013, 02:00 PM
After reviewing my X-rays, Dr. Lenke said my 65 degree curve, etc. isn't "bad" enough for him to do the surgery. His nurse left the message & said that was actually good news. Yeah, but . . I justified traveling 8 hrs. from home because I was going to one of the top surgeons in the country.

Dr. Lenke did refer me to Dr. Buchowski - a spine surgeon in the same practice. I've done some research & what I've read is very good. He's on the SRS & his nurse said he does 1 major back surgery per week.

I searched this site for info on Dr. Buchowski, but only found him in the research area.
All of you have a lot of personal experience with scoliosis surgery, so I'm asking for opinions!

I do have a consultation appt in October with Dr. Buchowski.

Peg

golfnut
08-22-2013, 02:43 PM
It is definitely good news that your scoliosis is not one of the most complicated, however, I'm sorry that Dr. Lenke won't be doing your surgery. On the other hand, I am sure he is totally confident in any surgeon that he would recommend. I can understand that it would be harder to justify the 8 hour drive if not seeing one of the country's best. Good luck in selecting your surgeon. Sometimes, people just seem to know which surgeon is right for them after getting a couple of opinions.

osumike
10-14-2013, 07:55 PM
Yeah, I know how you feel. I made SEVERAL 8+ hour trips driving from Ohio to St. Louis consulting with Lenkes partner, Dr. Bridwell. Its a long story that I could go on forever about, but after all the tests, workups, mental and physical preparation, etc, etc, etc, he decided he "dropped the ball", and that he was cancelling the surgery the day before it was scheduled, while I was driving from my hotel to the hospital to get my central line put in. You can probably search on this forum if you want to read about it. My thought has always been that because I'm self employed and have this pre existing condition, I can't get good major medical health insurance, and that's why he decided not to do it at the last minute. I've been trying to signup for new coverage with this new health care reform, but still after 14 days of trying, the website setup to do it won't work. I'm patiently waiting. STILL. Well, maybe not so patiently anymore....Good luck to you...

PeggyS
10-14-2013, 09:26 PM
Mike, I did read old posts & I remember yours. Having your dr cancel so close to surgery is outrageous! I can't begin to imagine how you must've felt.
I saw Dr Snook in Columbus several times. He was highly recommended, but red flags went up for me when he said his skills are adequate for my type of surgery!
Good luck with your insurance. I'm heading to St. Louis next week.

Go Bucks!

Peg

tae_tap
10-15-2013, 08:01 AM
Peg,

I too was hoping to have Lenke head up my revision surgery, but am going with his associate Dr. Kelly. Take it as a good thing that you are not bad enough and that someone worse will have an opening with him. I knew there was a slim chance of him doing my correction due to knowing the majority of the cases he takes, but it was worth a try.

Quite frankly anyone at Wash U is going to be top notch! They only take the best of the best, but make sure you feel confident in your decision to go with a particular surgeon. Being in the medical field I probably ask some of the oddest questions to any of my doctors and my first question to Dr. Kelly was "why did you choose to specialize in the spine?" For me this question left him vulnerable and he was not ever asked by a patient that question, so that opened the door for me to get to know him a little. I am passionate about the work I do with my patients and the health of their feet, so I want a surgeon that is just as passionate because that means they will give me all they have and that will be as close to perfection that we as man can strive for.

Just pray for the right decision and the peace in making it. I will keep you in my prayers as well.
Tamena

loves to skate
10-15-2013, 10:51 AM
Yeah, I know how you feel. I made SEVERAL 8+ hour trips driving from Ohio to St. Louis consulting with Lenkes partner, Dr. Bridwell. Its a long story that I could go on forever about, but after all the tests, workups, mental and physical preparation, etc, etc, etc, he decided he "dropped the ball", and that he was cancelling the surgery the day before it was scheduled, while I was driving from my hotel to the hospital to get my central line put in. You can probably search on this forum if you want to read about it. My thought has always been that because I'm self employed and have this pre existing condition, I can't get good major medical health insurance, and that's why he decided not to do it at the last minute. I've been trying to signup for new coverage with this new health care reform, but still after 14 days of trying, the website setup to do it won't work. I'm patiently waiting. STILL. Well, maybe not so patiently anymore....Good luck to you...

Mike, would you consider traveling to Boston? I know Dr. Rand at the New England Baptist Hospital takes people who don't have great insurance. I know he takes Medicaid people. It would be worth a phone call at the very least. Just google his name to get his phone number. I am on my way to a Doctor appt. or I would get it for you.
Sally

PeggyS
10-16-2013, 01:05 PM
Peg,

I too was hoping to have Lenke head up my revision surgery, but am going with his associate Dr. Kelly. Take it as a good thing that you are not bad enough and that someone worse will have an opening with him. I knew there was a slim chance of him doing my correction due to knowing the majority of the cases he takes, but it was worth a try.

Quite frankly anyone at Wash U is going to be top notch! They only take the best of the best, but make sure you feel confident in your decision to go with a particular surgeon. Being in the medical field I probably ask some of the oddest questions to any of my doctors and my first question to Dr. Kelly was "why did you choose to specialize in the spine?" For me this question left him vulnerable and he was not ever asked by a patient that question, so that opened the door for me to get to know him a little. I am passionate about the work I do with my patients and the health of their feet, so I want a surgeon that is just as passionate because that means they will give me all they have and that will be as close to perfection that we as man can strive for.

Just pray for the right decision and the peace in making it. I will keep you in my prayers as well.
Tamena


Thanks, Tamena. My 1st reaction was: why bother to go to St Louis if I can't have the best?! ( 8 hrs away). My second opinion dr, an SRS doc, told me he'd send his mom to St Louis. That's the 2nd dr who has mentioned St Louis, so I'm on my way for my first consult next week. It's a very good way to look at not having Dr Lenke as far as freeing up a space for someone who needs his skills more than I do - good perspective! Thanks for sharing!

Peg

tae_tap
10-16-2013, 01:59 PM
I am down here today to begin my pre-op tests. Today is my full spine MRI and tomorrow is lung test, surgical meeting, and anesthesia. Surgery is November 13. Let the fun begin!
Tamena

golfnut
10-16-2013, 07:04 PM
I know I am prejudice, but I think Dr. Lenke's department is the exceptional even if you don't have Dr. Lenke as your surgeon. He would only choose the best for the department.

susancook
10-21-2013, 02:40 PM
Peggy, I had a surgeon on the west coast because I live here. I would not have qualified for Dr. Lenke anyway. There is nothing magic about one doctor. Yes, he is very skilled, but so are so many others around the country. Generally a group of surgeons that work together can usually be recommended. Dr. Lenke has bad outcomes like everyone else. Anyone that he chooses to work with is doctor wise, probably also top notch. He would not work with doctors that would give his hospital a bad reputation. He also would not have spent time training someone who was not phenomenal.

I traveled 12 hours to have surgery with a doctor that I trusted. My first consult is an excellent surgeon and I am certain that my results would have been equally excellent with him. I am lucky to have had 2 great choices.

If you need to travel 8 hours to have top notch surgeon, do it. I would have traveled whatever distance it took to have skilled hands.

Susan

jrnyc
10-21-2013, 02:53 PM
hey Mike
sent you a private message...

i think one of the things that made Lenke well known in the scoliosis world
was that he was famous for reaching around the body, rather than going
in both anterior and posterior approaches...that was what i always read
about him on this forum...and also that he took patients that other
surgeons might not want to take, as their cases were considered challenging...

jess

PeggyS
10-21-2013, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the words of encouragement about the other doctors who work with Dr. Lenke!

We're driving to St. Louis tomorrow & my initial appointment with Dr. Buchowski is scheduled for Wed.

Peg