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View Full Version : Dr Tim Yoon, Emory Spine Center, Atlanta



gmw
01-09-2010, 02:45 PM
Is anyone familiar with Dr Yoon? I'm looking at major fusion surgery. Would like to know of other's experience.:confused:

rainbow2010
01-10-2010, 06:19 PM
We have had very bad experiences with Emory and all of their hospitals. I go to Dr. James at Resurgeons. He has an office in Cumming and I think Lawrenceville. You can check on their website. My daughter went to Dr Morrissey at Scottish Rite but he has retired.

gmw
01-14-2010, 07:35 PM
Thanks for your response. Was there anything in particular that resulted in your bad experiences at Emory?

rainbow2010
01-19-2010, 06:14 AM
When my daughter had to have surgery at their children's hospital, they sedated her but the surgeon decided not to show up when he was supposed to. Too busy with his female intern that was leaving town in a few hours. My mom had surgery at Emory and she when she was moved to a room to recover, she only saw a nurse 2 times a day unless she pressed her call button. When she pressed her button, it would take them over an hour to respond. We went up to visit her and watched the nurses just sitting around their station talking , watching tv and ignoring when people pressed call buttons. A few years ago, they lost a patient - didn't notice she was gone for 24 hours. Her family finally found her dead in a bathroom down the hall. I have friends that developed post-op infections that they didn't want to take care of. Plus parking around there is hard to find a place where you don't have to walk a long way (1/2 mile or more).

gmw
01-25-2010, 11:35 AM
Many thanks for your response. Were they back surgeries? How long ago was this?

rainbow2010
01-26-2010, 12:01 PM
My daughter had to have a gland removed 17 years ago. My mother had cancer surgery 6 years ago. Just last week there was another story on the local news (Fox5Atlanta) about emery losing another patient. Did not know where the person wandered off to. Some of my friends have dealt t=with them in the past couple of years and said never again.

Flash1
02-19-2010, 04:57 PM
Is anyone familiar with Dr Yoon? I'm looking at major fusion surgery. Would like to know of other's experience.:confused:

I just had spine surgery 12 days ago by Dr. Yoon so far all is well. He was very nice & knowledgeable. After surgery that day he came by my room to see me and check on things. I was only in hospital for two days and his staff continued to come by and check on me. The Emory spine surgical center is not located at Emory hospital no more so parking is a breeze and the nursing constantly are checking on you. The new facilty is very nice, you order your food from the resturaunt on the ground floor and the food was very good.
Hope this helps with some of your concerns about Dr.Yoon. I also checked his medical college background and other post prior to me choosing him and all was very good.

gmw
02-19-2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks for this info. It is very encouraging. I pray you continue to do well.

jrnyc
02-19-2010, 08:46 PM
hi gmw
is your doctor recommending a full fusion for a 38 degree curve?
that sounds really extreme...that is just my opinion, & i am no doctor...but i thought surgeons do not recommend fusion for curves under 50 degrees?


best of luck
jess

gmw
02-20-2010, 07:13 AM
Thanks so much for your post. Dr Yoon has indicated that he would go into the thoracic and into the sacrum to alleviate the need for additional surgeries in the future due to movement in the lumbar. I have a lot of degeneration of disks and stenosis. I don't remember, but I think he said probably T-12 - S1. Not sure until more ex-rays are done. I had a laminectomy in 2006, but did not get relief from the pain in my hips, and stinging and numbness in my left leg and foot. I still have that pain, only more so, and now I'm having pain and numbness in my right leg. My day to day activities are very limited in order to lessen the pain. Also, he has indicated my age as a factor. My curve has moved from 20 degrees in 2001 to 38 degrees in 2009. Dr Yoon and Dr Heller of Emory have told me it is only going to worsen. I am so fearful of going thru surgery and having more pain when its over than I have now. I question my pain and complaining when I hear of these extensive curves and when I read there are folks w/70 degree curves that feel no pain.

txmarinemom
02-20-2010, 08:24 AM
Hi, gmw. You last post explained your situation a lot more clearly.


My curve has moved from 20 degrees in 2001 to 38 degrees in 2009. Dr Yoon and Dr Heller of Emory have told me it is only going to worsen. I am so fearful of going thru surgery and having more pain when its over than I have now.

First off, I have no experience with Dr.Yoon - and I'm certainly not saying he's a bad doctor. However, he is not a Scoliosis Research Society member, nor is his specialty scoliosis.

Do you plan to seek other opinions? I'm strongly encouraging you to do so.

With curve movement of 2-3° per year (and pain), you're a candidate for surgery, I'd think. You definitely want to make sure and get it right the first time.

What would concern me most about an extremely short fusion from T12-S1 is that it might not stop the curving. If that tiny fused segment doesn't cover all vertebrae involved (in the scoliosis), you could continue to curve above T12. And that - referred to as decompensation - could leave you in a really bad place.

Please see 2-3 more SRS specialists before you agree to fusion: You can find several in GA at www.srs.org/find. Someone with experience degenerative conditions, aging spine and adult scoliosis is what you need.


I question my pain and complaining when I hear of these extensive curves and when I read there are folks w/70 degree curves that feel no pain.

Don't. You have other issues besides scoliosis, so it isn't apples to apples. For that matter, it's never apples to apples. My curve hurt from the time it was diagnosed as a child until I was finally fused (in an attempt to stop the pain) at 39. Some people just hurt, and some don't. You know if you hurt, and you don't have to justify it.

I hope you get some solid information that allows you the peace of knowing you made the best decision for you.

Please keep us posted.

Regards,
Pam

gmw
02-20-2010, 02:00 PM
Thanks for all the good info and for your words of support regarding the pain! Actually, at this point I'm not sure how far up the thoracic he would go. I failed to ask him when I was in his office. Since I wasn't sure I wanted to have the surgery, he didn't do xrays. I called back later to check on what levels would be fused and was told he wouldn't be able to tell me that until I had xrays done. I haven't been able to find out anything about him other than what is posted on the Emory Spine Center website. I'm told the other deformity surgeon there is Dr Ananthakrishman. I didn't see her on the website you mentioned either. Where did you see that Dr Yoon doesn't specialize in adult scoliosis?

gmw
02-20-2010, 02:06 PM
Pam -- I did see a different doctor on my first visit to Emory. There I saw Dr Heller, who told me essentially the same thing Dr Yoon did. Dr Heller informed me he would not be the one to do the surgery that they had two spinal deformity surgeons who did the type of surgery I would need. I have an appointment with my primary care next week and I'll check with him on getting an opinion from someplace else.

Flash1
02-20-2010, 02:10 PM
Is anyone familiar with Dr Yoon? I'm looking at major fusion surgery. Would like to know of other's experience.:confused:

I am from a suburb of Atlanta and have live in area all my life. Emory has been one of the stand out hospitals in Ga for as long as I can remember. I actually started out seeing another orthopedic Dr. about 15 miles from me from a different group and a different area hospital. He had operated on my fiancée neck and I was not that thrilled with her results, he seem to boast a little to much for me and I was not that impressed with is college and medical credentials. When I knew I was going to have to do something I looked to Emory and Dr Yoon was one of the first ones I could get and appointment with. I did not accept and appointment with him until I went on line and looked up where he attended medical college and so forth. It was either Harvard or Yale I don't quite remember but if you Google his name and search Emory Spine Center, Tucker , Ga as well as Georgia Rated Doctors I think which is Ratemds.com you should be able to find out more about him. His real name is Sangwook T Yoon. After visiting the Emory spine center and taking with Dr. Yoon I felt that I would be in much better hands than the previous Dr. I had seen so I chose to have the surgery 4 days later by him. I will try and Google up some more information about him and if I find it I will send you the information. But I agree with you I do not just let anyone go to cutting or operating on me without feeling good about them first. (For some reason every time I try and reply to your email address it kicks it out and it will not go through it says it is rejected.
Howell

HappyDeanna
02-20-2010, 02:16 PM
Hi GMW.....One of the replies to this post said your MD's speciality is not scoliosis, PLEASE find out if that is true. I had 2 back surgeries in 2008 by a very highly recommended neurosurgeon. I really liked him & still do, BUT his speciality was not scoliosis, & he was not the MD for me. The surgeries were
not successful & made my problems worse & increased my pain. I had my third back surgery in July 2009 by a surgeon who specializes in adult scoliosis & is listed with SRS. I have not looked back since. I continue to improve & the "problems" I have now are not related to my back & are minor. I had a ton of things done if you want to compare, just look at my first couple of posts. Good luck in your decision.
HappyDeanna

txmarinemom
02-20-2010, 02:20 PM
I haven't been able to find out anything about him other than what is posted on the Emory Spine Center website. I'm told the other deformity surgeon there is Dr Ananthakrishman. I didn't see her on the website you mentioned either. Where did you see that Dr Yoon doesn't specialize in adult scoliosis?

Well ... *typically* someone who adds "scoliosis" (not even broken out by type) into a list like what he has for "clinical interests" on the Emory Spine Center site isn't an adult scoliosis specialist.

While SRS surgeons are bound to dedicate at least 20% of their practice to spinal deformities, most dedicate 100% ... and they don't have a laundry list like this:

anterior lumbar interbody fusion
cervical fusion
compression fractures
disc degeneration
discectomy
herniated disc
kyphoplasty
kyphosis
laminoplasty
lumbar disorders
lumbar fusion
microdiscectomy
microsurgery
neck pain
radiculopathy
sciatica
scoliosis
spinal cord stimulator
spinal implants
spinal pain
spinal stenosis
spinal surgery
spinal trauma
spondylolisthesis
spondylosis
thoracic fusion
vertebral fractures

Like I said, I'm not saying he's a bad doctor, incompetent, whatever. I'm only saying, if it were ME, I'd want someone who *specifically* does a LOT of successful scoliosis fusion surgeries on degenerative/aging spines.

Scoliosis surgery is one thing: Combined with some of the other conditions he has listed (and the issues you already have), it can be infinitely more complex.

You might consider asking him how many similar surgeries (to yours) he does a year - and again, I'd really seek an opinion from an SRS surgeon before you agree to anything. Whatever you decide, you'll know you did your homework.

Best regards,
Pam

gmw
02-20-2010, 02:41 PM
Thanks Howell for being persistent on helping me out with this. I appreciate anything you can find. I have googled him, but haven't found out much. Have you tried to create a new e-mail instead of replying?

Thanks to you to HappyDeanna -- As you can probably tell, I am very hesitant and fearful about having this surgery. I appreciate your input and I will go out and look at your earlier posts.

Glenda