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Thread: anyone know Dr. Shelokov in Dallas?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Dr. Shelokov

    I had my surgery in 2005 and had United Healthcare. His office stopped taking that. So, I switched to my husband's insurance, and they stopped taking that. I was due to go back this month for a recheck but can't afford the visit and Xrays out of pocket, so I don't know what to do. I am not having any problems right not so I just cancelled the appointment.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    DFW area of Texas

    Surgeons in Dallas/Ft Worth area

    Actually, I didn't mean to come here this morning; I was showing someone Dr. Robert Viere's photo on the internet (his practice is North Texas Spine Care) and on Google, there was a reference back to this particular thread. But now that I'm here, I want to add my 2 cents worth. Since Dr. Shelokov operated on me three times and Dr. Viere is about to operate on me the second time (that's five), I feel pretty damn qualified to talk about both of them. When I first met Dr. S in early summer of 2003, he figuratively charmed the pants off of me. I'd gone from doctor to doctor for two years trying to find someone to tell me what was wrong with me, all the time becoming more deformed and living with pain like I never knew existed; the "rib hump" was the worse! It was the rheumatologist who told me to go home, put ice on it, and in a couple of days, it would go away. I'd been to at least 3 orthopedic doctors, a chiropractor (who is the one who told me I had scoliosis), a rheumatologist, a rolfer, a pain specialist, internal med. It was one of the ortho docs, Dr. Kevin Gill, who referred me to Dr. S. I had idiopathic adult scoliosis, along with a good dose of kyphosis thrown in. Cutting the story a little short, I was scheduled for the original surgery on my birthday of August 4th in 2003. There is nothing in this world that can prepare anyone for that first surgery and the first week or two afterwards. It's a cross between going to hell and being a jew in Nazi Germany. I just thought I knew what pain was like. But like it always does, the pain does pass and things do get better. I was fitted for a brace, at home I had a hospital bed brought in, and I was driven all the way from my home in Irving to Plano twice a week to work with Dr. S's favored P.T., Shelley (who is great). I followed every rule and precaution to the upmost degree, but in Sept and Oct, I kept telling Corbin (Dr. S's PA) that I couldn't walk but just a short way. He more or less indicated it was in my head, that quote "we didn't operate on your legs" unquote. So at the 3-month followup with Dr. S in November, I waited to see the man in the exam room. Dr. S has this way of be-booping here, there, never staying in one place very long. He entered the room and said, something to the effect of "your Xrays look great - I see all kinds of shadows/halos (whatever)". I responded, if that is true, then why can't I walk? It caught his attention (and that's hard to do). He questioned me some, then arranged for me to go over to the hospital for some of the fancy tests (cat-scan, possibly a MRI, or mylogram). One of the screws had worked itself loose from my left hip, which is coincidentally the hip where the bone harvesting was done. At one time, Dr. S said the screw didn't hold due to the thinness in that harvest site. The first revision surgery was scheduled in early December 2003. To "be on the safe side and to cover all bases" he cut me all the way open, from the top of the T's to the bottom of the L's., he replaced not only the loose screw in the left side but also in the right side, using bolts instead of screws. After a couple of days in the hospital, he sent me direct to a NURSING HOME (oh yeah, it's called skilled nursing, but don't be fooled .... call it what it is - crappy food and all). It was across the street from Plano Medical Center. There for 7 weeks, including through the Christmas holidays, I was not allowed to raise up in the bed any more than 30 degrees, meaning ... well, I think anyone can figure out what that meant. I was finally able to get back to work the first of March 2004. So I had another year of relative freedom, until the end of 2004, when more problems starting creeping up. Xrays indicated I had failed to fuse in almost all of the thoracic. So on January 10, 2005, I went into the new Baylor Plano hospital for the 3rd surgery. Dr. S cut from the top of the T's (T12 I suppose) down to T1, but skipped about an inch throughout that area. Repacked everything and I went on about my merry way, getting back to work again in March. Recuperation and wear and tear on my body was getting easier and easier.

    Then, as other people in our Forum have noted, Dr. S *fired* all of us who had United Healthcare, saying in the letter that he was having a dispute with UHC concerning one patient, but because of the legalities involved and the possiblity it would go to litigation, he couldn't submit any claims to UHC for anyone else, blah blah. I knew right away that I had to find another doctor. Once you have this, you don't EVER want to be without a doctor who knows you and knows your background, your history, everything about you, and I don't remember how - probably through the internet - I found Dr. Viere (Dr. V). I made an appointment just to meet him, to get Xrays, and to get my records transferred over from Dr. S. I have a girlfriend who was being treated by Dr. S, who turned 65 and only if she would pay him in cash (at a "reduced rate" that he would give her) could he continue treating her; that he did not take Medicare. She had to go to another doctor who was willing to work with Medicare. Dr. S had operated on her only the one original time.

    I myself turned 65 this last August, and at our appointment in late July, following some new symptoms, when Dr. V told me that my Rods had broken, I asked him about Medicare, and he said they don't take Medicare but since I was already an established patient, I could continue on with him. I asked him why do they not take Medicare and he said because Medicare discounts their services so terribly low, that they are practically working for free and Medicare places its own fee schedule on the surgeon's work (in other words, lumping them in the same class as a podiatrist cutting on a toe) [my words, not his]. As it's turned out, since I'm still working and still have UHC, I turned down Part B, but accepted Part A with Medicare which covers Hospital only {I don't think you have a choice on Part A}, and UHC has to pay all the rest of it.

    So, in September 2007, Dr. V performed his first surgery on me, to repair the broken rods in the lumbar area (these are the original rods put in by Dr. S that are 1/4 inch stainless steel). Surgery went amazingly well. He's more conservative and had me stay off work for 3 months, instead of 2 like Dr. S did. He released me to go back to work at our appt on 11/30/07, and two weeks later, we found out my rods had broken again!! This time, they are broke in the thoracic area. Everyone is totally shocked about this. I'm scheduled for surgery #5 on January 28, 2008. Whoopee! Happy New Year.

    I continue to have the upmost confidence and faith in Dr. V. He is not sure if he would have originally put in stainless steel or titanium, but reading between the lines, I'd bet he would have gone with titanium. He already has a game plan for this surgery; he'll take out the work he did in September and will jointly work with both areas for the repair (thoracic & lumbar). I've talked to him whether this could have been faulty hardware, and he doesn't think so. The rods break because the area around the rods DOES NOT FUSE.

    For a newbie, this is a short video on the internet that shows some of the aspects of setting up a fusion (you'll probably have to copy & paste). At the same area, you'll find another pertinent video on bone harvesting.

    So if you put Dr. Shelokov and Dr. Viere together side by side, I'll take Dr. Viere every time. Not once, not even once, has Dr. S made any attempt to see how I'm doing, even though I let his office know I was having the revision surgery.

    I hope this helps someone.

    Diane in Dallas
    Adult Ideopatic Scoliosis (37%) and Kyphosis (65%)
    Surgery #1 8/4/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #2 12/8/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #3 1/10/05 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #4 9/10/07 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #5 1/28/08 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #6 4/27/09 - Dr. Viere, Dallas

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    near Philadelphia
    OH MY GOD.

    My heart goes out to you, dear.

    Good luck!!!!!
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Diane--Like Singer, my heart goes out to you too. You have certainly been through a pretty nightmarish time... I'll be praying for you on the 28th. It's my b'day, so I'll remember...
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52į w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15į
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Chicago north suburb
    Hi Diane,

    I remember you from an earlier post. I had asked if you had to do it all over again, would you, and you responded yes, yes and yes. May I ask if you are a smoker and/or if you have osteoporosis? Both can contribute to failed fusions. I believe most surgeons will not even operate on a smoker who is not at least six months nicotine free. Regarding the dispute with UHC concerning one patient, Iím wondering if that might be the young lady who was a forum member up until almost a year ago. She had surgery by Dr. Shelekov last February and we never heard from her again. She lost her life under tragic circumstances. Quite frankly, Iím not sure any orthopedic specialists performing adult scoliosis surgeries accept Medicare. Thatís another factor in my decision-making. I have good insurance now being employed full-time, but once Iím retired, itís gone.

    Iím truly sorry to hear yet about another person having multiple surgeries. Given the degenerative changes in our spines as we age, this problem appears to manifest itself more often in us older folks.

    I sincerely wish you the best and hope for a pain-free future.


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