I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma on April 3rd, 2018. I’ve never been a sick kid, teenager, or young woman. In fact, I’ve always been incredibly healthy and athletic. It came as a shock when my doctor told me that they had incidentally found a 3.7 centimeter brain tumor on my hearing nerve. Without any symptoms of any sort, I was in disbelief. My doctor told me he wanted to me go down to Los Angeles the next day to visit the doctors at the House Ear Clinic. He even said, “I’d send my kids there.”
Within the hour of
leaving my general physician’s office, I received a phone call from the administration
of House Ear Clinic and had an appointment the following day. At my
appointment, I met with Dr. Kevin Peng. He assured me that although my tumor
was on the large side, they would be able to help me. After reviewing my MRI,
Dr. Kevin Peng and Dr. Gregory Lekovic (neurosurgeon) decided to take the
translabyrinthine approach to removing my tumor. I was heartbroken at the
thought and possibility that I’d never be able to smile the same, or show
natural facial expressions. As a first grade teacher, I rely heavily on my face
throughout the day when I read books, talk to children, and interact with
Going into my surgery, I
was preparing for my life to drastically change afterwards. Dr. Peng and Dr.
Lekovic worked for twelve and a half hours to remove my tumor, alongside many
brilliant surgeons, specialists, and nurses. Miraculously, they saved my face! All of my friends and family have said they
couldn’t tell I’d just had brain surgery.
I spent four days
afterwards recovering at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and was able to walk independently
on the fourth day. Dr. Michael Stefan (internist)
was so kind and checked on me each day while I was in the hospital, and the
nurses were all so kind and caring. Each surgeon and specialist also checked on
me post op to ensure I was doing fine.
I am a few days past the
two month marker of my surgery, and my life is completely back to normal. I
walk every day, drive, get together with friends, go to concerts, and go
swimming. Although I have lost all hearing in my right ear, it is a small price
to pay. I would recommend anyone with an acoustic neuroma to go straight to the
House Ear Clinic. They saved my life, and I am forever grateful!
I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in May of 2018. I was 18 years old and about to graduate high school. I had been having trouble hearing out of my right ear and it was slowly getting worse. My ENT doctor suspected a mass being responsible for my lack of hearing, so he ordered an MRI that resulted in the discovery of a 2.4 cm tumor. I then visited a neurotologist who suggested surgery to remove it, but was unsure of how to approach the surgery. Next, I visited a neurosurgeon who didn’t want to even touch my tumor and recommended multiple doses of radiation. Later, a radiation oncologist strongly disagreed and insisted on a single dose radiation. All these conflicting recommendations made me very concerned and uncomfortable, especially because treating this type of tumor requires a team of doctors who communicate with one another and agree.
It’s around this time that a friend urged me to get a second opinion from the House Clinic. So I sent the copy of my MRI to Dr. Eric Wilkinson who gave me a free consultation over the phone. He gave me valuable information to help me make an educated decision for the best treatment, and he always promptly answered my emails of any subsequent questions I had. He was very knowledgeable and very experienced, and based on the location and size of my tumor, he and Dr. Gregory Lekovic recommended the transotic surgical approach, which is an extension to the translabrynthine approach. I knew I was in good hands with them.
After some insurance issues (we finally switched to a different plan), my surgery was scheduled for March, 27th, 2019. By then my tumor had further grown to 2.6 cm, but Drs. Wilkinson, Lekovic, and Noonan, who wanted me to have the best quality of life possible, were able to successfully remove the whole tumor with no damage to my facial nerve. Losing my hearing was a small price to pay in exchange for an intact face.
Over the next few days in the hospital, I truly felt the compassion of all the doctors and nurses, both from the House Clinic and from St. Vincent’s. They all treated me as if I were their daughter. I recovered well and was told I was doing better than 90% of patients at that stage of recovery.
I’m so grateful to Drs. Lekovic, Wilkinson, and Noonan for being my doctors, and I’m glad I chose to be treated by them for the best outcome possible.
was a typical day out with friends, when I realized that the louder it was in
the restaurant we were in, the harder it was to hear out of my left ear. This
had gone on for over a year and I associated it with allergies and ear wax
build up. Later, when a friend questioned why I was reading their lips is when
I realized I really couldn’t hear well. I made an appointment with the ear,
nose and throat doctor. They cleaned out my ears and started me on allergy
a few weeks, I still couldn’t hear well out of my left ear and that it was even
worse than it had ever been before. I went back to the ENT and he suggested I
get an MRI. I received the news I wasn’t looking forward to that I had a 1.4 cm
tumor in my left ear. The doctor suggested three options for me and I could
make the decision. After research and reading, I made the decision to go with
surgery and was recommended to see Dr. Eric Wilkinson at House Clinic Acoustic
Neuroma Center at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
knew surgery was the best option even as scary as it was. I have never had
major surgery nor have I ever had to stay multiple days in the hospital. I
decided before mysurgery that I would live it up and spend the weekend before
with my girlfriends at the Route 91 Concert in Las Vegas. Although I was not injured
in the shooting, it would be the most traumatic experience I have ever had to
endure. After the concert, I was numb to the fact that I was about to have a
craniotomy a week and half later. I knew I needed to be strong and continue
with the surgery even though my heart was breaking.
my surprise, the staff at St. Vincent Medical Center and House Clinic was amazing
after explaining what I had been through. I am now recovering well and was even
able to walk on the beach a week post surgery. Strength and courage go a long
way and I am forever grateful to be alive and well today.
recently graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music,
while specializing in vocal performance. But about year ago, during my last
semester, I noticed that the hearing in my left ear was failing. I was only 21
years old and had always been healthy, so I didn’t think much of it at the
time. But my voice teacher started noticing that I was losing my sense of pitch
while performing in my upper register.
graduating, I finally saw an ENT who, not detecting any problems in my eardrum,
ordered an MRI of my brain. As a result, a large 5 cm acoustic neuroma was
thought of having to undergo neurosurgery to remove it shook me deep inside. I
was immediately referred to the House Clinic where I met with Dr. Kevin Peng
and Dr. Gregory Lekovic who would be my surgeons. Both were gentle and kind,
but at the same time, confident, professional, obviously knowledgeable,
experienced and highly competent. This did a lot to put me at ease. They
explained the whole procedure and what I should expect. And although mine was
an unusually large tumor posing greater risks than smaller ones, they left me
feeling confident that all would work out.
who were also under a great deal of stress before and during the 18-hour long
procedure, were so impressed with these men as well as the entire surgical team
and nurses who took care of me before and after. Everyone was so conscientious
about my parent’s concerns and so ensured that they received regular and
encouraging updates throughout the procedure. Even directly following the
operation, at 3:00 a.m., the Drs. Peng and Lekovic went straight to my parents
in the waiting room to report on the results and to offer some more encouraging
all so grateful to the surgeons and entire surgical team as my tumor was
entirely removed without even the slightest damage to my facial nerve. I can’t
thank the House Clinic enough for this and for treating me and my family with
the utmost care and respect.
I can recall the day after
Thanksgiving in 2015 like it was yesterday. I had, my then 6-year-old son, and
his friends playing at the house and I bent down to clean up all the toys they
had scattered on the floor. As I started to lift my body up, my hearing on the
left side went completely out and I heard ringing. It eventually came back
after about 45 seconds, but then It started to happen more often. I naturally
attributed this to the stresses in my life. I was hosting and getting ready for
all of the holidays, working full time and trying to decide between a
management position that two competing hospitals were offering me. Oh yes, I
forgot to mention the irony of this whole story…. I am a Speech-language
Pathologist-go figure! As I made my
decision to stay at my hospital and take the Director position of Speech and
Hearing and the Balance Center (irony) and finally the holidays started to end,
I figured my sudden left sided hearing loss would disappear…. but no. So as the
2016 New Year drew closer, I found myself sitting at my laptop one night with a
glass of red wine doing what most healthcare professionals do…googling my
possible illnesses and diagnosing myself. I typed in “sudden unilateral hearing
loss” and there it was “Acoustic
Neuroma.” I laughed, shook my head in disbelief and thought I had drunk too
much wine. Then I thought, “a benign brain tumor? There is no way I have
this….” I googled it the same over and over with the same responses and there
it was again, “Acoustic Neuroma!” How could I have one of these? I learned
about these in my graduate studies for Speech-language Pathology when I had to
take an audiology course and I have seen patients before who had suffered
through one and were having follow up with the Neuro-otologist at our Balance
center, but, “Me?” This could not be.
So, I kept my mouth shut and went on with my days until February of 2016. One
of my colleagues, a Laryngologist who is the medical director for our swallow
and voice institute, saw me off balance and he asked if I was alright and I
answered in my normal sarcastic way, “I don’t know especially with this sudden
unilateral hearing loss that I’ve had since November.” At that moment he
commanded me to take an audiology test and there it was! Apparently, I had the
classic audiogram that you would see on someone who had an acoustic neuroma.
The audiologist and medical director looked at me in disbelief and next I was
summoned to have an MRI immediately. I told them, “don’t worry it cannot be an
acoustic neuroma…the percentage of people with those are so small.” On February
6, 2018, another colleague of mine, a radiologist, sat me down and proceeded to
show me my acoustic neuroma. There it was…a left vestibular schwannoma or AN,
as most of us know from our community of fellow ANers. I met with another
colleague of mine who was the medical director of hyperbarics and whose opinion
I seek out often and I asked him, “what do I do?” He replied, send your
information ASAP to the House Clinic in Los Angeles, California. I looked at
him like he was mental. My response was, why would I do that when I live in New
York and we have some of the best doctors in the world right here? He answered,
“you asked me what to do and this is where my family would go if they had a
tumor.” He in fact did have a family member who also had an AN removed and they
had also travelled from Miami, Florida all the way to LA. We researched the
House clinic and learned about the history of the center. They clearly were the
pioneers of this type of surgery, leaders in the research world and were known worldwide
for successful results. As I read testimonials, I saw most were from other
countries or states outside of California. I sent all of my information over to
the House Clinic that day. Not even 48 hours later did I receive a call from a
staff member of the House Clinic requesting to set up a time for a Dr. Eric P.
Wilkinson to call me later, after he finished seeing patients. I had to coordinate
a time that worked with our 3-hour time difference. I came home from work and waited patiently. The call
came at 8:30pm (5:30pm in LA) and again I was told I had a “relatively small
AN” and what my options were, including a middle fossa approach surgery. I
remember Dr. Wilkinson seeming so personable, explanatory and intelligent. I
was comfortable immediately but told I should have a follow up MRI in 6 months
to see if the tumor has grown and to just watch the tumor for now. By the third
MRI on 11/08/2017, the tumor I came to know as “my friend living in my head,”
had grown and now the surgery discussion was presented more strongly by Dr.
Wilkinson. I remained in disbelief and did a fourth MRI on 02/06/2018 and was
now faced with the options of doing the middle fossa approach surgery while the
tumor was still small, and I was on the younger side (44 years of age). Dr.
Wilkinson always took the time to explain the results of the MRI, the status of
the tumor, the types of approaches/best approach, what the surgery would entail
and assured me that he and his team would take excellent care of me. Of course,
I continued to procrastinate a little more and I did also have other consults at
other reputable medical facilities. Yet, although never meeting Dr. Wilkinson
in person, I still made my decision to trust him with my life and have the
surgery across the country, on the opposite coast line, with Dr’s. Wilkinson
and Dr. Lekovic, the neurosurgeon (again I had never met him either). When I
decided to set the date for the surgery, the team at the House Clinic responded
with care, support and compassion immediately. I first spoke with Laurel
Arranaga and she helped with setting up the surgery date, completing any
medical leave paperwork either my husband or I needed and information about the
staff including, Roya Mashayekh (the House clinic concierge) and Alyssa
Gonzalez, the medical assistant for Dr. Wilkinson. From the moment I spoke with
Roya, she made me feel like I was the most important person in the world and I
felt sincerity, warmth and compassion. She would listen to my questions and
concerns and answer them as best she could or find a way to get them answered
for me. No matter how many times I emailed Roya, she would answer immediately.
Roya helped my family and I get lodging at Seton Hall which was closely
situated to the hospital and quite economical. The date was set…it was July 18,
2018 and the plane tickets and medical leave from work were finalized. The only
thing left was to finally meet the people behind helping to orchestrate such a
major life event and put faces to the names and voices.
My family and I flew to LA
July 13 so we could see and experience LA a little before I went under the
knife. We visited some attraction sites like Hollywood Boulevard, Rodeo drive,
SUR restaurant and the Santa Monica Pier. July 16 was the day for pre-op
testing and to finally meet these amazing people. First, I met Alyssa Gonzalez
who greeted my family and I with a big smile and I apologized to her for all of
the “urgent email requests.” She was as warm and friendly as I imagined her.
Next, I met the man, “Dr. Wilkinson, the fellow working with the team, Dr. Anne
Maxwell, and Roya! My eyes filled with tears and I was completely overwhelmed
with emotion. It was a surreal experience to finally meet the people I had
spoken to so many times either through the phone or via email…these were the
people I trusted completely with my life. I was compelled to get hugs and they
graciously obliged. It felt like a long-lost family I was finally meeting.
Again, I knew this was the right decision and choice to have my surgery with
The day of the surgery came
and I was so nervous and anxious, but felt at ease once I saw Dr.’s Wilkinson,
Lekovic and Maxwell. Dr. Maxwell and I had a secret pact to try to preserve my
hair as best they could and I trusted her. She too was a woman with long blonde
hair like me and I just knew she understood how important my hair was to me and
my identity. I kissed my son, husband and best friend and told them I would,
“see them later.” The surgery was supposed to be up to 11 hours long and I was
out in almost 7. When I woke up in the ICU at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dr.’s Wilkinson,
Lekovic and Maxwell, an amazing team of nurses, Roya and my family were there.
I was asked to move my face in all different positions and I had complete
movement. The team was happy and so was I. I checked my hair and it was pretty
much all there with the exception of a small trace line that was used to make
the incision. Once the bandages came off, you couldn’t even tell I had brain
surgery. The following day, however, I did have swelling and it contributed to
left sided facial paresis. I found it quite amazing that although I had an
intracranial surgery, I never had any headaches, but my goodness did I suffer
from nausea. The nausea was the worst symptom as it was unpredictable and
happened with any head or body movement. I couldn’t watch TV, or look at my
phone, eat or drink for about 10 days following the surgery. I would cringe
when I saw a Physical Therapist enter the room and try desperately to get out
of doing any therapy. We also started to realize that I had permanently lost my
hearing on the left side. I was in the ICU for about 6 days and then
transferred to the regular unit for 4 more days until my discharge. I was
checked on every day by Dr. Maxwell and she even removed my stitches on the 6th
day. Dr. Maxwell would always visit me early in the morning and I looked so
forward to her friendly smile and great conversations. I was so thankful to her
for keeping her promise of preserving my hair the best she could, and she
absolutely did. There was never a day that Roya did not come to see me and
check on my status or be a support for my family. Dr.’s Wilkinson and Lekovic
were also very attentive and present throughout my hospitalization. I was so
impressed with how well I was treated and the care I received.
My family and I stayed at
Seton Hall for the remainder of the stay until my post op on 7/29. I had the
pleasure of meeting other future and past patients of the House clinic. I was
awed to see people from Florida and Oregon and hear their stories. It was
comforting to know we all trusted the right people with our lives. As I walked
out of the House clinic, after saying my goodbyes to Dr. Wilkinson, Dr. Lekovic
and other staff, I knew I made the right decision and that they would all be
engrained in my heart forever as some of the most special people I would ever
get the opportunity to meet.
This has been a tough
recovery to say the least. I have been home in New York since August 1 and
attending vestibular therapy with a physical therapist 2-3x a week for an hour
each session, following a strict regimen of home exercises to be done up to 4x
daily and seeing a neuro-otologist and ophthalmologist occasionally. I went off
of pain meds almost a week after I was home. My facial weakness is hardly
noticeable at this point, almost four months later. I started driving in mid
October and I will be going back to work full-time on November 13th.
I am concerned about my busy days, my fatigue that tends to set in and my
ability to multitask, but I am confident, proud and eager to be blessed to
return to work and be myself again. I truly feel that if I had gone somewhere
else for this surgery, I may not have been given all my life back. Coming from
a health care environment, I am so proud to say to anyone considering the House
Clinic, it is the right choice to trust in the pioneers of this surgery. The
House clinic is a well-oiled machine that works to make the patient experience,
patient care, family support and medical care, the best it can possibly be. I
would fly 7 hours again all over to be in the care and company of this fine
staff. My gratitude and appreciation are at a loss of words and that is a tough
thing for a Speech-language Pathologist to say.
My heart swells when I think
of all of you and I can never thank you enough.
2007, I was complaining of headaches and migraines for almost seven years
until one day, I asked my primary doctor to order an MRI of my head
with and without contrast. I was shocked to be diagnosed as having
a meningioma tumor. My internist doctor referred me to a neurologist
in Facey Medical Group who told me these tumors are benign and
slow growing so we decided to monitor for growth.
June 2014, suddenly the ringing in my left ear kept getting
louder and louder such that I could no longer sleep. In
addition, I was having pain in my left shoulder and I
noticed my balance was unsteady as well. Also, the left
side of my face was feeling numb and my left
eye was twitching. I was diagnosed as having vertigo
and prescribed physical therapy until it got worst to the point that
I could no longer work.
in 2016, I was referred to Dr. Lekovic at the House Clinic, and
at the time of making the appointment, I was advised to take my MRI CD
along with me. After Dr. Lekovic carefully reviewed
my MRI, he recommended the retrosigmoid approach to
removing the meningioma. Meanwhile, while reviewing my MRI,
Dr. Lekovic also noted that I had a small pituitary tumor which at
the time we decided to monitor for growth.
remove the meningioma was successful. I spent one night in
the dedicated House Clinic ICU at St. Vincent Medical Center
and the next day I was able to walk to the bathroom and was
transferred to the telemetry unit. On the second day, I began
physical therapy. My total hospital stay was five days. My experience at
the House Clinic and the St Vincent Hospital was the best. I received
excellent service from the staff, surgery counselors, nurses, case
managers, physical therapists and all of
the medical staff team.
2018, two years after my meningioma surgery,
my primary doctor ordered a follow up MRI and it was determined
that the pitiutary tumor we had been monitoring had grown in size to
approximately 8 mm.
I consulted with Dr. Lekovic to have it removed and the
surgery was scheduled for August, 2018 with Dr. Wilkinson and
Dr. Lekovic. As with my previous experience with my House
Clinic doctors, the tumor was successfully removed.
believe I have a new life! I’m glad and thank God that I went to
Dr. Lekovic at the House Clinic who along with Drs. Miller and
Wilkinson cured me of these tumors. I feel I was in very good
My name is Kenny and I was diagnosed with semicircular canal
dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) on my right side.
The symptoms began just over two
years ago when I started noticing that when I spoke I was hearing the sounds of
my own voice in my head, loud and distorted. Over time it got worse and worse. It got to
the point that I was hearing myself breath with every breath. I was also
hearing the pulse of my heart with every beat.
It was absolutely miserable. It had
such an impact on my day to day life that every day was a challenge to get through.
There were days the autophony was so bad
that I was mute, definitely not something I could live with having a career in
I saw my local ENT. He
took a few educated guesses and attempted to diagnose my condition but was met
with negative results. Finally, he
recommended I make an appointment with the House Clinic. That very day I called and had an appointment
for a week later. I was so impressed
they got me in so quick.
The following week I met with Dr. Kevin Peng who seemed
confident he would be able to get to the bottom of this. He set me up for a CT scan to look for possible
SCDS. When I came back for the follow
up appointment he had the news I had been waiting so long to hear, a diagnosis!
Now it was time to discuss the surgery.
A very serious surgery in a scary
location, my head!
I was so impressed with the House Clinic and the team they
put on my case. There was Dr. Peng, my
primary doctor/surgeon (neurotologist) on my case, and the man who diagnosed
me! Then there was Dr. Gregory Lekovic, my
neurosurgeon who did a great job explaining his part in the surgery. Also, Dr. Michael Stefan who was my acting
primary care physician, clearing me for surgery and stopping by my room every
day to check on me. And last but not
least was Roya (patient liaison) who was very helpful in keeping the line of
communication open with my family with updates during the surgery. She was there to help with anything we needed
during my hospital stay. The surgery
was performed at St. Vincent Medical Center and my family and I were blown out
of the water with the level of care I received during my stay. The nurses went above and beyond to keep me
comfortable and help in any way I needed.
The operation was successful. For
the first time in two years I’m hearing normal!
I couldn’t be more impressed by
the House Clinic and St. Vincent Medical Center. I give them a score of 11 out of 10. I would recommend them to anybody! Thank you, House Clinic and Dr. Peng and the
rest of the team.
haven’t ever had a reason to write a testimonial in 66 1/2 years – but I’ve
never had to go through any serious surgical procedure before now, let alone brain surgery.
came to Dr. Mia Miller three years ago concerning ringing or tinnitus in my right
ear. An MRI revealed that I had an acoustic vestibular
tumor. At the time, she recommended a watch-and-see approach as to
the tumor’s future growth, since results of prior third-party hearing tests
showed less than 50% remaining hearing and surgery was
therefore not recommended. However, after a year’s
monitoring of the tumor’s growth, hearing tests at the House Institute late
last year revealed that my hearing was actually more than
50% in the affected ear and so she explained that I was therefore a
candidate for surgical tumor removal.
Miller was straight-forward in her explanations as to what I should expect if I
decided not to have surgery and wait and monitor the tumor’s growth over
time. She also reviewed with me what possible favorable results
or possible negative side effects (hearing loss, continued or worsening
tinnitus, balance or dizziness issues, headaches, etc.) I should expect if
I were to decide to go ahead with tumor removal surgery. These
discussions with her along with her past experience and expertise with other
patients helped me in my decision-making process to proceed with the
our first introductory meeting a few months before I had decided to proceed
with the surgery, my neurosurgeon, Dr.
Gregory Lekovic, came across to me
as competent and very experienced. During our pre-op meeting a week
prior to the surgical procedure, he reviewed the aspects of what was to happen
right before surgery, during surgery and after the surgery. I appreciated
his straightforwardness and matter-of-fact explanations. It was during
this session that we talked about our shared enjoyment of comedian Jim
Gaffigan, who has performed a humorous routine about his wife Jeannie’s
serious and life-threatening brain surgery. We laughed about parts of the
routine that we could remember, including how long the surgery would most
likely take. It was nice to know we could both find humor in such a
serious situation. He answered the few questions I had and I left the session
satisfied that I’d be in good hands during the surgery.
St. Vincent Medical Center surgical team I met just before the surgery were
very warm, friendly and reassuring. The surgery was completed and went
very well as far as I’m concerned (being sedated of course during the entire
procedure). Both Dr. Miller
and Dr. Lekovic visited me on both the
Thursday and Friday after my Wednesday surgery and were as
personable as always to me and my visiting family
members. They took time to review my progress and answer our
questions and address any of our concerns. Members
of their team also visited me on the Saturday and Sunday before my
release and they were also helpful and understanding.
When I developed and became very concerned about some facial paralysis that developed a week after the surgery, Dr. Miller accommodated my request to see her earlier than planned. My wife and I appreciated this accommodation very much. She was calming during this appointment session and stated that she believed it was a good sign that the paralysis had developed a week after the surgery and not right after surgery, and that because I had upward movement in my forehead there was an excellent chance for improved facial movement recovery.
Dr. Lekovic was also very reassuring at our first scheduled post-op appointment concerning the facial paralysis which had developed and explained that the paralysis should be temporary. While not fully recovered as of this writing, there has indeed been improvement in the weeks following our post-op meeting.
would whole-heartedly not
hesitate and gladly recommend Drs. Lekovic and Miller to other family
members and friends who require surgery. I am very satisfied
with their services and will continue to see them for my follow-ups and continual
the words, “You’ll need a craniotomy.” Is never what anyone anticipates hearing
in their whole lifetime but there I was. It was so scary and relieving at
the same time because someone finally had an answer to my pain but now I had to
have a scary procedure, thousands of miles away from home. I had been
diagnosed with a Cholesterol Granuloma in my skull base and having pain for 5
months behind my left eye. It is a rare condition and I live in Alaska and that
is not something we have the capabilities to do here.
doctors had given me no hope saying it was too dangerous and close to my
carotid artery to be able to fix and I had to live with the pain. The amazing
Dr. Lorenz here in Alaska refused to give up and referred me to the House
Clinic. He had worked with Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Lekovic in the past and highly
recommended them. It was so comforting just to hear that someone had an
answer to my weird symptoms. Dr. Wilkinson met with my husband and me over the
phone, answered our questions, was patient, knowledgeable, and kind.
Especially since my husband and I are both nurses, we had a lot of detailed
questions and concerns. He comforted us both and we knew the correct decision
was to make the trip to California.
House clinic was very helpful before and upon arrival to LA. Roya was so
sweet to help me in all my anxiety and questions, attended my appointments, and
checked in with me every day in the hospital. She helped me get into
Seton Hall as a patient housing center next to the hospital until I would be
able to return home. I felt comforted when I met with the doctors the day
before surgery. They calmed my nerves and for the first time all year I
did not feel crazy describing my symptoms to them. They took as much time as I
needed to go through the details and Dr. Lekovic even offered to facetime my
11-year-old son in Alaska as he wanted to check the doctor’s credentials who
was going to be operating on his mom’s head.
went well. I woke from surgery with no pain behind my eye for the first
time in six months. I was so excited and was up and walking around LA in
only a few days. Seton Hall was calm and relaxing after surgery. Everyone
there was in a similar situation and some with matching scars. Dr. Wilkinson was
very conservative with the hair cut as well. The scar was easy to hide by
just parting my hair onto the other side. If you are reading this then you are
most likely in a similar situation. Best of luck to you and may God bless you
in your journey as well. You are in good hands at the House Clinic!
I was diagnosed with an acoustic
neuroma on January 3rd, 2019. It came as a shock when my doctor told me that
they had incidentally found a 3.1 centimeter brain tumor on my hearing nerve.
Without any symptoms of any sort, I was in disbelief. My doctor told me he
wanted me to go down to Los Angeles the next day to visit the doctors at the
House Ear Clinic.
At my appointment, I met with Dr.
Kevin Peng. He assured me that although my tumor was on the large side, they
would be able to help me. After reviewing my MRI, Dr. Kevin Peng and Dr.
Gregory Lekovic (neurosurgeon) decided to take the translabyrinthine approach
to removing my tumor. I was depressed at the thought and possibility that I’d
never be able to smile the same, or show natural facial expressions. As a
salesman, I rely heavily on my face throughout the day when I talk to customers,
and interact with colleagues.
Going into my surgery, I was
preparing for my life to drastically change afterwards. Dr. Peng and Dr.
Lekovic worked for fourteen hours to remove my tumor, alongside many brilliant
surgeons, specialists, and nurses. Miraculously, they saved my face! All of my
friends and family have said they couldn’t tell I’d just had brain surgery.
I spent four days afterwards
recovering at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and was able to walk independently
on the fourth day. Dr. Michael Stefan (Internist) was so kind and checked on me
each day while I was in the hospital, and the nurses were all so kind and
caring. Each surgeon and specialist also checked on me post op to ensure I was
I am a few days past the two
month marker of my surgery, and my life is completely back to normal. I walk
every day, drive, get together with friends and go to work again. Although I
have lost all hearing in my right ear, it is a small price to pay. I would
recommend anyone with an acoustic neuroma to go straight to the House Ear
Clinic. They saved my life, and I am forever grateful!