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New Jersey: Parotid Tumor Surgery

I was Dx with a parotid tumor and needing to make decisions. The first two were easy – should it be removed? Absolutely. Is there any value to waiting? Absolutely not. My next concern wasn’t so straight forward. Should I trust any reputable, board certified ENT surgeon to do this? My well researched answer yielded a big, fat NO. I had a unique dynamic to consider. My husband is a local and visible physician. He works out of a hospital where people travel from other countries to receive care! We are in the NYC area and it is safe to say that we hold a ring with keys to just about all the best medical care. I am grateful. So, in good faith I really tried to convince myself that there was no need to travel 3000 miles for surgery.

With due diligence I visited/interviewed several local surgeons all with known experience (and relative success). All quite nice and professionally distinguished. Still, I couldn’t dismiss the fact that this is 2010 and there had to be a technique that would not leave my face disfigured or worse. Anybody who knows me would agree that I am pretty “low glamour” but such scarring seemed excessive. Tooling around on the web, I discovered Dr. Osborne’s website where he described doing several hundred such surgeries each year. This was about 10x more than any other Dr. I interacted with. There is no match for experience and his results certainly prove that.

An additional “bonus” was that he and Dr. Hamilton, a plastic surgeon, work alongside one and other. When Dr. O has completed the surgery, Dr. Hamilton begins the plastic surgery. Together (sans Medical Residents), they see the surgery through from beginning to end. I made e-mail contact with Noelia who is Service Coordinator Extraordinare! No need to limit oneself geographically as she really does (really, truly) all the leg work. Just as she said, Dr. O called us for a phone consult where he impressed both my husband and I with his willingness to listen and answer what must be very routine questions .

Initially well meaning friends and family gave me a lot of “push back” for going across the country to have surgery by somebody I never met. I understand how it seems almost bizarre. Well, by the surgery date we were practically old friends since I made so many phone calls to the office in advance! Plus, the staff spent three hours entertaining our questions and concerns the day before the surgery (that had all been answered before!).

All to say that I am one week post a major surgery and you would have to really hunt to see a scar behind my ear. Thankfully, I have no facial nerve damage, either. Their standards of excellence should serve as a medical model everywhere. I rarely endorse doctors because there is too much potential for harm. However, our family is now OHNI fans forever! If nothing else, take the leap and make the phone call to request the free (and it really is free) phone consult. Information is powerful and you won’t regret doing the research. May God bless you during your time of need.

M.L.

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