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Traditional surgery vs. N.A.
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07/14/04 02:39
LDB

not registered

07/14/04 02:39
LDB

not registered

Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

Having consulted with various board-certified hand surgeons in Omaha, Ne., New York City, and Mayo Clinic, I was encouraged to have the traditional, radical fascietomy on my right hand and a followup surgery 6-9 wks. later on my left hand. I was told there would be weeks of intense physical therapy and no guarantees of success.

Instead I chose N.A. with Dr Eaton in Jupiter, Florida on May 17, 2004. I have regained full usage of my right hand and actually am looking forward to having my left hand done in January with Dr. Eaton. I am so fortunate that I did NOT take the advice of these otherwise well-respected surgeons. Otherwise, I would still be trying to recuperate. What a satisfying result!

    08/12/04 02:10
    Jim Stephenson

    not registered

    08/12/04 02:10
    Jim Stephenson

    not registered

    Surgery Failure

    I had conventional surgery done, and it was a failure. The surgery on my little finger of my right hand was done by a hand surgeon (Dr Akelman) in Rhode Island on 4/1/03 (April Fools Day). The joke was on me, because the operation was a complete failure!

    It was painful & costly (estimated cost about $10,000) and 2 months of hand therapy, and a splint for 5 months. But, within 5 months my little finger was bent back to where it started before surgery. Now the little finger is about 60% bent into my palm. If it bends into my palm, it will make my hand useless.

    In my letter dated 11/24/03, I complained to United Healthcare and RI Board of Health that Dr Ackleman operation was a failure, and I believe he was negligent in not giving statistics on how many Dupuytrens surgeries are failures - so that patients can make more intelligent decisions.

    I also talked with a man in RI who after 3 failed surgeries on his ring finger, then decided to have his finger cut off. He had no choice because his ring finger was down into his palm, which made his right hand useless.

    Unfortuntly, United Healthcare will not cover Dr Eaton' NA. Instead, they will pay only for operations in "Network" (ie in RI). So, United would pay for several more hand surgeries, perhaps on both hands and a finger amputation. The entire surgeries could cost Medicare Complete about $50,000. I think it is foolish not to pay the small amount of Dr Eaton cost - $800 – because he is not located in RI. Of course, the RI surgeons all get paid a lot for surgeries that do not work - they give no guarantees.

      08/12/04 02:12
      Jim Stephenson

      not registered

      08/12/04 02:12
      Jim Stephenson

      not registered

      Surgery Failure

      I had conventional surgery done, and it was a failure. The surgery on my little finger of my right hand was done by a hand surgeon (Dr Akelman) in Rhode Island on 4/1/03 (April Fools Day). The joke was on me, because the operation was a complete failure!

      It was painful & costly (estimated cost about $10,000) and 2 months of hand therapy, and a splint for 5 months. But, within 5 months my little finger was bent back to where it started before surgery. Now the little finger is about 60% bent into my palm. If it bends into my palm, it will make my hand useless.

      In my letter dated 11/24/03, I complained to United Healthcare and RI Board of Health that Dr Ackleman operation was a failure, and I believe he was negligent in not giving statistics on how many Dupuytrens surgeries are failures - so that patients can make more intelligent decisions.

      I also talked with a man in RI who after 3 failed surgeries on his ring finger, then decided to have his finger cut off. He had no choice because his ring finger was down into his palm, which made his right hand useless.

      Unfortuntely, United Healthcare will not cover Dr Eaton' NA. Instead, they will pay only for operations in "Network" (ie in RI). So, United would pay for several more hand surgeries, perhaps on both hands and a finger amputation. The entire surgeries could cost Medicare Complete about $50,000. I think it is foolish not to pay the small amount of Dr Eaton cost - $800 – because he is not located in RI. Of course, the RI surgeons all get paid a lot for surgeries that do not work - they give no guarantees.

        08/12/04 02:38
        Randy H.

        not registered

        08/12/04 02:38
        Randy H.

        not registered

        Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

        Jim,

        I'm doing better that you 15 months post op, but can fully relate. Amazing as it may sound, the top hand surgeons literally have no idea whatsoever that their patients have an option in NA. They don't quote statistics because as far as they know surgery is the *only* hope there is. Why worry about failure rate when if you don't have surgery your hand in useless anyway.

        So what are we to do? Use the Internet to at least educate the patients. LDB, who posted before you, was fortunate to get the info on NA, and most likely from this site. If we can just educate people at 2 or 3 times the current rate of those few now learning about NA, we can shine more brightness into the current blindness from which our good doctors now suffer. If just 20% of those needing a procedure dumped the surgery and had LDB's experience, how long would it be before there were 20 Paris Trained hand surgeons offering NA in the US. Not long would be my guess.

          09/14/04 02:08
          Patsy 
          09/14/04 02:08
          Patsy 
          Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

          I am puzzled. My hand doctor tells me that hand surgery is the best solution for DD. He tells me that none of his patients have reoccurrences. He says hand surgery for DD is a once and done event. He seems like a trustworthy doctor to me. I think he believes that he gives his patients the best available treatments. It is hard for me to think that he might be leading me down the wrong road.

            09/14/04 02:03
            Frances

            not registered

            09/14/04 02:03
            Frances

            not registered

            Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

            We were told the same by our family doctor and our surgeon. I think reasurances like this are born out of a honest genuine desire to quell the fears of the patient, unfotunately, they are not true for the majority of patients. DC more often then not returns - just read this forum and you will find many many patients who have had multiple surgeries because the DC has returned.

            Good luck with your decision.

            Frances

              09/14/04 02:41
              Patsy 
              09/14/04 02:41
              Patsy 
              Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

              How do we know that the stories of Dupuytren's disease reoccurrence presented in this forum are not aberrations? Are most surgeries for Dupuytren's disease successful as my hand doctor says? Could the problems reported in this forum be in the minority? I am skeptical.

                09/14/04 02:45
                Frances

                not registered

                09/14/04 02:45
                Frances

                not registered

                Traditional Surgery vs NA

                Hi Patsy,

                There are studies on the internet on DC reoccurence rates. Google 'Dupuytren Contracture rate of reoccurence' and all will be revealed. Give them a read, talk to other family members that you might have that have DC - along with this website and www.handcenter.org that's the best I can offer.

                Good luck

                Frances

                  09/14/04 02:42
                  Alan

                  not registered

                  09/14/04 02:42
                  Alan

                  not registered

                  Traditional Surgery vs NA

                  Just go to the Internet and look at pictures actually taken of each procedure and I think it will be quite evident!!

                    05/18/05 02:38
                    LaMoine

                    not registered

                    05/18/05 02:38
                    LaMoine

                    not registered

                    Traditional surgery vs. N.A.

                    My local doc told me I have DD. I went to the hand doc my local doc told me to. This hand doc told me he would cut out the diseased tissue and that would cure DD. He told me none of his DD patients ever come back for repeat DD surgery. He told me this is the only safe way to treat NA. Is he telling me the truth?

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