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AVM Survivors Network

Looking for a good neurosurgeon in Melbourne Australia

#1

Hello everyone

My name is Jenny and I have a diagnosis of brain aneurysm recently; and I am looking for a neurosurgeon to look after me. I live in Melbourne Australia. May I ask if anyone know any of these neurosurgeons? Have you seen any of them before? What are you views?

They are all in Melbourne Australia.
Jeremy Russell
John McMahon
Carlos Chung
Christopher Thien

Many thanks

Jenny

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#2

Hey Jenny,
I too am in Australia, but I’m in Adelaide and have not had any experience with any of any of those Melbourne surgeons.

There are Dr review sites online but there are also cautions about using such sites. The AMA (Australian Medical Association) HATES these review sites but by the same accord some people have a very low rating of the AMA as they are very much about self protection of themselves and their members. But there are such sites available to review. My only suggestion here would be to use such sites as a bit of a gauge rather than a bible. They are merely individual’s opinions. Trying to sort through other people’s experiences and opinions can be VERY difficult and confusing.

I believe that part of the problem with neurosurgery is that no 2 brains are exactly the same and due to this no 2 surgeries will have exactly the same results. Two people can have exactly the same surgery but have vastly differing outcomes. Even in my own situation, having multiple neurosurgeries, none of them have had the same recoveries nor outcome. Also, it really can depend on the surgeon. Some can be excellent with a scalpel but have the human nature/empathy of a house brick (and that’s putting it nicely). So having that balance can be really difficult to define.

I do hope that whatever decision you make the outcome is a positive one for you. One thing that I will say is that recovery from surgery can be a LONG journey. Some people can bounce back almost unaffected BUT for some this is not the case. I would recommend that you take the time you need to recover fully, do not push it, allow your body the time it needs. I didn’t do that and I paid dearly for that. Some say ‘6-8weeks and the body has fully healed’ For a broken bone 6-8 weeks is about right, for a brain injury 6-8 weeks is like the blink of an eye. It can take MUCH longer for a brain to recover. Take the time you need and not a measure of weeks.

Listen to your own body, it will tell you, if you listen. My body told me ‘Laydown or I’ll put you down’ but I didn’t listen. I pushed myself too hard, too soon, trying to get myself back to work and it put me down HARD. Ahhh, don’t do that.

Please if you have further questions, ask. I DO NOT have all of the answers, not at all, but there are many other members here who have been in a very similar situation to your own and we know from our own personal experience just how daunting/scary this whole process can be. Come talk to us.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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#3

Hi Merl

How wonderful to hear from you. I really appreciate your kindness to share your very personal first hand experience.
I have seen 2 of them and I am going to make decision soon or later. They both recommend interventional radiologist as coiling is the option under endovascular therapy. I suppose I can look up doctor review sites. However if anyone would like to recommend a good one, please let me know.

Indeed I shall ask more along the journey.

Best regards
J

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#4

The brain aneurysm foundation has a great website. I belief it’s also run by Bens friends and is very similar to this one, but has more users. You might want to try that one

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#5

Jenny
John McMahon is Amazaing… i had a burst AVM 2011, coma for two weeks and then radiation beginning 2012. it took a while but the AVM is finally gone… i went to the clinic at the Alfred twice a year and John was fantastic… actually the whole experience at the Alfred was wonderful…

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#6

Hi Jenny
In total agreement with Carolineh, John McMahon at the Alfred Hospital IS amazing and saved my life in 2011, following an AVM bleed. I still cry, tears of gratitude every time I speak his name. I consider him and his team the hand of God in my world. I sincerely hope that you receive the help you need and deserve. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - no question is not worth asking if you need to know. Big hug to you. Anna

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#7

(Hi Anna!)… and, the most wonderful thing, and we are so lucky in Oz, that all this amazing treatment costs nothing x

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#8

Yes it is Carolineh, but I used my private health cover to pay, as I had been paying it for years and never used it and was told, when I asked, that the hospital receives payment faster than through publicly funded system. I know one thing, when I exit this world, I will be leaving what I can to The Alfred Hospital. Our health is so important and for years I took it for granted. But now I am grateful for every day. xx

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#9

Hi Jenny,

1) Mr John McMahon:
Mr. John McMahon is a great Neurosurgeon. He is a very kind surgeon and take care of his patient very well. His private room is at Cabrini hospital in Malvern. I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in early 2010 affecting my eye-nerves and was searching like you for a neurosurgeon. I consulted 2 neurosurgeons and decided to have the surgery with Mr. John McMahon. He told me that he will perform my surgery at the Austin hospital in Heidelberg as a private patient, because they have the best facility and aftercare. No charge from the Austin hospital at all. I was very happy with the outcome. Unfortunately my tumor re-growth early 2015 and Mr. John McMahon performed another surgery, this time at the Cabrini private hospital in Malvern. I only had to pay a $250 co-payment to Cabrini and no Gap for the Neurosurgeon team. 3 months after the surgery I had a radiotherapy performed to the removed tumor area to prevent re-growth of the tumor. Since 2010 till now I am seeing Mr. John McMahon every year to check the MRI scan of the brain performed a week before the appointment. Now 4 years after the 2015 surgery all good, no tumor re-grow :slight_smile:

2) Mr Leon Lai:
In October 2015 I was diagnosed with DAVF (Dural ArterioVenous Fistula) by Dr. Mark Faragher neurologist at Cabrini, Malvern. He referred me to Mr. Leon Lai to perform the Laminectomi at T10 at the Monash hospital in Clayton as a private patient. No Gap at all for the surgery and aftercare at Monash Health. The surgery was successful and I was able to walk again. Not perfect, and still improving with help from the Neuro-Rehabilitation specialist Dr. Kathleen Ooi. I am a member in this AVM (spinal) group because of my DAVF issue.

Jenny, wishing you all the best and good luck with your treatment plan.
Cheers, Franz

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#10

Thank you so much Franz

Good luck to you and me as well.

Best regards

Jenny

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#11

Hello all, thank you so much for your support.

Agree with you, neurosurgeons are great, I have seen 2, they both recommend me to do angiogram first, then coiling. In that case, I need to see a interventional neuroradiologist. My understanding is that these procedure can be performed by both interventional neuroradiologist and neurologists/neurosurgeons who have had neurointerventional training.

I am wondering if anyone know any of below 3 practitioners:
1/ Anoop Madan - Radiologist
2/ Bernard Yan - Neorologist and Endovascular neurointerventionist
3/ Carlos Chung - Open & endovascular neurosurgeon who had dual-training in neurosurgery & interventional treatment

Best regards

Jenny

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#12

Hi again Jenny

Anoop Madan is a legend. Very skilled, committed and a lovely person to boot. Please know that you can request mild sedation for procedures should you feel you need it to help you relax. But Anoop performed a number of cerebral angiogram procedures on me and they were seamless. So much so that I barely realised what was happening.
All the best.
Anna

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#13

Hi Anna
Thanks for your information. It has helped me to make decisions. I was really worried and didn’t know what to do. But now I feel much better and more confident. I am going to see him.
Jenny

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#14

Hello Cancrd

Thanks for your information.

Regards

J

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#15

Hi Jenny,
Sorry only reading your question today. I also had an Angio-embolization attempted, but they couldn’t reach the location of the DAVF inside the spine. They only placed a coil to mark the exact location. The Angio-embolization and Angiogram was performed by A/Prof Ronil Chandra from Monash Health in Clayton. https://www.monashneurovascular.com.au/
The laminectomy was performed by Mr. Leon Lai with just a small incision because they knew the exact location marked with the coil.
Hope this info helps.
Regards and good luck with your treatment plan,
Franz

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#16

Hi Franz,
Thank you very much for sharing your information.
I also would like sharing my experience. I went to see an interventionist Dr Anoop Madan who is specialised in the brain. He has been working in interventional radiology clinic at Alfred hospital for more than 30 years. He is a very experience interventionist and nice person.
We spent almost 50 minutes in the appointment, he answered all my questions and my worries. He is very patient, he draw a lot of pictures to explain the process. If anyone need an interventionist, I strongly recommend him.

Best regards

Jenny

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