UCLA Surgery - Donahue

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UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by KayMusic on Sat Mar 02, 2013 05:54 PM

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Hi All -

I'm researching surgeons for my dad's stage 3 pancreatic cancer. The doctors at UCLA are hopeful that he'll be a candidate soon as he's had months of chemo.

Has anyone had surgery done with Timothy Donahue at UCLA? Or thoughts on a good surgeon in California? I repeatedly hear that experience is critical.

I've also heard that John Cameron at Johns Hopkins is the best, but not sure about traveling that distance with my sick dad.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Sophie

RE: UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by patodoug on Sun Mar 10, 2013 05:52 AM

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I had Dr Donahue do my whipple in Aug. 2011. I was very impressed by his care, candor and team. He does many whipples a year and has a great team that checked in with me every morning. The UCLA staff and private room were great also, it even had a pull out couch for my wife to stay overnight. I know that it made it much easier with visitors and on going care to be only 100 miles from home. I could not imagine going out of state and not having family support if it was not absolutely necesary. In my case it was a small cyst that was suspicous. I chose to have it taken out as it was on the borderline. It turned out to be high grade dysplasia which is pre-cancerous. I got lucky.

Douglas

RE: UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by KayMusic on Thu Mar 14, 2013 07:12 AM

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Douglas -

Thanks for the reply! How was the recovery? I've often heard that recovery and quality of life are significantly diminished after surgery (diabetes, other side effects, etc.). In my dad's case, the mass is in the body so we're looking at a distal pancreatectomy.

Do you still go back to UCLA or Dr. Donahue for follow-up work?

Cheers, Sophie

RE: UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by patodoug on Fri Mar 15, 2013 03:46 AM

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Sophie,

The recovery was tough. Made worse by recovering from a major concussion and some depresion. I feel like a wimp when I read about those who are older than I and go through chemo and such afterwards. As you read through the posts here you will see that every case is very different. The common things are; weight loss, in my case from 210 down to 170 in 1 month; disinterst in food and smell of food for weeks; low energy for a few months, differing levels of pain, 1st few weeks usually quite a bit then tapering off. The most important thing is to walk as soon as and as much as possible after the surgery. It gets the gut going again and reduces the severe gas cramping. I do not know much about the distal pancreatectomy but diabetes is more likely with it. Mine was in the neck of the pancreas and I have shown no signs of diabetes. I have not even had to use the pancreatic enzymes, creon. I just watch my diet and suffer some cramping and diareah occasionaly. But as I said I was lucky finding out about the cyst early. Some people have horrible experiences and many not so bad but the alternative is worse. I suppose you have read many on this message board. Just remember that those with complaints are usually the loudest. I had some follow up visits the first few months but have not seen Dr. Donhue after that. I had a 1 year CT scan just this month and he called me to let me know I am totally clear. I have gone quite enough now.

My best to you and your father,

Douglas

RE: UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by fullmoonyy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:02 PM

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I know this would be response to an old post, but I want anyone who would be in my shoes be aware of this "reputable pancreatic surgeon". He was my mother's surgeon 3 times in 2016. He attempted to perform the Whipple procedure but aborted after 2 hours into it (lacking of studying the case prior to the surgery and purely relied on the image that took place two months ago and declined the request to repeat the CT prior to the surgery). He basically had his resident students do everything after the surgery, and ignored all my mother's complaints (get you out of the hospital ASAP). My mother had bowel obstruction 3 weeks after the surgery (caused by internal infection from the surgery) and he performed the 3rd surgery on her that year. He left the incision open but refused to use vaccume on my mother, which caused her incision on belly unhealed after 3 months of surgery (Santa Monica doctors decided to use the vaccume and it only took 2 weeks for her incision to heal). However, the delay of her healing from the surgery prevented her to go through any chemo and caused her metastasize in a few months and she passed away the day after Valentines' Day in 2017.

I would not say Dr. Honahue cared for her before and after the surgeries, but used her to accumulate his experience to be claimed as a reputable pancreatic surgeon. Sad.

RE: UCLA Surgery - Donahue

by megaprayers on Sat Mar 24, 2018 03:20 PM

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Thank you for your feedback fullmoonyy.  So sorry  about your Mom.UCLA came up as one of 10 best hospitals for pancreatic cancer and the only one in California.  From there I was looking at doctors there, Donahuee appearing to be the top doctor.

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