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    Old 11-17-2005, 05:56 AM   #1
    seefemi0710
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    Referral to Mayo

    Has anyone been treated at the Mayo Clinic in MN? We are obtaining a second opinion on a L5-S1 surgery with continued back pain. What can we expect? Thanks for any help/advice.

     
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    Old 11-17-2005, 07:53 AM   #2
    Quietcook
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    Hi,

    I was treated there some years ago for problems not related to the back. Having spent 13 months in and out of the hospitals here and no solution being found, after I suffered a heart attack, I knew I had to seek additional opinions. My fear then was that I could not afford to go, but decided I could not afford NOT to go. One of the best decisions I ever made regarding my health.

    Went during the winter months. As you have probably learned, you will land about 1 1/2 hours drive from the clinic, but a bus takes a load to mayo several times a day. It was a very pleasant drive, giving me a chance to meet some extremely interesting individuals and share a few laughs. Then things got serious when we arrived.

    I'm sure they've continued to improve, but can only praise about any of my time there. Things were handled efficiently, everyone from the doctors and nurses to the hotel staff from the maintenance to the department heads were friendly and caring people. When I say efficient, I'm speaking even of seeing medical personnel. I never waited anywhere for more than about 15 minutes and even that was rare.

    They used the internal vacuum transport system, so if you saw one doc and were referred to another department, even it was way in another building, your records were there before you were. Fortunately, all the eat places, doctors facilities and hotels connected with a guarded and monitored underground passage, so I didn't need to drag a coat along and didn't have to get out in the extreme cold and snow unless I wished to go out into the town for my own reasons. I did that just one time before I left after 16 days.

    Appointments are made as soon as one doctor orders another evaluation or tests, and you go straight away to them. Back then you carried your "packet" or little folder with you every where you went and the colors told even the restaurant employees what types of food you could not have, so that no one had to cancel a test because of getting the wrong thing. The hotels had the indoor pools and gym equipment, nurses to assist you if you became ill or needed to prepare for a test, and best of all, my 16 days there cost less than 4 days in my hospital here. I saw many specialists, had surgery and tests and came home properly diagnosed with comprehensive letters back to my doctors. It was well worth the trip for me. Hope your will have as much success there as I did.

    The good thing now is that with Mayo having locations in Florida, AZ, NY and other locales, they are all telecommunication/TV connected, so if the specialist you see, wants an instant consult from say FLA, it is immediately at hand. Once you've seen all the doctors, had all tests, etc that is recommended for you, you will probably get to meet with the department heads as they go over what they found and explain things to you, what they recommend for long term and immediately. I wish all large facilites operated in a similar manner.

    May you experience wonderful results while you are there, and get answers and resolutions to your back problems. Please let us know how things go and how you are doing. Best wishes.

     
    Old 11-17-2005, 07:23 PM   #3
    xinerevelle
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    My mom had lung cancer surgery at Mayo in Jacksonville, FL in 2001. She had gotten a diagnosis at her doctor here in the FL panhandle, and they wanted to do a biopsy going in through her mouth and down her throat. I thought that seemed odd, since it was at the bottom of her lung. So, I called Mayo, told them she had a diagnosis already and they got her scheduled with a pulmonary specialist. She also has had melanoma of the vulva, so I scheduled her with the chief of gynecology, who is also a gynecological oncologist. All the appts were coordinated wonderfully.

    We (laughingly) brought copies of her MRIs, CT scans, and Ultrasounds, but the surgeon (who the pulmonary specialist referred us to for later in the day) just smiled and said, "No, we'll take our own films. We invented the technology, and we've probably improved on it since the machines those were taken on were built." And he was right. Everything was stored electronically so doctors could collaborate remotely and could be quickly accessed without having to go to the medical records dept. We didn't have to carry around anything except the appointment sheet. When we met with the surgeon the room was very different from a regular exam room -- there was a small exam table, carpet on the floor, a long bench along one wall (for family and the patient) and a desk with a 21" monitor on it. The doctor would pull up the tests and records on the monitor (remember: in 2001 the largest monitor people had at home were 17") and go over them with the patient and family. It seemed really "space age" and cool.

    In Jacksonville the campus does not have an inpatient hospital -- they use St. Luke's about 2 miles away. All rooms are private.

    At that time Mayo would file Medicare, but now they don't. We got that notice in 2003. You can still go there, but you have pay for it first then file for reimbursement with Medicare. This might be different now...

    It was absolutely the best examination, consultation, surgery, hospital stay, and follow-up that you could imagine/hope for/dream about. The staff were friendly, you knew that you were getting cutting edge care, and the facilities were spectacular.

    We stayed in the Fairmont hotel on Baymeadows about 6 miles from the Mayo Clinic -- many of the hotels around there take the coupons from the books you find at the rest areas -- 39-59/night. Most are basic, clean rooms with free breakfast. The hotels that offer a discount for patients from the clinic are a little more expensive.

    My husband has been to several ENTs locally and is now considering surgery for some breathing problems with his deviated septum. I'm trying to get him to go to Mayo Clinic (it's covered on our insurance) to have it done since he doesn't trust any local doctors.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 11-18-2005, 06:08 AM   #4
    seefemi0710
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    Thank you so much for the responses. I can only hope they can help my husband. The spinal fusion was done 14 mo's ago and no relief

     
    Old 11-18-2005, 07:51 AM   #5
    Quietcook
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    Was your husbands fusion done by a true spine specialist, or a generla ortho surgeon or general neuro surgeon? It truly can make a huge difference in dealing with a doc who treats spines 100% of the time versus one who spends maybe 25% of their efforts on spines. Naturally, general ortho and neuro surgeons do indeed perform spinal fusions, and if just one level is being fused, this may work fine for many. However, if multi-levels are being fused though, I recommend he see a spine specialist which will be an ortho or neuro who has completed an extensive spine fellowship, then dedicates their practice to just the spine.

    Hope your husband finds relief soon.

     
    Old 11-18-2005, 08:10 AM   #6
    seefemi0710
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    My husband had one level fused by a neurosurgeon not a spine specialist. Nothing seem to go right for him from the beginning. He probably was a text book case...you know non-smoker, slim, active, one level...etc, etc. But it was an accident from work and w/c is/was involved. By the time he had the surgury he was in so much pain and so sick of being in pain and not being able to do anything that we did not search far enough, I did not find this site until after the surgery otherwise I would have insisted upon a spine specialist. Now we are just trying to find a reason he is still in so much pain. He has had a mylegram, not compression, the don't seem to be able to find the pain generator. I'm not sure what we are hoping for by going to Mayo, maybe just someone to tell us what is definetely causing his pain and maybe what we can do about it. He has had PT, Aqua therapy and Myofacial Release. Nothing reduces his pain. They all say there is something that is blocking him from progressing...Thanks again for listening. We have found that is so important, to have someone to listen to you

     
    Old 11-18-2005, 08:12 AM   #7
    Pebble Beach
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    I just read the post about the Mayo Clinic. In one it said that the Mayo Clinic had a location in NY. I was unable to find a location in NY. Does anyone know where they are in NY. Thanks for the information.

    Allan

     
    Old 11-19-2005, 12:16 PM   #8
    xinerevelle
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    I think there are only Mayo Clinics in Rochester, MN; Jacksonville, FL; and Scottsdale, AZ (or thereabouts).

     
    Old 11-19-2005, 02:31 PM   #9
    Quietcook
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    Re: Referral to Mayo

    You are correct, and I apologize to everyone for the confusion. There had been a news release a couple of years back about Mayo going to buy yet another hospital location. However, evidently it did not work out, so AZ, FL and MN are the three locations in the US, although they evidently have some locations in the Mid-East and South Africa.

    However, in my search, I did find that Mayo in MN was ranked #1 of the top 5 locations for both ortho and neuro surgery in 2004.

    Again, I apologize for the confusion and not getting back to the boards to read sooner. Was involved in a major collision on Sunday and have been otherwise occupied.

     
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