Michigan Ear Institute

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Patient Stories - Petrous Apex Cysts

Dear Dr. Kartush, and entire staff,

It's been four months since my surgery and I wanted to share with you and your future patients my experience.

After years of sporadic head pressure (pain) and nausea, at age 36, I became suddenly disabilitated by the pressure (not a typical headache), dizziness, nausea, memory loss, tremors and physical weakness. Exertion or stress would bring on such pain and dizziness that I would be sick for days, week after week. I was constantly told these were headaches, bit it did not feel like a headache. It was an extreme pressure. It felt like my head was an over filled balloon.

One trip to the emergency room with the first frightening experience with tremors (head and hand shaking and tunnel vision), a cat scan and x-ray was done. These were found negative for any abnormalities. Another trip to emergency, I was told I was having migraine headaches and was told to see a neurologist. The neurologist after seeing the x-ray and cat scan, ordered an MRI with contrast (dye). The lesion showed up quite nicely, (8mm) and was thought to be a cholesteatoma. I was then sent to the Michigan Ear Institute, and specifically to Dr. Jack Kartush.

It was decided after trying Cawthorne's head exercises, several medications and some lifestyle changes, that base skull surgery was the recourse to take, to remove the apex lesion.

On May 2, 2002 I had surgery to remove this lesion in the right apex near the inner ear and underneath the brain. Dr. Kartush and his team gave me back my health, memory and strength. Without the slightest complication, and remarkably fast recovery, I have not felt this healthy in year. I was in the hospital for only four days, and by the second or third day, I could shake my head (gently) in the "no" and there was no dizziness. My head felt somehow lighter and without the compression I felt even in good times.

My work requires concentration, memory, physical strength, and balance. I was able to return to work on July 1, 2002 without restriction.

To say that I'm grateful to you, science and your entire staff, (Nurse Nancy and Dr. Ostrowski) would be so insufficient. I would also like to thank Peggy and your circulating nurse who kept my family informed during the 5 hour surgery. That made things easier for them. As well as your personal explanation of the surgery and time you took to answer questions for my whole family afterwards.

Dr. Kartush, I know you have performed thousands of surgeries and have received many appreciations from your patients, but I'm still going to give you mine. The work you are doing is significantly beyond imagination, unless you could live each person's life which is changed so much by your skill and dedication. I can now live my life without the pain and uncertainty of the "headaches" and other intrusive symptoms. My sincerest thanks and prayers go to you and your staff.

J.T


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