Skull Base Institute

John O., Vancouver, WA,

I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma approximately 25mm in diameter. I had been having severe headaches and vision trouble for the previous eight months. Everything would give me headaches – sound, light, touch, etc. Once my tumor was discovered. I was pretty freaked out. I met with the local neurosurgeon, who did not leave me with very much confidence. He told me he performs this type of surgery (pituitary tumors) about once a month. He explained how he would remove my orbital bone to get to the tumor and said that my face would be bruised up for about 2 months.

I went on the Internet and started doing my own research. I found a Pituitary Tumor Network Association website that had a discussion board where all kinds of people shared their experiences and asked questions. That’s how I found out about the Skull Base Institute and Dr. Shahinian. Everybody said good things about Skull Base Institute and the new approach they use to remove pituitary tumors. So I decided to contact a few of the doctors, including Dr. Shahinian, and see what they had to say about my situation.

At this point, I was still open to the traditional approach. I sent copies of my MRIs to several doctors around the country. Dr. Shahinian’s was the only office that did not charge me to review my MRIs. In addition, talking to Dr. Shahinian’s staff put me at ease. They answered every one of my questions and told me exactly how my procedure would be performed. They told me Dr. Shahinian performs about 3-4 similar procedures a week! This is the specialist I was looking for. They even encouraged me to get 2nd or even 3rd opinions elsewhere to ensure I was making the right decision.

I scheduled my surgery with Dr. Shahinian. The day before surgery, he met with my entire family and explained everything in terms we could understand. His whole attitude and way of presenting himself gave me confidence in him. We even found ourselves laughing a little during that meeting.

My surgery was performed in 2 stages, 4 weeks apart. The 1st was a transglabellar transphenoidal and the 2nd was a transglabellar craniotomy. After both procedures, I was out of the hospital 2 days later, eating BBQ ribs on the 3rd day and flying home on the 5th day. I was back to work 2 months later!

I have had numerous follow-up MRIs since my surgeries and no residual tumor has been detected. Dr. Shahinian and his staff were excellent, courteous and professional. I would recommend him to anyone that needs to have a pituitary tumor removed. I truly believe he is the best doctor to handle such surgeries and I am glad I chose him to perform my surgery.

John O.
Vancouver, WA

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