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Fri, Feb 7 4:27pm · How to evaluate a cancer doctor? in Cancer

Hi @lbern, I was a litigation paralegal, specializing in medical malpractice actions for 31 years, prior to having to medically retire due to pancreatic disease. Here's what I do for all doctor referrals, as well as finding any new doctors on my own:

1) If in the U.S., go to Google online search & type in the "state" where your doctor(s) practice(s) medicine, then type in "medical board." Type in the name of the potential doctor(s) names you want to check out to see if he/she is in good standing and/or if he/she has any prior or current disciplinary actions against him/her in your state, as well as prior licensures in other states; If you see multiple other states where he/she has practiced, this is usually a red flag indicating they may have had medical malpractice lawsuits against him/her & then moved.

2) Next, Google the state's county court's website where any potential doctor(s) currently are or have practiced in the past. Under section "Civil Actions/Case Lookup" type in the doctor's name to see if he/she has any past or current pending court actions against him/her. If he/she has more than 1 action whether it be past or presently pending, RUN FOR THE HILLS & obtain a second opinion!!!

Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me personally. Best wishes on finding a good doctor who can help!❤

Tue, Jan 28 8:02am · Mesenteric Panniculitis or Sclerosing Mesenteritis in Digestive Health

Hi @ashley112689, It sounds like you should have an ERCP with a Manometry Test to check your biliary ductal system pressures. Especially, if you have undergone a previous sphincterotomy (where your sphincter of Oddi was snipped in half to allow bile to move more freely). I have a history of having 2 separate sphincterotomies (about 1 year apart from each other) & then had a sphincteroplasty to remove the entire sphincter (about 3 years later). Since that time, I have been placed on Protonix (a Proton Pump Inhibitor), which helps with keep excees bile from building up in my digestive system. Best wishes on finding/fixing the problem!❤

Sun, Jan 26 9:16pm · Total Pancreatectomy in Pancreatic Cancer

@luckyone4321, You're welcome. I know how difficult it is to find a doctor and/or gastroenterologist that's knowledgeable in patients who have had Total Pancreatectomies, Whipple Procedure surgeries and/or Distal Pancreatectomies. I changed gastroenterologists after I underwent the Whipple. Through many phone calls & inquiries, I finally found a knowledgeable gastroenterologist & am very happy with him! You may want to seek a second or third consult opinion until you find a good gastroenterologist.

I haven't tried Zenpep, but I have a friend who takes it. He told me it works a bit better for him than Creon. You should ask your doctor tomorrow about increasing your Zenpep dosage, as I'm sure it will help you. Keep us posted on your visit tomorrow, okay? I hope your visit goes well!💜

Sun, Jan 26 11:37am · Total Pancreatectomy in Pancreatic Cancer

It's unlikely that you're experiencing gastroparesis if the surgeon removed a portion of your stomach & pyloric valve (at the base of the stomach).

Have you noticed anything odd or different about your stools (i.e. diarrhea which consists of: smelly/odorous, floating, pale colored, oily/greasy, stools that stick to the toilet bowl and/or stools that are difficult to flush)? If so, then you're experiencing Dumping Syndrome. You should discuss with your gastroenterologist and/or pancreatic specialist about increasing your dosage of Creon. It sounds to me that you're not taking enough with your meals/snacks. For example: I've been taking Creon for the past 16 years & I take 4 24,000 unit capsules after a couple bites of food & 2 to 3 capsules with each snack, depending upon the size & fat content of the snack. Everyone is different on finding a dosage that will work for them individually. So, it's a matter of trial & error until you find what works for you. An additional thing you should request from your gastroenterologist and/or pancreatic specialist is a prescription for Cholestyramine Powder packets. Mix a packet with 1/4 cup of water or orange juice & drink it immediately before each meal. This used in conjunction with Creon will help bind & form your stools. Best wishes on your continued recovery!💜

Thu, Jan 23 5:11pm · Celiac Artery Aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

@mejustme, I believe you are correct. Your husband should be seen by a vascular surgeon, not a gastroenterologist. Demand that your husband's primary doctor send a referral to a vascular surgeon instead.

Thu, Jan 23 4:12pm · Pain in old gallbladder surgery site in Digestive Health

@cls2003 & @ryanrayna1, To help control your diarrhea & pain accompanied by it, ask your gastroenterologist to prescribe you Cholestyramine Powder packets. Mix a packet with 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice & drink it immediately before eating anything. This will help bind the bile acids & stools. It worked for me.

Tue, Jan 21 6:47pm · Recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancerous tumor - awaiting PET in Pancreatic Cancer

@minimia, The questions you should ask any potential surgeon are:
1) How many Whipple Procedure surgeries, Distal Pancreatectomies & Total Pancreatectomies do you perform annually? (If it's less than 10, run! Obtain another surgical consult asap!)
2) Do you operate in a large volume hospital who has the capabilities of caring for Whipple patients? (If not, run! And, obtain another surgical consult.)
3) Do you perform laproscopic, robotic or open abdominal Whipple Procedure surgeries? (Just know, if at all possible opt for laproscopic or robotic surgery, as there will be less recovery time.
4) Do you use a Chevron (horizontal) or vertical incision for open abdominal surgeries & do you use surgical glue for the exterior incision? (I had a Chevron & a 13 inch abdominal scar. My surgeon used surgical glue on my incision. I have several friends who underwent the Whipple Procedure surgery & they had a vertical incisions w/metal staples & they all had to have an additional surgery to repair hernias.)
4) Request during pre-op after IV is placed, that an epidural be placed to help control pain;
5) Request a pain pump to utilized to help with pain control.

Tue, Jan 21 7:09pm · Recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancerous tumor - awaiting PET in Pancreatic Cancer

@minimia, Things to do after having the Whipple Procedure surgery: 1) Ask his surgeon to order oral prescription pancreatic enzymes (since the exocrine/head of the pancreas that naturally produces enzymes has been removed) such as Creon or Zenpep for him to take during his meals/snacks; 2) Make sure the nursing staff during "each work shift", suctions his nasogastric tube to help prevent acid build up in his stomach muscle, which will cause nausea/vomiting; 2) Make sure he walks, walks, walks as this will help his digestive system restart & keep his lungs from being filled with fluid, as this could pose a whole other set of serious problems; 3) Don't be afraid to ask the surgeon & nursing staff questions about anything…there's no dumb question when it comes to your loved ones; 4) Encourage him to eat at least a few bites of food as often as possible even if he's on a feeding tube. My go-to foods were mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, creamy soups, dry toast, pudding cups & applesauce. It's going to be a matter of trying old favorite foods to new foods to see what his "new" digestive system will tolerate. Keep a food log with date, time, type of food, the amount ingested & the outcome.