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Do you know a good hep C doc in Tampa Bay area?
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Do you know a good hep C doc in Tampa Bay area?

My current dr & clinic are not very patient friendly, so I'm moving on.  If you have a doctor that you would recommend in this area, I would sure appreciate it if you'd post his name & # and why you think he's good/great.

Thanks,
Laika
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I forgot to mention: I'm specifically looking for a gastro, rather than some other kind of dr.
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I too went through several Gastro's., before I found the right one. I live in New Smyrna Beach and drive to Lakeland to see Dr. Johnson.( round trip a little over 200 miles, but worth it) It is the best decision I have ever made. He is a Gastro but specializes in Hep C and is one of the finest Doctors I have ever known. He takes incredible time with you and researches your labs, and addresses every ache and pain you have. His office is also incredible. Have you ever heard of a Doctor's office where the whole staff comes out to give you hugs and words of encouragement. Mrs. Johnson also works in the office and she is an angel. I work at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando and I did alot of research and searching for a Doctor who knew something about this disease and willing to work with me on medications. On my first visit, 6/04, Mrs. Johnson pointed to her pocket and said you will always be in there and we will win this war. I know you would be very happy with Dr. Johnson. Vicky does scheduling, Sue is his nurse and Mrs. Johnson does just about everything. If you want and decide to go to Dr. Johnson, you can mention my name if you like.

Dr. James H. Johnson
2112 Lakeland Hills Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33805
Phone: 863.688.0540
Fax: 863.683.9805

Good luck and keep me posted.
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Thank you so much for posting!

I saw Dr Johnson's name and address posted at the website "Physicians Who Treat Hepatitis - Personal Patient Referrals" with this comment:  "He is with the speaker bureau with Schering and has spoken to a variety of groups such as the local hepatitis support group and physician groups."  I wasn't sure I liked the part about him being associated with Schering.  I'm not sure which interferon Schering makes but was thinking it was Pegintron, and I was hoping to have the option of using Pegasys.  And there was nothing in that patient comment about Dr Johnson's commitment to patient care--  he could easily be one who is more involved with the drug companies than with patients, who likes to go around promoting the drug companies for profit and himself for ego gratification.  Not what I was looking for!  So your input has been valuable.  Lakeland is definitely not as far for me as for you.  It is interesting that both Orlando and Tampa are so much bigger, and in many ways better than Lakeland, but they don't seem to have a good hepC doctor.  I can't claim I've scoured Tampa thoroughly, but just at the website I mentioned, the Watson Clinic in Lakeland had 2 gastro referrals and Tampa only had one.

I wonder what your personal experience with Dr J has been as far as your treatment goes--like, which genotype are you?  Did you attain SVR?  Did you have low red or white blood cells?  If so, did the doctor prescribe Procrit/Neupogen or did he decrease your dose of interferon?  Which type of interferon were you prescribed?  Were you tested regularly for thyroid (TSH)?

Thanks again,
Laika

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Dr. Tiyyagura S. Reddy   727-863-2105
7614 Jaque Rd
Hudson Fl 34667

other office
11319 Cortez Blvd
Brooksville Fl 34613


His and his  office staff are great.  He is gentle, knowledgable and the best part is he really listens well and takes his time to hear what you think and  asks what your concerns are  instead of spouting his  way or the highway. He uses Pegasys, Procrit,Neupogen..what ever it takes.
( Unlike my first doc. I had to stop Tx because of that ones lack of care.)
I am currently not re-treating but being monitored and  when I  do re-treat I will be thankful for being  in Dr. Reddy's care.
He does demand 100% compliance and no  booze.
I would highly recommend him.
April
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A very tempting recommendation, esp. since I actually live in the Brooksville area.  I have to wonder how much I'll feel like traveling, esp. interstate, while treating.

I'm ready to comply, and my drinking days are over, so we might be a match.  Did he test your thyroid regularly when you were treating?  Did you call him for treatment of sides, or did you have to rely on your PCP or someone else?  

I feel very lucky to get these good referrals.  I might not lose too much time from switching doctors.  Thank you so much for posting.

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My 1st doc  and his "I'm in charge" nurse failed me and my 1st round of tx.  Fired them !
I had to take a break and of course being 1a , I relapsed in 30 days after doing 27 of 48 weeks.
I was referred by my primary to Dr Reddy. I went to him and  WE decided that I should wait and re-treat later.
He has been  sending me for labs as needed. Checking anything that is questionable or that i am concerned with also.
I also see my primary care doc on a regular basis. they both monitor me well. My thyroid is being checked quite often. It is failing and  I will need to treat that soon.
my primary is Dr. Robert Duncan in Hudson. Internal Medicine.
I would recommend him also. He does not treat Hep C but  he follows my care very well.

I am not far from Brooksville.  About 20 minutes southwest.
Small world..
I miss the Fireside Inn  !
April
you may email me at ***@****
and I can tell you more. Just put some Brooksville landmark in the subject line and I'll know it's from you.
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I will try to remember your questions. I am aa 1b, stage 4, possible cirrohis, age 60. My biopsy showed that I have carried the disease for 30 yrs., relating to a blood transfusion. I relapsed after 48 weeks of Peg-Intron/Ribavarin treatment, supposedly treated by the best Gastroentologist in Orlando. I had no medical, I hate to use the word drugs offered to me for any side effects and was told constantly, "I don't know why, or I haven't ever heard of this problem." This therapy went from 9/20/02-9/20/03, with relapsing.I had cleared on the above meds.I took some time to recuperate, and find the right Doctor. The Watson Clinic, very well known in Lakeland, provided me with several names which I researched extensively. I made the right decision. Dr. Johnson is very concerned about each individual case of Hep C , and his business card says Gastroentologist and Hep C Specialist.He does attend all updataed meeting of Hep C and is very knowledable. He does not represent any drug company and after an evaluation, will discuss types of treatment with you. He uses Peg-Intron, Pegasys, and Infergen. He wants to hear your concerns and goes out of his way to accommodate. On our very first meeting he said I will prescribe you everything you need to get through this treatment, it is not easy. We have discussed many drugs and he has never said no if applicable and says "lets try it." I have been on Procrit for at least 3 mths., for building red blood cells and energy level. It is working. I am on daily infergen and have had 3 viral lode tests at this point, (6 mths) which have shown undetectable!If you have researched and conveyed your opinions to Dr. Johnson, he will accommodate any drug within reason. He has never said no to any of my requests. He has given me his home landline and cell number and told repeatedly to call him if needed. His office contacts me prior to Holiday closings, making sure I am fine and have all my meds.In my opinion you just couldn't find a better Doctor. I hope this helps. I can also provide you the name of another woman who I met on the net, who is extremely happy with Dr. Johnson.
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Hi Laika....I also go to Dr. Johnson in Lakeland (think I'm the other woman Tess Marie is referring to:))))

THERE IS NO ONE LIKE DR. JOHNSON AND HIS STAFF.  Why because they take the time to understand and DO understand this disease.  His office is also the center for the support group in the area.

When I go to Dr. Johnson and express my concerns and I start to cry, they are so compassionate and calm me down.  They truly care. I'm a 1A, definite cirrhosis (compensating), low VL and infected thru a blood transfusion in '79 with the birth of my first daughter.  Have been to Dr. Schiff in Miami, The Team up at Shands in Gainesville and the Team at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, along with six other gastros.  There is noone and I repeat noone like Dr. Johnson and his staff.  When I hit bottom and think there is nothing out there for me..... Mrs. Johnson et al always say, "there are always options."  To keep my sanity I do believe this and trust them.  Dr. Johnson is always up to date on any new information as he attends all symposiums.  He is always surprised on what I know and what all of here do know ... because we have this dreadful disease.  When I leave his office the world looks like such a better place, even with having hep c.

I continue to plunge forward as we all do trying to make sense on why we do or do not achieve SVR.  Without Dr. Johnson and his staff I don't know if the sun would shine each day.

When I called the American Liver Foundation and literally cried to them THEY referred me to Dr. Johnson.  He is an old-fashioned doctor that sits you down and actually hears what you are saying.

He is worth the trip from wherever you are....and no matter how long it takes to get to him.  You will not be sorry.

I wish you good luck no matter what you decide.

Best to you ..................... and of course everyone on this forum............

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Your story is very inspiring and helpful, thank you for sharing it.  I do understand how critical it is to get it right the first time with the doctor.  If your internet friend has something she would add, she can post here, but I think you've given enough info to make me feel good about this dr.  I was concerned mostly about drug company influence taking precedence over patient care.  The drive to Lakeland is a problem for me--it's more than just the drive.  I used to live there and have some sad memories.  It would seem you could do your labs locally, communicate by phone and not really have to go to Lakeland that often. How often do you have to go?

Thanks again,  

Laika
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We must have posted at the same time...didn't see you earlier.  Thank you so much for sharing --wow.  You've seen a few gastros, so I guess you've experienced all the different kinds of care (or lack thereof) that can be experienced by a hepC patient. I have done some doctor research, but it's all just credentials listed, where educated, whether board certified, etc.  That's what I started with--the doctor supposedly most qualified to treat liver disease in this area from the looks of his education.  You wouldn't want to deal with that clinic if it were the last one on earth! (well...maybe if it were the last one..)  Patient referrals are just so valuable.

I'll call today and see when I can get it.  Thank you for helping me get the ball rolling again.



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I wonder if you would take the time to make some comments at  
http://hepatitis-central.com/hcv/drs/toc.html  If you copy and paste that address in your browser, you should get "Physicians who treat Hepatitis C".  (If for some reason you are unable to get to this website, please let me know.) Dr Johnson's name is already in there, but the referral made by that patient is not something I would respond to.  You could gather from the comments posted that he is well informed, but there is no mention that he and his staff are so patient-oriented, supportive, flexible and optimistic in their approach to treating the hepC patient. Barngoddess, Dr Reddy's name is not in there at all, so he could use some promotion, too.

You could be tossing a lifeline to a lot of struggling people out there, sparing them what you've been through with previous doctors.

Again, I can't thank you enough for posting your stories & recommendations here.


Laika

  

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