This Dr. Norman in Florida for parathyroid disease
This Dr. Norman sends off a red-flag to me, I would not go to see him. One has to provide $1250 first of all, NON-refundable. He says he operates on 100% of his patients??? THAT is a red-flag right there! Not to diss this fella, but when I wrote to him, he simply said, you have EXTREME parathyroid disease and need surgery NOW. Good thing I'm not prone to panic...having already had a parathyroidectomy in 2002, then breast cancer in 2006, now high PTH levels right now standing at 878 with NORMAL calcium levels (9.2). I KNOW something has to be done, but in no way would I ever EVER go to a doctor that promotes surgery as a cure-all - my OWN parathyroidectomy in 2002 did NOT relieve me of my daily migraines, sleeplessness, loss of concentration, but created MEGA-bone pain (tho I know the benign grape-sized tumor on the parathyroid gland needed to be removed) for MONTHS after surgery.
This is befuddling my endos and surgeons I have seen...will go for a Sestamibi (tho my previous one WITH the tumor did NOT show up)...and will press, as others have said they've had to do...I may go to a specialist in NY City (far for me to go, I'm disabled). Just a thought on this Dr. Norman...NO DOC says he operates on 100% of his patients! ~juli
Wow! You certainly make some good points. I was just saying on another thread that we all, including me, need to be careful on the websites we come across. I have on occasion recommended this site to folks looking for information on parathyroid disease. But I have to admit, I haven’t studied it in great detail. I know that dr is good, but obviously he also has a business bent too (guess he’s not a .com site for nothing).
Thanks for sharing this. In the meantime, I so hope your situation gets resolved.
Thank you for your always very kind responses! I didn't want to 'blow Dr. Norman' out of the water, but I have been thru the medical field for wayyyyy too many years, and have had the BEST and the WORST doctors, they do exist both ways, as we all encounter.
This Dr. Norman's site also ONLY stresses (parathyroid.com) HIGH calcium levels with high PTH levels...nothing else. One can get better information from an endocrinology site that is unbiased. I am still awaiting help on my own parathyroid issue, which I will fully pursue...if you wish, send me a PM about YOUR experiences? You have had a parathyroid tumor removed as well? How did that work for you? Any recurrences?
THANK YOU, juli
I have been awaiting Dr. Lupo's response to my parathyroid question, I realize he's very busy. I just feel that a doctor who says he operates on ALL of his patients is misleading...he most probably means he operates on the patients he takes on, not the ones he dismisses (after the $1250 non-refundable fee anyway)...one is better off finding a qualified surgeon near their own area, is just my opinion. Should be a bit more clear there. .com'ing for parathyroid patients makes one feel they are looking for gullible 'clients/patients'. I'm not that desperate yet!
JUST an .02 from myself, I don't know Dr. Norman from Dr. Lupo....I have no experience with either of them. Just trying to find answers to my own health issues. ~juli
Usually from how I understand Dr. Norman's information is that the patients that have come to seek him - have been battling a long long time with this situation and he locks in on what previous doctors miss with the parathyroid gland.
His price is steep - to say the least - but isn't that how medial care works now a days?
( in many cases?)
He is called upon all over the world and is in a way of speaking a medical "known" doctor of thyroid and parathyroid disease. Movie stars and high living professionals are his clients - but ( from what I got out of it) he offers his services to all.
I find his website quite easy to understand and involved in alot of research data. It helps someone questioning IF they have issues to look and see if there doctors may have missed something they need done.
The one thing I don't like about it - is it seemed reading - that the type of surgery there was only there. - no where else.
I found while checking this out on me that many places preform the same MIS surgery on both parathyroid and thyroid too. Recently I am going to UW Madison's endo center for consultation on my issues and they are just as up as Dr. Norman is - without the fee.
I did not mean to diminish in any way what Dr. Norman or his associates do at his own practice. I feel the fee is VERY HIGH, and being in NY State, of course too far and disabled to be able to travel there just for parathyroid issues? There MUST be more doctors that specialize in parathyroid (I am finding out more and more about Presbyterian Hospital in NY City) diseases. I'm frustrated, it's true. PTH level of 878 is simply NOT RIGHT...Sestamibi Scan though has been moved up to 12/24/08, thankfully, tho my last tumor was not found on scan.
I also felt that when Dr. Norman's site says he operates ON ALL PATIENTS...that is a red-flag, I'm sorry! A doctor NEVER makes that claim...one can say he 'evaluates each patient's history and records/performs his OWN tests/examination", then determines if surgery is warranted. The $1250 non-refundable fee IS EXPENSIVE...if he's seeing high-society people, well they can afford it, I simply cannot. I'm sure a doctor of his caliber can do some pro bono work as well. Just my .02, I've seen many, many specialists over the years (no, not parathyroid nor endocrine) and just get a 'feel' for what I'd subject myself to. And, yes, I'm subjecting myself to attacks here just by saying my own opinion! I don't expect to hear back from any docs on this site!
Just interesting to meet others who have parathyroid experiences...all are different, same with cancer, you meet so many different people, and I sure am a better person for it! THANK YOU all for listening...juli
Well I'm just getting my feet wet so to speak with regard to possible parathyroid endenoma. I have read most of what is on Dr. Norman's web site. I am glad to be reminded to take it with a grain of salt, it is a bit grandiose, to say the least. On the other hand, the endo doc and the surgeon I have met with have not made me feel assured that they know what they are doing. The surgeon couldn't wait to tell me how difficult it will be for him to find a parathyroid gland as it is as tiny as the tip of his little finger. Well, I asked myself why isn't he looking for the endenoma which should be significantly larger, if indeed it exists. How do I trust a surgeon to do explorative surgery for the minor procedure when explorative surgery is supposed to require general anaesethia (sp?) I'm just not making heads or tails of this, much more research/consultation needed. Dr. Norman is a money grubbing so and so which precludes him from being a high minded ethical physician, and so trust and respect out off the table.
I feel slightly different on your conclusion. Dr. Norman has made a lucrative practice and does seemly come out on his page like there is no other option but to see him. One the other prominent hand - he is exactly the skilled level of this type of surgery you would want IF parathyroid tumors are present and need to be removed.
When I was fearful of parathyroid issues personally - I toided with the idea to see him. Thankfully I did not have to go through that particular issue - but after researching it - I found many university hospitols able to preform the MIRSP surgery he does at his clinic.
If this is an issue for you - the best question to ask many surgeons is there quality and quantity on their preformance.
I don't believe the harshness you use on describing Dr. Norman's practice is accurate but you should examine his information and utilize it to get the best possible outcome for yourself.
you don't have to pay the $1250 fee only to be told this is not your problem... you can email him your labs earlier and then -- without charging you anything -- he will tell you whether he thinks he can help you. he recently told a friend of mine that he could not help her. so yes, i am sure he makes a lot of money, but i think that some of the accusations here are unfounded.
he operates on all his patients not because he is a crook -- but because he will not accept you as a patient if he is not sure that that is what you need.
re the fact that others can use the same technology he is, that is true, but he has TONS more experience than pretty much anyone, so that would make it more likely that your surgery with him will be more likely to be successful with less chance of side effects.
You have no idea what you are talking about. Yes, the fee is steep. But, your criticism of Dr. Norman should end there. He has performed over 13,000 parathyroid operations and performs more operations EACH YEAR than any other surgeon will perform in his/her lifetime. Parathyroid surgery is generally simple. But, when it's not you better hope you have an expert. Like another poster said, you can email him to see if he thinks you need surgery without paying the consultation fee. I had parathyroid surgery with him and couldn't be happier.
I found Dr Norman online back in 2005 when my mother needed a parathyroid operation. She hates western medicine, was petrified of surgery, and had been told she needed a full radical neck surgery. Eventually she could not stand the pain, the depression, the constipation, and the worsening osteoporosis. She flew down from Canada to Tampa, got her surgery done, and felt so great she went home the next day (a day earlier than planned). She paid cash for the whole thing in order to avoid the radical neck (which would have been fully covered back home). She has absolutely no regrets and neither do I (even though I initially could not believe I had found this guy online). When it comes to surgery, you want the surgeon who has done the procedure perfectly thousands of times. And that is what you get. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone else.
I am also facing this dilemna. Drive 4 hours to Tampa, or have it done at the Endicronology Center at the University of Miami. My appointment with my doctor is on December 6th, let's see what he recommends.
i actually wrote to this DR when i was going through my parathyroid ordeal. when i told him that i found a DR in my area who used the minimally invasive radioguided parathyroidectomy and his exact words in his reply back to me were "he is a liar!" that no one else used this technique but him. that turned me off pretty quickly.
i had my operation done and guess what? i was injected with that radio-active stuff and he used the wand to locate the parathyorid - same technique.
i can't believe he would call another DR he never met a liar.
Yes, I have surgery scheduled for February 24th. After researching and calling several hospitals I found a surgeon who does the exact same procedure as Dr. Norman, as an outpatient. Dr. Molina was recommended by both Baptist and South Miami. He was very candid and admitted that Dr. Normal was very good, and that is all they do, but he is also experienced with the procedure and when he explained it to me it was identical to Dr. Norman's. with the exception that he uses general anesthesia. I will post my results after the surgery.
In my opinion, the "general anesthesia" difference is HUGE! That right there means it is far more dangerous than the procedure used by Dr Norman. I am at the beginning of my search, but finding a doctor who does NOT use general anesthesia is a must for me.
I'm also from Miami and read your statements. I really hope everything went well for you. Please let us know when you become available. I would also like to know what is Dr. Molina full name?
What endo did you recommended? And well and any other recommendations. Thanks
Had my surgery last Friday, Went home the same day, no complications so far, The calcium levels went down the moment the parathyroid gland with the adenoma was removed, follow up today, incision looking ok. Follow up next Tuesday for some more blood work then back to endocrinologist, Dr. Martin Cohen. (Only saw him once) The surgeons's name is Rolando Molina part of the South Florida ENT Associates. There is always more of a risk with general anesthesia. It was hard to find a surgeon down here that does this procedure with just propofol (which I think is what Dr. Norman uses). I think there is one at UM. It would have been a burden for me financially, and more stressful to drive to Tampa. You must do research and talk to a few surgeons.
Miamisenior, if you are still out there--I hope your recovery is going well.
I'm curious about why your surgeon chooses to use general anesthesia for your procedure--is it because it takes him longer than Dr. Norman? This would be a good reason--a shorter surgical time is better but taking a little longer and doing a general isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I'm also wondering if there are other differences--I think the Norman Center has a very specialized piece of equipment in the operating room that they use to biopsy each of the 4 glands and verify that they identify the 1 or more glands that are abnormal. If Dr. Molina uses a different method, that may explain the difference.
Yes, Dr. Molina does take his time. As far as the equipment, scans were done prior and during the surgery. I was told the surgery is conducted the same way with the exception of the anesthesia. There is no question that Dr. Norman has much more experience and does a lot more of parathyroid surgeries than anyone in this part of the country. For me, the convenience of being close to home and the follow ups were important. Also, being on a fixed income the cost was important also. I am doing well and the scar is barely visible.
Could you give me an idea of the cost of surgery with Dr. Molina( private message)? I know that every case is different, but I wrote to Dr. Norman's hospital and got a very high quote which is basically an estimation for everyone using his technique. I'm just wondering if +$10,000 is typical of parathyroid surgery...? I don't have insurance...
I have done a lot of research on this topic and the truth is there are several doctors who can perform the MIRP. There are two catches and they are important to discuss with any surgeon you engage: 1. Do they do intraoperative testing of the "other" parathyroids? There is now much, non-Norman Center clinical research stating the obvious which is core to Dr. Norman's technique - you should not close someone up without testing the other parathyroids to determine if they have also tumored. If you do, the person runs the risk of further damage from a remaining tumor. Secondly, how many parathyroid surgeries does the surgeon perform. The number will be low because these surgeons also do other work. However, I would not feel comfortable with someone doing less than at least 2 and preferably 3 on average per week.
This is no longer true. You must pay the consultation fee to see if he thinks your symptoms match his profile for his surgery. Save your money, buy the 5.99 app and if it says you need the surgery then he will do it. 5 years of high calcium for me and he ordered 3 blood tests within 10 days. All my levels were normal during these 3 tests so no surgery for me. I didn't meet his qualifications for surgery.
I read the parathyroid.com website as well and was impressed with Dr. Norman's research and expertise in the field. I spoke with several other doctors, and in the end, chose the Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa, Fl.
Basically, my endo in Dallas didn't believe me and thought I was just "wanting" surgery which was crazy because I had calcium in the 10's & PTH levels in the upper 60's and 70's. And, very importantly, I had almost all of the symptoms! So, I wound up self diagnosing (as many of Dr. Norman's patients do!) and had my surgery there. It may seem assembly line like but this man revolutionized this surgery and tweaked the sestamabibi scan. For me, the choice was obvious, and so I flew out ASAP! Don't discount this man just because its a ******* site. He is THE most experienced endo surgeon you will find. That's not saying there aren't other good surgeons, but Dr. Norman and his team do about 9-10 of these a day.
I just got a quote and I have GHI, Bluecross and Blue Shield (Hospital) with Medicare. I was just told I have to pay up front because the Ins. reimburse me. I was told around 6,000.. I'm out 1,700 for consult fee.. I didn't see any of these negative comments when I did my research.. finally someone talks about cost. This is so much more than my local drs
Dr. Norman's site also states that 25% of patients with a parathyroid tumor will have high calcium levels, but with a PTH level within normal limits, which is me. He also discusses what varying levels, (low average, high) can mean. I'm not saying he is always right, I am still researching myself, but he does mention the "normal" pth levels.
I thank you for your opinions, here, but my experience, after reading Dr Normans site for over ten years as Ive let my disease progress and other doctors not know what the hell they are even talking about because they are still lost in the dark ages of medicine....I'd definately say Dr Norman has shown his research to be true in almost every situation , at least with the progression of my diseased parathyroid...I assume we all progress the same???. If you read all of his site on symptomology, and how the disease slowly progresses and how it systemically degrades the entire endocrine, and then other critical systems such as the heart, lungs, renal, and the liver, because we dont understand this very simple organ destroys more than just a couple of other organs....it destroys systems a little at a time as it goes undiagnosed or if you had surgery but it wasn't all taken out or you regrow more adenoma's...well, you would want to think twice about throwing the baby out with the bath water.
YES, however, I absolutely agree this man's massive ego proven by the fact that he states his team is the only team in the country that can do the job right, and he has a 100% success rate, and then their obvious greed made clear by the need to grab THOUSANDS more cash then even the insurance companies pay..and in his own words...there are no exceptions to these thousands extra rules, PLUS an "out of state fee" on top of it all...for what may I ask????? or they wont even talk to you (WTH???) REALLY???
THIS AGREEDOUS BEHAVIOR seems to over power his obvious knowledge in the field and his desire to help people get well. I would pick a humble man with knowledge and willingness to learn, over an ego maniac with super knowledge any day.
BUT, When I suggest not throwing the baby out with the bath water...his knowledge on those pages are very correct in the process and progress of the disease, yet there are doctors like Dr Yey in California and others through out the country, who have terrific reputations in the field.
Its is true however, I think, when a person does only one kind of surgery all day long, his whole career, he tends to know what the helk he is doing, rather than those who work in the entire endocrine system. THAT IS ONE HELL OF A BIG SYSTEM...one of the most complex in the body and affects every single other system in the human anatomy! If you have the extra money and can afford to travel that far, and arent too sick, maybe he would be your guy?
In the meantime, use his data, use his knowledge and make others in the field really look at it,take it seriously. Ive found that my body has followed the very patterns of the disease process he describes. Ive yet to find a doctor that has his full knowledge, yet my body had proven his words right, but there are those without his massive super ego! EGOS get people in trouble.
I wonder if he has many law suits over his super ego and massive amount he is collecting for these surgeries?
look at the process over time...youll have very high ratesof the pth for two to three years, then the body finds a way to save itself ,by lowering vitamin d, so you cant have massive stroke, heart attack, renal failure, etc...the lower the vitamin d, the less chance your body will absorb the high calcium, so after the vitamin d goes down so does the other minerals...cal,potassium, as well as other adjuncts...your body will always find a way to adapt and evolve in order to survive. the cost in letting things go. is that you risk long term disease...diabetes,heart disease, even cancer. so,really read all you can and don't take it for granted docs know all...they don't!
What did your problem turn out to be, given your very high PTH and very normal Calcium? Was your D normal?
I also have periodically high PTH (sometimes normal, sometimes over 100, high end of normal 77)) and low-normal Calcium (usually around 8,8 but has ranged from 8.6 to 9.6, normal 8.2-10.6) with D levels from 25-40 (normal range starts at 30). My scans appear to show bone loss. The endocrinologist is stumped.
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