I want to tell our story of treatment. In November, during a routine ultrasound examination, the doctor suspected that son had a rare glomus carotid tumor, a chemodectoma. This pathology occurs 1-2 times per 100 thousand of the population, and statistics say that the average age of patients is 36 years old, and women are more likely to be affected. The tumor is located in the carotid artery's bifurcation zone (its branching into internal and external). Having already glanced at the ultrasound scan, I realized that this is a serious matter. After spending several days on the Internet, having read dozens of medical articles, we understood that the only correct and possible treatment method is surgical removal. The complexity of localization, a bunch of nerves passing in the immediate vicinity, and the tremendous speed of blood flow in the carotid artery are only a small part of the difficulties doctors face when removing such tumors. In my son's case, the neoplasm had already covered about 270o vessels, it was hyper vascularized, and we did not know the extent of its invasion into the artery walls. Then there were 2 months of hell. Nighttime tears, insomnia, looking for treatment options and looking for money for treatment. We are residents of Ukraine, and in this country, in addition to the fact that medicine, well, how can I say it, is not at a very high level, legal conflicts have also arisen with this tumor's operation. The fact is that the son is 16 years old, and legally he is a child, and those doctors in "adult" clinics who have at least some experience of removing such neoplasms cannot operate on him. And those doctors who are legally entitled to provide medical care to children are faced with such a diagnosis for the first time. We searched everywhere, sent letters in all directions. We wrote on television, found a doctor from Brazil, who undertook to help us and called us to Sao Paulo. We contacted the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Oncology and Medical Radiology, named after N.N. Alexandrov in the Republic of Belarus. There the situation turned out to be similar. We were refused due to the child's age. We have consulted in Germany in companies that organize the treatment of foreigners. Prices for treatment in Germany turned out to be significantly higher than Israel's. Besides, medical intermediaries did not show any desire to help (either they were not satisfied with the quality of the translation of our medical documents into German, or the conclusions of Ukrainian doctors are incomprehensible ...). To be honest, while we were looking for a medical institution, a similar search for doctors in Ukraine yielded results, and 2 pretty good neurosurgeons decided to undertake an operation in Ukraine (in Kyiv and Uzhgorod). But the vagueness of tactics and operational plan of the type "cut - we'll see how it goes" clearly did not suit me. Also, the procedure was very vague.
So our choice fell on the Mecca of medical tourism - Israel. Yes, the Internet is replete with offers, but my intuition did not disappoint me - my obsession was the desire to treat the child in the Ichilov clinic. Studying the clinic's infrastructure, doctors' resumes, and simple statistical information on the number of operations performed every day strengthened me that we are on the right track.
Then there was a tough choice, with which of the intermediaries to cooperate, whether to work directly with the clinic? Which doctors should you trust? Should I agree to preliminary tumor embolization? And again, intuition did not disappoint. We are grateful to God that our curator was Artur Andonis, a man of the highest professional and human qualities. Because Arthur was immediately imbued with our problem, the right strategy was chosen, and our medical documentation fell directly into the hands of the best specialists - masters of their craft: Dr. Tali Yonash and Professor Dan Flees. To assess the professional qualities of these doctors on my part would be a pitiful attempt by an amateur: over the decades of their work, they have an incredible amount of regalia and achievements, and the result of their recognition in the world medical community is a mass of scientific publications and monographs, participation in all kinds of medical organizations and advice. I was amazed at how simple, without pathos and arrogance, they communicated with us, how, with their calm confidence, they instilled confidence in my wife and me, going crazy in anticipation of news from the operating room.
Dr. Tali Yonash performed a complex 5-hour operation to embolize the tumor. The process consisted in the fact that a probe was introduced through the inguinal artery, which, under the constant control of auxiliary diagnostic equipment, was moved to the tumor localization area to inject a particular substance into the blood vessels feeding the tumor, which clogged these vessels to avoid the risk of bleeding during surgical rem. The complexity of the work performed by Professor Fleece was to "bypass" all the nerves, to avoid damage to the carotid arteries and other vessels. Which he did brilliantly.I was impressed by the fact that before the operation, the son underwent a Doppler study, and the possible places for obtaining donor vessels of the required diameter were marked on the arms and legs in case of the need for reconstruction of the carotid artery. I really liked the attitude of the medical staff, especially in the children's department and intensive care unit. In general, to be honest, despite the fact that Ichilov is a real clinic, more precisely, a complex of clinics with all the attributes inherent in such an institution, there is absolutely no oppressive hospital atmosphere there. Good Feng Shui or something. Great energy. In the evenings, the piano played in the hall. Excellent work of everyone, it seems that everyone is in their place and everyone is ready for any development of events or emergencies or complications.
As for the financial side of the issue - unfortunately, we are not citizens of the richest country, and for most of my fellow citizens, such treatment may seem expensive. But! Of course, I believe that we did the right thing a thousand times by arriving in Ichilov and organizing treatment through Artur Andonis. It is necessary to set the right priorities, you cannot save on the health and lives of relatives, especially when it comes to children. The price-quality ratio of the services provided seemed to me absolutely balanced, it is easier to anticipate a complication than to try to fix an irrecoverable one. And the prices Arthur gave us are even slightly lower than the medical tourism department of the clinic, unbelievable, but true. In addition, due to the earlier discharge from the clinic, we were promised to make a cashback and return to our account a part of the money previously transferred to the clinic. Yes, we transferred the money by swift-transfer to our deposit at the clinic, it is very convenient and safe, the commission is ridiculous 20 USD.
Perhaps we would have done this operation in Ukraine, but, as you know, the devil is in the details. And having gone all this way in the choice of treatment and the operation itself, I can say with full responsibility: Shalom to Israel! AND THANKS IKHILOV !!!