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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
This is for those that have surgical experience with the VA; either to you or someone close to you that you know they're either good or bad.

Do you trust the VA enough for them to operate on you? Not some minor surgery but more high risk like removing a tumor/nodule from your lung? They don't know if it's benign or not and it's pretty small. They might be able to get biopsy but that's not a 100% guarantee.

Bc the VA has such a sketchy history, I don't really trust them but I could be wrong on my opinion of them.

I'm still going to get a second opinion from Moffitt or someplace else, I just need to get some real opinions.

TIA

OK went to the VA ENT on Wednesday so they could check out my tonsils - no issues

Went to Moffitt today and the thoracic surgeon looked at the CT and PET scans and believes either I have an ongoing infection or am at the end of an infection in my lung. The area of concern is 1/2" X 1/4" so it's quite small; doing a biopsy isn't really an option bc it's so small and where it's located. He put me on an antibiotic for 3 months and I go back to see him in Jan (I'll get another CT scan when I go see him).

Yeah damn good news.

IF it's not an infection, then it's cancer but he didn't seem too concerned that it was.

Appreciate all the feedback
This post was edited on 10/16 at 11:47 am


MIZ_COU
Missouri Fan
I'm right here
Member since Oct 2013
13678 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
If you are talking about the one in Como they share a lot of doctors with UMC.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Referring to the VA overall but specifically the VA in Tampa


Arksulli
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville
Member since Aug 2014
19602 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
That is a tough one. I will not lie.

It depends on the VA facility. There are some VA facilities I'd send someone to for a procedure and not bat an eye. There are others I would not trust to treat my worst enemy.

Don't think of it as the overall government agency, but as the particular hospital in question that would be doing the procedure. The variance is just as wide as you would find in the private sector I am afraid. Some will suck ass, some will be great, most will just kinda be there.

If you have the option, say in a state with a huge military presence, shop around for the best VA hospital that can do the procedure. Better to drive two hours and get it done somewhere first place than get it done in a dump.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Thanks Arksulli

Since I have Tricare I don't have to go the VA. Granted going through the VA will save me some money, I want it done right the first time with no 'oops' or 'oh shits'. I'm going to ask a couple of vets I know about the VA here in Tampa (I can't recall hearing anything negative specifically) but I WILL call Moffitt and get their take as well. The VA nurse practitioner I spoke to this morning didn't seem offended I wanted a 2nd opinion (not that it would have bothered me if she did).

Appreciate the input


Arksulli
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville
Member since Aug 2014
19602 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Tricare is amazing.

I am going to say, on this issue, find the best local cancer treatment area where you are, and there should be quite a few, and go there.

Spend a little money and be safer.

If its super expensive then start a Gofundme on here and I am sure folks will kick in. Go with your very best option after you do the research.


4Ghost
Florida State Fan
Member since Sep 2016
5936 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
It all depends on the location. The VA in Tuscaloosa and and the VA in Birmingham have given me top notch health care. I have had 2 major surgeries done At the VA in Birmingham. Department heads from UAB performedthe surgery both times. All they ask of me was to allow 2 Senior Med School students to be able to observe the procedures. They found the bladder tumor early and it was a bitch, but I am alive and healthy today due to my VA Care.
I guess if theVA is sitting right next to a major medical school you are probably good to go. UAB and the VA have a literal cross over on the 3rd or 4th floor for the Docs and Patients. Good Luck and Semper Fi.
Keep me posted. God Bless


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MoarKilometers
Florida Atlantic Fan
Member since Apr 2015
8986 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Same state as you, 904 area though. I have only honestly known 1 doctor who has worked at the VA. Podiatrist, just sold his practice to "retire." Did 3 year, maybe 4 years at the VA after that. Top of the line doc, unfortunately he saw an inordinate amount of diabetes cases there. I view pulmonary surgery much differently than I view partial amputations due to lack of blood flow.

Basically, I'd meet with the doctor to feel them out. If you're not comfortable, definitely go with the tricare.


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Bigbens42
Auburn Fan
Trussvegas
Member since Nov 2013
2057 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
I can't speak to the specific question.

What I will say is that I maintain the dialysis water systems at the VA in Birmingham and that they sometimes need their dick steered for them in order to hit the pot when it comes to equipment maintenance or troubleshooting, the care I see provided there is absolutely amazing. The department works its arse off.

Good people working hard for to care for their patients, and succeeding. Can't ask for much more than that. Were I in need of dialysis, they're first on my list without a second thought.

VA at large may have a bad rap, but that's not true in my experience. Love the people under my purview.


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The Nino
Atlanta United Fan
Member since Jan 2010
20474 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
quote:

Referring to the VA overall but specifically the VA in Tampa
My uncle used to work there in the rehab wing. He always talked highly of the doctors there


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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
quote:

Tricare is amazing.

I am going to say, on this issue, find the best local cancer treatment area where you are, and there should be quite a few, and go there.

Spend a little money and be safer.

This is currently Plan A and as soon as I get the report in the mail I'm calling Moffitt. I wanted to get the PET & CT scans on disc first but Moffitt can get them a lot quicker than me so I'll let them do it.

Appreciate the input guys.


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five_fivesix
Supreme
Member since Aug 2012
9691 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
I’d let the VA pay for a surgery, but having a VA contracted doctor do it, it’s a crap shoot. Most docs that have to work for the VA are not your top tier professionals. Good Luck.


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kilo
Missouri Fan
Trying to find Killz in the beyond
Member since Oct 2011
25865 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
I had an ACL/PCL reconstruction via 3rd party health care provider paid for by the VA.

I would, under no circumstances, let an actual VA surgeon cut me for any reason.

You would be actually "rolling the dice" with your health.



Serraneaux
Tennessee Fan
Brentwood
Member since Mar 2014
12695 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
It depends on the VA hospital. For example the VA in Nashville shares (VA eights) doctors with Vanderbilt which means if you have surgery you are most likely to have a VUMC surgeon doing your surgery. If something were to happen you are right best to VUMC. I’d be more worried about the support staff and facilities at the VA hospital in Nashville more than anything else. The support staff, protocols, etc.


Serraneaux
Tennessee Fan
Brentwood
Member since Mar 2014
12695 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Several of Vanderbilt’s most experienced heart surgeons do rotations at the Nashville VA hospital.


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Smokeyone
Tennessee Fan
Maryville Tn
Member since Jul 2016
1901 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
3 close family friends and 2 friends of mine with the same outcome.

Fast Eddie- career Army. Vietnam vet. They treated some back pain for him with high dose pain pills. His pain doctor finally (almost a year later) gets the X-ray from VA. Eddie had a tumor on his lung the size of a golf ball. The VA does more X-rays and it’s the size of a baseball and pressing his spine causing the back pain. Eddie is sent to DC to see a specialist and dies.

Ron C- Vietnam marine Vet turn Army career with service injury. Ron was shot in Vietnam and never fully recovered. His wound led to a medical discharge and caused other medical issues. He was at the Augusta GA VA (all 4 were) regularly with various issues. He started crapping blood one time so ambulance ride to the VA and 14 hours in the waiting room later he bled out.

Russel- Vietnam vet, Native American from Baltimore. Hell of a human being. Russ had a stroke and required care but not hospice. Augusta VA doped him up and shuffled him to Atlanta that shuffled him to Florida and then Baltimore before putting him in hospice back in Augusta to die. His daughter sued to get him moved back to Baltimore so she could care for him. He died in Augusta in hospice by himself. No one knew where he was.

Corvette Ed- Vietnam vet, member of the air force pistol team, army reserve pistol team, career man. Ed, like me suffered from gout. The VA for 15 years treated his gout with colchicine, as a daily preventative medication. It’s for flare ups only and destroyed his GI tract. He bled out internally. We use to argue that taking 6 of those pills daily would kill him and it did.

Fink- 20 year man and family friend. Augusta VA treated his liver problems by amputation of his legs and an arm before he died of pancreatic cancer. His liver was fine.

I pay for my parents tricare to keep them out of the VA. Dad served 29 years (3 tours in Vietnam as a mid marine and 25 years Army). Eisenhower at fort Gordon has pushed to get them to go off base (the VA) and we have fought to keep them going to Eisenhower every time. I wouldn’t let the VA neuter a cat much less “help” a human.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
quote:

Smokeyone

This is the kind of stuff I was looking for. Too damn bad for these vets.


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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
quote:

3rd party health care provider paid for by the VA.

I believe since the Tampa VA has the people to do any surgery I may need, they won't "contract out any needed surgery" but that's mostly an assumption right now.

Plan A is going through to Tricare with a cancer hospital.


Miznoz
Missouri Fan
St. Louis
Member since Dec 2018
505 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
I have 4 uncles that were in the AF.

Always been told by the two of them that were successful after the navy/marines respectively that the VA is only for vets that can't afford their medical care otherwise, and they would never use it when they can get a "real" doctor.

They're in DC and Houston too so it's not like they are near bad VA facilities.

Other 2 uncles have permanently fricked up backs from VA surgery.



Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
54529 posts

re: Need real opinions about the VA and the possibility of them operating on you - UPDATE
Got my 1st appointment with Moffitt next Friday; I'll let you guys know how things go.

ETA: appreciate the seriousness of your replies
This post was edited on 10/6 at 12:08 pm


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