Doctor recommendation in PA

#1
Hello everyone. My son is 18 and was just diagnosed. We are in the Dubois PA area. We are willing to travel to Pittsburgh but Dr. Rosengart does not take our insurance (Highmark). I see a Dr. Timothy Kavic near us but I was hoping for some reviews on him. Or if anybody has any recommendations for this procedure in the Altoona, state college, or Pittsburgh areas, please reply to let us know.
 
#2
Hello, Lisa!!!

I'm in the same situation as you... My son is 18 and we live in the Pittsburgh area (Latrobe). With so many great comments about Dr. Rosengart, it's extremely disappointing that UPMC no longer cooperates with Highmark insurance. We do have out-of-network benefits, but UPMC can do balance-billing on all charges, I discovered, so that could potentially add up to quite an expense. I've only just begun researching the surgeons on the list here, but so far, it looks like the following surgeons are in-network for my son's Highmark plan, do both procedures, have at least one positive review on here, and are not terribly far away:
James Matino, Harford, CT
Mark Jennings, Cincinnati, OH
Nelson Rosen, Cincinnati, OH (When I search Highmark for this Dr, I can only find a Dr by this name in NY, so I'm not sure if this Dr accepts Highmark - need to research this more. Has good reviews on this site, though.)
Clifford Deal, Richmond, VA

My son is very nervous about having surgery right now, so we plan to follow the "Living With It" tips on this site for now. I'm hoping with additional research, he will become more comfortable with the idea, so that we can plan a procedure for next summer with an experienced surgeon from "the list."

Please keep me posted on any new information you discover, either by email or posting here. I'll do the same!
 
#3
Hello, Lisa!!!

I'm in the same situation as you... My son is 18 and we live in the Pittsburgh area (Latrobe). With so many great comments about Dr. Rosengart, it's extremely disappointing that UPMC no longer cooperates with Highmark insurance. We do have out-of-network benefits, but UPMC can do balance-billing on all charges, I discovered, so that could potentially add up to quite an expense. I've only just begun researching the surgeons on the list here, but so far, it looks like the following surgeons are in-network for my son's Highmark plan, do both procedures, have at least one positive review on here, and are not terribly far away:
James Matino, Harford, CT
Mark Jennings, Cincinnati, OH
Nelson Rosen, Cincinnati, OH (When I search Highmark for this Dr, I can only find a Dr by this name in NY, so I'm not sure if this Dr accepts Highmark - need to research this more. Has good reviews on this site, though.)
Clifford Deal, Richmond, VA

My son is very nervous about having surgery right now, so we plan to follow the "Living With It" tips on this site for now. I'm hoping with additional research, he will become more comfortable with the idea, so that we can plan a procedure for next summer with an experienced surgeon from "the list."

Please keep me posted on any new information you discover, either by email or posting here. I'll do the same!


JoannaB
Thank you so much for the information! We are scheduled with Dr. Richardson at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on May 31. His staff tells me that he does both procedures but I will be asking him directly on that day as well. I will definitely let you know what I find out. My son and husband think that I’m crazy but if things don’t work out in Pittsburgh I am determined to contact the surgeon in Wisconsin that is very well known for this.
 
#4
Joanna,

I just saw this. I don’t know how old your son is and if he had any prior surgery, I would just go right to Dr. Immerman. Do you know if he accepts your insurance? It would be worth looking into. Dr. Immerman said when he operated on Robbie that there was more going on underneath then What presented on the outside and it was a good thing we had it taken care of, otherwise he would have had issues down the road. We lamented about going out of state but given the research I did and the reviews of Dr. Immerman it was a no brainer. Best of luck to you and your son!
 
#5
JoannaB
Thank you so much for the information! We are scheduled with Dr. Richardson at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on May 31. His staff tells me that he does both procedures but I will be asking him directly on that day as well. I will definitely let you know what I find out. My son and husband think that I’m crazy but if things don’t work out in Pittsburgh I am determined to contact the surgeon in Wisconsin that is very well known for this.
Lisa,

My husband and son think I'm crazy, too. I'm pretty much obsessed with trying to figure out options and next steps, and getting all stressed out. I just want to have a plan. That's really great that you may have an option with Dr. Richardson! I would really appreciate you keeping me posted on how the appointment goes - thank you!

I'm very interested in minimally invasive options. I saw someone posted this really informative video on one of these forums: https://videolibrary.globalcastmd.com/novel-therapies-in-pilonidal-disease-update-course
I'm not exactly sure what the differences are between pit-picking and the Gips procedure, though... More research...
At this moment, I would like for my son to be assessed by Dr. Lipskar in NY to see if he's a candidate for the Gips procedure. If the cleft lift is a better option, I'm definitely open to seeing Dr. Immerman.
 
#6
Joanna,

I just saw this. I don’t know how old your son is and if he had any prior surgery, I would just go right to Dr. Immerman. Do you know if he accepts your insurance? It would be worth looking into. Dr. Immerman said when he operated on Robbie that there was more going on underneath then What presented on the outside and it was a good thing we had it taken care of, otherwise he would have had issues down the road. We lamented about going out of state but given the research I did and the reviews of Dr. Immerman it was a no brainer. Best of luck to you and your son!
Thank you for the advice! I checked with Highmark, and it does appear that Dr. Immerman is in-network for us. I will definitely keep him in mind! My son is very concerned about having a deformed/flattened back side. How does your son feel about his results? I realize that fixing the problem is more important than having a scar and/or change in shape, but my 18-year-old is focusing on what it might look like after.
 
#7
Lisa,

My husband and son think I'm crazy, too. I'm pretty much obsessed with trying to figure out options and next steps, and getting all stressed out. I just want to have a plan. That's really great that you may have an option with Dr. Richardson! I would really appreciate you keeping me posted on how the appointment goes - thank you!

I'm very interested in minimally invasive options. I saw someone posted this really informative video on one of these forums: https://videolibrary.globalcastmd.com/novel-therapies-in-pilonidal-disease-update-course
I'm not exactly sure what the differences are between pit-picking and the Gips procedure, though... More research...
At this moment, I would like for my son to be assessed by Dr. Lipskar in NY to see if he's a candidate for the Gips procedure. If the cleft lift is a better option, I'm definitely open to seeing Dr. Immerman.
Thank you for posting this video! I will definitely let you know how it goes with Dr Richardson. At this point my son was supposed to begin a job and have a trip with friends then college in the fall. He just graduated yesterday and was looking forward to this summer for these reasons. We were just stunned by the diagnosis and how long the recover might be. But the only option our local surgeon gave, was the open wound option. If we can get a minimally invasive procedure and hold off on major surgery until Christmas, that might be a better option. Like I said, I’ll keep you posted! Best wishes for your son!
 
#8
Hello everyone following this thread since I told you I’d let you know about our experience! . Today my son saw Dr Ward Richardson and a student doctor at Children’s hospital of Pittsburgh. First the student (called a “fellow” I believe) came in and examined my son. Then I came back in the room and he explained Pilonidal disease, drew pictures, and stated that this may be an ongoing problem even with treatment. In addition, he acknowledged to my son that he understands that this can be embarrassing but to know that he did nothing to cause it ( I thought that was a very nice touch!) He then explained treatment OPTIONS! I say this because I’m our previous appt with another doctor we were given only one, very bleak outlook and option. Next Dr Richardson came in and again explained everything in almost as much detail. This made me have complete confidence that the fellow really knew his stuff as well, as both descriptions were consistent with all my research. Long story short, they recommended pit picking and completed it immediately right in the office. My son felt nothing. The numbing was supposed to last a couple of hours and honestly seemed to be wearing off before we made it to the car, but he may have also been experiencing discomfort because of the gauze that is there to stop the little bit of bleeding. A little Advil and he’s been good. We were very pleased with the whole experience! My son highly recommends this doctor and hospital if you are of age to be seen there (he is currently 18). By the way, his original open wound surgery was actually scheduled for today so he could actually be lying in a hospital in a much worse state right now. I thank everyone who’s stories I’ve read. Thank you all for sharing!!!
 
#9
Lisa,

My husband and son think I'm crazy, too. I'm pretty much obsessed with trying to figure out options and next steps, and getting all stressed out. I just want to have a plan. That's really great that you may have an option with Dr. Richardson! I would really appreciate you keeping me posted on how the appointment goes - thank you!

I'm very interested in minimally invasive options. I saw someone posted this really informative video on one of these forums: https://videolibrary.globalcastmd.com/novel-therapies-in-pilonidal-disease-update-course
I'm not exactly sure what the differences are between pit-picking and the Gips procedure, though... More research...
At this moment, I would like for my son to be assessed by Dr. Lipskar in NY to see if he's a candidate for the Gips procedure. If the cleft lift is a better option, I'm definitely open to seeing Dr. Immerman.
Hi Joanna,

I posted that video. I recommend sending an email to Dr. Lipskar with questions. He has been responsive to mine. I'm moving to New York in the near future, so I think I will end up trying the Gips procedure first, as it seems less difficult overall than the alternatives. However, I can't speak to its success yet, as I have not undergone the procedure.

As I understand it, based on my viewing of the Lipskar video and some poking around the web, pit picking was developed earlier than the Gips procedure by, I think, Dr. Bascom. Dr. Moshe Gips invented the latter procedure and one of the main things that sets it apart is the use of trephines or biopsy punches as a tool. I'm not sure what tool is used in pit picking. For whatever reason, pit picking appears to be less effective than the gips procedure. I'm not a doctor, so I couldn't tell you why.
 
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