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I have previously written a review, just after my surgery which was on 05/02/2013. I am almost 1 and a half years out now, doing very well. I have returned to full time work doing HVAC service work. VERY long drives w/o cruise control can bring about sciatic pain in my leg. The muscle degeneration that I was experiencing pre surgery has pretty much resolved itself. Looking at my 2 legs now, there is barely a difference. I basically live pain free. I am still thankful to Dr Vaccaro for the skill he used in my treatment. One thing that all spinal surgery patients have to remember is we have to be careful about what we do, and how we do it.
I drove over an hour for a lumbar consultation at Rothman in Center City because of their reputation.Although I had an appointment, I waited 3 hours to see Dr. Vaccaro. When he finally came into the room, he sat down, looked at my MRI & began to dictate the notes his Resident took. When he finished, he stood up & asked me 1 question about my pain. Then he told me not to come back until I have a discogram. As he was exiting the room, my husband stopped him to say we had some questions. His answers was short, rushed & he made an insulting assumption about my medical providers. The time he spent with me was literally less than 5 minutes. My husband & I felt that this visit was a waste of time & I bet he will charge my insurance $500. I have worked in a hospital for 30 years & his bedside manner sucks! He may be a good surgeon, but he will never be a great surgeon due to his attitude & lack of compassion. When I left his office, I felt empty & sad. I will not be returning. The only nice thing I can say is that the check-in clerks were nice & the Resident.
I promise that Alex will spend less than 90 seconds with you before he starts recording his doctor's notes. Student doctors and interns handle his interviews at office visits; he is in & out in less than 5 minutes. My surgery didn't work and he pushed me off to a colleague, who quickly dropped me as a patient saying there was no more he could do. (I was operated on again 15 months later in DE and am doing fine now.) Contacting Alex after hours was impossible. He left me in some serious pain for nearly a year. If you do go to him, remember my comments and run when you recognize that your treatment was as mine...
I had a L5-S1 spinal fusion (anterior and posterior) performed by Dr. Vaccaro on May 2, 2013 at the Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Center City Philadelphia. I was originally to have back surgery at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown on March 22 2013 by Dr. Chris Lycette, but at my last pre-surgical apt, he decided to change his original surgery from L5-S1, to L4-L5-S1. (This was to be all done posteriorly). After some research about multi level fusions, and fear of walking around like a tin soldier, I decided to seek other opinions. During my visit with Dr. Vaccaro, I found him to be pleasant, he spent adequate time with me, he reviewed my MRI and CT scans and ordered a discogram to make a more accurate treatment plan. He said "You have three black disc's, we have to find out where exactly your pain is coming from". He said this to myself and to the resident doctors that accompanied him to my appointment. I had no problem with him teaching others during my visit. I also explained that for religious and other reasons I would not allow the use of blood products for my treatment. Dr. Vaccaro immediately suggested Cell Saver (Inter-operative Blood Salvage) which I was ok with provided it was part of a closed loop system. He assured me that is how it would be set up which gave me peace of mind. Turns out I didn't need it anyway, blood loss was minimal. Plain and simple...this guy just knows his stuff! The lady that set up all my pre-surgical appointments, Nancy, was wonderful.....A The discogram test was not pleasant, its purpose is to make you feel pain, but not the worst pain I ever felt, 24-36 hours I was back to normal. The first couple days after surgery were not fun, very hard to rest with a drain, catheter, IV in each hand and cuffs wrapped around each calf. Much better when those things were removed. Nurses also deserve an A . Never waited more than 20 seconds, day or night, for one of them to respond when I pressed the button for their help. After coming home I used a walker for two days, by the second week, I was walking 2-3 miles a day, PAIN FREE! There is some discomfort, not pain, trying to sleep. Before my surgery I was not able to stand more than 10 minutes w/o terrible sciatic pain. Even when lying down on my recliner, it took a couple of hours for my pain to subside. The other day, I stood and talked with my neighbor for over half an hour pain free. I did my research, talked to other medical professionals from facilities other than Thomas Jefferson Hospital and even my Aetna insurance nurse, they were all unanimous about the wisdom of seeing Dr. Vaccaro. If you are afraid as I was about needing back surgery, call Dr. Vaccaro. I cannot thank Dr. Vaccaro and the rest of the team enough for helping me feel well again.
I come from a family of doctors, so I am quite sympathetic to them and understand not only how tough their job is but also how valuable their time is. But this was different. Fastest visit I've ever had with any dr. And that's not a good thing. I've never experienced anyhing like this ever. He didn't want to know about my symptoms/condition and wasn't interested in letting me ask questions, which is kind of necessary when deciding whether or not to have major surgery. He was 2 hrs late for my 9 am appt, and used my appointment to get back on schedule. I'm not exaggerating when I say he came in, talked quickly at me (not to me) for 30 seconds, then whipped out his dictaphone and began wrapping up the visit. I said I had some questions, which he answered as quickly as possible. When we walked out of the room not even 4 minutes later, my family and I looked at each other and said, "What just happened?" I still can't make heads or tails of it. A 2 hr wait for a 3 minute visit. Absolutely crazy. His complete disinterest in talking to or listening to his patient was rude and bordered on offensive. It was unreal
Dr. Vaccaro is absolutely amazing. I broke my back in a terrible car accident when I 16 years old. Dr. Vaccaro was attentive, polite, and made my entire family feel comfortable about the impending critical surgery. During each of my follow-up visits, Dr. Vaccaro took the time to answer the numerous questions that I asked. I followed all of his advice, which allowed me to compete in ice hockey at a D1 level in college. It has been 12 years since the surgery and my back is better than ever. Without his expertize, my athletic career may have been bleak.
I was very pleased with the results of my spinal surgery done by Dr. Vaccaro! He is an extremely knowledgeable and gifted surgeon and one of the best surgeons I have ever known! Thanks to Dr. Vaccaro, I am now able to walk without a walker or cane!
Dr. Vaccaro gave my 16 year old son his life back. My son Broke his neck playing basketball. In Maine the Doctor told us that they would have to fuse all 7 cevvical vertebrae togeather, he would never drive again or play sports again, but he would have quality of life. For a 16 yr old tri athlete this was no life. We choose to take my son out of state to see Dr. Vaccaro, who just did a level one fuse and just three months lataer my sons is almost back to 100%. He is driving and getting ready to start Basketball with his team. Dr. Vaccaro gave my son back his life. He is our HERO !!!!!Sandy SirabellaMaine
My wife, following her 1st surgery for severe scoliosis, had an unexpected relapse with the bottom of her spine slowly collapsing and crushing her sciatic nerve in the process. We received a recommendation and great support from our 1st surgeon to consider Dr. Alex Vaccaro and his orthopedic spine team at Jefferson for a 2nd surgery (as the Jefferson University Hospital and facilities is very well known for it's capability to handle the kind of complicated spine surgery my wife required). Further, Dr. Vacarro is considered to be one of the finest and most experienced spine surgeons in the US. The surgical and post surgical skill and care that Dr. Vaccaro and his wonderful team provided my wife was absolutely excellent. I would also like to point out that Dr. Vaccaro's operating partner and key team member, Dr. Ashwini Sharan (a senior neuro-surgeon at Jefferson), also played a very key role in my wife's successful spine operation. My wife is now, after almost 6 months since her operation, doing better than she had been for the last 3 to 4 years, and she is still getting better day-by-day. We both are forever greatful to Dr. Vaccaro (and Dr. Sharan, the rest of the spine team and the great folks in Jefferson's Neuro ICU) for providing my wife with such wonderful care and support, and for helping to give both of us a 'new lease on life', if you will.
I had a bad accident with a couple surgeries and then was told my spine was too shattered and was going to get worse, I saw dr. vaccaro and dr ponnapan in Atl city, nj and both doctors were right on with the diagnosis, Dr. vaccaro was excellent and his physician assistant Natalie, he is the only spine surgeon I will ever trust. I talk about him frequently and tell everyone he is my hero,because of him I am not in a wheelchair. I thank him and god everyday.
Dr. Vacarro did a wonderful job correcting my scoliosis but the broken neck afterwards was a nightmare. 3 years later, I'm still dealing with severe muscle atrophy. I felt he gave up on me. I ended up going to HUP with Dr. Marcotte who has a better bedside manner and is interested in my quality of life. I had 2 neck surgeries with Dr. Vacarro which correct the break but I had severe head drop syndromw. The last 2 surgeries with Dr. Marcotte did the trick. I was in a cervical halo and am finally seeing improvement with intense PT.
Dr. Vaccaro is amazing . He performed a very long and involved spinal surgery and fusion on me 3 years ago . Had he not operated , I would be in a wheel chair for the remainder of my life . I am 65 years old and can now ambulate by myself without a cane or assistance . He is by far the best physician I have ever met .
Dr Vaccaro convinced me to do the "right surgery"not the easier and half measure that I was opting for and now 3 months after the surgery,I am ready to get back on my bike.Three months earlier I could barely get out of bed and was in constant pain.I listened and and followed his protocol and his was right on.I am glad I went to see Dr Vaccaro for a second opinion,I trusted him and he didn't let me down.
I have put off my surgery for many years, but Dr Vaccaro is the best at what he does. If you looking for someone that cares and takes his time along with his staff you need to take the time to meet with him. He knows what he is doing and I am so very happy with my surgery and that I had it done.
everyone at Rothman and Jefferson were outstanding
Dr Vacarro is very courteous and quick to make a diagnosis. He will not suggest surgery unless it is absolutely necessary.HE is very adept and intelligent.
I would rate it as OK. They are very nice and know what they are doing. My complaint is they nickel and dime you to death and additional $3 here and $2 there that the insurance doesn't seem to pick up. None of my other Doctors ever send me a bill for stuff like that. They charged my husband to read lab results of a lab test he never went and took!