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Beware of the Gonda Vascular Clinic and UCLA Medical Center
Posted on September 24th, 2010
I had a very negative experience with the Gonda Vascular Center and UCLA Medical Center. I have peripheral vascular disease, and the artery in one of my legs was blocked. I went to Dr. Lawrence because of his reputation. He told me he could easily unblock the artery with an angioplasty, so I opted for the procedure. Lawrence also told me that if the artery clogged again, they could repeat the procedure. When I returned for my pre-op visit, he told me he would not be performing the procedure; instead Dr. Brian Derubertis of Gonda would be. He assured me Derubertis was an expert, so I fell for this bait and switch tactic. The procedure was very painful, expensive and ineffective. (See my review of Dr. Derubertis for details on this and the conduct of the UCLA nurses.) One month after the procedure, the pain returned to my leg. I was not permitted to speak with Dr. Derubertis, and was told a follow-up appointment with Dr. Lawrence would be at no charge. Lawrence told me the circulation in my leg was fine. He left the examining room in the middle of my appointment. When he did not return after 30 minutes, I left, even though I had several questions about my condition. I did not believe what he said about my leg, so I saw another vascular surgeon right away, and he told me the artery was totally blocked,which was confirmed by lab tests. That wasn't the only thing Lawrence lied about. The second surgeon told me they could NOT repeat the procedure, because stents had been inserted. I also found out later that Lawrence had lied to my insurance company in order to obtain authorization for the procedure, which should not have been performed. After my insurance company and I paid $30,000 for this painful and ineffective procedure, his office went ahead and billed us $300 for the follow-up visit, contrary to what I had been told. When I protested this bill, they threatened to send my $30 co-payment to a collection agency, damaging my credit rating. I had to file an appeal with my insurance company, which took 6 months to resolve. I don't care what the other reviews say. I advise you to steer clear of Gonda, UCLA and these doctors.
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