2017- Dr Suh, assisted by Dr Inabnet, performs first BABA “hidden scar” lymph node dissection for thyroid cancer in the US

Year of procedure/evaluation: D

Last year, a couple of months after my birthday, I was diagnosed with papillary cancer on the left side of my thyroid. Finding the right surgeon was very important to my family and me. My parents and I didn't want me to have a visible scar in the center of my neck. They found a video on youtube of a thyroid procedure that was done without scarring. We immediately went to see Dr. Inabnet to have this type of procedure done. However, I was not a candidate for this type of surgery because the cancer was too big. Dr. Inabnet performed a regular thyroidectomy. He was very patient with me and calmed down my worries. The surgery was done in Mount Sinai Hospital. I stayed there for one night and two days. The nurses and doctors were amazing and took very well care of me. I was very worried about my scar, because as a student, I was scared people were going to notice and ask questions. The cut on my neck was very small considering the size of the thyroid gland and is almost invisible now. I was very happy with the work that he did. He truly is a wonderful person and surgeon. The recovery process was very quick and I only had to miss about a week of school. Three months after surgery, I had to get radioactive iodine therapy to kill the remaining microscopic cancer cells. Nine months after surgery, I went for a checkup and a sonogram. There was a positive lymph node found on the upper left side on my neck. I was told I had to get another surgery done. This time, I was a candidate for the BABA procedure. I was very happy that I was a candidate for this because if I wasn't then the scar on my neck would be much longer and more visible. (even though now it barely shows and can easily be covered with makeup) When I spoke to Dr. Hyunsuk Suh, he told me that I would be the very first patient in the United States to undergo this surgery (to take out a few positive lymph nodes through this procedure) I was a little hesitant but he calmed my worries and answered all my questions very thoroughly. He had done this procedure in Korea, however, not in the United States. My mother came into the OR with me (to kiss me before I went under anesthesia) and when she saw the robot she was fascinated, as was I. Dr. Inabnet and Dr. Suh performed the surgery. I was very thankful to Dr. Inabnet for being there every step of the way. The surgery took about four hours. I was in the hospital for two nights and three days. I had no bruising. I had very minimal pain that was treated with pain killers. I had to wear a specific bra with pads all over my chest for about a week. The interns and residents checked up on me everyday and made sure I was doing well. Dr. Suh came to check up on me. He had an hour conversation with my mother and me at the hospital, this really showed his care for me and his humbleness. He truly is a wonderful person and surgeon. The surgery was a success; he removed the positive lymph nodes. I was scared that I would have to have the radioactive iodine treatment again. However, he told me that I don't need to which was a big relief for me. I could not be any happier with Dr. Suh, Dr. Inabnet, and their team for taking the time and attention to detail in making my surgery a success. I am forever grateful to Dr. Suh, Dr. Inabnet and Mt. Sinai hospital for bringing this new procedure from Korea and making it a success.