Shmee's Pituitary Gland Removal Surgery

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by Amanda & Shmee, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    I have been meaning to put an update in this group.
    My Shmee has acromegaly and we will be traveling to the Animal Medical Center in NYC August 27th to have the pituitary gland removal surgery. I found out that AMC has donor funds that will be covering the surgery (normally $16,000 - $20,000), so as scared as I am, I could not pass it up. We will be driving through the night Sunday the 26th from Cleveland. I am active in the Lantus forum, and this is my latest thread. If you are interested you can go back and read my last few threads where I talk about it more. After I talked to Dr. McCue at AMC for about an hour over the phone, I asked him questions via email as well. I am attaching those in case anyone is interested. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Those are some amazing donors. What a great cause for them to provide contributions to.
     
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  3. Ana & Frosty

    Ana & Frosty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Frosty and I are rooting for Shmee! :bighug:
     
  4. LuvinThisPig

    LuvinThisPig Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Amanda,

    Get all the insider info you can! I can't wait to hear all about this! What a fabulous opportunity! We are all rooting for Schmee and you!
     
  5. Ana & Frosty

    Ana & Frosty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    So I have a dumb question about this - is Dr. McCue the one that is going to be doing the surgery?

    The reason I’m confused is that in human medicine world, neurologists treat neurological conditions with medication, and neurosurgeons do the surgery. It took me a little bit to realize that veterinary medicine is not that specialized yet :smuggrin: although they have come a really long way with so many different specialists available.

    Before I got Frosty, I never imagined that animals could pretty much undergo a lot of the same tests and medical procedures as human (such as SRT). SRT, which I believe we call “cyber knife” in humans? is considered a relatively new, more advanced type of radiation even for humans!

    Very cool. Still a little sad I didn’t become a vet like I always wanted to when I was little. :cat: :bookworm:
     
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  6. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    When Leo and I went to CSU for the SRT, they assigned different people to us. One was Sarah - a fourth year vet student. I correspond with her once a year. Now she is a vet. Leo was her first patient - how cool is that?:bighug:
     
  7. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Definitely watching this thread for updates.

    Cyberknife is also available for kitties. Yonkers was the first place to offer it. It's even more expensive that SRT! :eek:
     
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  8. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    All the best to you Amanda and Schmee. Titan is scheduled for the same surgery two days later in England. Thanks for sharing your correspondence; Dr Mc Cue sounds like a nice person, and the information is very interesting. Until this morning I thought they would just be taking a tiny tumour off the pituitary gland but it seems they take out the whole thing. We have been told we have to give eye-drops which is a bit of a worry....an injection would be much easier! Our email from the VET is here.
     
  9. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Thank you so much John and Irene for posting the RVC UK email. Please, Please followup with us to let us know how the operation goes. It will help future potential patients who come here.

    I'm summarizing the RVC email here for future reference since google docs tend to disappear.

    from RVC Feline Diabetes and Acromegalic Cat Clinic
    • Hypophysectomy will be done thru incision in roof of the cat's mouth
    • RVC hypophysectomy clinic running since 2012
    • 80 operations to date
    • 93% survival rate = 7% mortality rate (5 or 6 of the operated-cats died)
    • 65% of patients have full diabetes cure
    • typical 7 day hospital stay after operation
    • £ 6,000 pounds (cost) for typical surgery and hospitalization (very reasonable)
    • Post-op meds include oral steroid, thyroid hormones, vasopressin eyedrops, revised insulin dosage
    • Lifelong meds steroids and thyroid hormones
    • vasopressin supplementation can be discontinued in many cats after a few months
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 3:19 PM
  10. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Thanks for posting that email from Ruth Gostelow at RVC. I found her comments on the risks of surgery very interesting. Also the idea that the tumour can reproduce from a tiny piece left behind. Neko's tumour came back after her first SRT- makes me wonder if the beams didn't quite get all of it.
     
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  11. Ana & Frosty

    Ana & Frosty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Yes, dr. McCue told me the same thing about the Cushing’s tumor - tumor cells can be left behind and start secreting excess hormone again. He said recurrence rate at 5 years is 25-35% in dogs and humans. Not sure if RVC has statistics on recurrence in cats.
     
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  12. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    There will be a whole slew of alumnae from NYC soon. My Sophie will be having surgery the last week in September. Nice long conversation with Dr. McCue this evening - he mentioned about the possibility that some tumor cells can hide in the bone, etc. He also elaborated that they use a different approach than Dr. Owen in Washington. Dr. Owen uses a pilot hole technique to pin point where to find the pituitary. NYC uses MRIs and other advanced imaging to figure out where to go and what the size of the tumor is. The advantage is that they have an idea of how big it is as opposed to going in and relying on anatomical landmarks. That is why the cat spends a day sedated on Monday getting all the imaging done, and that gets analyzed before the actual surgery on Tuesday. The surgery takes anywhere from 2.5 to 6 hours, depending on how it goes, the size of the tumor, etc.
     
  13. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
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  14. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    I am so sorry I don't come into this group as often as I should and I do not remember getting any notifications for this thread! I will have to check my notifications better!

    I was under the impression that Dr. McCue performs the surgery, yes.

    Thank you so much for this, what a great resource. I will be saving this and looking it over later after work!
     
  15. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    I have been having an awful time trying to get her regulated, even to bring her consistently into the 200s, without jumps into the 300s. Asked Dr. McCue about this, and he said to just keep on doing what I am doing, that eliminating the excess growth hormone should make a big difference. Her tumor might be in a growth phase, can't really tell until she is there and they do the scans.

    Sophie is also insulin resistant. He didn't really think it was worth my while to go through all the fuss to trying to break that right now. Just keep her healthy and update him on any issues/changes.
     
  16. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Some cats do not regulate easily. Leo is an example. Even 2 years after SRT - barely regulated. With luck, most of Sophie's insulin issues will dissipate with the surgery.
     
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