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Richard Quinn - Rotator Cuff Surgery and Executive Medical Exam Testimonial

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Richard Quinn - Rotator Cuff Surgery and Executive Medical Exam Testimonial

I earn my living as a computer network engineer. As the father of 22 kids – 19 adopted, 3 natural – I’m used to dealing with minor medical emergencies. I’m certified in first aid. I’ve worked a number of medical missions including a week in the Haiti earthquake in 2010 which was like the TV show MASH. I consider myself medically experienced and knowledgeable when dealing with emergencies. So when I needed help, I approached the problem with some experience and, like an engineer – define the problem, design a solution, then execute the plan.

In February I fell from a ladder while working on some computer cabling. I’ve been on ladders thousands of times, but on this occasion, I leaned in such a way that the ladder went out from under me. Feet in the air, I fell about 8-9 feet – landing hard – on my left arm and hip. It was one of those “electric shock” landings. I’ve never broken a bone in my life. But at 62 I was pretty sure something was broken this time. My shoulder hurt so badly I did not notice that my hip was seriously bruised for several days.

When I was finally able to sit up, my left arm was out of joint sticking up at an odd angle at the shoulder. My son helped me to the car for a trip to the local emergency room. While getting into the car, I “bumped” my arm and everything “popped” back into place. You can guess the pain! Everything was swelling and changing colors down to my elbow. A few hours later, a painful series of x-rays showed no broken bones to the surprise of the emergency room and myself. I slept in a recliner for two weeks before being able to sleep on only my good side in my bed. Over the next few months, the shoulder did not get much better. I could not use my left arm without pain. An MRI showed torn tendons in the left shoulder. Bottom line, it would not get any better without surgery.

Being self-insured and willing to shop, I went to a local orthopedic surgeon. I got a diagnosis and a price for his part. I tried to “nail down” the cost for the hospital, the costs for the anesthesiologist, and the costs for miscellaneous items like medicines and braces. I called several local hospitals and a number of surgery centers. I followed local leads and referrals. Living in Houston, I figured I would have lots of options (which I did). In the end, the only way to nail down the hospital costs was to actually schedule surgery. They wanted to be sure they would get paid.

The cost would be surgeon $4000, hospital $16,000-$40,000 depending on what they found “once they got in there”; anesthesiologist $1000 per 15 minutes; misc. another $2000 or so. Total costs would be a minimum of $24,000 (orthoscopic) and as high as $45,000 (if they had to open me up). This did not include any stay in the hospital. (As it turns out, the repairs did require open surgery and a titanium device so I would have been liable for the higher amounts.) MedToGo gave a fixed price. My only extra was air fare and hotel while in Mexico.

What was most frustrating – none of the institutions would give a price. The costs all seemed to be a secret. So, in frustration, I went to the Internet, initially to determine a fair market price for the procedure and then to research possible lower costs in other areas of the country. While researching, I came across MedToGo International. I contacted them in the interest of considering all options. My wife and friends did not think having surgery outside the US was a good idea at all.

As an engineer I learned years ago that who is more important than where or how much. If you have the right expert on the problem, you can be entirely confident that the other variables will be in line. A true expert knows managing the details is a big part of the overall outcome, including a reasonable cost. There is no substitute for expertise, especially where skill, experience, and training are concerned.

As I looked through the information Robert Page at MedToGo sent me, I began to realize that my most important criteria – a doctor with solid expertise – could be met. MedToGo recommended Doctor Max Greig – Dr. Max. More than any doctor I researched, his credentials and expertise seemed head and shoulders above anyone else including the doctor I had already seen in Houston. In my experience, having the right doctor on the job is the best way to insure the best outcome – no matter where it is. I’d seen that working in Haiti. Once I concluded that Dr. Max was the man, the decision was easy.

I made plans to go but my work unexpectedly heated up so I had to delay the trip several months. MedToGo was patient and flexible. Once the dates were finally set, I was ready to go. At the last minute my wife decided to go in case I needed help. At the last minute we also decided to take advantage of MedToGo’s full physical for both of us. It was a full and complete physical including a colonoscopy for me. We worked in so many tests and extra’s it’s hard to believe they managed to get it all done in the time we had – and with minimal hassle on our part. The quality was as good as any hospital in the US – better than some. Equipment, cleanliness, everything first class.

My surgery? Well, I could say I think I’m pretty smart for having picked Dr. Max. I could say the hospital and staff were excellent as I expected. I could say “I” made all the right choices and the outcome has been exactly what I expected.

But the truth is I found expert advice from MedToGo. It was their research and expertise I tapped into. They assured me ahead of time and I was not disappointed in any way.

But most important – MedToGo introduced me to one of the finest doctors I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. You might say a good surgeon has good technique, and Dr. Max certainly did. You might say a good doctor has a good bedside manner, and Dr. Max does. You might say a really well known and capable doctor can charge a premium, or works at a prestigious hospital or has the best staff because they’ve earned it and are at the top of their game. You’d be right.

But if I told you I was operated on by a doctor who genuinely cares about people, who is constantly seeking to improve his technique and learn new ones to make people well, who truly takes personal joy in making you whole and feel well again – then you would know something of the real Dr. Max. With the mind of an artist, the training of a surgeon, and motivated by making people well, you see what drives him. His rate is so very reasonable, you know money is not a prime motive. How rare and how special! Were all doctors in love with their work so!

It’s been three months now. I still have the pain meds Dr. Max prescribed to me. I simply have not needed any. The last pain pill I took was as I left the hospital because the staff gave it to me. I’m not macho – I simply have had very little pain since the surgery including the 4 days in the hotel after surgery. Fact is, from the time I left the hospital, the shoulder has felt better than any time since the accident. Regular anti-inflammatories keep selling down and make physical therapy easier. It continues to improve every day. I’m finally back to working on cars which is my hobby.

A side note: When I mentioned to Dr. Max that my wife had hip pain and might need a replacement someday, he sent her for x-rays right then. 10 minutes later, having only charged for the x-ray, he had us together in an exam room and showed us what to look for on the x-ray. He spent as much time as we needed to fully understand everything he was saying – charging nothing for his expert consult. Then he changed my bandages – himself – described the finer points of his surgery (which I enjoyed learning very much), and then showed us how to take care of my shoulder dressings. He then gave us his personal cell number if we have any issues. We said good-by and headed for the airport.

When was the last time you got this kind of treatment – in any country, anywhere? If money were no object and I could go anywhere in the world to have surgery done, I would head right back to Dr. Max because I want the best – not the best I can afford – just the BEST! What a gem when its both!

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I came down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to have rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder with Dr. Max Greig, using MedToGo International as my medical tourism facilitator.

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Jerry Lynch - Rotator Cuff Surgery Testimonial