Acoustic neuroma experts in Spain
by Paco Santolaya Perrin, a patient, October 10, 2009
The following data is my own search and personal experience which I share for helping purposes, but everybody should decide for his own what and where to do regarding the treatments available and affordable for his personal case and status. I disclaim any responsibility for this info.
Previously, we must consider that not all the doctors have the same presence at internet. Some advertise their clinics more than others, some have more literature edited than others and some due to academic positions appear more than others. Therefore, there must be others who could be as good as these, if not better, but that are difficult to find. In any case, this previous search at internet was later confirmed by visiting doctors and asking them for the names I had found.
1. There seems to be some consensus, even among neurosurgeons, that the absolute number 1, both in the number of patients treated as in the outcomes, is Dr. Emilio García Ibañez. This doctor is located in Barcelona and is private, not included in the public social welfare system Seguridad Social. You will find him included in several private insurances. Dr. García Ibañez is “aggressive” in pushing you to surgery. He prefers to do it as soon as possible. He is expertise in the three approaches (translab, middle fosa, retrosig.). I have not visited him, so I can not provide any information about his manners and mood.
You can contact him in:
CLÍNICA GARCÍA-IBAÑEZ. Instituto de Otología
Or at Teknon Clinic (one the best Spanish medical centres)
Instituto de Otología García-Ibáñez
2. Close to this (or better according to others) is Dr. Francisco Antolí-Candela Cano and his team in Madrid. They are also private not included in the public social welfare, but you can find them in several private insurances too. They are also expertise in the three approaches although they are not particularly famous for middle fosa. The fact that they are not famous does not mean they do not do it. I have visited this doctor and he provided detailed and understandable information, with a very affectionate, polite and human behaviour towards me.
You can contact him in:
INSTITUTO ORL ANTOLI CANDELA
Or members of his team in any of the following:
INSTITUTO ANTOLÍ CANDELA
INSTITUTO ANTOLÍ CANDELA
INSTITUTO ANTOLÍ CANDELA
3. I am not sure whether this should be number 2 or number 3. I have put it in number 3 because, although they are considered number 2 behind García Ibañez in middle fosa approach, they seem to be behind Antolí-Candela in the rest. Dr. Miguel Arístegui is a very famous and expertise ENT neurosurgeon for middle fosa. He can be accessed both private and via social welfare. He does not appear in the covertures of any private insurance, so if you contact him at his private office you must prepare cash.
For the private way, you can contact him at his office at:
ARISTEGUI GRUPO ORL
CLINICA SANTA ELENA
To access him via social welfare:
HOSPITAL GENERAL UNIVERSITARIO GREGORIO MARAÑÓN
This hospital is declared as Centre of Excellence for AN treatment in the Spanish social welfare. Dr. Miguel Arístegui is the head of the ENT Section at this hospital but Dr. Scola Yurita is his chief as he is head of Area (this is an administration term which I can not translate). Via social welfare it is difficult (although you have legal right) to choose doctor. When I asked for a date with Dr. Miguel Arístegui I was actually attended by Dr. Scola Yurita. This man was in a hurry, very little polite and tough, even rude. He could hardly hide his anger when I told him that I have previously visited other doctors. But social welfare is free, no cost at all, which some may need to consider. On the contrary, Dr. Miguel Arístegui is reported in forums to be very polite and affectionate. Dr. Scola Yurita strongly opposed radiation or waiting.
1. The only Spanish centre included in the IRSA list of Centres of Excellence is:
RUBER HOSPITAL INTERNACIONAL
This is a private hospital, although included in many insurances. Like Teknon mentioned before, this is one of the best hospitals in Spain. The head of the Gamma Knife radiosurgery section is Dr. Roberto Martinez. He will dedicate to you all the time you require, being terribly polite and affectionate. But the same he will do to the rest of his patients. I warn you to be prepared for a really long time in the waiting room. Time and schedule don´t seem to exist in his dictionary, but this man really convinces you. Cyberknife is also available here. In its web site you can access outcome results and statistics.
2. Although not mentioned in the IRSA site, there is another private institution where you can have access to radiosurgery in Spain. I find this difficult to translate or explain. This is not really a clinic, but an institution that has many “in-office” places rented in several hospitals and clinics, where in collaboration with the hospitals where they are located, they offer their services. So, you should check their website to see which is the closest to you depending on where you live in Spain. The outcomes they publish in their web site invite to consider them as an option.
Their main offices are in Madrid:
INSTITUTO MADRILEÑO DE ONCOLOGIA (IMO)
WATCH AND WAIT
1. If you have investigated and have some knowledge of what to expect and when to take action, you can probably do this with many ENTs. But Dr. Alejandro Harguindey is a renowned doctor in the investigation of ANs growth. He is probably the best one in Spain with lots of studies published. He is a member of Antolí-Candela’s team whose contact info I have mentioned before.
Of course, this depends on many factors and everybody has their own. In my case, my AN diagnosed back in April (though symptoms started appearing six months before) is very small (11mm in its longest) so I decided to search and read before taking a decision. In this Wait and Watch period I am visiting Dr. Alejandro Harguindey. When I went to see him the first time, I spoke with Dr. Antolí-Candela too. They where very affectionate and explained every option to me carefully. They were the only who explained that in my case the three options where valid (surgery, radiosurgery and watching & waiting), although they do not do radiosurgery. The other doctors I have visited all recommend what they are expertise in. Therefore, I found Antolí-Candela and Harguindey very honest.
When the time for action comes (which not only depends on growth, but on the effect that play on me several studies against waiting) I will go for Gamma Knife radiosurgery with Dr. Martinez at Hospital Ruber Internacional.
In the case this does not work and I have no other choice but surgery, I will decide between Dr. Arístegui and Dr. Antolí-Candela if middle fosa can still be possible. Otherwise, Antolí-Candela is my choice. But this I because I live in Madrid. Dr. García Ibañez in Barcelona is still number one in the “internet forum charts”.
Now, if I had no choice for monetary reasons, then Dr. Arístegui would be my choice no doubt and no matter where I lived in Spain.
Obviously, there are sure many other places and doctors which I haven´t even found before making my choice. But I believe these I mention here are the best ones for several reasons:
I hope you find this information useful.
Paco Santolaya Perrin (fsperrin at hotmail.com)
October 10, 2009