One day when Alan Grieco was in his fifties, without warning, a pain on the side of his face started. It was stabbing, sudden and sharp as lightning.
Grieco sought relief and received the diagnosis trigeminal neuralgia, one of the worst facial pain syndromes known.
Hoping to avoid surgery, Grieco met with doctors, he took medication, and he underwent two Gamma Knife procedures. The Gamma Knife procedures were each successful… for a couple of years. But eventually the sudden flashes of pain returned.
In the fall of 2014, Grieco recalls, “I had a terrible attack that continued for days. I could no longer live with the excruciating and debilitating pain that was affecting me physically and emotionally. I was terrified of when the lightning strikes would occur again.”
Grieco was ready for any treatment that could alleviate his pain and distress–even the surgery he had originally wanted to avoid. Grieco called the office of neurosurgeon Dr. Anthony L. D’Ambrosio and received an emergency appointment within 48 hours. In a thank-you letter to the doctor, Grieco recalls what happened next:
“Dr. D’Ambrosio reexamined my prior test results and confirmed the best course of action for durable relief to be Microvascular Decompression surgery. He clearly explained the procedure to my wife and I while showing genuine compassion for my situation. He was reassuring that the procedure had a high degree of success in patients with classic signs of the condition [trigeminal neuralgia].
He also recognized my level of distress and desperation in needing to have the procedure performed as quickly as possible. The staff at Columbia Neurosurgeons of NJ were very understanding and helpful in making prompt arrangements. This was extremely important to me because at this point, every minute of every day was a painful and anxiety-filled moment.”
On the morning of his surgery, Grieco continues, “Dr. D’Ambrosio introduced me to his team of assisting physicians who each explained their role. They too sensed my nervousness and anxiety and made efforts to comfort and reassure me.”
Grieco’s surgery was a great success. He was released from the hospital within three days, and his post-operative discomfort was gone in three to four weeks. Since the surgery, Grieco says, Dr. D’Ambrosio’s office has been in weekly contact with him to monitor his progress. He has been pain-free, and he couldn’t be happier.
“From our first visit with Dr. D’Ambrosio my wife and I felt very comfortable with him,” says Grieco. “His knowledge and friendly warm demeanor enabled us to immediately have confidence in him as a highly skilled neurosurgeon. This same level of professionalism and patient concern is reflected in his staff of nurses and office administrators, who were most accommodating and helpful.
Without question, this is the most positive experience I’ve ever had with any doctor, office staff and hospital. I am extremely appreciative of all they have done for me,” says Grieco. “I offer my highest recommendation of Dr. Anthony D’Ambrosio and Columbia Neurosurgeons of NJ.”
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