About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
I am an otherwise very healthy and active woman who was shocked with a sudden medical condition in 2010 and decided to write about my experiences in hopes that it will help at least one person possibly be diagnosed and treated without having to go through the medical maze I went through! If you are an ADULT with chronic ear infections and can't get any answers, ask your ENT to rule out a CSF leak!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Facebook Support Group

If you have or think you have a CSF leak and would like to join our PRIVATE Facebook support group, send me a friend request on Facebook ALONG WITH a Private Message and tell me why you'd like to join the group and I will temporarily add you as a friend so that I can add you to the group!!  My Facebook profile name is Tracy Moss Stolarski.  

It is absolutely THE BEST group on Facebook.  Lots of resources, research, knowledge and experience among the 1200+ members!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dr. Robinson is baaaaaccccckkkkk!

I am overjoyed to announce that my neurosurgeon, Dr. Robinson, has resumed his surgical practice in Atlanta and is taking new patients!

You can find him here:  Brain Expert, Dr. Jim Robinson

You can also contact him at the following:

2001 Peachtree Road
Suite 670
Atlanta, GA 30309
Office: 404.254.3160
Email: info@brainexpert.com

James Robinson, M.D.

James (Jim) Robinson, M.D. is a board certified and nationally recognized neurosurgeon providing the most leading edge neurosurgery. The hallmark of his expertise includes Cranial Microsurgery, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and Endoscopic Cranial Surgery. Dr. Robinson’s outcomes dramatically exceed the national average. His complexity adjusted case mortality has ranged from 27-29% of predicted on the basis of par data on a national level, with significantly better than average length of stay and readmission rates, reflecting a smooth post-operative course for his patients.
Dr. Robinson earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. At the renowned Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University he completed a surgical internship, neurosurgical residency, and research fellowship in Epilepsy Surgery. Most recently, Dr. Robinson earned an Executive MBA, finishing first in class, from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Dr. Robinson has also participated as a Principle Investigator on several successful clinical trial initiatives.
As Founder and President of Atlanta Brain and Spine Care, Dr. Robinson became a recognized leader in minimal access spinal surgery and cranial microsurgery serving the Atlanta market and southeastern region for a decade before. He also held the position of Medical Director of the Piedmont Gamma Knife Center where he was recognized for high quality of care and served as Chief of Neurosurgery and Chairman of the Neurosciences Department at Piedmont Hospital. 

Dr. Robinson returned to Atlanta to open his clinical practice, Brain Expert, after a sabbatical that afforded him the opportunity to serve the poor in developing countries and to do research and development work to advance his field.

Dr. Robinson is a member of many prestigious organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), The Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, Georgia Neurological Society (GNS), AANS Section on Tumors, Society for Neuro-Oncology, and is a Fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
In addition to authoring and publishing multiple textbook chapters and journal articles, Dr. Robinson, has, on numerous occasions, presented his research findings at professional meetings on topics that include tumors, head injuries, and minimally invasive spinal surgery. He has also taught other surgeons advanced surgical techniques at meetings of the American Association of Neurological Surgery, The Congress of Neurological Surgery, and the Joint Spine section of the AANS and CNS.
Dr. Robinson remains actively involved in organizations such as Honduras Outreach, Inc. (HOI), Medication Radiation Centers, LLC, a social entrepreneurship project to Latin America, Hospital Bloom in El Salvador and Hospital Cedimat in the Dominican Republic. He is also a supervising mentor in Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Cub Scout Den Leader.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Questions for your Surgeon


Answers are in italics from the surgeon I chose.

1. How many of this type of surgery have you done? Lots of craniotomies done every week. Strictly a brain surgeon now. Mostly tumors but two CSF pts right now.
2. Is there more than one way to treat this? (Endoscopic intranasal?) Not for a leak in this position.
3. Will I be asleep or awake for the surgery? General anesth…asleep.
4. How long will the surgery take? 2-4 hours (Mine took 2 1/2 hours.)
5. What is the most common complication? Failure to repair leak, seizures after surgery
6. What is the total anticipated Length Of Stay in hospital? Up to a week.
7. Will I go to ICU after the surgery? How long? YES, At least one night.
8. What is my total recovery time? When can I return to work? 2 weeks minimum (it took me about 3 to go back to work.)
9. What, if any are the long term issues? Consider this a speed bump. You should get back to doing everything you do now. (I can.)
10. Will I need to take an anticonvulsant? YES Keppra For how long? 4-6 weeks.
11. Will I be able to drive? No driving for one month at least.
12. Will you have to shave much of my hair off? Horseshoe incision over right ear, will leave as much hair on top as possible to cover it
13. What is the chance of any recurrence of the problem? Am I at any higher risk for future problems? Minimal. After 2-4 weeks, home free.
14. Will my ear symptoms improve? They should once the fluid drains out or dries up.
15. Will I have permanent hearing loss? Should not. Most seems to be from the fluid. Less risk of hearing loss with neurosurgeon approach vs. Otologist.
16. Will you operate with an Otologist/ENT? NO If not, how do you fix the ear problems? Should resolve them.
17. Should I stop any of my meds or vitamins/supplements? Stop vits and supplements only for one week prior.
18. When can I return to sports and exercise? Low impact after 4 weeks
19. Will you put a tube in the ear after the surgery? Probably yes, Will have Otologist put tube in 8-10 days before surgery to drain and test for CSF. Leave same tube in after surgery. Tube will improve hearing faster.
20. Will you put a lumbar drain in? YES Intracranial drain/pressure monitor? NO Catheter? YES
21. What is the Benign appearing cyst or polyp in the left alveolar recess? Infection? Ask the Otologist
22. What about the fracture of the floor of the middle crania fossa? Will repair in surgery.
23. Physical Therapy anticipated? Maybe, will set up while in hospital. Chewing may be painful/difficult after the surgery. (I DID NOT REQUIRE PT.)

NOTES: I typed up the questions in advance and had my husband go with me to take notes to that I could listen. These are some things he wrote down:

  • Sleeplessness, alcohol and dehydration will give me a higher risk of seizures. A little alcohol ok but no drunkenness. :)
  • Tylenol ok for any pain pre-surgery.
  • Piedmont has all of the surgical navigational instruments. CT before procedure to mark where they will cut. ASK YOUR SURGEON ABOUT THIS...critical for brain surgery!!!
  • He will use split thickness skull graft or titanium mesh to repair skull fracture.
  • Will have to lay FLAT in bed for 2-3 days after surgery. Cannot get up.
  • Can go home the day after they take out the lumbar drain