CAROLE SPEIDEL STORY
I was sick with pain and fever.
The mesh repair from my previous hiatal hernia surgery had eroded through my esophagus and stomach causing a huge infecting abscess.
I was referred to Dr. Orringer for help. He sat patiently for an hour trying to ease my fears ...diagramming and sketching the necessary repair using the full length of the paper covering the examining table. The repair would include removal of the mesh, repair of the hernia, removal of the esophagus, removal of the valve, and removal of 1/3 of the stomach...then pulling up the remaining stomach to create a new esophagus connecting in the throat. Wow!
Needless to say, I nearly freaked at what seemed like such a radical maneuver. I was an active 66 year old retired woman...a walker of 4-5 miles daily, a ski instructor during the winter, and a sea kayaker in the summer. I was seriously concerned that my whole life style was in jeopardy.
However, the skill, experience, and compassion of Dr. Orringer and his team became very evident. I immediately trusted him and agreed to his plan of action.
The May 18th procedure was successful just as projected. I recuperated in the hospital for a week, then sent home, my husband being assigned the task of dressing the wound daily. The very first day home we walked around the block... the next day twice. By September I was back in the kayak. November put me back on skis. February allowed me a 3 week trip to New Zealand for our daughter's wedding.
Life is good. I have been truly blessed. I have the warmest feelings of Gratitude and respect for Dr. Orringer and his remarkable team. May they all be blessed with continuing ability to help more people like me.
WAYNE LUCAS STORY
First of all let me apologize for taking so long for thanking you for giving me my life back. It was an awful long year but things are on the rise for the good. I'm riding my bicycle outdoors 6 ½ miles three times a week and doing dumbbell curls three times a week. The motorcycle has helped me mentally and physically. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know.
LARRY SAVAGE STORY
I was diagnosed with Stage IIB esophageal cancer at age 62. Following three weeks of chemotherapy, twice-a-day-radiation therapy, the requisite 3-mile walks a day and regular use of the incentive inspirometer, Dr. Orringer and his team successfully performed an esophagectomy (THE/CEA) in July 2007.
I experienced some typical post-operative conditions, including fatigue, appetite and weight loss, some mild cramping and "dumping," and even some hiccups that stayed with me awhile! But I did so well following surgery that I had additional surgery to remove an unrelated cancerous kidney tumor five months later.
Sure, with a relocated and refunctioned stomach, I eat a bit differently than before. I eat smaller portions and more often - a good thing! -- and milk products and sugars still give me some problems, but these effects are very minor. My wife, Irene, my caregiving partner whom I could not have done without, ensures that I eat an "anti-cancer diet" and exercise, and I do the ongoing oncologic follow-up faithfully. I am a very happy SURVIVOR, living an absolutely full life!
Date of Surgery: July 2007
IN HONOR OF DR. ORRINGER
Marintha "Babe" Crane became Dr. Orringer's patient after her 100th birthday. She has written this poem in his honor:
Grateful and Proud Am I
To Be Dr. Orringer's Patient
His Skill and Kindness I Extol
For He's at the Top of my Totem Pole
Marintha "Babe" Crane
LIFE AFTER AN ESOPHAGECTOMY
As a physician who has spent almost all of his 60 years of practice in academic medicine, I can report that my total esophagectomy was performed in a superb hospital by a brilliant, compassionate, surgeon: Dr. Orringer.
The accompanying photos will attest to the fact that over 2 years post-op one can accomplish any activity that was possible prior to surgery.
-- Samuel D. Hemley, MD