Patients’ Experience

Dr. Procaccino kept his promise when he said his surgery would change my life. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was about 11 years old.

My name is Mark and I am writing to tell you that Dr. Procaccino kept his promise when he said the surgery would change my life. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was about eleven years old. Many doctors tried different medications to help me but nothing worked. I wasn’t growing and I was unable to gain weight because I couldn’t eat. I was always tired and not doing very well in school. I had to give up a lot of sports because I was so much smaller than my friends. As a last resort, doctors put me on a feeding tube when I was 14. Every night (for almost a year!) I inserted a tube in my nose and down my throat to get nourishment while I slept. When this method failed to produce results, my mom took me for more tests and it was obvious that I needed surgery.

Last July, Dr. Procaccino performed an “ileo-colic” resection, taking out almost 10 inches of disease. I can only say that meeting Dr. Procaccino was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can eat anything now, even McDonald’s. I have gained 20 pounds and have grown about four inches since the surgery. I made the varsity volleyball team at school and practice every day. Believe it or not, I am going to be on the honor roll this semester. I will never forget how sick I was and I owe my healthy new life to Dr. Procaccino. Thanks!

Dear Dr. Procaccino, No words can ever explain the gratitude I owe you – you saved my life.

A year ago, I was hospitalized and operated on for peritonitis due to diverticulitis. Six months later, three separate operations and a colostomy bag later, my medical status was still unknown. The doctors in my hometown were indecisive about what to do with me. They decided after several consults with other physicians that they would treat my illnesses conservatively. This meant TPN and many, many different and various antibiotics.

I am thankful for my new revitalized health, your caring ways and support, and your commitment to your profession along with your professional staff. I can never begin to thank you enough.

After months of medical indecisions, trial and errors, my family decided it was time to seek a professional; and you were at the top of the list. I can now truly say, and understand that “the cream does rise to the top”. I checked myself out of my hometown hospital, and with confidence and assurance, you said my problems would gradually be solved.

Today, I am a new and grateful woman. The step-by-step process that was communicated to me was played out exactly like we discussed. I am thankful for my new revitalized health, your caring ways and support, and your commitment to your profession along with your professional staff. I can never begin to thank you enough.

Affectionately yours,
P.K.

P.S. I was able to attend my son’s wedding that I never thought I would live to see.

My name is N.M. and I first met Dr. Procaccino five years ago.

In June 99′ I went to a hospital in Queens with a high fever and severe abdominal pains… Following a D & C, I developed cystitis… The doctor decided to operate…I was filled to the chest cavity with peritonitis… caused by a large rectal tumor… causing an abscess that had burst.

I had a makeshift colostomy and an appointment to see a surgeon in one week… for the removal of the tumor.

Many times when I have had the opportunity to thank him for all he has done for me, his response has always been, “I did for you what I would do for any of my patients.”

I had heard of Dr. Procaccino through a friend. I called his office that day for an appointment. When I explained my situation, his receptionist said she would call back after speaking to Dr. Procaccino. Ten minutes later I was talking to Dr. Procaccino. After talking to him for twenty minutes, I had an appointment to see him… After a physical exam, he told me the tumor was so large, he wanted me to have treatments first (chemotherapy). Before I left his office, his receptionist had gotten an appointment for the following Tuesday with the Chief of Oncology at North Shore University Hospital… The tumor was removed Nov 9, 1999 after a six hour surgery. The first voice I heard was Dr. Procaccino telling me I was going to be fine, and he would be able to “reconnect” me.

I am disease free for four years and today in my life, all is well, and I want to leave you with this. By the Grace of God, may all of you only need John Procaccino in your life for a regular colonoscopy procedure, but should it ever be more than that, you will be in the right place with the right person if your doctor is John Procaccino.

At 47 years of age I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis… After a year of trying to treat my ulcerative colitis, I wasn’t getting any better… After many visits to the gastroenterologist, blood tests, a four-day stay in the hospital (not to mention two blood transfusions), kidney stones, and a subsequent operation to remove the kidney stones, my doctor urged me to see a surgeon…

That is when I met Dr. Procaccino. I went to see Dr. Procaccino to discuss the possibility of an operation to have my colon removed…Dr. Procaccino discussed the options available to me. I have to say I felt comfortable with him and his “bedside” manner right from the start…That meeting was in late August of 2002. By the end of September 2002, my quality of life hit rock bottom. I could barely make it to work each day and my visits to the bathroom were getting out of control (somewhere between 15 to 20 times per day)…

Dr. Procaccino and his staff were always available and never made me feel that anything I was going through was inconsequential. Believe me I called them all hours of the day and night when things got difficult and never received anything but the utmost support from them…

My first surgery was in October of 2002 where Dr. Procaccino removed my ulcerated colon and I had an ileostomy for six months. I told my wife I had not felt this good in over two years…I returned to work in one month. Dr. Procaccino and his staff were always available and never made me feel that anything I was going through was inconsequential. Believe me I called them all hours of the day and night when things got difficult and never received anything but the utmost support from them…

Dr. Procaccino explained the second procedure in detail and how he would reconstruct a new rectum for me out of my small intestines… I would still have the ileostomy for another three months… but the end was only 12 weeks away… Again Dr. Procaccino and his staff were with me 100%.

My third and final operation was in April of 2003… no more ileostomy and finally a normal life…

Here I am now writing this a year later and I have to say that Dr. Procaccino saved my life. My quality of life is 200 times better than it was when I first met Dr. Procaccino… The most important thing I learned was that when someone is not feeling well, they should swallow their pride and get to a doctor… I would strongly recommend Dr. Procaccino and his staff to anyone and want to personally thank them for all of their help, care, and concern!

J.P.

Dear John,

It strikes me as possibly hypocritical to write a doctor to express thanks after successful surgery. What if the surgery did not go well? Would I still write this letter? The answer is yes and I would appreciate a moment of your time to explain why.

As you know, my mother nearly lost her life after her last operation in September of 2002. I think we all felt a black cloud was following my family, in light of the emotional pain concerning the loss of my sister, and my mom’s struggle seemed, well, almost like the natural course of events after a mom loses her child. All the pity and fear ended after the first visit to your office.

I really believe the only reason my mom survived last year was because my dad refused to allow anybody to be negative around her when she slept in her coma. Typical to his style, any remote words of optimism from a doctor or nurse were translated into heroic news and mom would wake up soon! My sisters and I followed my dad’s lead although we had some private moments of serious doubt in addition to a little Irish humor at his expense.

I just want to say thank you for becoming a surgeon who fixes people’s colons when things go bad. Who knows why some people become lawyers or firefighters, but I am sure glad you followed your calling. I know one family whose world is a much better place for it. God bless you.

My father called me after they visited your office the first time. He said you were excited at the challenge. You promised nothing but offered so much more… the feeling that the best guy in the business was taking on the job. Let the chips roll where they may, but my dad said he liked his odds.

During the days leading up to the operation, I never once sensed my mother had serious fear about the operation. Not even when we had the anointing of the sick ceremony at the church. She was confident with you and was willing to accept whatever her fate. As you know, she actually had little choice but to accept the surgery as her last option.

Sincerely,

P. J. M