In Honor of a True Thyroid Specialist: “Dr.Guttler Does Everything Himself.”
A true thyroid specialist should take command of the case. He needs to do the work himself. He needs to do the evaluation,draw his own blood and do a detailed neck ultrasound including neck lymph nodes,do the FNA, be able to evaluate to cells under the microscope, send molecular markers if needed, and most important do alternative treatments in his office. Ethanol and radiofrequency ablation expertise should be in his “tool Kit”.
The patient wrote this about the prior physicians evaluating his case.
“I felt like while each medical professional was competent at his/her piece of the puzzle, nobody was really looking at my case as an overall picture, and I never felt that there was anybody “in charge” of my case. I felt like each person was looking at his/her respective “tree,” but no one was looking holistically at the “forest.”
DR.Guttler’s comments on the Yelp review:
A doctor discovered a nodule on my thyroid about 20 years ago. It was benign, and small. Over time it grew to be large enough to be a significant problem. One could see an obvious bulge in my neck when I swallowed. A famous endocrinologist at New York Hospital/Cornell, in Manhattan, New York, strongly advised me to have the nodule surgically removed. The surgeon to whom this doctor referred me agreed with the recommendation of surgery But I was unwilling to accept the resulting permanent surgical scar on my neck. I moved to Los Angeles, and engaged a thyroid specialist at a large hospital in Los Angeles to evaluate my case anew. I went for another round of blood tests and sonograms and biopsies and evaluations. This doctor, and the surgeon to whom this doctor referred me, both recommended surgery as well. but I still was reluctant to accept a scar. In addition to my reluctance to accept a scar, my experience in New York and my first experience in Los Angeles were very similar and not reassuring. In both experiences an endocrinologist evaluated me; somebody else gave blood tests; somebody else performed a biopsy; someone else performed a sonogram, and I was referred to a surgeon who made a recommendation; and these pieces were summarized in a report which circled back to the endocrinologist. I felt like while each medical professional was competent at his/her piece of the puzzle, nobody was really looking at my case as an overall picture, and I never felt that there was anybody “in charge” of my case. I felt like each person was looking at his/her respective “tree,” but no one was looking holistically at the “forest.” Nonetheless this unanimity of opinion on two coasts in favor of surgery caused me to relent. I scheduled a surgery to have my thyroid nodule (and, likely, most or all of my thyroid) removed. A few days before the scheduled surgery, while I was going through the pre-operation process, I decided that, once again, I refused to have invasive surgery. The other thing I learned is that at big hospital complexes, if there is even the slightest chance of cancer — even if it is as low as around 5% to 10% — the standard protocol is simply to have the organ in question removed. A big hospital system would rather have a scar on your neck then take the chance of you dying from cancer on their watch. With a clean slate I looked for a new approach. I found in Santa Monica , California, Dr. Richard Guttler. He did not appear to be affiliated with a major hospital; he seemed to be more of a “one-man band” of some kind. I met with Dr. Guttler and I realized rapidly that his approach is the approach I was looking for. Dr. Guttler investigates your case, performs the blood tests, performs the sonogram, performs the biopsy, and does all of the evaluation himself. He personally handles every single aspect of your case — from start to finish — entirely by himself. He becomes an expert on your case, taking full responsibility for every element of the evaluation and diagnosis and treatment. In addition, he turns out to be one of the leading experts on thyroid nodules in the entire country. I actually have concluded that he is the leading medical expert on thyroid nodules in the entire country. Not only did I prefer Dr. Guttler’s holistic approach, but he literally used a methodology which was not used on me at New York Hospital/Cornell in Manhattan, one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country. When I had biopsies taken at Cornell the doctor did not use a real-time sonogram image to guide the insertion of the needle. At Cornell, for whatever reason, they are effectively sticking the biopsy needle in what they hope is the right place. Dr. Guttler was the first doctor I encountered who used a real-time sonogram to carefully and deliberately place the needle in exactly the right spot in the thyroid nodule for an accurate biopsy sample. In my case Dr. Guttler agreed with the other doctors and also advised that I could not allow the nodule to keep growing on its present trajectory. Dr. Guttler agreed that something had to be done to reduce the size of the nodule. Dr. Guttler told me about a technique, new in the United States, but in use around the world for many years, called radio frequency ablation. This is a non-invasive procedure which uses harmless radio waves to shrink the nodule. This was the kind of non-scar procedure I had been hoping for for many years! Dr. Guttler performed the procedure, and the nodule shrunk by at least 75%. The procedure was a complete success! The nodule was vanquished, and I had no scar to show for my trouble. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled upon Dr. Guttler. He has literally personally pioneered the use of radio frequency ablation on thyroid nodules in the United States. Dr. Guttler has my highest and unqualified recommendation and respect!