Thyroid Cancer Stories
But Dr. Friedman solves this medical mystery in just one appointmentRead More
A complicated ENT problem
But Dr. Friedman solves this medical mystery in just one appointment
“Dr. Friedman gave her back her childhood,” said Carolyn, mother of 12-year old Amanda from Illinois. Looking at her now, over 5 feet tall, with long golden brown hair and an easy smile, you’d never know she’d been through so much. You see, Carolyn’s only child had spent the majority of her childhood sick in bed, and in and out of hospitals and medical offices.
Traveling from doctor to doctor, taking test after test and trying one medication after another, it’s no wonder Carolyn gets emotional when talking about her daughter’s long and tedious medical journey. This medical nightmare began shortly after Amanda was born, when she was diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at 5 months. For the next 3 years, Carolyn thought her daughter’s unrelenting sinus, allergy and cold issues would finally disappear once her adenoids were removed at 3 years of age.
Unfortunately, that “simple” surgery left her daughter even weaker and sicker than before. And so this mother and daughter’s daily life continued as before, with Carolyn still researching doctors and therapies, hoping to discover why her little girl was in even worse shape, and feeding Amanda a daily regimen of steroids, antibiotics, and nose sprays. Over the next eight years, little Amanda developed even more health issues, including migraines so debilitating that she ended up in the emergency room 2 to 3 times a week for pain relief.
To make matters worse, doctors claimed Amanda’s pain was in her head. As the years passed, Amanda missed more school days than she attended, and she was noticeably absent from dance recitals, family events, school functions, and summer camp. She basically spent the first 11 years of her life feeling sick. One night, Carolyn was sitting at the kitchen table scouring the Internet and came across a name of a doctor she had never heard of: Dr. Michael Friedman.
“Before we met Dr. Friedman, Amanda and I must have talked to at least 30 doctors. All the ENT doctors we met were surgery-happy. But my husband and I both felt there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing. And we couldn’t forget how sick our daughter became after her adenoid surgery.”
Carolyn knew Dr. Friedman was different from the minute she met him. “I brought Amanda’s full chart, complete with every cat scan and every test result. Dr. Friedman took one look at this huge folder and then looked right at me and said, ‘Moms always know best. I want to hear what you think is going on with Amanda.’
“For the next two hours, he sat there and listened to me review Amanda’s history. When I finished he said, ‘I don’t think anything is wrong with her sinuses. It’s something completely different. An immune deficiency.’ I had never heard any doctor suggest that. He performed a simple blood test that day, got the results a little while later, and then set me up with his immunologist, Dr. Siddiqi, who took one look at the results and told us to stop all her medications and throw out the inhaler. She prescribed a single medication to strengthen her immune system.
“Just 3 months later, Amanda was like a different kid. She had energy. Her dark under-eye circles were gone. And she felt great.” That’s when Carolyn’s eyes begin to well up with tears. “Amanda didn’t miss one day of school last year. And she made National Honor Society.” Then she chuckles to herself as she recalls how, a few weeks ago, for the very first time her daughter Amanda had her first “normal” cold. Her prescription? A big bowl of chicken soup.
If it were my daughter, I would see Dr. Friedman.Read More
One family, two problems solved
Jeff and Lori W. first came to Chicago ENT when they were living in the Chicago suburbs. Their young daughter, Lindsay, then just ten years old, had been diagnosed with a tumor on the inside of her cheek. Lindsay’s pediatrician said the tumor might grow or change, and recommended surgery to have it removed. Jeff and Lori looked into several surgical specialists to perform the surgery, but they all seemed to say the same thing: the mass needed to be excised from the outside, essentially opening up the cheek all the way to the ear to get at the tumor. This would inevitably leave their daughter scarred.
“My wife was vehemently opposed to that idea,” said Jeff. “And I wasn’t really thrilled about it either, but all the famous surgeons were saying that’s the only way it can be done. That is was too risky to go inside, and this is really the only way.”
The family was not satisfied with this answer and kept looking for other options. During their search, another otolaryngologist recommended that they take their daughter to Chicago ENT. “Don’t go anywhere else,” the doctor urged. “If it were my daughter, I would see Dr. Friedman.”
When Jeff and Lori brought Lindsay to Chicago ENT for evaluation, Dr. Friedman quickly assured them that he could indeed perform the surgery from the inside of the mouth and minimize external scarring. “It was very surprising to hear due to what we’d been told by the previous experts.” said Jeff. “Because of the endorsement and referral by the ENT specialist, along with Dr. Friedman’s reputation and confidence in performing the procedure, we placed our faith in his abilities.”
The surgery was a success! It left no visible scarring to Lindsay’s face, and the complex facial nerves that had worried the other surgeons remained intact.
But the story doesn’t end there. While at Lindsay’s first follow-up appointment after the surgery, Jeff noticed some brochures and literature on snoring and sleep apnea. “My first thought was, ‘that’s me – my wife has really been complaining about my snoring,’” said Jeff. “After watching several videos Dr. Friedman recommended, I made an appointment to see Dr. Friedman for myself.”
The two worked together to formulate a treatment plan for Jeff’s mild sleep apnea and severe snoring. First Dr. Friedman used the PILLAR procedure to stiffen the soft palate, thereby reducing snoring. He then corrected Jeff’s deviated septum, which can disrupt normal breathing through the nose. “I felt great,” said Jeff. I was getting restful sleep and so was my wife!”
Not only did Dr. Friedman help Jeff with his snoring and sleep apnea, but also with his chronic sore throat. “When Dr. Friedman told me about radiofrequency ablation to remove my tonsils, I had not heard of it,” Jeff recalls. I only knew of the traditional surgery– the one with significant pain and lengthy recovery.” Dr. Friedman assured me that the ablation was the way to go.
Jeff describes his post-tonsillectomy pain as “nearly nonexistent.” He adds, “I went home and ate pizza that same night. It was amazing!”
Fast-forward thirteen years. Jeff and Lori have since moved from Illinois and are now enjoying their retirement in North Carolina. When Jeff’s snoring began to problem again recently, he knew what he had to do. He made an appointment to see Dr. Friedman. “He’s my guy,” said Jeff. “The trust we have established makes the trip more than worthwhile.”
As for Lindsay, she’s 25 now, has completed her undergraduate degree and is working on her master’s degree in her field of study.
If it wasn’t for Dr. Friedman, I’d still be sick in bed today—coughing and drugged up on different medications. I’m sure of it.Read More
Dr. Friedman cures seven-year cough through an accurate diagnosis
“If it wasn’t for Dr. Friedman, I’d still be sick in bed today—coughing and drugged up on different medications. I’m sure of it.”
That’s how our patient “Mrs. G.” describes what her life would have been like if she hadn’t met Dr. Michael Friedman. After spending more than seven years living with an unrelenting cough, Mrs. G. felt more than just sick, she felt isolated from her friends, her family, and the world. She lived in fear that she’d begin coughing uncontrollably, which made her feel self-conscious and unable to enjoy herself. So she spent most of her days either home alone or seeking new remedies from a variety of different specialists all over Chicago.
Over the years, Mrs. G. tried almost a dozen different medications to get rid of an ongoing cough which she was told was caused by reflux. She even gave away her cat as one doctor convinced her that was all she needed to do. It didn’t work.
“Dr. Friedman was the only doctor who took the time to listen to me and actually run his own acid reflux test. It came back normal. I realized I’d wasted so many years taking strong opiates to cure a condition I never even had.”
Thanks to this single non-invasive test, her whole life changed. “As soon as he looked at my test results, he diagnosed me as having laryngopharyngeal reflux. He put me on a medication that was much safer than the opiates I was taking.
“I stopped coughing almost immediately.
“It felt almost too good to be true. I was no longer embarrassed to go out in public for fear I would break into a coughing fit. I no longer went through a bag of cough drops a day or walked around clutching a water bottle. And I could go to a restaurant with my friends and not be the one everyone’s staring at.
“I got my life back. It’s as simple as that.”
Dr. Friedman treated my mom’s voice box cancer and a whole lot more.Read More
Dr. Friedman treated my mom’s voice box cancer and a whole lot more.
When our patient, “Mrs. L,” was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer (cancer of the voice box), her daughter, Irma, was surprised and scared. She was surprised because her mother had not smoked a day in her life, and she was scared because she had just lost her father to cancer. So Irma was even more determined to do everything she could to find the most qualified doctor and the best treatment for her mom, even if that meant traveling outside of Chicago.
“I went on a quest to find the best doctor and treatment plan. I consulted with the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern, Neutron Therapy, University of Chicago, and Rush. Then I read Dr. Michael Friedman’s biography. I knew I had found my doctor.”
Irma was impressed with Dr. Friedman’s accomplishments and success rate with surgery and treatment plans, and she wasn’t alone. While speaking to a number of other surgeons and cancer specialists across the country, they all concluded that Irma should indeed meet with Dr. Friedman. She agreed. She knew she had to speak to him.
“When I met with him, I immediately knew that he was going to be the doctor to save my mom! He was caring, responsive, and very informative. His disposition and professionalism gave me the confidence that I needed to move forward with the treatment plan he recommended. I later discovered that what he suggested was truly innovative and breakthrough medicine!”
One moment in particular confirmed Irma’s decision to choose Dr. Friedman to treat her mother’s cancer: “I recall asking Dr. Friedman one question and his response to that question would tell me if I would move forward with the surgery. I simply asked him what treatment he would go with if his mother had the same condition my mother had. He looked at me directly into my eyes with so much sincerity and said, ‘Yes!’
“I owe my mother’s life to Dr. Friedman and for that I am eternally grateful.
“Dr. Friedman’s prognosis was very accurate and his treatment plan resulted in a success. My mom was alert and eating the day after surgery—I couldn’t believe it. Her recovery time was a week—just like he said to expect.
“My mom and I recently visited Dr. Friedman and I was amazed to see how my mother’s cancer was completely clear from her throat!
“As a result of Dr. Friedman’s surgery, my mom did not require additional treatment or radiation. I viewed the before-and-after pictures, and I cannot express in words the miracle that Dr. Friedman performed!
“Because of Dr. Friedman, I will have my mom with me for the holidays! She is healthy, strong, and happy!”
People often ask Irma if she would recommend Dr. Friedman. One might anticipate a positive recommendation simply because of her mom’s outcome, but Irma’s recommendation is based on more than just his medical accomplishments.
“I am so grateful to Dr. Friedman because he saved my mom’s life. He is humane and cares about people. He goes the extra mile to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment for your condition.”
He instantly put my mind at ease and described every detail of the surgery he would perform, which was very reassuring. I felt very confident in his abilities.Read More
As an ultrasound sonographer Linda Alvarez is well aware that imaging technology can uncover a variety of hidden maladies. Little did she know that it would be she, herself who would discover an abnormality on her own scan – a nodule on her thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are relatively common and while most do not produce any symptoms whatsoever. However, as time passed, Linda began to see growth in the abnormality and her throat was sensitive to the touch.
“It felt like an Adam’s Apple,” describes Linda. “At first the doctor thought it might be an infection, but since I hadn’t been sick that didn’t make sense to me. I wanted an ultrasound and my doctor finally agreed.”
The scan results indicated possible thyroid cancer, and Linda also had several lymph nodes in her throat that also looked suspicious. Linda was referred to an endocrinologist for a biopsy, which revealed papillary carcinoma, a form of thyroid cancer. She was going to need surgery.
“I was devastated,” recalled Linda. But my colleagues couldn’t say enough good things about Dr. Friedman. They trusted him; my doctor even said she would put her own life in his hands.”
When Linda met Dr. Friedman, her fears were allayed. “He had the most calming, soothing voice,” she said. “He instantly put my mind at ease and described every detail of the surgery he would perform, which was very reassuring. I felt very confident in his abilities.”
During surgery, Dr. Friedman discovered that Linda’s cancer was more extensive than was previously thought. He analyzed and removed her entire thyroid thirteen additional cancerous nodules on her lymph nodes.
“My six-month checkup scans revealed that I was cancer free,” said Linda. “A lot of people don’t understand that there is a mental component to healing, too. Everyone at Chicago ENT was so helpful and compassionate throughout the entire process. I felt like I was being listened to and understood and that helped tremendously in keeping me positive and hopeful.”
Linda says she can’t thank Dr. Friedman enough. “He would keep telling me, ‘you’re okay; you’re cancer free – you’re going to be fine,’” she said. “He would take my hand and let me know that everything was going to be all right. I’m a mom with two girls in college and I need to be there for them. Dr. Friedman made that happen.”
She doesn’t give Dr. Friedman all the credit, however. Linda works in the same medical office center as Chicago ENT, just two floors away.
“I believe that God puts you in different places with different people where you need to be,’ she said. “If I hadn’t switched jobs a year ago, I wouldn’t have met these colleagues who all spoke so highly of Dr. Friedman. It’s truly a blessing.”
In life you can’t gamble with your health.Read More
Vocal cord tumor
For as long as he can remember, Ivan had suffered from overgrown cheekbones, which prevented him from opening his mouth very wide. It became more of a problem when he started to lose his voice. Ivan was diagnosed him with a vocal cord tumor, but due to his malformed cheekbones, he was going to have to have facial surgery so the surgeon could access and biopsy the mass.
After a lengthy but successful surgical procedure, he was able to open his mouth wide enough for a sample to be removed. Ivan was bandaged up and told the tumor was benign. He saw many physicians who offered no other advice, but his voice did not improve.
But something didn’t sit well with Ivan. He came to see Dr. Friedman for a second opinion.
“After looking at the tumor through a scope, Dr. Friedman told me he did not believe it to be benign and because of the way my throat was shaped, he had to go in from the outside. I trusted him and after another surgery. Dr. Friedman was able to take out a large part of the tumor,” said Ivan.
With an adequate sample, further testing was performed on the biopsy. Unfortunately, the testing came back that it was cancerous and had spread.
Ivan underwent further surgery with Dr. Friedman to remove the cancer. He then referred Ivan to an oncologist and a radiation center, where he underwent 30 sessions of radiation to his neck.
Two years following his treatment with Dr. Friedman, the tumor has not returned.
“I am thankful to Dr. Friedman for saving my life and my voice. I was twice told the tumor was benign by other doctors and if I did not find him and get his expertise, I may not have been here to tell this story,” said Ivan.
“In life you can’t gamble with your health. If you have an ailment and need to see a specialist then see the best doctor you can, and to me I am positive that Dr. Friedman is the best in the Chicagoland area for ENT, possibly in the nation.”
His snoring was so severe and his breathing so difficult, he thought CPAP was the only answer.Read More
His snoring was so severe and his breathing so difficult, he thought CPAP was the only answer.
When our patient, “Mr. G.,” describes how he feels post-surgery, he can’t believe it himself. For more than a decade, he suffered from sleep apnea that was so severe, he couldn’t sleep lying down on his bed unless he was surrounded and elevated by a pile of pillows. Unfortunately, his breathing problems didn’t end there. He was usually tired during the day from waking up so much during the night, and he couldn’t eat without gasping for breath.
Mr. G. told us that his sleep apnea had affected his whole life.
“Over the years, I tried to so many doctors and they just told me the same thing: CPAP. I tried it and it wasn’t comfortable for me so I never really used it. I thought I had no choice but to live like this forever.”
Fortunately, a friend convinced him to see Dr. Michael Friedman. “I looked him up on the Internet and was really impressed with what I read. His credentials were amazing; everyone agreed he was the go-to guy for snoring. Nurses, patients, even other doctors all agree that Dr. Friedman is the best.
“My wife and I had tons of questions. He answered each one—didn’t rush us one bit. He has a quiet confidence about him. It put me right at ease.”
After Mr. G. met with Dr. Friedman, the entire team at Chicago ENT got right to work that same afternoon. With all the diagnostic testing performed on site, Mr. G. went from specialist to specialist, taking the necessary tests and meeting with a number of doctors in the practice. “The office was packed, but you’d never know it from the way they treated me. I felt like I was the only patient there.”
And then he scheduled his surgery. “I thought I’d be scared going into surgery, but Dr. Friedman and his whole team gave me such confidence about the procedure I was actually looking forward to it.
“The very next morning after my surgery, they removed my bandage and my breathing was completely normal. I couldn’t believe it.”
Just a few weeks after surgery, Mr. G. still marvels at how different he feels. “I’m sleeping less now, but so much sounder. I wake up feeling like I should—rested and ready to go. My wife actually made sure I was breathing the first night I was home because I was so quiet. She’d never heard me sleep so quietly.”