Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dr. Andrew Goldstein

I have made an appointment (or should I say, my husband made an appointment because I'm too emotional to get through those kind of things without breaking down) to see Dr. Goldstein in April. He owns the Center for Vulvovaginal Disorders and has offices in D.C., New York, and Annapolis. Has anyone gone to this doctor or heard anything about him?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have...I know for a fact that he doesn't take any insurance. I met a woman on yelp.com who had a terrible experience with him...He diagnosed her with vulvodynia and ignored the fact that she had a bad fall before the pain started. It turns out that she had a labral tear, had surgery and is now recovering. And others who went to him seems to get surgery. I have been reluctant to see him myself because I think it's terrible that he doesn't take insurance and that he seems like a know-it-all doctor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment. I know that there are other doctors in his practice. Do you know if everyone is like that, or just Dr. Goldstein?

Ali said...

Hi,

He doesn't take insurance. I went to him several times and the experience was beyond awful. I really wouldn't recommend him.

the girl with pain "down there" said...

Thanks for your comment Ali. Have you since gone to any other doctors that were better? Any recommendations?

Brie said...

I know I replied to your comment on my blog, but I'm gonna say it again. He's super arrogant which in a doctor can be a good and bad thing. He knows what he want's to do and doesn't really want to discuss anything else. This was particularly frustrating for me because I had been seeing another Dr. in San Francisco for 3 years prior or seeing him and he completely negated everything that this other doctor had been telling me. How do you forget everything your doctor has told you to then be told that your only option is surgery.

I think the reason that people have a hard time with him is his personality. He's nice but def cocky no pun intended

the girl with pain "down there" said...

Thanks Brie. I'm getting pretty nervous about seeing him because I've read so many negative things about him. I get so discouraged so easily and the last thing I want is an arrogant doctor who won't listen to me. I'm in the process now of trying to make an appointment with Susan Kellogg-Spadt, so if that works out I'll probably cancel my Goldstein appointment.

Anyone out there have any info on Kellogg-Spadt? She's much harder to research.

Kathy D. said...

I hope you did go to see Dr. Goldstein. His personality might be too much for some people, but he definitely knows what he's doing. I've had lichen schlerosus for years now and never even knew the damage it was doing. All the while I went to by OB/GYN every year and she NEVER told me I had a progressive disease that could really affect my life. Please don't listen to all the negative comments. If you need help, go to Dr. Goldstein.

the girl with pain "down there" said...

Yes I saw Dr. Goldstein in April. I wrote a detailed post about my experience called The Big Appointment if you want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Kathy D - I too have been going to Dr. Goldstein for about 4 years for lichen sclerosis. Can I ask what your treatment plan is? He spoke to me about surgery last year but frankly was nervous.
Thanks.
JF

Bored HouseWife said...

Hello
I saw Dr Goldstein two years ago and he totally transformed my life. I had VVS and I couldnt handle sex at all and small things like certain underwear would bother me. My relationship with my husband was very taxing.
He is very expensive but he is worth every single penny. And his personality is more like he has a big ego cause he is good and he knows it. But I still found him nice. He did my surgery and I am 98% cured. Sometimes a new drug will give me a flare up but it passes right away. I agree you should see him. As I found he was a great guy, a wonderful doctor and he definitely helped me.
Ariel

the girl with pain "down there" said...

I have written many more posts about my experiences with Dr. Goldstein. Just look undert the "labels" section and click on Dr. Andrew Goldstein.

Rachel said...

Is it difficult to make an appointment? I left a message yesterday evening, and praying I hear something by the end of next week. I'm desperate; I've had my symptoms since (at least) the age of 12. I'm 30 now.

the girl with pain "down there" said...

If I remember correctly, they called back in a couple days and had available appointments within a couple weeks of our original call. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been dealing with this since you were 12. I hope Dr. G can help.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the feedback. I have just now actually started to talk with others about my issues. (My mom didn't even know until a month ago.) On one hand it's better to talk, but on the other hand when I do talk or do further research, I easily become frustrated. Ironically I recently saw another doctor (courtesy of the NVA.org physicians list) and she seems to think she can help. Out of five other gynos she's the only who listened, and upon examination diagnosed me with low estrogen, which is exacerbating my VVS symptons. Unfortunately my new doctor prescribed me Premarin (without having received my lab results first). I had severe mood swings and my pharmacist instructed me to quit taking it. Upon initial use of the Premarin, for one week I DID feel better.

I will admit my symptoms have festered due to my own stupidity. In 2004 I located a doctor, who upon his thorough examination located a very small piece of tissue causing the pain and inflmamation, stated surgery as my best option (as soon as the estrogen cream healed the surrounding tissues). When the doctor mentioned surgery was a "50/50 gamble," needless to say I freaked. Although in all my readings of late, I honestly believe surgery may be my only option. Other than the estrogen cream and PT, I've tried nerve blockers, anti-depressents, calcium citrate, etc. Nothing has helped.

I'm hoping my doctor will call me tomorrow with my hormone test results.

May I ask you: Have you acquired any side effects from the Estradiol?

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Kathryn says:

I saw Dr. Goldstein in DC after years have having no good explanantions for trouble with painful sex, painful annual exams etc. I tried behavioral therapy and was basically encouraged to drink more wine, relax before itimacy and i would "get over it."

I was referred to Dr. Goldstein by a friend's gynecologist. The referring physican was upfront that I wouldn't like his personality-he's pompous--but that he is a true national expert and does spend considerable time with you. My intial exam started bad--He asked a number of absurd questions related to my condition--why haven't you had more sex, why on earth aren't you married..but his bizarre demenaor changed in the examing room. He spent an hour and a 1/2 examining me and then explaining what he saw, and was very patient to explain every test he ran in the exam room. I stopped being tense in that room once I realized he wouldn't be surprising me with painful insertions.

He recommended a full vetibulectomy. I ended up doing it, despite extreme concerns about costs. He doesn't take insurance. My first appointment cost $1500 and I got $240 back from my insurance. The surgery cost 10,000 and I'm still waiting to see what reimbursement I can get out of that. Good news is if you have insurance and you use a hopsital that takes your insurance at least a portion of the hospital care will be covered (this is minor in comparison to surgeon's fee.)

I'm two weeks post op and really sore still, more so than other women who have posted but I feel hopeful. During my first meeting with Dr. Goldstein he told me women have to take 3-4 weeks off work to recover from the surgery. And I was stunned and said "how could anyone possibly do that?" And he very kindly reminded me that I've been dealing with this for over 10 years, and it's affected relationships and caused emotional pain and stress. And that in the grand scheme of life, wasn't that much time off from work worth it? And when I thought about it, I truly agreed--and wished I had been diagnosed a long time ago.

Rachel said...

Dr. G. performed my surgery Jan
13th - I'm 4 weeks post-op. I know I've come a lomg way, but I still have my moments of doubt. Just trying to maintain a postive outlook in the meantime. Unfortunately I am a very impatient person and tell myself this isn't going to be an overnight success; it takes time to heal. I've read some women recover within four months, others eight, some a year, some two years. Keep your chin up.

Anonymous said...

Please see my comments regarding Dr Goldstein under "it should be easier"

Anonymous said...

My dog is treated with more respect by my vet than Dr. Andrew Goldstein treated me!

the girl with pain "down there" said...

There are very different accounts of how women are treated by Dr. Goldstein. I don't doubt that people have had different experiences with him. I have not had a negative experience with him so I write from that perspective in many other posts.

Anonymous said...

If your husband is in the room with you I'm sure your experience is good. Unfortunately mine wasn't and I had no clue what I was in for. Make sure you have your husband in the room for every visit.

Katherine Tynberg said...

I have been seeing Dr. Goldstein for about 10 years. He is treating a rare vaginal condition and is one of perhaps 30 doctors in the country that can treat it. I was referred to him by a leading gynecologist in D.C. Dr. Goldstein is one of the finest and most ethical and kindest doctor that I have ever met. He is not someone to see for simple gynecology. He is a specialist, to be seen for major problems. I have never seen any arrogance from him, only concern. he works very hard traveling to three offices each week (DC, NYC, and Annapolis). You will find that A lot of doctors no longer take insurance. That is something that you can apply for yourself. It is hard to believe that the reviews I saw here are about the same man. If you have a serious vaginal problem, THIS IS THE DOCTOR TO SEE. Call me if you want to here more -- 703-341-6067. I simply cannot stand by and see this find doctor slandered. --K

Anonymous said...

After reading all of these posts, I strongly recommend finding a sex therapist. I was about ready to get surgery when I sent to the sex therapist and after a year was cured of almost all of the problems with no medication. The key is to find a good one though. I had several conditions: involuntary contraction making intercourse difficult, urinary infections after every intercourse and lichen sclerosus. The only remaining problem is the lichen. A lot of these issues are related to fear and anxiety about intercourse and can be worked through with simple pelvic relaxation techniques and breathing techniques.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i saw Dr Goldstein in 2010 after spending 6 years going through doctors and being told nothing was wrong. We went to see Dr Goldstein in Washington as a final and last resort and have nothing but good things to tell. He has been the only Dr to understand how everything felt and offered surgery as the only treatment. I did it and had a vestibulectomy and I won't lie it was painful but the results are amazing and I can only say good things about him.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Goldstein was a life-saver! I have been struggling with pelvic pain for 20 years, and he was the first to determine the cause. I found him pleasant, patient, and understanding. He spent almost two hours with me and explained his concerns about my disorder and my treatment options. I am now using medicine and pelvic floor physical therapy back in my hometown, and I would not be seeing the recovery I enjoy today if I had not been lucky enough to visit him. Please go see him! He knows what he is doing and I attribute my health today to him alone.

Anonymous said...

I'd really love to hear more from women who have had a vestibulectomy. How did he determine that was necessary? I'm guessing perhaps from the fact that most of your pain is in one area? That's how mine is. Was also curious if it left a scar or if some kind of plastic surgery was used after to fill in empty space? Not sure that makes sense...

Anonymous said...

I had a vestibulectomy on May 29th in DC with Dr. Goldstein. I am almost 8 weeks post surgery and I am still recovering. I find him to be arrogant, pompous, smug, etc... That doesn't necessarily mean I think you shouldn't see him. I believe he is an expert in his field ( one of the only ones as far as I can tell, at least on the east coast), but I do wonder about his motives. His behavior towards me post-surgery makes me question his motives. I think he is a little more concerned with getting patients to fill data in his latest article than he is with my well being.
He diagnosed me with congenital neuroproliferative vulvodynia last summer. He came to that diagnosis because I had sensitivity in my belly button. Weird right? Anyway studies have shown that sensitivity there and painful sex can mean that you were born with too many nerve endings in the vulva and the only solution is surgery.
I had no problem with the surgery although recovery has been more difficult and longer than I thought. Don't let 3-4 weeks off work fool you ( like I did). Yes at that point you feel like maybe you can put on regular clothes and leave the house, but don't expect to be able to walk normally or sit in a chair. Even sitting on a donut cushion was still painful for me at this point. I still can't sit in a cushioned chair comfortably. Forget a hard chair.
Anyway, I digress from the reason I chose to leave a comment. Pre-surgery I had no real complaints with his office. He rubbed me the wrong way when I saw him for the consult last summer, but I tried not to let that affect my decision because I truly believed that he was the only one that could help me. Once I decided to do the surgery I never talked to him only his staff. Post surgery is another story. Don't expect to hear anything from his office post surgery. He gives you a one page post op instruction sheet and his phone number and sends you on your way. I was really surprised his assistant did not follow up with me after a few days. If you have the surgery you will understand. Pre-surgery she is there to answer any questions at any time of the day and is a wealth of information. Then after surgery, not a peep was heard. About 10 days after surgery I started bleeding unexpectedly ( popped a stitch) and called Dr goldstein. He damn near bit my head off. His behavior was so bad he actually called me right back and apologized. Not that I thought he wasn't just concerned about his reputation. So needless to say I really didn't want to call him again and hoped nothing else went wrong.
I go next week for my post op appt. I'm not sure if everything I've experienced is normal and I'm just hoping things are healing like they should. He puts you on a need to know basis. And it is what HE thinks you need to know so I have felt kind of in the dark. He says you can call him at any time but my experience has been that he is very inconvienced when he has to be bothered to talk to you.
Hope this is helpful to people. Yes the tone of it is probably bitter because I have had a miserable 8 weeks, but everything I have said is true. Hopefully in six months I'll be pain free and that will be because he is a good surgeon, but maybe not necessarily a good doctor.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who got the surgery on May 29th-- could I email you to chat about your experience? I'm getting the surgery in NYC on Aug 22nd.
-Lily

Charles Runels said...

Free treatment for those who qualify for this research project for the treatment of Lichen Sclerosus. Go to this website: www.LichenSclerosusTreatment.com

Anonymous said...

Can we speak asap. Please get back to me privately. I will give you a phone number you can call me on. Lexi

Anonymous said...

Can we speak privately. I will give you a number where you can get in touch with me. Please respond to this. Lexi