Surgery - Patient Testimonials

Superb, professional and outstanding care

Dr. (Bradon) Wilhelmi has always treated me with the utmost kindness and respect. He and his assistant have always taken the extra time to answer any of my questions and have always provided superb, professional and outstanding care. I have never had a doctor like Dr. Wilhelmi. From the very first day I met with him for my breast reconstruction, he made me comfortable and never seemed to be rushed to move on to the next patient.

I recommend him any time I can to anyone who is going through reconstruction or looking for a cosmetic procedure. I have had several surgeries, and I totally trust him.

His knowledge and expertise amaze me! He always puts his patients' best interests first and foremost. I could go on and on, but I think you can tell how much I appreciate everything Dr. Wilhelmi has done for me to put my life back together through my journey with breast cancer.

My results are amazing! Anyone looking for a great plastic surgeon should definitely check with Dr. Wilhelmi/University Surgical Associates [now UofL Physicians – Surgery] for exceptional care.”

Trina Amos

Patient Gets “Best of the Best” Treatment Close to Home

When Charlene Morgan felt overly tired, she just assumed it was because she was getting older and had long days on her feet as a high school Library Media Specialist in Southern Indiana. Yet, when she told her internist about her exhaustion, he decided to run some tests.

Charlene’s calcium levels were unusually high, and her internist suspected that she might have a parathyroid tumor. He referred her to University Surgical Associates [now UofL Physicians – Surgery].

There, she saw Dr. Michael Flynn, surgical oncologist with more than three decades of experience in treating hyperparathyroidism.

“He really was so experienced and very nice,” Charlene recalled.

Dr. Flynn reviewed Charlene’s calcium levels and then had her undergo an imaging study called a sestamibi scan to identify the location of the abnormal parathyroid gland. Her scan showed a clear target area. Thus, she was a candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

Charlene had her surgery at University of Louisville’s Outpatient Clinic.

“The facility was wonderful,” she said, “It really was fantastic, and I felt very confident in the care I received there.”

Charlene recovered from her surgery, and within two weeks, she was back in the library at Jeffersonville High School in Jeffersonville, Ind., where she worked before retiring this year.

“I noticed a difference in how I felt immediately,” she recalled. “I did my research, and I really feel like I got the best possible care, and I was able to do it close to home.”

One Mom’s Story: Mother Says Dr. Gadre was the ‘Best Choice’ for Her Son

When Max was a year old, I knew that something was wrong. Although he passed his newborn hearing screening test, I still had worries about his hearing, so I took Max to an ENT at our local hospital in Paoli, Ind. The staff told me that Max had fluid in his ears and it was as if he was hearing under water. Tubes were inserted in Max’s ears, and at the six-week post-op appointment, I told the ENT that I still didn’t notice much of an improvement. He told me that, being a boy and the second child, his sister was doing all the talking for him. 

I had doubts and expressed them to my stepdad, who referred us to a pediatric developmental doctor at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. However, the appointment would not be able to take place until August and it was only early May. I was faxed paperwork to fill out, and one of the questions was if Max was enrolled in First Steps, which is an early intervention program. After I returned the forms, someone was sent to our home to do an evaluation on Max.

After the evaluation, the First Steps staff told me they thought Max had a hearing loss. I had no idea what our family was up against. I took Max to a local audiologist who recommended I have him checked by a pediatric audiologist. I then scheduled an appointment in Indianapolis with a pediatric audiologist who did a sedated ABR; the diagnosis was he had a severe hearing loss. 

I remember listening to the diagnosis and not knowing what the audiologist was talking about; I had many questions. What does all that mean? How much can he hear? I eventually learned that Max didn’t hear much of anything. It was unknown whether he could hear a jet if he was next to it, or if he more likely could feel the jet. Max wore hearing aids for six months, and it was determined that he would never get enough access to speech with his hearing aids. Max was a good candidate for a cochlear implant.

We met with a surgeon at Riley Children’s Hospital a couple times, but after meeting Dr. Arun Gadre at HHI, we knew he was the right choice for Max. Max underwent surgery at 27 months old for his first cochlear implant. 

Dr. Gadre has the most excellent bedside manner. In addition, Max had no bruising or swelling after his surgery, which I heard is pretty common. Max immediately started attending the Parent Infant Program at HH & Language Academy. Max has now been enrolled at HH & Language Academy for three years and since then has received another cochlear implant, making him bilateral. I truly believe that the staff of teachers, therapists, audiologists and Dr. Gadre has given my son a chance to live in a hearing world. 

Through Max’s education at HHLA, his speech is caught up receptively and he is not far behind expressively. There are days I’m just in awe of how my little boy, who could not hear and had no language at 2 years old, now sounds like any other child! There have been many days that I have been worn out with the drive, which is 76 miles one way, but it has been well worth it. Our family has truly been on a journey, but we feel so blessed by Max’s successful journey.


Max’s Mommy, Kim


Cancer Survivor, Daughter Share the Gift of Music, Hope with Others

Breast cancer survivor Brooke Hicks and her daughter Robin often spend their Friday mornings playing music for people in need of healing.

“Arts can help take your mind away from the pain,” Brooke said. “It is wonderful what it can do for those who are ill. We can help to turn a grey day into a happy day.”

Brooke knows this from first-hand experience. Ten years ago, she was sitting in the office of surgical oncologist Dr. Kelly M. McMasters at University Surgical Associates [now UofL Physicians – Surgery] worried about her own health. She had come to see Dr. McMasters after first seeing another surgeon about her breast cancer diagnosis.

“When my surgeon found out I was a musician and would need my arm at full strength to be able to continue playing, he sent me to Dr. McMasters.” Brooke recalled.

The treatment for breast cancer is to remove the tumor in the breast and to evaluate the lymph nodes to determine if the cancer had spread. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, it tells physicians about how aggressive the cancer is and thus determines the treatment plan. In addition, if there is cancer in the lymph nodes, that cancer needs to be treated, as well. 

At the time Brooke was diagnosed with cancer, the standard of care was to remove all the lymph nodes to be able to evaluate them. However, this procedure, called an axillary node dissection, has a lot of potential side effects: 80 percent of patients have some numbness under their arm, 15 percent of people may have some swelling of their arm, and 9 percent of people may have some decreased range of motion of their shoulder. Taking out all of the lymph nodes does not improve survival if none of them have cancer. 

Dr. McMasters was engaged in a study that used a new procedure called Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, which concentrates on locating the sentinel nodes - the first nodes to receive the drainage from breast tumors. For cancer to spread to the rest of the lymph nodes in the armpit, it must pass through the sentinel nodes first. So if there is no cancer detected in the sentinel nodes, it is very unlikely that there is cancer in the remaining lymph nodes and therefore Brooke would not need to have all of the nodes removed, allowing her to continue playing music.