Birmingham Ear ClinicTestimonials

Dr Ian Pardoe (patient and GP)

"I was in the un-enviable position, not so very long ago, of being handcuffed to a metaphorical railway-line. The train heading towards me was not an Express, but a goods train- trundling towards an inevitable conclusion.

I am a Doctor having worked in clinical medicine for over 20 years- it is fair to say I have had to deal with a number of serious and life-threatening conditions of my patients. It is however, quite different when the patient is yourself. 

Due to a chance finding, of what I thought (likely to be) insignificant physical signs, I found myself having an MRI at the BMI Priory Hospital in Birmingham. It came as a great surprise to me that I was diagnosed with a rare, large, and growing tumour called a 'glomus' tumour- more specifically the rarer 'glomus vagale'. I had heard of this tumour during my medical school studies, but I had never seen a patient with it, or had any idea with regards to its significance.

I then immersed myself in the medical literature to find out more about this unusual condition. I discovered that it was extremely rare, very slow growing tumour, that starts in the tissues in the neck, and continues to grow upwards, and if left un-checked for many years, can eventually enter the skull cavity, and compress the brain, with potentially fatal consequences if not treated.

Due to its size (about that of a lemon) surgery was considered to be the only option. 

From my experience in the medical profession, I know, and continue to advise my patients, that if surgery is required for any condition, it is of utmost importance to select the best possible surgeon for the job. As my condition  was so rare, only a fairly small handful of surgeons (on a global basis)  were sufficiently skilled in treating this sort of 'skull base' tumour.

I made extensive and detailed research of the medical literature and consulted with surgeons in the US, Switzerland, a professor in London and a second professor in Cambridge. I also consulted with Mr Richard Irving at the BMI Priory hospital in Birmingham (UK). I was surprised at the difference, both in attitude, consultation style and suggested surgical method.

I was in the privileged position of also being able to speak to other medical professionals, who had actually seen the surgeons operate, and was able to gain significant reassurance prior to making my choice.

I chose to put my trust in Richard Irving- and it was very well placed. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He is extremely patient, with a kind and sympathetic manner, and he is a superb communicator. His technical knowledge in the field of skull base surgery is of the highest order, and he is one of the global authorities in the surgical treatment of glomus tumours, and other skull base disorders.

I had surgery under Mr Irving a 9 hour procedure, which successfully removed the tumour, that was 90% wrapped around my carotid artery, and had entered into the meninges (the lining of the brain). I was walking within 24 hours of surgery- which would have been unheard of with less modern surgical techniques. During the post-operative period, I received superb attention from Mr Irving and continue to be under his follow-up. Had I not elected for surgery, I am sure I would not be here now I owe my life to Richard Irving.

JK, patient

"During a very traumatic period in my life, I was referred to Mr Irving with an acoustic neuroma. I was advised to see him because of his statistical skills and in-depth knowledge and experience of brain tumours of this type.  I have been very pleased with his sound advice and "bedside manner" and also his support team, especially Sue Wilcox, who has been there at every step of the way to help with and co-ordinate procedures.  I have also found that being a private patient offers peace of mind and is not expensive."

Mari, mother of teenage patient from Wolverhampton

"When my fifteen year old son was diagnosed with a cholesteatoma, it was a very anxious time for us all; but from the moment I contacted Mr Irving and team, I immediately felt reassured and knew that we were in excellent hands.

All queries were answered and promptly dealt with by Sue Wilcox, who is always a friendly voice at the end of the phone.

Mr Irving took the time to explain the surgery to my son and his caring approach immediately put him at ease. 

Rhys' surgery went well and post operative care and advice was excellent.

Our heartfelt thanks go to an efficient and professional team who maintained a caring and helpful approach throughout."

Kelly, mother of 2 children treated by Richard Irving

"Mr Irving has operated on both of my children, he is brilliant, he put them at ease and explained to them exactly what was going to happen, they were not frightened at all.  The procedures they had went smoothly and have really made a difference to the quality of their lives.  I would recommend him to anyone."

Jonathan, patient from Kenilworth

"I was referred to Mr Irving after being diagnosed with a small benign tumour on my hearing nerve back in February 2009. This was a particularly anxious time for me as this was a relatively rare condition and treatment options didn't seem necessarily certain. My GP could offer little advice or support as these types of tumour are not encountered very often in local surgeries.

I was therefore very re assured to discover that Mr Irving specialised in dealing with this type of tumour and had dealt with hundreds of patients with a similar condition. From the moment I contacted his team I found them friendly, caring and highly professional. They understood how I felt and responded quickly and efficiently. At my first consultation with Mr Irving everything was explained to me and all my questions answered. I felt so re assured that I was in the hands of experts. Over the last couple of years I have received a similar level of service every time I have had an appointment or consultation.

In October 2010 Mr Irving referred me to Sheffield to receive state of the art gamma knife radiotherapy treatment. Although Mr Irving is a highly regarded ear nose and throat surgeon he is also more than aware and willing to consider all the treatment options that are now available.

I am very hopeful that the treatment has been successful and I remain reassured that I will continue to be monitored closely by Mr Irving and his team over the next couple of years. From the anxiety of that initial diagnosis I now feel calmer and a lot more positive about my future health."