Navigate Up

Andrew Sobieski – Angiofibroma Patient Success Story

Andrew Sobieski – Angiofibroma

The Challenge

Andrew Sobieski loves to run. As a member of his school’s cross-country team and the junior varsity basketball team, this standout 15-year-old athlete was consistently on the move. But that all started to change when he began complaining of severe headaches, a blockage in his nose that obstructed breathing, and excessive mucus.
 
Andrew’s mother Christine realized his symptoms were more than just common cold and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. After an MRI was performed, the doctor diagnosed Andrew with an angiofibroma (a large invasive, noncancerous tumor composed of blood vessels). If not removed, this baseball-sized tumor that began in the nasal cavity and extended to the base of the skull could cause severe and permanent damage, including blindness and stroke.
 
The Sobieski’s visited several neurosurgeons in the Delaware area, although none provided an easy solution. They recommended an invasive procedure that involved making an incision from the corner of the eye to the top of the mouth. Not only would this procedure involve a lengthy recovery, but also would leave Andrew with a long scar. Apprehensive, the Sobieskis continued to seek the best and least invasive treatment.
 

The Path to UPMC

Andrew’s ENT doctor referred him to a specialist at UPMC. After an initial phone consultation and a review of his medical records, the Sobieskis got the news they had hoped for. “They called and explained all about the procedure they were going to use to treat Andrew, and it sounded like the right thing to do,” explained Christine. “It was less intrusive than the other options available and best of all, Andrew wouldn’t have any facial scars.” Within a few days, the surgery was scheduled and the Sobieskis made the trip to Pittsburgh.
 

The Solution

A team of neurosurgeons were able to remove the tumor through Andrew’s nasal cavity using theEndoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) that was pioneered at UPMC. With this minimally invasive approach, surgeons were able to remove the tumor without disturbing Andrew’s brain, blood vessels, or critical nerves. “This whole ordeal has been a whirlwind, but after this surgery, I knew Andrew would be alright,” says Christine. “Everyone was so nice and knew exactly how to treat my son. It’s a great feeling to know these amazing doctors are out there.”
 

The Results

Shortly after his surgery, Andrew was released from the hospital and returned home to Delaware. His recovery process was longer than usual due to the size and location of the tumor, but within six weeks, he fully recovered and returned to being the active tenth-grader he once was. “I’m really happy with how everything turned out,” says Andrew. “I’m back to running, playing basketball, and doing everything I used to do before the tumor, and I have my doctors to thank for that.”

 

Our patient stories profile a number of patients who have had minimally invasive brain surgery at UPMC. Although everyone's care experience is unique, we hope that sharing these stories will help other prospective patients and their families better understand these procedures and their potential benefits.
 
Andrew's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.
 
CONDITIONS WE TREAT

View all conditions >

 

 

 
CONTACT US

How can we help you?

Schedule an
appointment >

Ask a question >

Request our expert
opinion >

 

Phone Numbers:

1-877-986-9862
(within the U.S.)

01-877-320-8762
(International)

 
  • Meet the Surgeons Button
  • Pediatric Patients Button
  • International patients button
  • Legacy of Innovation Button

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com