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Patient Testimonials and Reviews

Anne  Fischer, MD, PhD, MBA

Anne Fischer, MD, PhD, MBA

Pediatric General Surgery, Pediatric Specialists
West Palm Beach 33407, Boca Raton 33428, Jupiter 33458, Royal Palm Beach 33411

Creating Hope

Becky’s Story

Photo of Becky Viscusi and Dr. Holli Viscusi.

(Photo: Becky Viscusi and her mother Dr. Holli Viscusi)

When Becky Viscusi was just 18-months old and not eating when her mother Dr. Holli Viscusi reached out to Dr. Anne Fischer for help in fixing the ailment. After Dr. Viscusi could not find the right specialist to treat the ailment, she found Dr. Fischer who opted for a minimally invasive surgery to correct the disorder. Fast-forward 16-years later when an abdomen mass showed up on a full body MRI  scan Becky had undergone, Dr. Viscusi did not hesitate to find Dr. Fischer once again. Read Becky’s Story (below). Watch Becky’s Video Testimonial ➨ https://youtu.be/gpaPAgMz8LU

Becky Viscusi and her mother Dr. Holli Viscusi have built a longstanding connection with Dr. Anne Fischer spanning 1,100 miles, several states and two successful surgeries. At just 18-months old, Becky was not eating solid foods so Dr. Viscusi took her to a children’s hospital in their home state of Pennsylvania but could not find the right specialist to treat the ailment.

“At the children’s hospital I heard of Dr. Anne Fischer so I contacted her and she was willing to see Becky. Dr. Fischer did an extensive workup to figure out what was going on with Becky and ended up doing surgery to move an artery that was out of place,” said Dr. Viscusi.

This type of complex surgery involved an open procedure through the chest wall. At the time, Dr. Fischer worked as a pediatric general surgeon at The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. For Becky’s surgery, Dr. Fischer opted for a less invasive procedure used in adult surgery via a smaller neck incision. Because Dr. Viscusi is both a mother and a doctor, she was able to note symptoms and explain pertinent details to Dr. Fischer. To diagnose the ailment, Dr. Fischer ordered an MR Angiography (MRA) to provide diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.

To provide treatment for Becky’s ailment, Dr. Fischer performed a subclavian bypass graft surgery not typically performed in children for a vascular ring that affected Becky’s esophagus and her ability to swallow. After recovery, Becky began eating solid foods.

Photo of baby Becky Viscusi.

“Dr. Fischer did her homework. You cannot even see where Becky’s scar is on her neck. Dr. Fischer took amazing care of Becky when she was just 18-months old and because of that I would not trust my child’s care with anyone but Dr. Fischer,” said Dr. Viscusi.

“My scar is barely visible and almost completely gone. The only one who knows where the scar is my Mom because she remembers where it was,” said Becky.

Fast-forward to just over 15-years later, Becky and Dr. Viscusi are patients at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and at 17, Becky had a full body MRI. Becky’s MRI showed an abdominal mass. She went back to Pennsylvania and had an ultrasound but once again, Dr. Viscusi received feedback from doctors that the mass in Becky’s abdomen was nothing and would not need immediate care. Around 15-years after Dr. Fischer performed the bypass graft on Becky, Dr. Viscusi reached back out to Dr. Fischer about the mass.

From Pennsylvania, Dr. Viscusi scheduled a telehealth appointment with Dr. Fischer at her Palm Beach Children’s Surgical Specialists office. During the telehealth appointment, the doctors discussed the newly found mass. Dr. Fischer felt she could remove the mass laparoscopically so the Viscusi’s, who have a vacation home in Naples, FL, scheduled a flight down to their home in southwest Florida and then drove across the state over to St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital in West Palm Beach for pre-procedure COVID testing. After Becky’s negative COVID test result, the procedure was scheduled, and the next day Dr. Fischer performed the surgery.

“Dr. Fischer was able to remove the mass laparoscopically. I only have three very tiny keyhole incision scars. I did not really have pain. There was a slight uncomfortable feeling with some pressure from when the surgeon had to fill my stomach with air but that subsided rather quickly. I only spent one night in the hospital. Thankfully there was little pain and the slight uncomfortable feelings I had from the surgery subsided quickly,” said Becky.

“Dr. Fischer removed the mass and now I am healthy. I only had to wait two weeks before I lifted anything and after that was good to go moving forward. Dr. Fischer was very sweet and checked up on my Mom and me multiple times after my surgery. I had a great experience at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. The staff was great,” said Becky.

Dr. Viscusi said it is very fortunate that Dr. Fischer took the mass out because if she had waited Becky could have lost an ovary and a tube. She said due to the laparoscopic nature of the procedure, Becky now has small scars.

“When it came to surgery, I did not want anyone touching Becky except Dr. Fischer. The nice thing about Dr. Fischer doing this procedure laparoscopically was that the recovery was much easier. She had little limitations. It was more about where this mass is and what is going to do. Luckily, it was benign and turned out to be a cyst. I was impressed with the scope of care at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Viscusi.

“I worked 18-years in the emergency room, my family has been cared for all over the east coast and I have been to many hospitals and one thing I will say about the care at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital is that whenever Becky rang the bell the nurses and staff immediately answered. They were right in the room for whatever Becky needed.”

Becky and Dr. Viscusi recommend Dr. Fischer to any family needing pediatric general surgery.

“Dr. Fischer is so dedicated to her job. Seeing her work makes me want to personally, become a pediatric surgeon. Dr. Fischer really excels in what she does. She shows it,” said Becky.

  • This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary.

Creating Hope

Victoria’s Story

Victoria Fox and Mother

This non-invasive option Dr. Fischer provided to my daughter Victoria was nothing short of a miracle.

As she approached her teenage years Victoria Fox and her mother Amanda Fox met Dr. Anne Fischer, a pediatric general surgeon offering a unique treatment for chest wall conditions. Victoria was diagnosed with pectus carinatum, a genetic disorder consisting of the chest expanding out over the sternum. Dr. Fischer recommended a non-surgical approach as a treatment option. Just eight months after being fitted with the T-Joe Pectus Bracing System, Victoria’s mother noticed an entire transformation in her daughter.

“Victoria wouldn’t wear V-neck shirts or anything that would show off her chest due to her lack of confidence because of the pectus ailment. This treatment has boosted her self-confidence, and when you’re a girl, that’s a huge thing,” said Amanda Fox.

During Victoria’s appointment at Dr. Fischer’s Palm Beach Children’s Surgical Specialists office in West Palm Beach, a 3D imaging scan was performed to measure and photograph her condition.

“The imaging appointment at Dr. Fischer’s office was simple and non-invasive. Dr. Fischer and her staff really made it a comfortable experience,” said Amanda Fox.

The data was sent to the manufacturer and a custom brace was made and shipped to the Fox’s home. Wanting the best for her daughter, Amanda wondered if the pectus brace could provide treatment over a surgical approach to treatment.

“I was shocked when Dr. Fischer told me there was a non-surgical option available. I was skeptical about it at first. Another surgeon we had seen suggested open surgery and told us there wasn’t another option. Dr. Fischer’s opinion of it and the treatment she was offering was a complete 360-degree turn from what we were told and that was refreshing,” said Amanda Fox.

Following recommendations by Dr. Fischer, for the first six-weeks Victoria wore the pectus brace 24-hours a day, seven-days a week and only took it off when she took a shower. As Victoria progressed into the program, wear-time increments decreased by three-hours, then six-hours until, after seven months of treatment, she only wore the pectus brace overnight while sleeping.

“The brace became part of her bedtime routine. We also made some adjustments with her school uniform. The brace was fitted so I bought her polo shirts that were a few sizes bigger. This helped her out because the brace wasn’t as noticeable. If Victoria wanted to go to the beach or the pool she was allowed to take the brace off for an hour or two,” said Amanda Fox.

Over time, Victoria and Amanda Fox noticed the pectus brace was working.

“Victoria’s chest wall began to level out and looks completely different than it did before we started with this treatment. Before her chest was sunken in the middle and now there’s not much concaveness. I’m not a surgeon but I see the difference. She sees the difference,” said Amanda Fox.

Prior to meeting Dr. Fischer, Victoria underwent a Chiari malformation surgery by Dr. Fischer’s colleague, neurosurgeon Dr. R. Dev Bhardwaj. After Victoria recovered and was given the all clear by Dr. Bhardwaj, Amanda mentioned she was talking to another surgeon about an open surgery option for Victoria’s pectus disorder. Dr. Bhardwaj suggested a non-surgical option for this ailment his colleague, Dr. Fischer offers.

Victoria has a fun personality, is very brave to have undergone a neurosurgery procedure and didn’t hesitate to embrace the pectus brace. At the time she met Dr. Fischer and heard about the non-surgical approach, Amanda was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which metastasized to her lymph nodes.

“This non-invasive option Dr. Fischer provided to my daughter Victoria was nothing short of a miracle. At the time my daughter was originally supposed to have the open surgery I had my entire thyroid and 76 lymph nodes removed. Opening up her entire chest would’ve been invasive and a lot to handle for her little body. She would’ve been in the hospital for five days followed by three to five months of recovery. I couldn’t imagine Victoria recovering from a major surgery. I know for sure I would’ve put my care on hold to care for my daughter,” said Amanda Fox.

This non-surgical approach by Dr. Fischer gave Amanda time to focus on radioactive iodine therapy to treat her cancer.

“I’m doing really good and have a positive attitude about it,” said Amanda Fox.

As for the Pectus brace, Amanda said Victoria is still wearing the brace but will be done very soon.

“Victoria doesn’t feel as winded when she is running and playing anymore. Her quality of life has gotten better,” said Amanda Fox.