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Dr. Vivian McAlister

21 reviews
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Ratings for Dr. Vivian McAlister

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I am a pancreatic cancer survivor of (an almost impossible) 17 years following a Whipple procedure done by Dr McAlister and his team in Halifax when he taught/worked there at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Health Sciences Center. I just today decided to follow up on his career as I had several years back...and already knew of the extraordinary accomplishments he has achieved since then . By virtue of his enlistment in the Canadian Armed Forces at a fairly senior age with the objective of getting first hand and immediate experience to further the application of advanced surgical techniques in the field ..and also examine the consequence of injuries suffered in the modern battlefield ..all, I am confident with the same matter of fact , pragmatic ..dare I say ?..blunt type of genius that I was privy to in my time of need. Almost like a battlefield situation ..my illness came without warning , and unimaginable depts of pain ..nothing subtle like most forms of pancreatic cancer symptoms which , when presented..usually are much too late for the unfortunate souls afflicted . Thanks to the efficiency of my own GP who knew quite well I had experienced something well out of the commonplace re my symptoms ..I was hastily referred to Dr McAlister , after a series of preliminary tests whose conclusion only suggested a bile problem probably only associated with the gall bladder. It wasn't until an ERCP was performed by the good Dr ..that I was delivered the news of Pancreatic Cancer shortly after the procedure. He had already decided and scheduled , pending my permission ..to perform one of the most complex surgeries for which there are amazingly few candidates ..the Whipple procedure .(Pancreaticoduodenectomy)... But, it was his frank manner ..and stern advisement that launched our adventure together which I so critically was in need of.. Though in semi shock of how my life had been so immediately threatened ..he encouraged me to find out and augment what little I knew about human anatomy..and of the disease itself , since, as he explained my life was to be in his hands (almost quite literally) for at least eight hours with a team to assist and learn around us..He likened it to rugby, an apt analogy, where I gave up the ball to him for a specified period of time..then it would be tossed back to me to do my part immediately . to promote the healing he had initiated. In fact we thew a lot of metaphors around..necessary if only to establish a working language between my medical ignorance and his desire to be absolutely frank about the very serious consequences of not only the disease, but also the procedure to mitigate it. So, to illustrate my comprehension ..I likened what he was about to do was an attempt of installing an old fashioned carburetor system where a fuel injected system once had been ..with neither a smile or chuckle from either of us ..we agreed that was as apt as anything. It would be just too facile to say Dr McAlister , though he is...is a hero of mine..what is more important is that he inspired me , at the most critical point to become a hero of my own destiny as well. I believe , and have knowledge of ..the very big difference between Luck and Fortune..it was the latter that was at play here , and still very much is..a trait very common in cancer survivors in general ..if it be our Fortune to still be thriving it is our obligation to encourage those whose lives take on such a jolt upon cancer diagnosis to self inform , and to actively participate in their own survival to augment the very special genius and unparalleled Humanity of very gifted creatures such as Dr McAlister.

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flag | Submitted January 3, 2018

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I was referred from Ottawa and took a few days off for the consult. I glad I did. very knowledgeable and fixed me without operating. working again

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flag | Submitted August 4, 2017

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Hi from Texas. I was in Ontario on business and got taken by the worst pain ever. I had to wait a bit in the ER in London University until they figured out it was my gallbladder. I was worried because I have heart and kidney transplants. Once they called Dr McAlister I relaxed because of the obvious experience of her team. 48 hours later I was home in Texas free of my gallbladder. I vote Republican but I am a fan of Canadian healthcare.

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flag | Submitted February 4, 2017

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Hello from Australia and Halifax, I must tell you that you are always in my prayers .It has been 20years since you operated on me . My liver is still FINE. I did have a kidney transplant 7 years ago after 2 years of dializing. My sister Elizabeth had her second kidney and liver transplant the same time I did. Dr. McAlister I truly believe if it wasn't for you I would have died , your surgery has given me 20years plus. Thank you doesn't seem enough to say but THANKYOU from all my loved ones..my prayers are always with you. Bonita

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flag | Submitted August 11, 2015

4
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I thank Dr McAlister every day, whipple 4 years ago after given 2 months to live. 39 days in hospital but survived. Have a large picture of Vivian in scrubs, smiling, standing at operating table. Enjoy every day I have left on this earth. God bless.

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flag | Submitted June 27, 2015

5
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

This doctor called me at home the day after my operation to see how I was doing. never had service like that before. He made sure I knew all the options I had before operating and made sure I understood the operation. He answered all my questions. I think I caused the clinic to run late but the team made me feel OK about it.

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flag | Submitted May 3, 2015

2
Staff
3
Punctuality
1
Helpfulness
1
Knowledge

This man is trigger happy when it comes to surgery but then again that is where he makes the big money so makes sense. After a referral to Dr. McAlister I was put through a surgery that was unnecessary and that ruined my life. If only he would have took the time to read the CT scans for himself which he admitted to not doing he would have realized that the Dr. who referred me to him had no clue, anyways he didn't and afterwards he tried covering it up and passing the buck back to the referring Dr. as I think he felt like an idiot, he also flat out lied about test results as the tests should have shown that the diagnosis was clearly incorrect to someone qualified, he also removed an organ for no apparent reason as tests even showed the organ removed was 100% fine which he basically admitted to afterwards. Just another criminal that has contributed to the destruction of my life, will never forgot you or the constant endless pain I'm in because of your mistake.

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Submitted April 29, 2015

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I had an amazing experience. I was just chatting with a stranger in the airport. When I said I was lucky to be alive having had two cancers of my liver, we discovered wehad the same sugeon. Dr McAllister was a tough taskmaster but we agreed it was worth it as we were both a bit older and not very fit. Dr McAllister insisted we change things by stopping bread, cigarets and doing fitness training. We are both clear of cancer. I just needed to tell someone about my luck.

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flag | Submitted April 11, 2015

5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

This surgeon saw me for a cancer that I had been told was hopeless by two other doctors. I had my operation only two weeks later because he rescheduled other patients (sorry). The cancer clinic says he got it all. Finishing chemo now. His office and his team were the best I could have hopped for.

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flag | Submitted February 21, 2015

3
Staff
2
Punctuality
1
Helpfulness
1
Knowledge

I was referred to Dr. McAlister in 2010 for upper qanudrant spams which leaves me somewhat paralyzed anywher from 5 mins to hours. Dr. McAlister recommended stating "pretend you are laying on a beach do some deep breathing" Although he did order a Hida scan where it actually follows the bile flow. The results were Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. During my follow up appointment the test was not reviewed and I did not find out the results until recently when a hard copy was obtained. There is a procedure to cut back the muscle of the Sphincter of Oddi diminshing the spasms. I have lost 4 yrs of my life I will never get back thanks to Dr. McAlister's lack of caring about people. I would not recommend this doctor to anyone unless you are an active military personnel or veteran. Bless him for caring for the Canadian army personnel however Canadian citizens of all walks of life are real people too that have real medical problems. Whatever happened to taking the oath dr's take to care for people besides isn't that why they went into the profession?

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flag | Submitted December 3, 2014

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Dr. Vivian McAlister's Credentials


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