Ratings for Dr. Brian J. Sullivan
I had a spinal injury and had been to 3 other Specialist prior to meeting Dr Sullivan. Every other doctor just filled me with pain medication and sent me on my way. Dr Sullivan took the time to review ALL of my past records and order new MRI's to evaluate my current status. I was extremely pleased to hear that he was not knife happy as the the last two spinal surgeons I went to were. I was beyond happy to have him sit down with me and my husband and walk us through everything and explain my condition in great detail. Yes, I did need surgery but he was very non evasive. He did my surgery and it lasted me 7 years. Keep in mind my injury was impacting my ability to walk and I was way too young for a fusion. All in all it was 13 years before my body broke down to the point of needing the fusion. After which the surgery I felt like I had been given a new lease on life. I was walking with out issue! Now the damage to my back is quite extensive and I will need to have more as by body breaks down BUT I will will not let anyone else ever touch my back other than Dr Sullivan. He gave me back my life. He is and always will be the best not only surgeon but person. He was kind and funny and put me and my husband at ease with every encounter. He is a straight forward steady hand amazing doctor. God is using his hands to heal to heal.
I spent three months being treated for a pintche'd nerve in my lower lumbar. I came to Dr. Sullivan's office and after being sent for an MRI with contrast on the upper back, I got diagnosis of a tumor inside the spinal canal. I am now on the road to recovery and am hopeful that I will get back to my active life. I cannot say thank you enough for the care and kindness he and his staff have shown me.
Dr Sullivan is an outstanding, competent neurosurgeon who operated on my husband about 8 weeks ago. My husband cannot believe how well he has recovered as well as how is able to do the many activities he loves to do. Yes he is 81 but what a vibrant, healthy, and active guy he is again. Thanks very much Dr Sullivan for giving my hubby the ability to live life to the fullest again. Our daughters and grandkids send their thanks along too.
Dr. Sullivan has performed 3 (three) spine surgeries on me. No, I’m not joking... From a single level discectomy and laminectomy at L4-L5 in 2003, to a bi-level discectomy and laminectomy at L4-L5, L5-S1 in 2011, to a 3 (three) vertebrae fusion with bi-level disc replacement due to a cracked disc and herniated disc in my neck at C5-C7 in January 2016. He and his staff have always been completely professional, courteous, and very empathetic towards my pain levels. I could barely walk or sleep due to the nerve pain I was in, several times... They have always been up front about all possible scenarios and outcomes, have exercised due diligence in diagnosing and treating each of my cases, and I have been one of the lucky ones (times 3) to be able to wake up (nerve) pain free after each of my procedures. If you have experienced nerve pain I urge you to see his team. They will do anything and everything they can to help you live in less pain, or pain free. I read some of the reviews on here, and it made me more inclined to post one of my own. Human nature seems to be to always spread/post only the negative. People really need to understand that: A: If your condition has already caused permanent nerve damage due to compression, rubbing, trauma, etc. that a surgery will not completely fix that, at least not right away. You have to first remove the compression, and then it takes months to even years for nerves to heal or regenerate depending on the degree of damage. Some degrees of nerve damage simply cannot regenerate and self-heal. B: I also saw Dr. Sullivan’s colleagues and nurse practitioners after all of my procedures. I thought they were all very attentive to my needs and one even helped me write a letter to my insurance company because it was accident related. He is one person on a team, and his main priority is to assess treatment options, set those options in motion, and perform surgical procedures when needed. I saw no problem with his staff performing the pre or post-op routines. It clears his time to do what he does best. C: If surgery is the only option to fix the problem, then it is what it is. I do not recall Dr. Sullivan ever going straight for that option with me. I did physical therapy, pain management, steroid shots, and exhausted all alternatives before discussing surgical options (except for the cracked disc in my neck – I really had no option there). So whomever said he opted for surgery for the money I would love to see your MRI, because it must have been pretty bad for that analysis to come right out off the bat. All of these things were made clear to me each time I had an issue that needed attention. In 2003, Dr. Sullivan did not want to perform surgery on me, because I was only 25 and the risks of spine surgery are high, but back then they were even higher than now. But, I had a daughter on the way, a full time career, was a part time college student, and had a mortgage to pay so I pushed for that option. The nerve pain was unbearable at times, the meds made me tired and loopy, and I wanted the relief that surgery could provide, if successful. I wondered how I would be able to hold my daughter without being able to walk straight, with my leg giving out from the nerve pain, and my left arm going numb… He fixed all that. I had zero problems or complications and was free of nerve pain immediately after the surgery. He also fixed me twice after that, and that first daughter I speak of just turned 13 yesterday. Now I have a blended family with 6 kids ages 1 to 13. I am able to run, swim, bike, travel, and play with all of my kids. THANK YOU DR. SULLIVAN!
In May 2015 you performed a discectomy to remove a fragmented disc that was causing terrible pain & preventing me from working & other activities. I followed the advice I was given in the follow-up appointments & in the literature given to me, as well as the PT & advice from my chiropractor (Dr Ricci). After 4-5 months of limited activities (swimming & walking), I began running, softball, & returned to work. I have since resumed other activities (basketball, tennis). Since returning to work, I have not missed any work days due to my back. At the time this occurred, I never thought it would be possible to return to such an active lifestyle & quality of life, especially at my age (72). Above is a letter I sent to Dr Sullivan recently, before I knew about this website. It is obvious that my experience with Dr Sullivan & his practice was extremely good. He was recommended to me by 4 others in the medical profession, & their recommendations were well- founded. There was never a hint that I am too old to be involved in so much physical activity. I have regained a quality of life that i never thought would be possible because of the success of the surgery performed by Dr Sullivan. His assistants were available for phone consultation prior to & following surgery. Questions I posed on the patient portal were answered promptly. I recommend him highly to anyone with the type of medical issues I had.
The term hack comes to mind. More interested in money than care. His pain many team told me that my compression did not interest them and that surgery was the only option. He is an ego driven individual with a classics god complex. Seek help elsewhere.
Dr. Brian J. Sullivan's response
I was sorry to hear that your experience with our pain management and surgery team did not meet your expectations. One of our strengths is not rushing people off to surgery and only offering this potentially dangerous option, if we feel we can be helpful. The easier and more profitable action for us would have been to take you to surgery. We simply do not do that here at Maryland Brain Spine and Pain. I am sorry that you feel we did not help.
Submitted June 15, 2016
I am a physical fit 53 year old who has had 5 previous neck surgerys who tried to see Dr Sullivan was only allowed by office to see the nurse practitioner was turned away and told that the hospital system and Dr Sullivan was not qualified to see me I was told to go to John Hoppkins and see another dr there the nurse practitioner and Dr Sullivan refused to help me by ordering the test I needed for John Hoppkins to consider me as a patient I waited over an hour past the appointment and charged 379.00 for absolutely no help would strongly advise any one who has serious back and neck injuries to avoid Dr Sullivan office and go directly to Georgetown do not waste your time or money Thank You to the great Drs at Georgetown who do care and want to help my test have shown that I actually have a broken neck and two new injurys from a recent rear ending car wreck and have been informed that it is against the law for this so called office to turn me away like they did thinking about reporting the offices behavior to the medical boards so no one else will be treated this way Drs offices that play games with severely injured patients not cool or ethical
Dr. Brian J. Sullivan's response
As these types of websites are anonymous, we do not know who you may be; therefore, we are able only to address your concerns more generally. We are sorry to hear about your experience with our group, and we are sorry that we were unable to help you directly. We do wish that we could heal everyone; however, sometimes the best help we can give is to get patients to the right people. Your situation sounds like one of the many types of complex cases that we have treated over decades of successful neurosurgical practice. Once again, we are very sorry that you feel that we did not help. We are very glad that are comfortable with the physicians you found. We wish you good health. The Medical Team at Maryland Brain, Spine and Pain
Submitted July 16, 2015
I first encountered Dr. Sullivan several years ago when I was suffering from an autoimmune disease that was undetected. After reviewing my MRI, he said that surgery was not called for but that I needed to see a neurologist. He personally set up the appointment for me for the next day which immediately let to my being diagnosed with CIDP. Treatments now have the disease under control. My lower back pain grew worse and in August I was operated on and had a "Coflex" installed in my lower spine. In less than 6 weeks I was walking 3 miles a day and can say that I am virtually pain free for the first time in years. And I'm not through the initial recovery phase yet!The staff was polite and punctual and Dr. Sullivan was thorough, professional, confident but not over promising, concerned and supportive. I can honestly say that the surgery was a God send. I look forward to resuming my golf in the Spring and know that I have received the best care possible. Dr. Sullivan is my real life hero. If all doctors and surgeons were like him, health care would be what we dream that it can be.
I am going to try and be objective here because I have actually not even had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Sullivan. Here's the situation: I am a physically active 47y/o who is suffering from serious neck pain and tingling down left arm since February. Now new onset radiation down right arm, pain in neck, back of head, and in both upper arms (kind of like the feeling you have after lifting weights, but I have not). I have had one MRI prior to going to this appointment (herniated c5-c6 and other degenerative changes and mild bulging), one round of oral steroids, physical therapy, on celebrex and flexaril now all the time. I make an appointment but with this group you actually don't get to see the doctor until I guess it's time for surgery; I see Wendy the PA. She says more steroids, new MRI, your not severe enough basically for surgery. New MRI identifies major c6 L impingement but also says nerves at other levels are being pinched. Oral steroids worked briefly but pain is now getting worse. I call and ask Dr. Sullivan to review my results and Wendy calls back. New recommendation is for a referral to pain management for steroid injection at left C6. I try to explain that I have pain on both sides but I don't think she's really listening, she says it will take care of all of it and if not may need surgery. Fine, go to get this injection but the call that I get before hand is really weird. I don't usually get a call telling me exactly what I owe and am expected to pay at time of service-$465 after insurance. Mind you, I have excellent insurance-BCBS federal. I say really ?? They tell me exactly what my benefit is and exactly how much I have left before I am capped at catastrophic 100% benefit. I get there and they definitely want my payment and turns out they are not BCBS providers. They tell me though that they are honoring my in network payment of 15%. Now honestly, unless I'm comparing apples to apples how do I know that you are charging me exactly what I would pay with a provider? Turns out the MD is a part owner in this surgery center. Turns out when you look at the Riva Surgery Center Sullivan is a part owner too. Now this center did not just open, they have been around a while. I think the care that I got there was great. The MD that did the injection actually listened to what I had to say and actually looked at my films and said that I could definitely benefit from a more midline injection to address my pain on both sides. Really though I think that when the PA referred me, she should have been forthright in stating that the provider she was referring me to was not a BCBS provider and gave me the option. Keeping this in mind, I will not be going back to this office/group. Patients beware and make if you are referred that they take your insurance. Turns out this doctor they referred me to only takes medicare.
Dr. Brian J. Sullivan's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
- George Washington University School Of Medicine (Grad. 1999)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research