Thomas Stoeser recently had his piriformis muscle removed during surgery with Dr. Tim Tollestrup. Tom is an active outdoorsman from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for years he tried to work around his pain. He built a standing desk at work and at home. He resigned from a board back East since he couldn’t sit on a plane.
What kept him sane was his ability to continue his athletic lifestyle. Since sitting increased the pain and movement decreased the pain, he could still ski, run and hike. Until earlier this year, the pain became constant and sports were no longer an option.
“Right before surgery with Dr. Tollestrup, I was at my lowest,” says Stoeser, 62. “The pain management doctor was talking about a spinal cord stimulator. I was having pain all the time. I was taking 12 Advils a day. I started to worry about the effect on my liver.”
Luckily, a colleague mentioned his successful surgery with Dr. Tollestrup. Stoeser didn’t hesitate, and he flew to Las Vegas to meet with him. He paced during the appointment since he couldn’t sit.
“When I met with Dr. Tollestrup, I was ready to go, but he wanted to make sure it was the right thing,” Stoeser says. “He was very thorough and didn’t jump into surgery.”
During the surgery, Dr. Tollestrup removed Stoeser’s piriformis muscle, essentially an extra muscle deep in the gluteus maximus that we don’t need. Removing the piriformis muscle is a relatively new procedure in Dr. Tollestrup’s repertoire. He invented it during a surgery a few years ago, and now other surgeons around the U.S. refer to it as the “Tollestrup Procedure.”
“One of the things I love about what I do is that this is still a relatively new field of surgery,” Dr. Tollestrup says. “There are always new nerve problems to be addressed and new pain problems to solve.”
Stoeser doesn’t miss his piriformis muscle one bit. Three months after surgery, he feels 25 years younger.
“I am skiing all day and working out for an hour on the treadmill,” he says. “Even more amazing is that I am sitting next to my wife on the couch and my dog has an extra lap to crawl on.”*
We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.