Patient Stories

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Our surgical services include a range of specialty areas. We offer personalized, advanced care. To learn more, call 310-825-2631.

The Department of Surgery at UCLA provides the highest quality surgical care available, is nationally ranked in surgical education, and brings leading-edge science to patient care. We are committed to providing expert, comprehensive and compassionate care and we take great pride in being able to share some of our patients' stories with you.

Cerritos family grateful for double-lung transplant

Jermell Robinson

Story of Jermell Robinson, who received an organ transplant through the UCLA Health Lung Transplant Program with commentary from his surgeon, Dr. Abbas Ardehali, cardiac surgeon, director of the UCLA Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs, William E. Conner Chair in Cardiothoracic Transplantation, and professor of surgery and medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Health. 

Patient Testimonials

March 11, 2020 
I was diagnosed with Graves' disease that was roughly 7 years ago. I was being taken care of by my primary care doctor for the first 3 years. Then I saw an endocrinologist and was treated for another 3 years. He also discovered a nodule through my ultrasound, in which we did a biopsy that came back negative for cancer and all of the negative stuff. However, we did a checkup about a year after and the nodule grew very large. I was then recommended to Dr. Yeh.

In terms of my experience with the clinic and Dr. Yeh, just base on the visit solely everything has been great. Dr. Yeh is very attentive to the details. From my diagnostic to treatment, I felt with everything that I was going through and had to deal with it all went very smoothly and was great. Dr. Yeh made sure that my treatment plan was specific to me and not put in a general sense. I wasn't too worried about it (my surgery) in the beginning, but it got closer I got very anxious. They said that it's better to remove it all to make sure it's not cancer. It makes sense to remove a large abnormal nodule from my thyroid, but I was nervous the week before my surgery, as you never know what could happen. I have kids so that was the real worry for me. Even knowing that this was a quite safer and much minor surgery to many it still worried me, but at that point what could you do, I knew I had to get it removed. However, everyone there made me feel great and asked questions making sure I felt okay. From the check-in process at the hospital to the recovery process the team made sure I felt comfortable and at ease. They used the right words to comfort me, they made sure to not use triggering words-- especially with me I'm someone who tends to over-analyze everything, so using one wrong word could have thrown me off. They made me felt at ease, so at that point, I couldn't go back and there was not a reason to not continue with this surgery. My surgery was January 31st, it went well and I don't remember anything much from it. I had some neck pain on the side of my neck and not really near the incision when I woke up, but it didn't bother me too much I would describe it as being sore. I was able to go home the next day, so I would say my health condition was good. I did have to take off almost 3 weeks from work but that’s understandable because my job is labor-intensive so to resume I had to be 100% again. I feel good now and I know I need to adjust my medication and everything but my life does feel normal again.

Reflecting on this whole process, something I would change is that I probably would have asked to see a specialist endocrinologist a lot sooner, but everything worked out. I understand that my primary may have not sent me sooner as I heard there are people with graves' disease in which by waiting a few years their thyroid goes back to normal. However, I feel like it's always better to get something resolved sooner than later, to treat a small nodule than a large nodule. I want to let others know that to take care of yourself and follow-up with your doctors when the problem is small. At least here my Endocrinologist told me when he had referred that Dr. Yeh was one of the best in the nation and it made me feel better, I felt like I was in good hands. Especially going through the actual process itself I would agree so too.

Patient of Dr. Yeh, Sergio


May 16, 2019
I was referred from my thyroid doctor to Dr. Yeh. I actually did my own research and saw all his wonderful reviews, and I also had friends who were his patients so I came in knowing that he was one of the best. I had thyroid nodules that were growing which caused my goiter to grow larger to the point where I was having trouble swallowing food and felt pressure in my throat. Before surgery, I went to his clinic and Dr. Yeh was very sweet. He explained the basics and general details of the procedure such as the possible side effects in a way that was easy for me to understand. He recommended that I get a complete thyroidectomy, since my goiter was quite large.

I wasn't afraid of undergoing any surgery or operation, but I was worried about whether I was doing the right thing for my body. I've had this goiter for many years and I have never had problems with my thyroid function, so I was wondering if I really needed to remove my entire thyroid and start taking thyroid medication for the rest of my life. After surgery now, I know that I did the right thing. I am sure that my goiter would have continued to grow and those that I knew on thyroid medication for life did not have any problems. Dr. Yeh also explained that if anything spread to my parathyroid glands I could even have problems with my calcium levels too and not just my thyroid hormone levels.

The surgery itself was very well done. I was very impressed because the operation did not impact my voice which I was worried about. My cousin underwent thyroidectomy by a different surgeon and the operation has still affected her voice even many years after. I truly believe that Dr. Yeh is the best. He told me that my operation would be 2.5 hours but he was finished in only 1.5 hours. The only difficult portion of the operation was my body's reaction to the anesthesia, but I had no problems with the surgery itself. I have scar tissue right now inside my throat which puts pressure on my vocal cords as well as visible scar tissue but I know that it takes time for the scar to heal and it is slowly getting better and fading. I started thyroid medication and I feel that my body still needs time to get used to it. I am waiting until May for labs to test whether the medication dosage is adequate for my body.

I truly believe he is one of the best. From my experience, he is very fast and accurate. I cannot speak for all patients with different conditions but for me, I was very happy.

Patient of Dr. Yeh, JJoe


August 23, 2018
I had a pheochromocytoma tumor removed from my adrenal gland. The doctors and staff were very knowledgeable and skilled in their particular field and asked me a lot of questions about my particular situation. They also followed up and prepared me really well for the surgery, including the anesthesiologists and other staff members who were involved in my surgery. The surgery itself went very well, and recovery went as expected. I had no problems with the surgery. There is pain at the excision area, but it has gradually decreased after 2 weeks and I know the pain will be gone soon. Ever since the surgery, I have been checking my blood pressure and glucose levels because my blood pressure was high before surgery. The hospital stay was very good and everyone took care me of very well. This particular team and hospital in general were very knowledgeable and highly skilled. All the doctors and other staff members knew what they were doing and were very emotionally supportive so I wasn’t too anxious or stressed going into my surgery. The surgery went well overall and I don’t think there were any issues. For me personally, I am highly thankful for this particular surgeon team. I hope that my particular case will be a good example for future patients.

Patient of Dr. Livhits, Pon