5 Things to Look for in a Spine Surgery Facility
If you are exploring the possibility of spine surgery, you may find yourself intimidated by the countless options and questions in front of you. Should I have surgery? What type of surgery is right for me? Who is the best surgeon to perform my surgery? And, maybe you haven't even thought of this question yet: Where will my surgery be performed? Here are some important things to consider when choosing a spine surgery facility that's right for you:
1. Is it a multidisciplinary spine center?
It you suffer from a spinal disorder, it can sometimes seem difficult to get the answers you need all in one place. But it's important to choose a spine surgery facility that has the resources and staff available to expertly guide you and your caregiver(s) through the various treatment options, stages of care for your specific condition, pain management, and recovery steps to ensure that you have confidence in the care you receive and a smooth transition to home following your procedure.
Be sure to ask the surgeon you are considering about whether the spine surgery facility he or she uses includes or partners with other non-surgical specialties such as physical therapists, pain management physicians, massage therapists, chiropractors, or other important spine professionals to create a multidisciplinary approach to care. In addition, some patients find it important to choose facilities that have MRI and other services available as a convenience, helping to coordinate their care in the same visit and/or location.
2. What are other people saying?
When you're considering spine surgery at a particular facility, it can sometimes help alleviate anxiety to have recommendations from family or freinds who have also undergone treatment there. Ask around! If you don't know someone who has had personal experience at this particular facility, be sure to check ratings and reviews online, which are more readily available today. In addition, most spine centers will proudly boast their current rankings and recent recognition along with accreditations on their Websites.
3. Do they "have your back"?
Does the spine surgery facility accept your insurance or preferred method of payment? If so, be sure you understand which part(s) of your surgery will be covered and which part(s) you may be responsible for.
4. Do they practice what they teach?
At some spine surgery facilities, a strong focus on research and teaching helps surgeons provide the most state-of-the-art clinical care available. Clinical trials may be conducted at such centers, often making available the latest treatments and leading-edge techniques to alleviate back and neck pain.
Being located in an academic setting can contribute to a stronger spine center because it encourages surgeons to continuously share their knowledge with each other, resulting in a dynamic environment where physicians can successfully treat difficult spinal disorders with innovative solutions.
5. What about you?
When deciding where to have your spine surgery performed, I suggest thinking about the four Cs: Care, Comfort, Confidence, and Convenience. If the facility is a place where you feel confident you'll receive great care from a kind and proficient staff, you're likely to be most comfortable. And, it will only make for a better experience if the facility you choose is convenient for you, meaning the location is close to your home or the facility has amenities and accomodations that will make time spent there during treatment and recovery pleasant for you and your loved ones or caregivers.
While the facility and its dedicated spine staff are important considerations when making the best spine surgery decision for you, there is still much to ponder. From the surgeon you're considering to your reasons for undergoing surgery in the first place, there are many factors to deliberate when it comes to making the right decision for the health of your spine. Be sure to check out more of the articles in my Spine Surgery Advice blog here on SpineUniverse to learn more about them.