Questions to Ask Your MIS Surgeon

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During the initial consultation with your MIS surgeon, s/he will learn much about you as a patient and a person!  The surgeon will ask you questions about your spinal problem, medical history, family, feelings, health goals, and much more.  However, there are questions you should ask too.  Asking questions is a good step to take to create dialogue between you and the surgeon, as well as invite open communication and build mutual trust. 

The questions listed will help you get to know your surgeon and decide if s/he is the best choice.  You may choose to print this page and take it with you to your appointment. 

  1. Are you Board-certified by either the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons or American Board of Neurological Surgery?
  2. What training have you had in MIS surgery?
  3. How long have you been doing MIS surgery?
  4. What percentage of your practice involves minimally invasive spine surgery?
  5. How many MIS procedures have you performed in the last 6 months?
  6. How many MIS procedures like mine have you performed in the last 6 months?
  7. Do you welcome a second opinion?
  8. Why do I need spine surgery?
  9. What type of MIS surgery do you recommend and why?
  10. What are my risks of surgery and what are the possible complications?
  11. What will happen if I choose not to have this surgery?
  12. What has been your experience with this procedure in patients similar to me?
  13. Where will the surgery be performed?
  14. What kind of anesthesia is needed?
  15. How do I prepare for spine surgery?
  16. Is this procedure performed on an outpatient basis, or will I be hospitalized?  If so, for how long?
  17. What can I expect immediately after surgery?  Will I have a lot of pain?  How is my need for pain medications handled?
  18. How long will it take for me to recover?
  19. Does my insurance cover all or part of the cost of the surgery and medical care?  If I am responsible for part of the cost, how much will that be and how can I pay?
  20. Will I need physical therapy?
Updated on: 01/12/10
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