View Full Version : How many post op visits did you have? Pre-?

06-06-2010, 01:51 AM
I worry a lot about money and distance.

Ideally, one meets with ones chosen surgeon more than once, but how many of you only had one pre-op consult with - him ? (Might as well use the only pronouh that seems to apply!). How many of you had met with your sirgeon a number of times before deciding whom to work with?

I really wish I could establish a relationship, but the travel is prohibitive!

Likewise, I wonder how many post op visits to expect - routine ones, that is. What did your surgeons require and at what intervals? Reserving question about what distance is "safe" for later. Thinking "Complications" !

Thank you all!!


06-06-2010, 01:55 AM
pre surgery, I met with my surgeon 3 times, but spoke to him on the phone about five times when I had questions. His physician Assistant would pass on my questions to the surgeon and he would call. Post op, he wanted to meet 15 days after being released from hospital and then every month for first 3 months and then once every two months.. hope this helps


06-06-2010, 02:25 AM

As far as a geographical location and distance is concerned, from central Penn, it looks like New York City is the closest distance. 4 hours drive time.

Insurance companies sometimes only cover 50% when you leave your state, if that is the case, maybe a surgeon in Philadelphia.....

I met with Dr Menmuir about 5 times over 2.5 years prior to my surgery, and about 5x after. E-mail is the best communication method with your surgeon, or his or her assistant.

Before he came to Reno from Twin Cities, I was prepared to move to San Francisco. UCSF.

06-06-2010, 11:21 AM
I met with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis one time prior to surgery, then right before surgery for my preop appointment. After surgery, he came in to see me every morning while I was in the hospital and I have had 1 postop appt just one week ago. I had surgery on March 1st. Hope this helps.

06-06-2010, 12:08 PM
Hi Amanda...

The Spinal Deformity Study Group recommends 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and then every 5 years after that. For research purposes, I wish they were also recommending 3 months.


06-06-2010, 01:41 PM
For people who have been through this, if you have surgery out of state, can some of the post-surgery checkups be done by your local ortho?

06-06-2010, 02:13 PM
Good question.

When I went to see my vascular surgeon for my gall bladder attacks 13 months post, he asked me if I still had my gall bladder. I laughed, as he was looking at my records, which were about the size of a phone book, and said "Doc, you were there, you dug the hole" LOL

They used a vascular surgeon to get to the spine from the front. He started the surgery, then my scoli surgeon came in hours later. They are good to have around.

I donít know if anyone has done this, I donít think it would be a good idea. Linda would know.

My other scoli ortho who was there, trained in Indianapolis.

06-06-2010, 05:38 PM
Thankfully because of distance and cost, I only met my surgeon, Dr. Askin, once before surgery. Then, apart from a couple of visits in hospital (he then went on holidays) I saw him at about 8 weeks, 6 months and one year. I am now discharged as his patient.

So for me, all up four visits from go to whoa.

06-06-2010, 06:51 PM
Hi Amanda...

The Spinal Deformity Study Group recommends 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and then every 5 years after that. For research purposes, I wish they were also recommending 3 months.


Seems most good surgeons require more than than bare minimum, though - just judging by this board. Maybe, as a group, the bar is set lower - officially - as they want to be able to attract more long distance patients. It IS very lucrative surgery. :(

Just a thought...

Thanks all for helpful replies!!

06-06-2010, 06:57 PM
Just thinking from some comments, I really need to post a thread asking how far people traveled for surgery and how they coped, what they recommend for safety if nothing else.

Recently read some old threads concerning VERY rough complications involving lots of return visits to the surgeon and hospital - mere weeks after surgery. Just how would one do that if the surgeon were (many) hours away by plane or car? :confused:

It is frightening how dangerous our local hospital is. I'd hate to have to go there as a makeshift in emergency! :( I think one may be better off sub-letting some place near the surgeon (for a few months) instead of making all the back and forth trips plus hotels. Just to be on the safe side.

06-06-2010, 07:13 PM
I met my surgeon once for an opinion for my Neurosurgeon. Then, because my x-rays showed fast progression, i saw him again, to discuss x-rays and the fact that decompression surgery was out and now scoliosis surgery (within the next 12 months) is advised. After a month of thinking about surgery and doing my research etc, i decided to go ahead. We had another appointment to discuss exactly how it was going to be done, who would be assisting, what to expect after surgery, how many days in hospital yiada yiada yiada! Then i saw him one week before surgery, due to extreme anxiety i was experiencing, to go over surgery again. In the last month he had called me every week (on a Friday) to see how i was doing. After surgery, he saw me everyday in hospital, but i went back to his rooms at 8weeks, 5 months and last week at 12 months. I did see him on an unscheduled appt back in May due to leg pain i was experiencing. Lucky for me, his rooms are in the city and i get there in 20 minutes.

06-08-2010, 02:06 PM
I am 4 hours out from NYC and honestly, only met my surgeon once in the office before surgery! He was the second surgeon I consulted. I was so overwhelmed and confident about the difference in his approach and interaction with us, that I went right ahead and scheduled with him. I have gone back at 6 weeks and just went back yesterday at 4 mo's, and will return again in another 3 months. There is no way I would have anyone in my local area managing this for me, although I have had testing done locally. We travel by train to NYC and that has been fine, even at 6 weeks. I had no discomfort or pain from riding the train, going up the steps in Penn Station, etc. The only car travel was the trip home from the hospital and once again, I did not have significant discomfort. Of course, I had plenty of percocet in tmy system at that point. We now are sort of making weekends of the return check up trips and really enjoying NYC as tourists!

06-08-2010, 02:15 PM
Thank you Anne. That IS encouraging. WHen you say you're four hours away, do you mean by train?

I'm in PA too (dead center in the state), but though I'm a five hours drive away from NYC, the train ride takes me about eight hours owing to a transfer at Philly - and the station itself (unmanned) is almost an hours drive from home.

Nice to know you found Penn Station easy to manage, but the rest of it...?
You are always accompanied, right? And may I ask about what "equipment" you needed to make the trip - walker, brace, wheel chair , etc.?

I always tended to try too hard when help was not available figuring if I had to, I could lift anything, actually and metaphorically. With this surgery, though, there's no such thing, is there? One risks the fusion! :(