View Full Version : restrictions on seeing a surgeon??

06-16-2005, 10:53 AM
Hi! Just called to make an appointment with a surgeon at UCSF, and wondered if anybody else in other parts of the country have experienced the same making-an-appointment procedure. Before the clinic will give me an appointment, I have to fax them a recent MRI and recent primary care physician report. As the woman on the phone explained it, this is so that the surgeon can "choose" his cases.

Does this mean that the surgeon only takes cases he think will entail surgery? Or did the woman just choose her words poorly? (She also told me in no uncertain terms that this was a clinic with SPECIALISTS and that people shouldn't come here with JUST ACHES AND PAINS. So I'm assuming they have had trouble with something inconsequential in the past.)

Of course, their word is the final one, but with long-term scoli people, why do they require everybody to get another MRI instead of just accepting last year's X-rays?? (Is it because the MRI shows the degree of curve and other stuff as well??)

Any explanations would be very helpful as I try and figure stuff out. Somehow understanding makes the journey a bit easier... :)


06-16-2005, 01:17 PM

When I made appointment with my surgeon for first time. They did asked me, if I have prior reports (X-Rays, MRI, etc.,). Reason being they wanted to make sure, that I really need to see him or not.

Also I have seen few other scoliosis surgeons here in NY, every one asked me same thing. In addition had a hard time when I schedule for first appointment

Maybe in your case, front desk girl might have been little hard on her words.

06-16-2005, 02:16 PM
I had surgery in 2002 (a/p--T4-S1) with Dr. Deverian at UCSF. It sounds like you may have gotten a receptionist who might have been having a bad day. I think it has become pretty much standard for speciality docs to ask for previous x-ray/mri/cat before seeing newbies :rolleyes: It would be a waste of valuable time/effort for both the patient and the doc if the patient needed to be seen by a general practice doc.

Also, be prepared to wait for 3-6 months for an appointment AND an other 3-6 months for surgery. Remember the doc is not only seeing patients in the office, but is also having to do surgeries that can be up to 15 hours or more :eek: so his time is in short supply

06-16-2005, 03:06 PM
Hi Laura...

That's the usual procedure at UCSF now. I suspect that they're trying to avoid having to see patients who don't really need treatment. (When you see the number of people in the waiting room, I think you'll understand why they try to screen out those who don't need their treatment.) I honestly don't think you'll have a problem getting an appontment, but if you do, let me know and I'm sure I can get around it.


06-16-2005, 09:06 PM
I don't know how it works with adult patients, but for the kids their primary care doctor wrote a recommendation for them to be seen at UCSF. If you're having trouble getting an appointment I know a recommendation for the Spine Center at St. Francis Hospital. Emily

06-21-2005, 02:40 PM
Thanks a million everyone for the replies!

About the wait-time: yep, I was trying to be well-organized and make an appointment now knowing that I wouldn't get one until at least the fall (which would be one year since my last monitoring). That's why this pre-requisite stuff is so infuriating for me: I am about to change insurances and won't be able to provide a recent MRI and the local PCP referral until October, thereby delaying the appointment probably until next YEAR.

Thanks again, Linda, for the support! It is always appreciated. I imagine once I have the MRI for them it will be fine. I'm never very good at waiting for appointments though :) Like everyone else, I find it really stressful :)

Take care you guys! Laura

06-28-2005, 06:08 PM
[QUOTE=lrmb]Thanks a million everyone for the replies!
Maybe its different here in Texas, however, I had surgery recently, and
was never asked for an MRI. I took all the x-rays from other doctors
and was told that c-t scans are the norm unless you exhibit some unusual pains
or symtoms which can't be imaged on a cat scan. Kathleen

06-28-2005, 07:36 PM
Hello everyone!
I just had an MRI done today- have had significant pain in lower back since January. The doctor said it was to determine when surgery would be needed.
She first talked about doing a myleogram (?) but then decided a MRI should be enough since the lower curve is smaller. Anyway, interesting...
If I decide to go ahead w/ surgery next spring am now wondering if another will be needed?

47/45 curves, no surgery yet, Milwaukee brace when a teen-ager

06-28-2005, 07:47 PM
Hi Coleen...

I think that doctors usually feel an MRI within the last few years is plenty unless something drastically changes in that time. I'm guessing that most insurance companies would balk at multiple MRIs or CT/myleograms.


06-28-2005, 07:59 PM
Thanks, Linda. I know from past experience those type of tests tend to be costly.