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Canadian_Bacon
07-14-2007, 08:48 PM
Hello All,

I was hoping that people who have gone through surgery for scheuermann's kyphosis (or have had loved ones who had) could provide me information on what the cost of the surgery was.

My story - I'm a Canadian who is waiting for treatment in Canada. At this point, I don't know whether the surgeons will accept my case or not and given the limited choice and length of wait - it could take years to get the surgery up here (if ever).

Due to this, I wanted to better understand the costs involved in having the procedure done in the US. I know it won't be cheap but I wanted to know how costly it actually is.

Please feel free to post on this thread or send me a PM.

Thank you,

Canadian_Bacon
07-15-2007, 09:58 PM
Anyone? Even if you only know the cost of scoliosis correction - please let me know as that would be a good starting point as both surgeries are similiar in nature (spinal fusion, lenght of surgery, etc).

Please?...

Theresa
07-15-2007, 11:02 PM
My first surgery which was in 2004 was anterior/posterior surgery. I was in the hospital for 12 days. The whole bill including doctor's, hospital, etc.....was around $250,000.

I am just now getting the bills in on my last surgery in May 2007. It was not as extensive as the one in 2007 and I was only in the hospital 7 days. So far, they are a little over $133,000.

Canadian_Bacon
07-15-2007, 11:48 PM
Hi Theresa,

Thank you for your candid response. Would you mind if I asked you who peformed your surgery and at which hospital? Also, why did you have a second surgery?

Thanks,

Mike

mariaf
07-16-2007, 06:15 AM
My story - I'm a Canadian who is waiting for treatment in Canada. At this point, I don't know whether the surgeons will accept my case or not and given the limited choice and length of wait - it could take years to get the surgery up here (if ever).

Hello and welcome,

I'm so sorry to hear that the situation in Canada puts you in the position of having to wait so long for treatment. I guess we are pretty fortunate in that respect in the U.S.

I really don't know the cost of surgery but I just wanted to offer my support. While I have had a lot of experience with Shriners Hospitals for Children (they offer orthopedic care at no cost) - unfortunately, as the name indicates, they only treat children up to age 18.

Perhaps, though, you can find a surgeon somewhere in the U.S. who will work with you - to some extent - regarding costs. Nobody should be denied surgery - or have to wait an unreasonably long time to get it.

Best of luck to you!

Robbie
07-16-2007, 09:25 AM
I had my surgery performed here in the United Kingdom, and according to my insurance company, the total bill was about Ģ16,000/$32,000.

Canadian_Bacon
07-16-2007, 03:08 PM
Hello and welcome,

I'm so sorry to hear that the situation in Canada puts you in the position of having to wait so long for treatment. I guess we are pretty fortunate in that respect in the U.S.

I really don't know the cost of surgery but I just wanted to offer my support. While I have had a lot of experience with Shriners Hospitals for Children (they offer orthopedic care at no cost) - unfortunately, as the name indicates, they only treat children up to age 18.

Perhaps, though, you can find a surgeon somewhere in the U.S. who will work with you - to some extent - regarding costs. Nobody should be denied surgery - or have to wait an unreasonably long time to get it.

Best of luck to you!


Thanks for the support! I agree - everyone should have speedy access to medical help.

Its a tough call...each of the CND and US system have pro's and con's.
In Canada, you won't be denied access under the universal health system however it may take forever to get your appointment.
In the US, you can have access right away; however, if your insurance denies your claim or if you don't have the cash - you are hooped.

Too bad it can't be a combination of the best of both worlds....

mariaf
07-16-2007, 03:16 PM
Hey Mike,

There was actually something on cable TV last night about this very thing - it was about a Canadian man with brain cancer who would have had to wait MONTHS for surgery had he not come to the U.S. and gotten the operation here. Luckily, he and his wife had just inherited some money and were able to make the trip. Otherwise, he would have died. I couldn't believe that we were just talking about this very thing.

I agree totally with you that there are MANY flaws in our healthcare system as well in the United States. Too much of it is based on what one can afford, rather than what one NEEDS.

That is the very reason I have become involved with Shriners Hospitals (there's one in Montreal as well as several in the U.S.) - they, unlike the rest of the medical profession in the U.S., treat all patients the same way, regardless of income or insurance....but that's a story for another day :)

Theresa
07-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Looking over my insurance claims the bill is now at $169,235.71 for this last surgery.

Canadian_Bacon
07-24-2007, 06:10 PM
Looking over my insurance claims the bill is now at $169,235.71 for this last surgery.

That is a lot of money. It seems like it is much cheaper to have the surgery performed in the UK. From the quotes I've received - spinal fusion surgeries range from $30-$90k.

emmalouise
07-25-2007, 02:14 AM
Sorry, is that how much you personally end up paying or is that before insurance?

Here in Aus it's costing me 7K, and I'll be getting almost half back from my health insurance.

Sorry but I'm not the only one who finds that ridiculous am I? Wouldn't you be better off flying over here and having the surgery here? It's not like we're a third world country and even with the flights and accommodation it would still be a lot more affordable. Pardon my ignorance, but is there a reason you can't do this?

Theresa
07-25-2007, 05:05 PM
No, that is the amount billed to the insurance company. I only had to pay $250.00 which is my deductible for a hospital stay. Canadian Bacon was wanting to know the cost of surgery here in the states. It may be different if you're paying cash. But this is what has been billed to my insurance.

Canadian_Bacon
07-26-2007, 12:38 AM
Sorry, is that how much you personally end up paying or is that before insurance?

Here in Aus it's costing me 7K, and I'll be getting almost half back from my health insurance.

Sorry but I'm not the only one who finds that ridiculous am I? Wouldn't you be better off flying over here and having the surgery here? It's not like we're a third world country and even with the flights and accommodation it would still be a lot more affordable. Pardon my ignorance, but is there a reason you can't do this?

Oh, I completely agree. I can't afford to have a $250k surgery without ruining my life. I think things in the US are a lot different because Insurance pays for it (therefore they can crank up the prices) and I think there are significantly higher liability insurance premiums that US hospitals have to pay but it just comes down to the hospitals being for profit in US vs not for profit in Canada.

kennedy
07-27-2007, 02:16 PM
If You are under 18 the shriners hospital in candna well do surgery free of chrage if you are of there patients

sashha
08-15-2007, 05:02 PM
Hi,

Sorry to hear your situation. If you are 18 or younger, you should pursue one of the Shriner's hospitals. If you are over 18 and not especially wealthy, I think you will find the costs of most (all?) good US facilities to be prohibitive. I second the recommendation from a prior post that suggests considering reputable surgeons/hospitals in other countries. I'll spare you the gory details of how the insurance game is played in the US and how that causes the rates to be unreachable by the uninsured.

Best wishes,
Sassha

Canadian_Bacon
08-16-2007, 09:27 AM
Hi,

Sorry to hear your situation. If you are 18 or younger, you should pursue one of the Shriner's hospitals. If you are over 18 and not especially wealthy, I think you will find the costs of most (all?) good US facilities to be prohibitive. I second the recommendation from a prior post that suggests considering reputable surgeons/hospitals in other countries. I'll spare you the gory details of how the insurance game is played in the US and how that causes the rates to be unreachable by the uninsured.

Best wishes,
Sassha

Well - it appears as If I will not have a choice but to look outside the US. I think the UK is a good alternative. It really is unfortunate how costly procedures are in the US.

Lets just hope my Surgeon here in Canada works out - only 5 more months until my appointment :eek:

majo
08-17-2007, 09:56 AM
I had my surgery in buenos aires, and all i know that here isnīt as expensive. If you want more info, contact me.

Writer
08-21-2007, 05:27 PM
Canuck -- Are you sure the surgery is necessary? You will have noticed that quite a few people have multiple surgeries that still don't solve the problems.

You might contact a specialist in the Schroth physiotherapy method -- there are several of these in the US now, listed on the front page of the NSF. Closest to Canada would be Beth Janssen's center in Wisconsin. I don't know the cost, but it will be a small fraction of surgery's, and you won't be fused for life.

http://www.scoliosisrehab.com/

You may have seen threads here about the Schroth Clinic in Germany -- they've been treating scoli for 86 years. M.D. orthopedists are on staff to monitor, and they found that most of the time (though not always) they can make significant improvements and prevent surgery.

Thanks in any case for starting this thread, which is very enlightening.

Justin
09-08-2007, 11:51 PM
Canadian_bacon.. I think it's best you stick to spinal surgeons in Canada. I know not alot of Canadians are in here but I'm 1 of them.

The thing about these spinal fusions is that years later down the road there maybe hardware issues with rods/hooks/screws.

Or the spinal discs and vertebrates in the unfused section become problematic due to more stress on them due to the fusion.

Or the fusion area becomes problematic such as failed fusion at some vertebrate level.

Besides I don't think there is any insurance company in Canada that offers US medical services that isn't life threatening. Spinal fusion is a costly surgery and with the overlyinflated housing market and inflation in Vancouver can leave a detrimental debt to the family.

Every province in Canada there is a well known Spinal surgeon that is skilled in treating these cases. It's best to find 1 so 5 years later after surgery you can have 1 that understands your case and problems. For BC, Dr. Marcel Dvorak at Vancouver General Hospital is well known and he's rated as 1 of the best spinal surgeons in Canada.

Canadian_Bacon
09-09-2007, 10:23 PM
Canadian_bacon.. I think it's best you stick to spinal surgeons in Canada. I know not alot of Canadians are in here but I'm 1 of them.

The thing about these spinal fusions is that years later down the road there maybe hardware issues with rods/hooks/screws.

Or the spinal discs and vertebrates in the unfused section become problematic due to more stress on them due to the fusion.

Or the fusion area becomes problematic such as failed fusion at some vertebrate level.

Besides I don't think there is any insurance company in Canada that offers US medical services that isn't life threatening. Spinal fusion is a costly surgery and with the overlyinflated housing market and inflation in Vancouver can leave a detrimental debt to the family.

Every province in Canada there is a well known Spinal surgeon that is skilled in treating these cases. It's best to find 1 so 5 years later after surgery you can have 1 that understands your case and problems. For BC, Dr. Marcel Dvorak at Vancouver General Hospital is well known and he's rated as 1 of the best spinal surgeons in Canada.


Having the surgery performed by Dr. Dvorak is by far and away my number #1 choice. I just thought it would be prudent to do research in case that doesn't go through.

beach_chikie
03-31-2008, 08:59 PM
Well I just got a couple bills from the hospital for my spinal fusion and just the supplies that they used in the operating room cost $49,000 :eek: !!! And there is still of course more bills to come from anasthesiology, radiology, etc. Thank God for insurance!!

JamieR
04-22-2008, 10:49 PM
I got really lucky! I have Blue Cross Blue Shield and they could not have been more awsome to me. I think I am about close to having all of my bills come through. Total cost so far is about $250,000. My husbands insurance has a maximum out of pocket expense, so total, we will pay about $4,000.

Sharshe
04-23-2008, 01:57 PM
We have Blue Cross with a max out of pocket too. Though I think it only pays 50% for DME like the brace and such. But Compared to no insurance it should be great. My big problem is my primary office not co-operating too well with referals and having to reschedule because of other snafus.

sueRRT
04-30-2008, 01:16 PM
I was VERY fortunate with my insurance, Southern Health. My surgery cost $369,000 and I only had to pay $200 :D

SueRRT
Anterior/posterior fusion T4-L5 w/ instrumentation
June 19, 2007

swimmergirlsmom
05-09-2008, 09:59 AM
Wow, thank goodness for insurance in the US! I was surprised to see how much the surgeries cost here! My 14 year old daughter has scoliosis (48T, 35-L) and our doctors have said to "wait and see" if she needs surgery, so we haven't explored the surgery costs, but I just read the postings on this thread and have learned a great deal.
Out of curiosity, would anyone be willing to share what the high level breakdown is of their $250,000 surgery or $360,000 surgery? like do you just get one itemized bill from the hospital? Or does everyone send their own bill, like the surgeon, the assistant surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the hospital for the room stay, etc?

JamieR
05-10-2008, 09:55 PM
I received one bill from the hospital, one bill for the doctor and the assistant, one bill from anesthesiologist, one bill from radiology, one bill from pathology, and I think that is it. :eek:

Aussiemum
05-14-2008, 10:00 PM
I am baffled by this post!!!!!

What??? $300,000 plus for this surgery!!!! How can that be?

Of course I'm in Australia but still how can there be such a disparity in cost of surgery.

Elysia's Dr's bills were $11,000 out of which I had to pay $5,500 and my health insurance paid the rest.

Her hospital stay was $13,000 - which included $6500 for the operating theatre and hardware for her back was $19,000.

So..... something is wrong somewhere.

As a comparitive between prices here in Australia and America - Average income is around $50,000 and petrol prices are at the moment around $1.50 a litre. A loaf of bread is around $3.50. The Australian Dollar is .9350 compared to US$$$ so it beats me as to why the surgery costs so much more in the States.

We can't sue very easily here so maybe it's high indemnity premiums for surgeons?????

Just puzzled.

Cheers
Del

JamieR
05-18-2008, 02:27 PM
Just an example of how high some of my bills were:

My hospital bill: $155,000.00 - My part - $150.00 Insurance took care of the rest.

My surgeons bill: $65,000.00 I paid about $1,700 of that.

There were plenty more bills for pre-op visits and other stuff.

asccbodypro
03-08-2011, 02:33 PM
Canadian,

I had my surgery at a military facility. What was nice about this was our insurance company (Tricare) doesn't step in and place a limit on what the doctors can do. My doctor told me that he could combine different techniques to make sure that he got the best correction the first time. I did ask approximately how much it would have come to had another surgeon done my surgery the same and he said about $300,000. He laugh and said I had the equivalent of an Italian sports car in my back. I have seen many different posts regarding cost and it certainly seems to vary depending on the nature of ones particular case, surgeon, and insurance.

I sure hope that you can find some help or make some progress on the waiting list. I can't imagine the frustration you must feel knowing that you need surgery but have to wait until they get to you.

Aussiemum
03-08-2011, 02:41 PM
Well actually, I can never understand the price difference between the states and here other than your practice of litigation for every little thing that goes wrong.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to fly to Australia, have the surgery here and pay for a hotel for 6 weeks while you recover fully enough to fly home??

Elysia just had a second surgery at the tender young age of 16....
Hardware... $15,000 AUD - (our dollars is almost equivalent to yours now) $7000 for the theatre and $5500 accomodation in the hospital!!! None of it subsidised by the government... so would be the same for anyone wanting to have the surgery from overseas am guessing.

Very very strange indeed!

Cheers
Del

Ooops, getting old, just realised I'd posted to this post way back when....... but oh well, 2nd time around same costs!!!!

hdugger
03-08-2011, 03:33 PM
Our costs are hard to make sense of because doctors/hospitals/etc routinely charge 3 times the amount that they actually get paid. So, an average billed cost for an uncomplicated scoliosis surgery is around $150,000. But, the actual amount of money paid is a third of that (or around $50,000). The rest of it is written off in discounts.

That makes the real cost ($50,000) pretty close to the costs in Australia.

However, if you don't have insurance, then you're billed for the full, undiscounted amount. That makes not having insurance a double-whammy - you get billed three times the amount of anyone else, and you have noone to help you pay it.

But, I'll definitely keep flying to Australia in mind if we lose our insurance and my son ends up needing surgery.

Elisa
03-08-2011, 03:38 PM
Seems like such a common story that we Canadians have to WAIT! I do know the wait for surgery in adults is a lot less though than surgery for kids b/c we just don't have enough pediatric specialists to go around, especially out west here it seems. We have TWO pediatric orthopedic surgeons for the entire province of BC which has a population of about 5 million. That's friggin' insane and something has to change and soon.

Lilysaidwhat
03-09-2011, 11:29 AM
I am only 2 weeks post-op so the bills are just starting tp comd in - I had a 14 level posterior only op and am guessing close to 100k.

mabeckoff
09-28-2011, 09:01 AM
My first surgery- May 2010 was $300,000 and I had to pay $300 .
My July 2011 surgery cost was over one million dollars and I do not have to pay anything. The thing that was amazing to me is the fact that the hospital took less than $200,000 from BCBS and I do not have to pay anything