View Full Version : Dr. Lonner or Dr. Boachie?

12-15-2009, 04:30 PM
Am planning to pursue another surgical consult after the holidays. Am about 4-5 hours away from NYC so am thinking that's the next place to go. I just didn't feel really good about my visit at Hopkins. Those of you that have had surgeries or consults with Dr. Lonner and/ or Dr. Boachie--any suggestions or recommendations? Anything different in their approaches, how cases are managed, length of wait for scheduling surgeries etc.? On the positive side, I am very healthy otherwise and have solid insurance coverage but need someone who can deal with a big curve and a staff that can answer my questions, calm my fears, etc.!
Thanks for any input. Best wishes for the holiday season to everyone esp. those that "got a new back" this year.

12-15-2009, 05:45 PM
Hi Anne. I've been to see Dr. Lonner and Dr. Boachie, and hope to go to see Dr. Lenke in March. I think they are all excellent although Dr. Boachie and, it seems, Dr. Lenke have the world wide reputation. They suggested different approaches to correct my 90 degree curve. I am 57 years old. The offices are very different. I felt much more comfortable in Dr. Lonner's office, but the most important thing is how the surgery comes out. I know by now that each surgeon has his own approach. I'm sending you a private message also. Joy

12-15-2009, 07:28 PM
Hi Anne
dr lonner has followed me for 5 years...dr boachie was great for a consult but doesnt take my insurance...i liked them both...i think dr lonner is a little warmer..but go with your gut...which ever one inspires faith in you...& takes your insurance!!

best of luck

12-16-2009, 07:31 PM
I truly feel as though there is no dr in the world nicer than Dr. Lenke in St. Louis. He just seemed very compassionate, very professional, understanding and more than optimistic that he could do great things to help me out. He understood completely how much pain I am in and knew exactly what type of problems I am having, i.e. can't walk very far, can't squat, etc. He showed me pictures of previous cases before/after and that was very impressionable on me. His office staff were very nice and very professional, also. He took his own xrays and compared them to the ones I brought with me to my appt. I know it takes a long time to get in to see him, but I truly feel he is worth the wait. At least I hope so. I am currently scheduled for surgery in July. Although I hate to even allow that traumatic of an event to enter my mind again these days, I cannot stand the thought of being in this much pain, or worse, for much longer! I've never been in this much pain before - in my entire life. Those who do not experience pain have it lucky. I used to be one of those people myself. Now I am paying for it. Being at 80+ degrees I can tell my whole trunk is off to one side, even I can see that in the mirror and, although it scares me to death to even think about, I know I can't go much further without it, so what choice do I have in the matter. And, Dr. Lenke came highly recommended to me. Hopefully this will help ease someone else's anxiety besides mine.

12-17-2009, 07:53 AM
Dr. Boachie is excellent, of course, but he is more likely to suggest an anterior/posterior approach for larger or more mature curves, which can be a much tougher surgery to recover from. I do think he may be moving toward posterior-only approaches, like other top docs in the country, though. If you are out of state, the insurance situation with him can be very difficult.

As difficult as my surgery was (with a two-year recovery), I feel that my fusion is rock-solid and I don't have any post-op issues aside from some stiffness and reduced flexibility.

He's a reserved sort of person, not warm-and-fuzzy, but he's extremely competent and you can trust his judgment completely.

12-17-2009, 09:48 AM
i dont know how all curves could have posterior only approaches..i consulted with dr boachie, dr neuwirth & dr lonner, and all said i need A/P, with fusion to pelvis...can fusion that low be done with posterior only? i was told i need "cages" in the front...

i will see dr anand in CA end january & see what he thinks...as you can see, i am very hesitant to have surgery...


12-17-2009, 10:03 AM
I took my daughter for a consult with Dr Boachie because he'd been recommended by so many people. He spent 10 minutes with her and was not at all helpful. He also said some dubious things such as recommending sit ups and running as good exercises for scoliosis. I knew that I'd be paying out of pocket because he doesn't take our insurance but I thought we'd get something for our money. I think he's only interested if the patient is a candidate for surgery* which my daughter is not (at least not yet) but if that's the case his staff should have told me. I told them all about my daughter's case and I asked specifically how much time Dr Boachie would spend with her and if he would thoroughly review her case. They said, "yes, he's VERY thorough." He was not.

* although, I have to say, this seems to be true of the entire profession.

12-17-2009, 10:10 AM
i am so sorry that happened to you! it is frustrating when doctors do that to any patient!

i was most definitely a candidate for surgery, so maybe that is why he was thorough with me...i dont know...it was 3 years ago...at that time, he was still doing side incisions as well as front incisions...& it meant collapsing a lung, which i didnt want at my age...linda said he may not be doing that anymore...but he also does not take my insurance...so if i have the surgery, i would go to dr lonner or dr neuwirth...but i am seeing dr anand (also does not take my insurance) on january 27 in CA, to see what he thinks...

maybe you are right about dr boachie being so focused on surgery..perhaps one of the parents on this forum could advise you of a better doctor for you child, someone who is also focused on pre sugery or preventive measures..

best of luck

12-17-2009, 10:39 AM
Dr. Boachie is excellent, of course, but he is more likely to suggest an anterior/posterior approach for larger or more mature curves, which can be a much tougher surgery to recover from.

Chris, what I found interesting at my last appointment with Dr. Gupta is when I said I was relieved to have avoided an anterior surgery (his original plan was for A/P), he said that he learned techniques from Dr. Boachie and Dr. Bridwell that he felt eliminated the need for an anterior surgery. And yet, from everything Iíve read here over the past few years, it appears to me that Dr. Boachie is a big proponent of anterior surgeries.

Anne and Rita, I had a big 80-degree curve and I am doing fabulously since my surgery 18 months ago.

12-17-2009, 07:29 PM
Real quick--need to leave but I had all posterior with big curves. See my info at bottom. Also 2 cages--he "reaches around". He has pretty much pioneered the technique. I had lots done but overall a good outcome. Janet

12-17-2009, 11:56 PM
thanks for the info, janet...wow, didnt know those cages could go in that way..reach around, huh...something to ask other doctors about for sure...


loves to skate
12-18-2009, 10:42 AM
thanks for the info, janet...wow, didnt know those cages could go in that way..reach around, huh...something to ask other doctors about for sure...

Hi Jess,
I think it depends on how twisted the spine is and what kind of a correction can be achieved that determines whether they can reach around or have to go in from the front. I may be mistaken on this, but I asked my Dr. if his approach would still be the same with me knowing there have been advances in the two years since my surgery and he said yes.

12-18-2009, 12:55 PM
Hi Sally
hope your surgery days are over really soon!
i read what you wrote about the pain in your leg, but i am glad that your neck is feeling better...i thught the diagnostic part is just til they find the right spot..then when they do, i thought they zero in with the steroid there...maybe i am wrong...i never got that much help from blocks...maybe a month or two of relief....one of my pain doctors wants to do it again..."diagnostically" this time...

i had this flash in my head of a ghoulish reaching around inside the body...like twisting around a doll...but inside instead of outside! brrr..gives me the chills! if they ever have to "twist" me, i want to be so asleep i never know what is going on!

happy merry

12-20-2009, 06:31 PM
Hi all. I'm also trying to make sense of all the different approaches. Dr. Boachie at first suggested anterior/posterior surgery for my 90 degree thoracic curve, with the collapsed lung, detached diaphragm, etc. At the next visit, he said that he would do posterior only and get less of a correction but the surgery would be very safe and the recovery would be faster.

Dr. Lonner said he would do a posterior procedure but he would use a minimally invasive technique to go in through the side to perform the anterior approach. He said he could get about the same correction as Dr. Boachie.

Someone on this site, I believe, said that Dr. Boachie recommended that minimally invasive technique to him. He nurse, Lindy, was adamant that he doesn't do the minimally invasive procedure.

Dr. Lonner seemed to feel that what Dr. Lenke does is the "epitome of what we do" but he said he considered it risky and so he wouldn't recommend it for me.

I am going to see Dr. Lenke on March 23rd. He seems to have the busiest schedule. I won't be able to have surgery with him until summer 2011 (I want summer since I'm a teacher). He also includes a letter in the packet that asked for patients to be flexible if his schedule needs to change since he has many professional obligations.

It really seems that each surgeon has his own approach. Now I'm thinking that I will consider Dr. Lenke, Dr. Boachie and Dr. Lonner and then make a decision. I hope my decision making process is helpful to others.