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Thread: Cost of Surgery? Please Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61

    Cost of Surgery? Please Help

    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,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    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?...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    542
    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.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian_Bacon
    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!
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    66
    I had my surgery performed here in the United Kingdom, and according to my insurance company, the total bill was about 16,000/$32,000.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by mariaf
    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....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,757
    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
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    542
    Looking over my insurance claims the bill is now at $169,235.71 for this last surgery.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa
    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.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    12
    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?
    Em.
    19yo
    Australia
    Surgery 11th December 2007
    t c 60 l c 45

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    542
    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.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by emmalouise
    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    716
    If You are under 18 the shriners hospital in candna well do surgery free of chrage if you are of there patients
    Kara
    22.5 years old
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    Foot Surgery Febaury 2015

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    California Bay Area
    Posts
    7
    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

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