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Thread: Cost of Surgery? Please Help

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by sashha
    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

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    buenos aires, argentina
    Posts
    14
    I had my surgery in buenos aires, and all i know that here isnīt as expensive. If you want more info, contact me.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    152
    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.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Burnaby, British Columbia
    Posts
    54
    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.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin
    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.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nampa, Idaho
    Posts
    29
    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 !!! And there is still of course more bills to come from anasthesiology, radiology, etc. Thank God for insurance!!
    [[hailey]]

    16 years old
    Had spinal fusion surgery on Jan. 30th, 2008 with Dr. Howard King at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise
    Pre surgery: 52š Lumbar curve and 25š Thoracic curve


  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    96
    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.
    Jamie Age 29
    Mother to a 6 year old daughter & an 11 month old baby boy.

    2000 Curves - 28/40/32
    2008 Curves - 39/63/44
    Surgery Date - 3/25/08
    T4 - L1

    63 degrees corrected to 15 degrees !

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bucks county PA
    Posts
    156
    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.
    2 60* curves, DDD, left trunk shift, some rotation, rib and lumbar humps, annular tear at L5-S1
    surgery 5/08 planning fusion T3 or T4 to sacrum with iliac fixation
    Dr. Anderson at Rothman Institute
    5/16/08 ALIF L1-L5
    5/23/08 fused T2-sacrum w/fixation and I'm all Titanium
    6/4/08 open all back up to clean out for Staph infection
    (left open with just clear dressing)
    6/6/08 recleaned and closed
    3/30/2012 revision planned, broken rod and removal of iliac bolts

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    8

    Smile

    I was VERY fortunate with my insurance, Southern Health. My surgery cost $369,000 and I only had to pay $200

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

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    36
    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?

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    96
    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.
    Jamie Age 29
    Mother to a 6 year old daughter & an 11 month old baby boy.

    2000 Curves - 28/40/32
    2008 Curves - 39/63/44
    Surgery Date - 3/25/08
    T4 - L1

    63 degrees corrected to 15 degrees !

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney - Australia
    Posts
    166
    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
    Elysia 16 in Feb 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    Feb 2008 Fused T5-L1 and 5 ribs removed.
    Dec 2009 - Crankshafting
    Dec 10 - Revision surgery...3 vertebrae taken down, hooks removed, at T11-L1 - screws inserted, fusion extended down to
    L3 using Pedicle screws, some rib removed to try to derotate. Praying for things to settle.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    96
    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.
    Jamie Age 29
    Mother to a 6 year old daughter & an 11 month old baby boy.

    2000 Curves - 28/40/32
    2008 Curves - 39/63/44
    Surgery Date - 3/25/08
    T4 - L1

    63 degrees corrected to 15 degrees !

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    456
    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.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney - Australia
    Posts
    166
    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!!!!
    Elysia 16 in Feb 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    Feb 2008 Fused T5-L1 and 5 ribs removed.
    Dec 2009 - Crankshafting
    Dec 10 - Revision surgery...3 vertebrae taken down, hooks removed, at T11-L1 - screws inserted, fusion extended down to
    L3 using Pedicle screws, some rib removed to try to derotate. Praying for things to settle.

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