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Thread: Scoliosis Revision Surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Scoliosis Revision Surgery

    Hi, My name is Phyllis B. and this is my first time participating in this venue. I am 66 yrs old and in need of revision surgery. My original surgery (anterior & posterior fusion with Harrington rod was in 1989. I've experienced a pretty good life until the last few years when I began to notice numbness, weakness, heavyness in my leg. I've since had a laminectomy & several injections to various joints/nerves to no avail. I also just underwent a cervical laminectomy which took me 3 mos to recover from. This brings me to a suggestion that I see Dr. Boachi in New York at the hospital for special surgeries. He told me that I needed revision surgery including removing a part of my original fusion and then continuing it down to the sacrum. We were told that he does not participate with any insurance and that his fee must be paid in full prior to the surgery. I am wondering if anyone has come across this situation and do you know of any grants or foundations that would help subsidize the $80 or $90.000 amount. Also, does anyone know of any other spine surgeons in or around the East coast who does this type of surgery & would participate with insurance. I am hoping that someone who reads this will have some suggestions. Thanks, Phyllis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Hi Phyllis...

    It doesn't get much better than Dr. Boachie, but Frank Rand in Boston also does a lot of revision surgery.

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/mdpage.php?doctorID=320

    I suspect that you already know this, but thought I'd say it anyway. Although Dr. Boachie doesn't accept insurance reimbursement, most plans allow you to go out of network, and they will pay something like 80% of reasonable fees. Unfortunately, that could still amount to a lot of $.

    Best of luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    Hi Linda, Thanks for responding. Dr. Boachi does not participate in any way with Medicare. Therefore, there could be no submission & further, our secondary would not reimburse because of the non payment from Medicare. I am not aware of the Dr. you mentioned. Is he located in the Boston area? I plan to contact some additional names given me (2 from Dr. Boachi's office staff) & others up and down the East Coast. Have you had contact with Dr. B? Again thanks for responding, Phyllis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    72
    Welcome to the forum Phyllis. You and I share the same age. I had my original scoli/kyphos surgery in August of 2003 and I've been playing games with it ever since. It's not the doctor's fault, but rather my age, my osteoporosis, and whatever else.

    I'm going to give you the names of two doctors I've used throughout the past five years when all of this started. A lot of people travel if it means getting to a good physician who takes their insurance... it's pretty common and the staff has people who help you with your arrangements, etc. First one is Dr. Alexis Shelokov who did my first surgery. He heads up the Baylor Scoliosis Center located just north of Dallas in Plano.
    http://orthodoc.aaos.org/shelokov/

    There was a period of time that Dr. Shelokov was having a controversy with United Healthcare and I got a letter telling me I had to find a new insurance or a new doctor, so I found Dr. Robert Viere, who has great credentials and is an excellent surgeon. He operates at the Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas but the good of that is since the hospital is so huge, they have a hotel which is for the patients and their families. He's an excellent surgeon and has a sweet manner about himself.
    http://www.ntspinecare.com/viere.htm

    On each website, you'll get a lot of information. I see that Dr. Shelokov is accepting UnitedHealthcare again!! But I've been happy with Viere.

    There's a doctor in Armarillo who is well thought of. Someone is going to have to tell you his name & website because I can't remember his name.

    It's that *age* thing again!! haha Hope you get to feeling better and get proper care very quickly.

    Hope this helps. There are many on the forum who travel.
    Diane in Dallas
    Adult Ideopatic Scoliosis (37%) and Kyphosis (65%)
    Surgery #1 8/4/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #2 12/8/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #3 1/10/05 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #4 9/10/07 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #5 1/28/08 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #6 4/27/09 - Dr. Viere, Dallas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Hi Phyllis,

    Dr. Rand did my surgery and I have had a very good outcome. Still some nerve pain in mostly my right leg. Of course it wasn't revision surgery, but I know he does do revisions. Dr Rand is very sweet and kind and observant and concerned about your total health. I received excellent care at the Baptist Hospital and the Cooledge House rehab hospital. Dr. Rand does take Medicare patients. My total out of pocket costs were between $2000.00 and $3000.00. I have a Medicare Advantage Plan PPO and neither Dr. Rand or the Baptist were in my network so it cost me a little more but was worth it.

    I know that people from all over the country come to the Baptist for Orthopedic surgery. Their post surgery infection rate is extremely low which I feel is very important. Where along the East coast are you located? If I can answer any more questions you might have about Dr. Rand or my surgery, don't hesitate to ask.

    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    51
    Hi Phyllis

    Another doctor in the East Coast you might want to consult is Dr. Paul Glazer. He's at the Beth Israel Deacon Medical Ctr in Boston.

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/mdpage.php?doctorID=852

    Best of luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11
    Hi Diane, thanx for responding. I have some dr's names in NY that I think I will contact first. However, I will look up the dr you have given me. Also, I'm new to this & I'm not sure how to reply to each comment. thanks again, Phyllis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11
    Hi Mish, thanx for responding. I will look up Dr. Glazer & check him out. I need all the help I can get. Phyllis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329

    Dr. Thomas Errico

    Hi Phyllis - Dr. Errico from NYU in Manhattan is also a revision surgeon. He does take insurance. Good luck. Lynn
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    6,801
    Quote Originally Posted by Phyllis Bootel View Post
    Hi Linda, Thanks for responding. Dr. Boachi does not participate in any way with Medicare. Therefore, there could be no submission & further, our secondary would not reimburse because of the non payment from Medicare. I am not aware of the Dr. you mentioned. Is he located in the Boston area? I plan to contact some additional names given me (2 from Dr. Boachi's office staff) & others up and down the East Coast. Have you had contact with Dr. B? Again thanks for responding, Phyllis
    Yes, Frank Rand is in Boston. If you Google him, or search on this forum, you'll probably find quite a few of his patients. Actually, Joe O'Brien, who is President of the National Scoliosis Foundation, had revision surgery done by Dr. Rand.

    Regards,
    Linda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacque's Mom View Post
    Hi Phyllis - Dr. Errico from NYU in Manhattan is also a revision surgeon. He does take insurance. Good luck. Lynn
    Thanks for responding Jacque's Mom. Are you having difficulties also??? Is that why you will be seeing Dr. Boachi tomorrow? Have you seen Dr. Errico in the past? If there were no financial issues I wouldn't hesitate to let Dr. B do my revision surgery. Again thanks for the response and good luck w/ur visit. Please let me know what your current problems are. Phyllis

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by Phyllis Bootel View Post
    Thanks for responding Jacque's Mom. Are you having difficulties also??? Is that why you will be seeing Dr. Boachi tomorrow? Have you seen Dr. Errico in the past? If there were no financial issues I wouldn't hesitate to let Dr. B do my revision surgery. Again thanks for the response and good luck w/ur visit. Please let me know what your current problems are. Phyllis
    Hi Phyllis - Yes I did see Dr. Errico back in 1999. He was recommended by my friend who had revision surgery by him and she had a fabulous result. At that time I did not need surgery. Since that time, I have gotten much worse but I have been going to Dr. Boachie for the past few years and decided to stay with him as he has an amazing reputation. I have chronic low back pain but it's now interfering with my sleep. The pain doesn't go down my legs but it is down my buttocks and is quite painful. The thing is when it really flares up, I feel my upper back hurts as well, and I guess that's the referral pain as I tend to stand differently in order to get some relief in my low back. It's a vicious cycle! I have been with pain management since 2002 where my pain level was tolerable until about a year and a half now with the meds I'm taking. Dr. Boachie recommended facet joint injections, which I did end of July and it's amazing how great I felt until about a week ago, as the shot has worn off. I'm so happy I got a few months of relief. Just happens my follow up appointment is tomorrow so the timing is right. He said surgery would be L3/4 fusion and at this point I'm "almost" ready. I'd like to have another shot first so that would get me through, the holidays, hopefully. I leave for Aruba on October 11th and I hope I'm able to have the second shot ASAP. I just can't imagine that flight feeling like this. I was hoping the shot would last the full three months but that didn't happen. I'm going into the office tomorrow and then take a subway for my 3:30 appointment. I will let you know how my appointment went. Please keep your fingers crossed. Regards, Lynn

    UPDATE: Having my second shot, next Tuesday - thankfully!!
    Last edited by Jacque's Mom; 09-29-2008 at 11:10 AM.
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    389
    Phyllis, good luck with whomever you choose as your surgeon. With all these good recommendations, i don't think you will go wrong. I hope all goes well with you and your procedures. ((( hugs ))) JoAnn

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Dr. Boachie did my surgery, but I also met with Dr. Shelakov and Dr. Lenke in St. Louis. Lenke is another well-respected revisionist. I would have been happy with Dr. Lenke or Dr. Shelakov.

    Good luck, Phyllis!
    65* curve at age 55
    T4 - L3 Fusions on May 20, 2008 by Dr. Boachie, NYC
    Curve corrected to 26*
    Blog specifically about my recovery =
    http://gingerinrecovery.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    5

    Another MD in NYC

    Phyllis,
    Eight months ago I had revision surgery with Dr. Thomas Errico who is the Director of spinal surgery at NYU-Hosp for Joint Diseases. My surgery was a success and I am extremely happy with my outcome and the treatment I received. Dr. Errico does participate with some insurance programs; you should investigate this. I also know someone who had successful revision at NYU-HJD with a Dr. John Bendo and they also accept some insurance plans. I assume you are in the NYC area, so rather than travel to Boston or elsewhere, you might want to check with the spine doctors at NYU.

    Hope this helps!
    Donna

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