View Full Version : Confused---Traveling long distance for surgery

11-09-2010, 12:10 PM
I am trying to select a surgeon, and have met with three.

My top two choices are:
Dr. Bridwell & Dr. Lehner.

I live in Westerville, OH. Lehner is in Dayton and Bridwell is in St. Louis. I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of going to St. Louis for treatment verses staying closer to home.

It is daunting to think about the almost eight hour drive to and from St. Louis that would be needed for surgery and follow up....However, my gut is telling me that Dr. Bridwell has more experience with adult scoliosis.

What to do?!?!:eek:

11-09-2010, 05:08 PM
Hi Buckeye - I had surgery with Dr Bridwell Aug 31. My first appt was early June and at that appt I decided to go ahead and book a surgery date and get it over with as soon as I could. (I've been seeing other doctors and I did a lot of research on him and after meeting him and seeing his thoroughness, etc I felt comfortable or as comfortable as you're ever going to be with this surgery) My 2nd appt was in July and my 3rd appt was the day before surgery. I drove to all appts from Carmel (north side of Indianapolis) the day beofre, spent the night and then drove home after my appt. It was a 4 1/2 hour drive for me. It was kind of a pain but we no longer have any nonstop flights between Indy and St Louis. (since TWA went away) Anyway, I got excellent correction, especially considering my age, even better than Dr Bridwell thought I would get; I've had an excellent recovery and no problems. I had to spend a week in a hotel in St Louis after being discharged from the hospital in case I would have any complications with my incision, etc. But that turned out to be fine. We were in a nice hotel, the weather was good so I could get outside and walk, several of my friends drove over from Indy to visit, and I had a good experience. When we left St Louis my husband stopped every 45-60 min so I could get out and walk around and stretch. When I went back for my 2 month checkup I flew because I wasn't sure I could do a 4 1/2 hr drive 2 days in a row. But of the 4 flights, 3 of them were delayed so when I go back the end of Feb for my 6 month checkup I will probably drive, unless the roads are just awful with snow and ice. But based on my surgical experience and the correction I got, I would go back to Dr Bridwell again, regardless of the travel involved. I also have communicated with a lady from this forum who is scheduled for surgery with him in March and she's from Tennessee. You could always ask for references from both doctors and get some other opinions. I just went with what felt right to me. Good luck with your decision!!

11-10-2010, 07:22 PM
Hi Buckeye, Not to add more confusion to your decision, but have you considered the Cleveland Clinic? I had a twelve hour A/P fusion with pelvic anchors 8 months ago. Both surgeries were done on the same day, going from T9-sacrum and BMP was used. I have been very happy with the results . My surgeon was Dr. R. Douglas Orr. While he's not on a list of top scoliosis docs., I felt he had the experience and ability to take care of my situation. Just thought I would mention it. The only regret I have is that I waited so long; I was 55. Best of luck with your decision.