View Full Version : How far would you travel for surgery?

06-07-2006, 04:28 PM
I live in central PA and using the NSF website can find no spinal specialists near me. The closest that comes up is PGH and Philly which are both about 3-4 hours away from me.

There are surgeons about 1 hour from me at Geisinger Medical Center that do the spinal fusions but none that apparently are the spinal specialists or scoliosis specialists that are recommended in this forum - or if they are they are not listed by the National Scoliosis Foundation.

I've read here that it is hell on the ride home after surgery, plus I have 2 small children so being that far away for a week or so wouldn't work too good nor would having to pay for my husband to stay somewhere and find someone to basically move in with my kids and dog until we would get back.

How can I find out just how many surgeries a particular surgeon has done on scoliosis and maybe what the outcomes are...it's not like the hospital is just going to hand me a list on names, plus the doctor could easily lie and say he was great when if fact he's not.

Just wanted some opinions from you all who have been through surgery. I know it's not to be taken lightly and I realize you have to completely trust your surgeon but I'm wondering if I should drive the extra distance or how I can find more info on the local doctors. I image going far from home would also present a problem with pre-admission testing, donating blood, etc.

Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Karen Ocker
06-07-2006, 05:33 PM
What might work is having the surgery by the best scoliosis surgeon you could find at a distance and then recovering at a rehab hospital close to home for a few weeks so the kids can visit extensively and hubby is off loaded. By the time you come home you are well enough to take better care of yourself. I also had the visiting nurse for awhile when i cam home and hired a lady from the local church for awhile.

06-07-2006, 05:41 PM
Karen, Thank you for the ideas. I saw in an earlier post of yours that you recommend rehab hospitals.

06-07-2006, 05:51 PM
I too live in Central PA and my daughter and I run a Scoliosis Support Group (for all ages) that meets at the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. Feel free to contact me at Spinesupport05@aol.com for more information. A member of our group recently had surgery done in Allentown, by Dr. Jeffrey McConnell. Here's his contact info.: Pennsylvania Spine & Scoliosis Institute; 1243 South Cedar Crest Blvd. Allentown,PA , 610-433-6045. I don't know much about him or his associates, but it might be closer than 4 or 5 hours away for you.

Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way.

Mary Lou

06-07-2006, 06:27 PM
I will be traveling to NYC for my surgery( about 2 hrs at rush hour). I have to say I probably would have gone even further to find a great surgeon if I needed to.
I agree with Karen on the rehab which is way better for the kids to visit you in.
My husband & I will stay over in the city since I need to be in at 6am.. too bad he can't treat me to a nice dinner out, thk I can only eat soup at the most that evening....Ly :)

06-07-2006, 07:34 PM
I would have travelled any distance to have the best surgeon available to me.
Luckily, mine was about 2 hours away. Less in good traffic days.

06-07-2006, 08:21 PM
I would be willing to travel as far as necessary to get the best surgeon.

Kindest Regards,

06-07-2006, 09:09 PM
I was going to mention Hershey Medical Center too. I saw Dr. Weiner there. Also, Lancaster has a few spine specialists. Dr. Porter at the Lancaster Orthopedic Group works mainly with those with scoliosis.

06-07-2006, 11:11 PM
Hi lostfan,

I had my surgery 3 hours from my home. I have no bad memories of my ride home. The right combination of medications did the job for me.


06-08-2006, 06:17 AM
I'll be having mine 2 hours from home....hopefully going to a rehab 20 minutes away from home.

Karen Ocker
06-08-2006, 06:07 PM
I travelled from the hospital in NY to the rehab hospital in NJ in a transport ambulance. I was well medicated before I left.