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Thread: Changing Doctors

  1. #1
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    Changing Doctors

    If you want to consult another surgeon, whether it's for a second opinion or just because you feel a change is in order, is it stupid to try to find one in the same hospital or practice? It's not like there are that many hospitals with such specialized surgeons.

    Anyone done this?
    Last edited by Tina_R; 10-18-2020 at 08:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think it probably depends on the center, and whether or not you have access to other specialists close by. At UCSF, they usually make it very difficult for patients to see multiple spine surgeons in the same practice. I also think it's less probable that two surgeons in the same facility will disagree with their partners.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    I think it probably depends on the center, and whether or not you have access to other specialists close by. At UCSF, they usually make it very difficult for patients to see multiple spine surgeons in the same practice. I also think it's less probable that two surgeons in the same facility will disagree with their partners.
    I can see where differences between doctors can appear to be criticisms and that that maybe doesn't look so good for those within a practice.

    But some doctors specialize in revision surgery, which redoes what another doctor did to some degree. This doesn't necessarily mean that the first surgeon did anything wrong, but they could have. It almost sounds as if revision surgeons and first-time surgeons should be part of separate practices.

    I frequent another scoliosis forum and I tell people all the time to get a second opinion. But in practice it may not be so easy to get a qualified second opinion. If there is only one major spine center in your area, you may have to travel for that second opinion. Like poor Nancy/"Scared" who had to go out of state to find even one highly qualified scoliosis surgeon.

  4. #4
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    You get fusion surgery, you see the surgeon every so often for updates. He checks how well you are recovering. That's what I've been doing, of course.

    How long and how often do people do this? For me it was every few months in the beginning. Does it go down to once per year or less often after a certain amount of time passes? Surgeons must accumulate a lot of patients and it must be impractical to see all of them too often.

    If there are no complications, how often are people seeing their surgeons after months and years pass? Do they ever stop seeing them? Do they ever transition to a doctor who is not the surgeon who did the work but who is familiar with the spine?
    Last edited by Tina_R; 10-24-2020 at 11:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2008
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    illinois
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    I stayed at once a year of seeing the surgeon. It could depend on how much they want to follow their healed patients.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    You get fusion surgery, you see the surgeon every so often for updates. He checks how well you are recovering. That's what I've been doing, of course.

    How long and how often do people do this? For me it was every few months in the beginning. Does it go down to once per year or less often after a certain amount of time passes? Surgeons must accumulate a lot of patients and it must be impractical to see all of them too often.

    If there are no complications, how often are people seeing their surgeons after months and years pass? Do they ever stop seeing them? Do they ever transition to a doctor who is not the surgeon who did the work but who is familiar with the spine?
    Tina...

    It depends on the surgeon, and whether you've enrolled in a study. After a year or two, there's no actual reason to see your surgeon, as long as everything is going OK. If you have significant new symptoms (for more than a week or two), you should definitely make an appointment. If you're enrolled in a study, you've agreed to be seen at different intervals, usually up to 5 or 10 years postop. While it can be a pain in the butt to go in when you're doing well, there's definite benefit to continuing participation in these studies, as that's how they know what works and what doesn't.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Tina...

    It depends on the surgeon, and whether you've enrolled in a study. After a year or two, there's no actual reason to see your surgeon, as long as everything is going OK. If you have significant new symptoms (for more than a week or two), you should definitely make an appointment. If you're enrolled in a study, you've agreed to be seen at different intervals, usually up to 5 or 10 years postop. While it can be a pain in the butt to go in when you're doing well, there's definite benefit to continuing participation in these studies, as that's how they know what works and what doesn't.

    --Linda
    OK, in the first year, how often do people see their surgeon? Especially how long after the surgery is that first checkup for most patients?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    OK, in the first year, how often do people see their surgeon? Especially how long after the surgery is that first checkup for most patients?
    At UCSF, the standard of care for deformity surgery follow-up is 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  9. #9
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    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    At UCSF, the standard of care for deformity surgery follow-up is 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

    --Linda
    I had my surgery at Twin Cities Spine Center and my first year follow up was the same as what Linda said about UCSF.

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  10. #10
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    Sep 2019
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    There's no need to see your surgeon after a year or two...as long as everything is all right.

    Nothing has ever been all right for me, though. I haven't reached the "all right" stage.

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