The decision to move forward with spine surgery is a major decision. When pain and dysfunction collide leaving you searching for the right surgeon for relief, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the process during a consultation. Before your appointment with any spine surgeon, be prepared to ask the following questions to determine if the professional is a good fit for you.
1. How is the procedure you are recommending performed?
A great spine surgeon will be able to explain what they will do in a way you will understand. Likewise, they will take whatever time is necessary to ensure you are comfortable with the procedure, the outcome and the recovery process before scheduling you for surgery. If you are still unsure about any part of the surgical process, don't be afraid to ask further questions!
2. What are the pain relief/mobility benefits to this procedure? How long will these benefits last?
The longevity of some potential benefits of surgery does not exceed the effort it takes to achieve them. Only you can make that determination.
3. What are my non-surgical alternatives?
When patients visit a surgeon for a consultation, they are often reluctant to ask about non-surgical alternatives. Instead, believing that all surgeons simply want to operate, they retreat to other less qualified professionals for alternative therapies. In reality, surgeons are in the healing profession whether that means operating on a patient or prescribing alternative methods for solving their pain and mobility problems.
4. What can I expect after surgery?
Whether your procedure is extensive or relatively simple, you need to know what to expect from your recovery immediately after surgery as well as in the proceeding weeks. Will you need to go to a rehabilitation facility or can you recover at home? Will you need physical therapy? When will you be able to return to work and your normal activities? Knowing what to expect is extremely important so you can prepare ahead of time.
5. How many of these procedures do you perform annually?
Exceptional surgeons are exceptional because of their experience. While many professionals are qualified to perform a procedure, they may not do so as frequently as another doctor. Would you rather have a physician operate on you that does one of these procedures a year or one hundred?
Regardless of who you choose to perform your spine surgery, you should be comfortable and confident in your choice. At Capital City Neurosurgery, Dr. Kelly Kiehm treats every patient as an individual, spending as much time with them as they need. With education as a major part of his philosophy, he strives to ensure each patient understands their diagnosis, treatment options, surgical procedures and recovery process. To discuss your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kiehm today.