When your spine condition reaches the point that you need surgery, there is a huge range of factors to consider. However, one of the most important considerations to keep in mind is the spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida who will perform said surgery. It goes without saying that you want an experienced and highly skilled spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida, but there are several other things to keep in mind as you weigh your options. We're going to pick out the biggest ones below.
1. Training Level
It's completely acceptable for you to ask your potential surgeon about internships, university degrees, residencies, and any fellowship programs. Asking these questions will help you learn about where your surgeon went to school and their area of study. In turn, you'll get a much better understanding of their specialties and interests. For this surgeon, the highest level of training they can get is a fellowship. A fellowship means that your surgeon spent at least a year working alongside senior spine experts after their residency training. A lot of neurosurgeons in these programs split this year between brain and spine surgery training.
Many spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida get their certifications from the American Board of Neurological Surgery. It's common to see a F.A.C.S. designation listed after your surgeon's name on their badge. This designation means that your particular surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. So, they have to meet very strict standards set by the American College of Surgeons for training, education, professional credentials, competence as a surgeon, and ethical conduct. You can consider this designation another safety net that reassures you that the surgeon knows what they're doing to the highest degree.
3. Possible Patient Outcomes
It's essential that you have a good understanding of the potential side effects and risks associated with the surgery, and there's no one better to ask than your potential spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida. The surgeon should be more than willing to provide all of this information if you ask, and they should also be willing to tell you their specific rates of success. Ask and see how they answer you. Are they forthcoming with specific numbers or percentages? Do they tell you the information in a way that is easy for you to understand? Or, does your surgeon go around the topic or brush you off? If they do, you will want to look elsewhere because you want someone who is completely transparent with you.
4. Personal Philosophy
When you start looking for a spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida, you'll notice very quickly that they all have different philosophies when it comes to the actual surgical procedure. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's something that you want to pay attention to. For example, some surgeons are much more conservative than others in their approach to surgery and treatment. Generally speaking, surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive procedures and treatment options typically have lower complication rates than surgeons who don't excel in this niche. Again, this is where credentials play in, and you shouldn't be afraid to ask what their surgical philosophy is for spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida.
How many years has your spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida been performing surgeries? Keep in mind that not every qualified surgeon will have 15 to 20 years under their belts yet, and experience doesn't necessarily mean that they're top-ranked. What you want to look for with experience is a surgeon who has a very strong history of performing whichever type of surgery you require. So, if it's a minimally invasive surgery, you want them to have at least a few years focusing solely on this type of surgery. They should be very forthcoming with this information if you ask, and they should be able to tell you how long they've focused on your specific surgery.
Although this point is more for convenience than anything, it's still something important to consider. Where will you have your surgery? Ideally, it'll be somewhere that is convenient for both you and anyone who is going to be with you to help with your post-surgical care. Many spinal surgeries are outpatient procedures where you go home the same day, depending on the complexity of the surgery. You don't want to have to drive hours home after the surgery. So, find a spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida who is relatively close to wherever you're going to stay after surgery. Remember that you will have follow-up visits to attend too.
You can learn a huge amount when you go into a consultation with a surgeon. You should never be afraid to ask questions or get the feeling that you can't ask them. The surgeon should sit down with you and explain the procedure to you and your family. It's also a good idea to get a feel for the office staff during this consultation. Were the staff approachable, courteous, and cooperative with you? Since you'll deal with the staff much more than you will the actual spinal surgeon Boca Raton Florida, it's important to be comfortable with all of them.
8. Follow-Up Care
Does the surgeon plan on giving you guidelines for following up after the surgical procedure? Who will be in charge of managing this care? Will you come back to the same office and see the staff and surgeon, or do they handle it through another clinic? Do they give you a good outline for your care after the surgery? These are all questions your surgeon should answer readily, openly, and honestly when you ask.
Contact Florida Spine Associates
If you're looking for a professional, experienced, and dedicated spinal surgeon in Florida, contact us. At Florida Spine Associates, we have qualified spine surgeons on staff that is ready to sit down with you for a consultation. We'll address your concerns, answer your questions, and make you as comfortable as possible for your upcoming surgical procedure. Our staff is ready and willing to schedule your consultation right now to get you back to a pain-free life.