A number of health care providers offer different solutions for spinal surgeries all over the world. The diversity of quality and costs is very high even inside Europe. On the other hand, health tourism is more and more popular and patients seek for safe and high quality possibilities in affordable cost. Here, we would like to help patients needing a spine surgery in selection of a health care provider by discussing some important factors.
From Latvia to UK, a number of spine “centers” advertise themselves as top-quality hospitals for spine surgeries with internationally recognized experts and world-leading team. Behind the curtain, in most cases, there is a small private praxis with one or two neurosurgeons or orthopedists performing the most simple spine surgical procedures in a limited number per year. These providers can help a group of people, but the situation above can be dangerous for a number of patients suffering from a spinal condition.
- Even the most simple procedures can have complications. Management of surgical and non-surgical adverse events requires higher level of experience and more diverse surgical practice.
- A significant part of patients requires careful monitoring (often on intensive care unit (ICU)) after the surgery, but most of the private spine hospitals does not have an ICU or postoperative ward.
- The limited number of surgical procedures includes the risk for a “wide indication” of the surgery what the given surgeon can perform (e.g. endoscopic microdecompression for everybody).
- Modern spine surgery is patient-specific in surgical indication, use and type of implants and postoperative care. Small centers and limited surgical practice often have got limited possibilities.
- The economical background of these spine surgical practices can influence their indication and type of surgeries and implants. On the price list of these providers, there are a number of off-label or potentially harmful procedures which are not supported by scientific evidences.
HOW CAN YOU CHOOSE A SURGEON/CENTER IF YOU NEED A SPINE SURGERY?
- By checking your surgeon’s qualifications and surgical practice, you can trust his/her professional level
- The international scientific prestige of a medical doctor is usually a sign of reliability and professional credibility
- Academic position of a surgeon and/or a center is the highest level of national recognition
- Check the participation of the center/surgeon in international clinical trials, registries. In these studies, there is a full transparency regarding number of procedures, surgical results and adverse events
- Consider the infrastructure of the center and the personal skills of the surgeon. Is there a safe postoperative ward/ICU in the hospital, is the surgeon trained and experienced in management of complications?
- Check the rehabilitation/physiotherapy options in the hospital
- Be informed about the follow-up protocol of the institution/surgeon. Most spine surgeries requires long-term follow-up
- Calculate the cost. There is a high diversity in costs of spine surgeries over the world and additional costs (travel, accommodation, etc) also increase the expenses. Here you can find a detailed summary about costs of different interventions in different countries.
Dr. Lazary performs wide range of spine surgical interventions in the Buda Health Center, which is an internationnally recognized spine center with high quality services in the heart of Budapest, Hungary. Due to its location and rich connections Budapest is easily accessible from all parts of Europe and also from Middle-East and North-America.