Hey, new poster here. My older brother got spinal fusion a couple years ago and ended up with a nasty scar, long rehab period, and not much result. I think my time is coming for surgery (lower back pain) and my doctor told me spinal fusion was the way to go. I don't want to do it though: I am forever scarred (no pun intended) from what my brother went through. I have been researching minimally invasive outpatient procedures, and in my area, Tampa Florida, I have seen two I am interested in. One was Laser Spine Institute. They seemed to have a lot of good reviews on their website, but when I called them they were quick and terse, and only had me talk with a "patient coordinator". Then after some more research, I typed their name into Google and found this article on Bloomberg that totally trashed their name. That turned me off from them. The Bonati Institute is the other I've been looking at, and I really like them. They have high surgery results and the when I called, they actually put me on the phone with a doctor! Anyway, still haven't decided yet, but I am really liking what the Bonati Institute has to offer. Any input?
Okay, Sorry for the wait on my report back to you guys. I had my surgery done yesterday at Bonati. I loved the facilities and the doctors there are even better. My L4-L5 decompression procedure was way different than I expected. I had conscious anesthesia, so I was awake during the surgery to help them identify when they were close to nerves. This really took me by surprise; but when you are knocked out like during fusion, you can't help the surgeon avoid nerve damage! I've been at home since yesterday, and should be back to work soon. I am thankful my pain is almost gone and recommend it to anyone who is considering minimally invasive.
Thanks for this post. I am suffering a great deal right now, and really conflicted with all the different threads about laser spine surgery. It appears that many people have bad experiences with the LSI. Was your surgery a laser and can you tell me how much it cost? did your insurance cover it? Also, did you become pain free soon after the procedure?
I'm no doctor, so I don't know exactly how the procedure was done, but I know it is done with a sort of laser that is used to "decompress" nerves that are causing pain. My surgery costed me 500$, and Blue Cross covered the rest. That's the reason I stayed away from Laer Spine, because of all of the bad publicity. It could all be just rumor, but I don't want to take my chances! I felt better the day after my procedure. They said I might have some post-op pain and gave me a script for it, but I never had to use it. I feel great.
GolfGuy, almost a year later, are you still feeling good? No return of the pain? That is one of the complaints I have heard about these types of procedures so I want to be sure before I make such a decision.