Choosing a Spine Surgeon: 5 Qualifications That Are More Important Than Being “Near Me”
For those born after the year 2000, it is hard to imagine what the pre-internet world was like. If you wanted to know about the Battle of Waterloo, you would have to head to the library. Sending a message usually meant waiting days or weeks for a reply. And finding a business or service meant paging through a gargantuan phone book.
Now, almost everyone uses Google or other search engines to look for a service, new restaurants to try, things to do, and places to go.
But do you use Google to find a new doctor or lawyer? Would you use it to find a spinal surgeon?
Search engines are great and have made our lives a lot easier, but there are more important things to consider than finding a “spine surgeon near me.”
Spinal surgery is a serious undertaking, so you deserve the best doctor you can find. Here are 5 things more important than proximity when looking for a spinal surgeon.
1. Are They a Qualified Spinal Surgeon?
A physician who is board-certified in pain management or anesthesiology may be qualified to perform injections, but to be qualified to perform spinal surgery, they must have completed a residency in orthopedic surgery and/or neurosurgery.
Most orthopaedic or neurosurgeons who routinely perform spinal surgery have also completed a focused fellowship dedicated to the latest techniques in spinal surgery.
Read about Dr. Saadat’s qualifications.
2. Do They Offer Minimally Invasive Procedures?
Some spinal surgeries involve a long recovery period. A good spinal surgeon will carefully examine your case to identify the best course of action. Some of the best surgeons try to avoid surgery to the extent possible. Except in rare circumstances, surgery should not be the first option in treating a spinal problem.
If your spinal surgeon has not considered non-surgical options or has not discussed other surgical methods of addressing your spinal problem, it might be good to obtain a second opinion. A good surgeon will consider if minimally invasive options are available before resorting to major surgery.
Read about spine surgery alternatives.
3. How Often Do They Do This Procedure?
Spinal surgery is not something you can just “wing.” Even minimally invasive procedures require an experienced hand.
The best spinal surgeons typically dedicate their entire practice to treating the problems of the neck and lower back, and do not treat other conditions. Excellence in spinal surgery requires experience, dedication and focus.
4. Are They Part of a Spinal Center?
Because of its complexity, spinal surgery is best performed at a center with an established track record and a dedicated team of anesthesiologists, surgeons, pain and perioperative specialists, whose focus is delivering the most evidence-based, safest and most effective spine care, with an individualized treatment that is tailored to the patient’s needs.
Before you select your spinal surgeon, inquire whether they are part of a dedicated, reputable, spine center.
Read about Cedars Sinai Ambulatory Surgery Center.
5. What Do the Reviews Say?
It’s a good idea to look for a well-reviewed spinal surgeon, even if that means having to go a little further.
Talk to a Qualified Spinal Surgeon Today
When it comes to finding the right spinal surgeon, you want to look for the one that is most qualified and not simply the spine surgeon close by.
Dr. Ehsan Saadat is a board-certified, Harvard and Emory-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon, and an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Saadat and his team are dedicated to the art and science of spinal surgery.
Contact SaadatSpine today to schedule your consultation.