What does minimally-invasive surgery actually mean?
It typically refers to the use of smaller incisions to perform a procedure often performed using traditional open techniques. The goal is to achieve similar outcomes to open procedures without the pain and prolonged recovery often associated with traditional open approaches. True minimally-invasive spine surgery, as offered in our practice, has been clinically shown to reduce post-operative pain levels, reduce post-operative narcotic requirements, and shorten hospitalization times.
Can these procedures be performed outpatient or do I have to spend the night in a hospital?
One advantage of minimally-invasive spine surgery is that many of the procedures can safely be performed in an outpatient setting, foregoing the stress and costs associated with an inpatient hospitalization.
How do I choose a surgeon to perform a minimally-invasive surgery for my condition?
It is important to select a surgeon who performs a lot of these types of procedures. Ask your surgeon how many of these procedures they have performed and do some research about the procedure offered to determine if they are the right surgeon for the procedure..
Do you perform laser surgery?
We do not perform laser surgery. We perform minimally-invasive spine surgery. For the conditions we treat, laser surgery has not shown any clear benefit. Our procedures are generally covered by insurance plans.
How do I know if I need a neurosurgeon for my pain/disability instead of some other type of specialist?
We can help make that determination. We typically operate on less than half of the patients we see in our office and often are able to treat their conditions with other non-operative methods. Although we are a surgical practice, we try to help patients avoid surgery if possible. We work with a large network of pain specialists, physical therapists, physical medicine and rehab doctors, and other specialists to provide the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual patient.
What conditions of the spine do neurosurgeons typically treat?
Most of the procedures we perform are related to chronic neck/back pain, disc herniation’s of the spine, spinal instability, or other conditions requiring consideration of spinal fusion. We have extensive training in fusion procedures, spinal instrumentation, and disc replacements. While neurosurgeons are trained in even the most complex disorders of the spine including spinal cord tumors, birth defects, vascular disorders of the spine, and other uncommon conditions, the vast majority of the cases we treat are related to pain conditions.
Do you perform artificial disc replacements?
Yes. An individual assessment must be made however to determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate for this procedure versus other options.
Is it difficult to get an appointment for an evaluation?
Not at all. A referral through your family doctor or pain specialist is adequate, or you can schedule directly through our office if your insurance allows. You can often be seen for an initial evaluation by Dr. Loftus within 2 weeks. If you prefer an even faster evaluation, you can schedule an initial visit with one of our nurse practitioners or physician assistants typically within 48 hours to start the evaluation and order necessary tests before your evaluation by Dr. Loftus