When it’s been recommended you get back surgery, it can be a very scary moment. You’ve already been dealing with thoughts of never being the same again. Now, you’re also thinking about potential complications of back surgery.
You’re envisioning not being able to play with your kids or grand kids. You’re envisioning never being able to fulfill your career dreams or purpose on this planet. You’re picturing a future filled with limitations and pain. You’re doing everything you can to live in the moment and be positive but it gets hard.
You need a surgeon that’s not only technically skilled but that will also take the time to understand where you’re at emotionally and prepare you for surgery in the most comfortable way. How do you make sure you’ve got a back pain surgeon that can do that for you before committing?
You ask him as many questions as you can to verify his personality and skill level match what you – and your family and friends – need.
Here are some questions you absolutely need to ask him.
1. If I were to ask you to refer me to another surgeon for a second opinion, who would you refer me to?
This is important for a few reasons. First, you should go speak to the surgeon he’s referred you to. Maybe he’ll be an even better fit – you never know. But, even if he’s not, you should get a feel for the type of doctor your potential surgeon trusts. That can say a lot. You should also pay attention to how your back pain surgeon reacts when you ask the question. If he gets defensive in any way or isn’t happy to give you a referral, it may be a red flag that he doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
2. Can you refer me to some of your past patients?
To really get a good idea of if he’ll be a good fit for you or not, you should ask to speak to some of his past patients. A back pain surgeon that’s confident in his technical skills and his communication skills will be happy to give you some. As he should. It’ll give you peace of mind to understand their experiences and if they match what you’re hoping for.
3. What are your qualifications?
This one sounds like a no-brainer. But spend time with it. Focus on what continuing education he’s been earning recently. That’ll give you a good gauge of how up to date and modern he, his philosophy, and the techniques he practices are. If he’s not keeping up, you may want to consider another option. Also ask about his board certification and any fellowship he’s been a part of.
Those are 3 important questions to ask any potential back pain surgeon before committing. They’ll give you a good idea of the type of surgeon he’ll be. And on your search for the best possible results, we hope you come ask those questions to Dr. Rovner as we’re confident we’ll give you those results.