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If you are dealing with low back pain or sciatica that does not improve with conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend you have surgical procedure to manage your pain. The goal of a lumbar surgery is to address your pain either by stabilizing your spine or decompressing your spinal nerves or some combination of the two.

Your doctor may give you different options when considering the type of lumbar surgery you have. Most lumbar spine surgeries involve a standard, open approach that involves a large incision and a dissection of the muscles that support the spine.

This approach carries increased risks of infection and blood loss. Some New Jersey neurosurgeons are using a newer, more innovative approach to lumbar surgery called minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery.

Minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery involves your surgeon making one or two small incisions in your low back and using specialized instruments to carry out the procedure. This approach involves decreased blood loss, decreased pain and less chance for infection.

When considering having minimally invasive lumbar surgery, you should be aware of the different factors that make up the cost of the surgery. You need to know all costs associated with the surgery so you can make an informed decision about having the procedure to manage your back pain.

Minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery costs determined

Minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery costs may affect your decision to have the procedure. By understanding the factors that affect your out-of-pocket costs, you can fully prepare for your surgery. Some of these costs are listed below.

Insurance coverage

The type of insurance coverage you carry may affect how much your minimally invasive lumbar surgery will cost. Some insurance plans cover the procedure fully, while others may split the cost of your surgery with you. Other plans may simply have you pay a co-payment for your surgery, and some have you meet a deductible before the plan covers the cost of the surgery.

Navigating the convoluted world of insurance coverage can be difficult, and trying to figure it out while dealing with back pain and your pending surgery may cause anxiety. Finding a doctor who has an insurance specialist on staff can be helpful. That person can assist you in understanding your out-of-pocket expenses associated with minimally invasive lumbar surgery.

Type of lumbar procedure performed

The type of lumbar spine surgery you have may affect the overall cost of the procedure. Some lumbar surgeries require the use of medical grade screws and rods or materials that promote bone growth to achieve the desired lumbar stabilization.

Other surgeries are done without hardware with pain relief accomplished by decompressing your spinal nerves. Your doctor should explain to you the logic behind the use of these products and how each one may affect your out-of-pocket cost.

Cost of post-operative care

Once your minimally invasive lumbar surgery is complete, you need to focus on your recovery, and this may affect the cost of the procedure. Some aspects of post-operative care that may affect the bottom line include:

  • Time out of work
  • Post-operative physical therapy
  • Post-operative home care nursing

Discuss with your doctor the expected recovery course after your minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery and how this may affect the overall cost of the procedure. While no one can accurately predict your individual needs after your surgery, your surgeon can give you a general idea of what to expect during the weeks following your procedure.

Travel costs

When considering minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgery in New Jersey, you should ask about the facility where your procedure will take place. Will there be extended travel to get to the facility, and will parking be a factor–for you and your family–to consider when managing the cost of your procedure?

While travel costs should be factored into the overall expense of your minimally invasive spinal surgery, you should be sure to choose a facility that offers modern amenities with a staff that is respectful and responsive to your personal needs.

Additional cost factors to consider

The cost of minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery in New Jersey may be variable, and understanding the factors that go into the cost would be incomplete without considering the relatively hidden costs of your procedure.

Surgical assistants

Sometimes, your doctor may require a specialist assist during your minimally invasive lumbar surgery, and this specialist will likely wish to paid for his or her expertise.

If the specialist who assists your doctor does not participate as a provider your insurance network, you may be facing increased costs with your surgery. Be sure to ask you doctor if special assistants will be necessary during your surgery.

Anesthesiologists and neurophysiologists

Whenever you have surgery, a specialist called an anesthesiologist will be present to ensure that you safely remain unconscious during the procedure. Sometimes a neurophysiologist is present to monitor the function of your nerves during a procedure.

These services are billed for separately and it is important for you to know whether these professionals are in your network and whether their services will incur any additional cost to you.

Surgical center facility fees

Sometimes a facility fee will be assessed to your procedure to help cover the cost of supplies, ancillary staffers and incidentals provided by the hospital or facility where your surgery takes place. When considering your surgery, be sure to ask about where it will take place and what the facility fees are.

Contact your insurance company to inquire about coverage for facility fees. Remember, some neurosurgery practices have billing specialists who can assist you in understanding facility fees.

Lost time at work

Most likely, you will not be able to work during the days or weeks following your minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery. This inability to perform your normal work duties may have an effect on your income, and this should be considered when factoring all of the variables associated with the cost of your surgery.

Be sure to work closely with your doctor to get information about your expected recovery time and when you may be able to return to work after your surgery.

Minimize costs by choosing the right neurosurgeon for you

When facing lumbar surgery, you can minimize your overall cost by choosing the best neurosurgeon for you. A surgeon who performs minimally invasive lumbar surgery can ensure that you enjoy a speedy recovery with minimal need for postoperative services and minimal lost time at work.

More important than the type of procedure you have is the relationship you enjoy with your neurosurgeon. Your doctor should listen to your needs, and he or she should take time to answer any questions and concerns that you may have

Your neurosurgeon should make you feel comfortable about your decision to have surgery, and he or she should outline the risks and benefits associated with minimally invasive lumbar surgery.

Although cost is an important factor when considering minimally invasive lumbar surgery, finding a New Jersey neurosurgeon who works with you in a therapeutic alliance to manage your back pain is paramount.

When dealing with back pain, the right surgeon can help you recover quickly and safely so you can return to your normal active lifestyle.
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