One of the most major concerns people have when facing surgery is the cost. You may be wondering about herniated disc surgery cost, as well. While the cost of disc surgery varies based on individual factors, this guide will help you navigate the variables associated with surgical costs.
What is Herniated Disc Surgery?
Herniated disc surgery is used to correct a damaged disc in your spine. Between each of the individual bones (known as vertebrae) are rubbery discs of tissue that contain a gel-like center. These discs act as cushions between the bones of your spine. They also help protect the spinal cord and aid in twisting and bending.
When a disc is herniated (also known as a ruptured disc, slipped disc or bulging disc), it can cause serious problems by causing pressure (often known as compression) on your spinal cord or nerves. This can lead to a wide array of symptoms from numbness and tingling to more serious issues, such as pain, difficulty walking and incontinence.
The Procedure Overview
To correct this problem, your surgeon will remove part or all of the damaged disc to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord and nerves. This requires that you be put under general anesthesia (meaning you’ll be completely asleep) during the duration of your surgery.
General anesthetic requires the planning and oversight of an anesthesiologist — a doctor specialized in anesthesia. In addition, there may be additional surgeons (depending on the complexity of your surgery), surgical assistants and nurses to ensure that your surgery goes as smoothly as possible. These all contribute to herniated disc surgery cost but are worth every penny to help you get the best quality care available.
When your surgery is finished you’ll be taken to recovery where a team of specialized staff will monitor you and administer pain medications until you’re awake. From there you’ll be taken to your room for the remainder of your hospital stay.
Insurance and Herniated Disc Surgery
If your insurance covers you in the New Jersey or Tristate area, you are sure to find surgeons in your vicinity that can perform your herniated disc surgery. Most offices will be able to tell you right away whether or not they are in-network with your insurance provider.
A surgeon’s billing office will be able to tell you what sort of information you need to have on hand when you go in for an initial consultation. At that time, they may be able to provide you with an estimate and contact your insurance for pre-authorization.
If the surgeon you wish to see is out-of-network with your insurance company, don’t despair. Many insurance providers are willing to work with you to ensure you get the best care possible, even if that means that they make exceptions for out-of-network providers.
The Costs of Herniated Disc Surgery
Because each person’s herniated disc surgery is different, the costs can vary — it’s unlikely that any two surgeries are going to cost the same. This is because each case is unique and there may be circumstances that will increase or decrease the final total.
Here are just some of the factors that contribute to the overall herniated disc surgery cost:
- Radiology: You will require imaging studies of your spine to determine the best course of action for your surgery. This requires the use of specialized equipment and properly trained staff to ensure the best possible images and diagnostics are provided.
- Surgeon(s) and staff: It is of utmost importance that your surgery is well-staffed. This means that your surgeon may require additional support depending on the complexity of your case. Most surgical suite staff will consist of a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a surgery technician, a surgical assistant, and an operating room (OR) nurse. Additionally, you will have constant monitoring in recovery by specialized doctors and nurses. Each of these individual’s compensation is factored into your surgery total.
- Operating room and recovery facilities use: Each OR and a space in the recovery unit is booked for surgeries, so much like a conference facility, it is reserved especially for your surgery.
- Materials and supplies: A great number of supplies are used for each surgery. These range from sterile operating gloves to gauze, suture material, skin glue and myriad other things necessary for a successful surgery.
- Hospital stay: Your hospital stay may range from 1 – 3 days, on average. During this time you will be in a monitored environment with equipment helping to keep track of your vitals and distribute pain medications and fluids. Depending on what your insurance authorizes, you may be assigned either a private room or a shared room. Food and medications are also factored into the cost of your stay, in addition to any supplies such as bandages or intravenous delivery components. In addition, if you require occupational or physical therapy during this time, the cost of that individual’s services will be considered.
- Follow-up visits: In most cases, follow-ups with imaging will be prepaid. If they’re not, ask for an estimate that will include these charges and make sure your insurance will help cover them.
The last thing you should worry about when you need herniated disc surgery is how much it will cost. Don’t hesitate to ask your insurance company, as well as your healthcare team, for more information regarding what to expect. It is, after all, both your physical and financial well-being that you need to be looking out for!