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Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a relatively new category of spine surgery that is widely known to be faster and safer than other types of spine surgery. Recovery times are also usually reduced. But MIS isn’t necessarily right for everyone. In fact, on a more general level, surgery itself isn’t right for everyone. 

So how do you know if this revolutionary type of surgery is right for you? Ask your surgeon!

What are good questions to ask a surgeon in advance of MIS? Here are eight.

How Do I Know if MIS is Right for Me?

Here are a number of questions to ask your surgeon, or various prospective surgeons, to 1) evaluate if MIS is right for you and 2) evaluate if the surgeon seems knowledgeable and experienced:

1. Do I Need Surgery?

While this might seem like an obvious question, it’s an extremely important one. A qualified surgeon and/or spine specialist will be able to evaluate your situation and determine whether the benefits associated with surgery outweigh the risks. 

While MIS is much less invasive than traditional surgery, it’s still surgery, so if you can resolve your condition with alternative courses of treatment, doing so might be in your best interest.

2. What Are the Potential Risks & Complications of MIS Surgery for My Case?

Every patient is different. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and complications associated with MIS surgery, given your medical history, current state of health, and desired outcomes. 

3. What Pre-Op Preparations Must I Make?

Some folks could be cleared for MIS right away. Others must prepare with lifestyle changes, medication adjustments, or medical clearances from a cardiologist or primary care physician. 

For instance, if you’re taking certain herbal supplements or blood thinners, you’ll want to stop taking those 1-2 weeks before surgery.

An experienced and knowledgeable surgeon should be able to fill you in on all the necessary preparations to make in your unique situation.

4. Can you Explain How MIS will Address the Specific Issues in My Spine? 

Surgery isn’t something that a good doctor recommends lightly. Therefore if surgery is the recommended course of treatment, you should understand why this is the case. What is it about MIS specifically that will treat your particular spine health issues? 
We also recommend asking if any alternative courses of treatment could accomplish the same treatment goals. 

5. What MIS Techniques Do You Recommend for My Condition?

There are many different types of minimally invasive surgery, from endoscopic spine surgery to from endoscopic spine surgery, mini open, or tubular approaches. Be sure to discuss your options with your surgeon before proceeding.

6. What Should I Expect for the Recovery Process?

Don’t be blindsided by a long recovery process. Be sure to ask your surgeon these questions related to recovery time and expectations:

  • What is the expected recovery time for MIS compared to traditional surgery?
  • Will I need physical therapy, and if so, for how long?
  • Are there any lifestyle modifications required during the recovery period?

7. What Outcomes Can I Realistically Expect from MIS for My Spine Condition?

It’s important to understand what MIS will do for your condition. Will it eliminate the pain you’re feeling? Will you feel differently afterward? Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you go under the knife!

8. Will My Insurance cover MIS surgery? If Not, What Are My Expected Out-of-Pocket Costs?

Surgical procedures are rarely cheap. After all, they require a great deal of precision and skill. That being said, you should be prepared for the associated costs. Make sure to discuss insurance eligibility with both your doctor and your health insurance provider and ask about out-of-pocket costs.

Learn More: Contact Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center Now

There is a lot to consider before having surgery, such as a surgeon’s credentials and success rate, follow-up plans, and much more. We encourage you to make this decision after careful consideration and consultation with a qualified doctor. 

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our office for a consultation.