Ask the Spine Surgeon
January, 2016 - Issue #135

Hi Dr. Moza. Most people write to you hoping to hear that they don't have to have surgery. I'm on the opposite end of that spectrum. I not only know I need spine surgery, I'm looking forward to it. My problem is this: I'm not quite sure how I'm going to fit this into my busy life, let alone pay for it. I'd love to experience the holidays "pain free" for the first time in years. Is that even possible this late in the game?

Not only is it possible, it's entirely probable.

You don't mention what kind of surgery you require, but regardless of your prognosis, chances are that you can rejoin your favorite holiday activities almost immediately after surgery.

I know that sounds surprising, but I think you're going to like what I have to say.

I am a proponent, whenever possible, of ambulatory spine surgery. Because of recent advances in spine surgery technology, and my groundbreaking stewardship of minimally-invasive procedures, the vast majority of my patients' spine surgeries are being performed in an out-of-hospital surgical setting.

That doesn't mean that most spine surgeries are done this way, though. According to the Society for Ambulatory Spine Surgery, only about 5 percent of spinal surgeries are completed in an ambulatory setting. The reasoning doesn't have to do with safety or efficacy, though. Those numbers are right on track, if not a little better, when compared to the same surgery performed in a hospital. It comes down to the comfort and confidence of the surgeon.

To me, there's no better option for my patients, which is why I've been performing spinal surgeries in ambulatory settings for over a decade; in fact I've done more ambulatory spine surgeries than any other specialist in the region.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

• Combined with my minimally-invasive procedures, an ambulatory spinal surgery allows for people to sleep in their own bed the same night as their treatment.

• The cost of ambulatory spinal surgery is much lower than a hospital setting, as no over-night stay is required. You'll check out within 23 hours of your admittance while still meeting your health-insurance deductible.

• In an ambulatory spine surgery setting, I have much more control of your experience from beginning to end. I demand VIP client care from my hand-selected staff, ranging from the nurse who checks your vitals to the anesthesiologist who ensures that you don't feel a thing during your procedure. My patients get the "movie star" treatment for less than they'd pay to have their surgery performed in an average hospital.

• When I perform your ambulatory spine surgery, you can be confident that I'm the one providing your treatment from beginning to end. There are no hospital residents or med students observing or working on your case. This means that your surgery is done faster and with less complications and risk of infection.

• This is the future of outpatient surgery; I just so happen to be practicing it today! Ambulatory spine surgery is an appropriate selection for even complex cases - even extensive decompressions.

As you can see here, the advantages of ambulatory spine surgery are numerous. Call my office as soon as possible so that we can get you scheduled before the holidays. The gift of a pain-free life is one I want you to cherish before the New Year!

Kapil Moza MD, FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Neurological Surgery
Dr. Moza's Santa Clarita office is conveniently located in Valencia. 805-497-3622
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