So, in the never ending quest to find the "right" doctor, I read lots of posts that talk about finding surgeons who have performed "LOTS" of decompression surgeries. What exactly does that mean to the group?
If you are searching out a surgeon to perform decompression or other chiari surgery first you NEED to have a chiari specialist and I can talk from experience I didnt my surgeon did a wonderful job on the surgery but when other issues came up said good luck and see you later. I wish very much that I would have known what I know now. You need someone that has specialized and has done many of these not sure what number but make sure they truly have a thorough understanding of not just the surgery but the aftercare.
I would define a Chiari specialist as someone whose practices is nearly completely devoted to Chiari. They may do no other surgeries at all. For example, I went to see Dr. Heffez and he said they do 3 Chiari surgeries per week. Do the math...3 per week, let's say 50 weeks per year, 150 per year. I think he knows what he's doing.
Take a hypothetical situation though where a neurosurgeon does 3 or 4 Chiari surgeries per year (out of the 150 or so surgeries he may do). If you only do 3 or 4 per year...are you going to be better at the Chiari surgery or some other surgery that you may do 50 of per year?
Or...if the dr says "I've done 20 of these"...well, when did he do those 20? was it 20 years ago?? Be specific when you ask.
Use your own discretion! It also helps if you choose a NS who someone else has had a positive experience with. Sometimes you can even ask the NS if he can recommend a prior patient of his for you to talk with.
Hi...I think this is a personal decision, but for me a chiari specialist is a NS that has his whole practice focused on chiari and chiari related conditions.
To go with a NS that does not focus on chiari like this , u will have a Dr that does not do his/her own research in this field.....I prefer that....
The more experience the Dr has the better care u will have from that dr.....u have to be comfortable with that Dr as well as with his ability.
Too many go with NS's that off er surgery and to fix or cure them...if a dr offers ne of this run the other way....surgery is only a means to slow progression and restore CSF flow....and hopefully reduce some of the symptoms. BUT, it is like ne major surgery it does have risks so the benefits must out weight the risks b4 the NS offers the surgery, and u have to know it is possible for ur body to respond poorly...to meds or the surgery itself....we all have to be patient and allow our bodies to heal.....this is not instant...and will take some time ....and during healing we may experience a resurgence of symptoms...not as bad as b4 surgery, but as the nerves heal they can mis-fire and be over active....and it can take up to 2 yrs for them to fully heal.
We do have a list of Drs that was compiled of the names of the members Drs they have been to and liked.....u still have to research the drs and we suggest u see a few to compare.....the list is not a referral.
As for me and finding the right NS. I went to 3 all together and it make's a big diffence in how comfortable you are with your Dr. When I chose my Dr. I liked his honesty and how up front he was with the surgery. I took into comsideration on how many surgeries and for how long. My doctor has been doing Chairi surgery for 29 years so he is pretty experienced in this field. He wasn't a Dr. that just did the surgery and said O.K. your fine now. He took good care of me and was very compassinet. I hope you will be able to find one as I did. It's make's a difference if yu are comfortable with them.
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