Technological advances nowadays aim to make health care for both doctor and patient a lot faster and more convenient. One of the procedures that promise such is the laser spine surgery.
Laser spine surgery is a type of minimally invasive procedure for treating orthopedic back problems. Meaning, you will undergo a surgical operation without the surgeon cutting you open that would happen if you opt for the traditional method.
If you have a back problem and you wanted to opt for a laser spine surgery, know that the procedure is only applicable for minor orthopedic conditions. Plus, if back surgery is already expensive, then laser spine surgery is a notch costlier.
Learn how much laser spine surgery cost to help you choose the procedure that is best for your condition.
Average Laser Spine Surgery Cost
The average laser spine surgery cost runs from $30,000 to $90,000 or more, much costlier than a traditional spine surgery which averages only up to $70,000.
The exact cost varies depending on the hospital or institute and surgeon who will facilitate the surgery, cost of medication and materials for the procedure, and the cost of living in your location.
As it is an expensive procedure, you should be aware of the facts surrounding the laser spine surgery. For instance, the said type of surgery does not mean it’s incision-free. In fact, your surgeon would make a ½ inch incision to be able to insert the laser into the appropriate area of your back.
Other features of laser spine surgery according to San Jose Neuro Spine include:
- No muscles cut
- Same-day discharge for majority of cases
- Quick recovery, as short as 4 to 6 weeks
- Minimal post-operation pain
- Minimal blood loss
- Less than 1% infection rate
- Minimal scarring
Note that not all minimally invasive surgeries involve using a laser and are only effective for about 30% of procedures. For instance, laser spine surgery is most effective for removing tumors from the spinal cord, removing bone or soft tissue around a nerve, and shrinking disc material around a nerve.
Also, the surgeon would not have the same ease of manipulation when performing laser spine surgery as the laser’s straight beam does not have the same maneuver offered by a scalpel. There is also a risk of tissue damage because of the laser’s heat.
Laser Spine Institute Costs
To get a better idea of the expenses, let’s take a look at different laser spine institute costs in the country, as well as rates abroad for those who opt for medical tourism.
Laser Spine Institute, based in Florida, typically charge patients $30,000 for the procedure, particularly disc decompression that involves removing material or bone that presses on nerves. The said institute, however, has faced several lawsuits in the past for cases of malpractice. With that said, it won’t be advisable to try contacting this institute at present.
Other surgery clinics in the country have no available price list for the laser spine surgery that is accessible to a non-patient. You could only obtain a list of laser spine institute costs by requesting a quote online.
As for surgeries abroad, prices are significantly lower in India than in the US and the UK. According to Dr. Dheeraj Bojwani, the cost of laser spine surgery for single to multiple levels would cost $24,000 to $36,000 and up in the US but would only cost $6,000 to $9,000 in India. Other price comparison includes:
- Spinal Fusion US: $77,000 India: $10,000
- Cervical Disc Replacement US: $58,000 India: $10,000
- Orthopedic Surgery (joint replacements) US: $28,000 India: $7,000
The Traditional Method
If you want to save on costs or you’re not comfortable with the new method, or both, you could always opt for the scalpel. Similar to the laser spine surgery, the price you would have to pay for the traditional method depends on your condition.
For instance, if you are an uninsured patient who would need to undergo laminectomy (treatment of spinal stenosis), you would have to pay around $50,000 to $90,000. Another procedure, spinal fusion, would cost you $80,000 to $150,000.
The said back surgery costs could be lower as most health insurance plans cover the said procedure. Usually, an out-of-pocket maximum of $200 to $2,000 or more applies to patients with insurance.
Tips Before the Surgery
Some things to remember before you subject yourself to any procedure include the following tips:
- Consult first. Before opting for surgery to ease your back pain, whether it’s a laser spine procedure or a traditional one, you should first consult with your doctor about your health concerns. Your consultant would be the one to decide on whether you are recommended and ready for an operation.
- Get a second opinion. If you are still in doubt, consult another doctor and compare recommendations from both consultants.
- Consider your budget. Determining just how much you’re willing to pay for the surgery would help you choose an option that’s acceptable for you.
- Check your insurance. Once you’ve chosen a hospital, you could ask them if they accept payment from your insurance company. If the hospital of your choice is partnered with your insurance company, it may have a significant cut on the surgery expenses.
- Perform a background check. Opting for laser spine surgery is a major decision. Thus, choosing who will be performing the procedure on you also requires some research and information gathering.
No matter what method you choose, remember that any kind of surgery has its risks. You could prevent negative results, though, by making sure that who you choose to allow to operate on you would do his/her job efficiently. After all, no matter how advanced the methods or surgical tools are, the procedure itself would not be a success without the person performing the surgery.
Lastly, the best way to avoid the discomfort of back pain and the hassle of looking for an expert to relieve you is to keep your back strong. You can achieve that through correct posture, exercise, and a healthy diet.
May you always live a healthy life!