Laser Spine Institute
Laser Spine Institute
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Laser Spine Institute

Tampa, FL

ConsumerAffairs Accredited Brand

We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offering a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery. Our outpatient procedures are performed in a state-of-the-art facility, using a less than 1-inch incision.

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Last updated: March 13, 2018

292 Laser Spine Institute Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 13, 2018

I have had cervical pain for several years and have done as many non intrusive treatments as possible to include acupuncture, physical therapy, pain medications, injections, steroids, massage, etc. Nothing helped and I was in a ton of pain. My husband and I saw an ad for Laser Spine Institute, and I sent them my information just to see what would happen. I was deemed an appropriate candidate, and went ahead with the consultation despite my respected pain management physician telling me not to have anything to do with this clinic. I wish I would have listened to him, but I was so desperate to be out of pain. I talked to a care specialist, who assured me several times that we would pay nothing more than the procedure cost of $2,400.00, with the deposit of $250.00. I called my insurance company, was informed that they were out of network and would only pay 40%.

I called the care specialist after hearing this (as the insurance company had no records that LSI called them to check benefits, even though they had told me they had), and she again reassured me that all we would be responsible for was the $2,400.00, that they would "eat" the cost that insurance did not cover as they were trusting their estimates on what would be covered. So, we made travel arrangements, made sure our childcare was covered for the week we would be gone, and took off from work. We traveled all the way to Florida. The first three days were all testing, mostly injections that were supposed to simulate what it might feel like following the surgery. There was a lot of sitting around and waiting, but we expected that as we were there for that. The staff, facility and doctors were all very kind and caring, and I felt taken care of. The hotel on the campus was also nice. I was super hopeful.

The day before the surgery we met with the financial person, who sat down with us and again reassured us that the $2,400.00 she was collecting would be all that would be owed. I am a doctor and bill insurance on a daily basis, so I really wanted to make sure this was all on the up and up and clarified multiple times with everyone. My husband and I both understood this was all we were to pay. The day before the surgery we met with a surgeon who was abrasive and wouldn't answer our questions, or listen to us at all. He simply said I wasn't a candidate and got up and walked out. We expressed our confusion and surprise to the nurse, and were then given a different doctor who went over what he saw as our options. I was assigned to Dr. ** for the actual surgery, and that was confirmed for two days later. We extended our trip. I was hopeful.

The morning of the surgery we met Dr. ** for the first time and he was funny, personable and very talented. The nurses were kind, got the IV in the first time, and we were treated well. The recovery was great -- who wouldn't want to recover next to a pool in Florida? I was in no pain for the first time in years, and I was surrounded by other people who had all had surgery and were feeling no pain as well. We made it home, and in a few weeks the surgical ** and medications all wore off and now I was back in pain. A different pain, but still a ton of pain. I had some right to left range of motion back, but I could no longer look up and down. I let the spine line know, but was told to take huge amounts of **, physical therapy, not to move my head during the day (?!?) and to call back in 7-10 days. Well, at the end of that 10 days I received a bill for $39,600.00.

I was surprised, but figured it was because all of the insurance had not come through or they had not forgiven everything yet, as had been promised. So I let it sit. Two weeks later I received another bill stating that payment was due upon receipt. So I called LSI to discuss this with them, sure it was just a mistake. I was told that my insurance only paid 40% (yes, I know that, that's why I confirmed beforehand this would not be an issue), and that I had to pay the other 60%, which, coincidentally was only $400.00 less than what my out of pocket maximum is for out of network facilities. Hmmm... So I explained my situation, told her that I had been told over and over again by multiple people that this was all I would have to pay, and that I would not be paying this bill. She told me not paying was my right, but that she would investigate by going through the emails and recorded phone calls.

So far she has gone through the emails and states she sees nothing that promises the $2,400.00 would be the only thing I would have to pay. I have no idea what she is going to "hear" on the phone call recordings, but I know darn well I was crystal clear because we could have stayed here and had traditional surgery for free (having met our deductible already for the year). So now I am waiting for them to resolve this, am hoping for the best, but do not have high hopes. It's too bad because the staff and surgeon were very kind, but the billing practices, aftercare follow through and deception suck. I would never, ever recommend this place to anyone due to their deception. This is not how you run a business or treat people who are in pain and looking for resolution.

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20 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 11, 2018

The staff was amazing. Everything went smooth. The doctors were excellent. I recommended Laser Spine to someone and they went down and had the surgery. It too, made their life so much better. They were very grateful. Life changing! Never had any pain when I came home. Thank you!

3 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 28, 2018

I only have good things to say about Laser Spine Institute! They helped me when I couldn't get physicians near me to listen. They worked me every step of the way and I will never forget all they did to help me!

7 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 20, 2018

I went to LSI Cleveland after the recommendation from a USMC veteran. I am also prior service active duty Marine. I read the reviews, some good and some bad, but took my source into consideration. I had X-rays and an MRI in early November of 2017 and surgery at L4/L5 in December of 2017. My first indication that I was going to have problems was when I was told my surgery in Ohio would be $12,000 but if I went to Philadelphia it would be $1,200. Their explanation was it was due to "insurance" differences state to state and it sounded convincing. I went to Philadelphia for their "5 Day Experience". Most of the 5 days I spent in the waiting room with the appointment times behind in several instances for hours.

Two physicians, I had direct contact with at LSI PA were downright abrasive. I complained to staff in PA who said they would address my concerns with managers. I did receive one follow-up phone call who told me one of the physicians "was no longer with the company". My surgery resolved one pain I had but created a new pain that I didn't have prior to my surgery. It's been over 8 weeks now and I've made several phone calls to discuss my symptoms with the "Spine Line". Twice they prescribed medications that had no noticeable effect on my pain. I requested a follow-up evaluation to discuss the new onset of symptoms and LSI CLE requested I have another set of x-rays done and another MRI. It was reviewed (very briefly) by the surgeon at LSI CLE who said he saw nothing "new" and recommended I see a pain management doctor for this new pain.

The scheduling staff came back, wrote my name on a scrap piece of paper with my phone number and said they would call me to set up and appointment. After a week with no communication from LSI I called to see what the status of my referral was. LSI took 2 more days to call me back to tell me the scheduling staff member was "off sick" and didn't schedule my referral appointment. MY experience with LSI was not a positive experience. It was frustrating and stressful from start to finish. The procedure did solve one pain but it caused another pain in my opinion. LSI referring me now to another physician, to me, means they are unwilling to attempt to diagnose or treat the symptoms they caused.

Their marketing is great. Their service and delivery on those marketing promises are lacking. The insurance billing is deceptive at best but that practice is shared with the insurance companies. I'm guessing I will see some huge medical bills start to trickle in any day now. I can deal with those I guess as I try to find another physician to try to address my back problem - the new one I have included. I certainly CANNOT recommend using Laser Spine Institute to anyone.

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52 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 19, 2018

I am 11 weeks post op and I still have some issues with my back and the Doctor responses is that I probably need to go more surgery which sucks. The worst part is that I was led to believe that my insurance was going to cover all and came to realize later that it was billed under out of network which has way less coverage and that every little service I got at LSI, I received a huge bill for it as well. I feel so stupid to have fallen into that. I should have demanded a an approximate cost for the surgery and cost for services related. Even though, at some point they mentioned out-of network, I had little knowledge how that works and today I have a huge bill that it is going to be almost impossible to pay off. They told me that it is what it is and that is a normal practice to get charged for everything. The worst part is that this did not address my problem nor help me, yet LSI they wanted me to come for more test, etc. and pay them more money.

Because they are out of network, they can charge anything they want. For example, the brace they give you after the surgery it is price $3200??? Wth? They also charged me for initial doctor setup $400, and so forth. I also had a couple of issues with the intake that caused me some headaches. Perhaps, the most noticeable was the day before of the surgery where we met with the admin person who was very rude. We were almost ready to walk out of there but for some reason we decided to continue. People should be provided with an approximate cost of services including the surgery which I was never provided one. Today, I regret my decision, not only I did not get better but I have a huge bill to pay.

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38 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 1, 2018

I was treated with ultimate care. This was my 2nd operation with Laser LSI. As a result I can function without pain. The LSI staff Sped up my surgery schedule so that my insurance would cover the cost of the procedure. WE are spreading the word in our community of LSI.

21 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 31, 2018

The reason for myself and my attending partner Hedy as nurse to attend LSI Tampa was due to the fact that Canada do not have Laser surgery (non invasive) available in Canada and the wait for 'open' surgery is 12-18 months in Nova Scotia. On arrival we were so impressed, first with the building and then by the attentive staff. Every sequence was checked and double checked to avoid any mistakes. The whole procedure in definite steps was first class including the 'Clean Wipes' for the evening before surgery and again on the day of surgery to avoid any contamination.

Surgery by Dr. Jon ** was perfect, just six small holes in my back and one hour after waking up I walked out of the building to the Garden Hilton next door. Since returning home we have had 7 follow ups from LSI and in each case giving information as to what I might try next e.g. the last call suggested I tried the gym using certain items there to build up muscle etc. Both myself and Hedy have only the very best to tell our friends of the success we had at the LSI and we certainly recommend anyone with back/spine pain to at least contact LSI and get more information. Again, thank you for all you have done to put me back on my feet! Wonderful.

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20 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018

I went to Laser Spine with debilitating pain in my lower back that radiated down my left leg. It has been 3 months since my surgery and I am 96 percent pain free. I'm sure as I continue to heal even that number will improve. I would highly recommend LSI to anyone who has severe back pain to at least go for the consultation. It has definitely improved my quality of life. I am a 65 yr old female.

16 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018

From the initial consultation, through the whole process of pre-surgery through to the end including the post checks of progress was amazing. I could not have asked for or received anything better or of higher caliber treatment. Dr. ** who performed the surgery was amazing along with all the nurses and surgical staff. The office staff from walking into the reception area to the last visit there were also caring and so helpful. Thank you for being able to walk out of surgery with both disc surgeries pain free.

14 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 21, 2018

I retired as a firefighter/paramedic in 2010 after 34 years because of back pain. As the years went by, the pain increased. I would take pain killers to relieve the pain, but they made me extremely tired. I went to several local doctors and was told to bear the pain as long as I could and then they would do open back surgery. There was no guarantee the pain would be better after the surgery and the side effects were overwhelming to me.

My wife and I went on a tropical vacation in 2016 with friends and it was a disaster for me. A five hour flight left me in excruciating pain, even with the tropical sunshine I was miserable for the whole vacation because of my back pain. When we got home my wife saw your commercial on TV and she immediately went on your website to see if I was a candidate for the surgery and submitted the application. Less then an hour later, your representative, Rob ** called to speak to me. Rob was with us from that phone call to having the surgery scheduled at St. Louis Laser Spine Institute answering all our questions. The surgery was a huge success and I had immediate pain relief!!! THANK YOU!!!

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27 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 18, 2018

The girl on the phone made the institute sound like a miracle waiting to happen. She spent a full 20-30 minutes telling me what wonderful results I would have. She said they had reviewed my documents and determined that I was eligible for the surgery. By this time I couldn't WAIT to surgery. It was at this time when I was thoroughly excited and probably would have signed anything when she chose to tell me that, by the way, "you are personally responsible for the FACILITY FEE for ***$18,000***. The fee for use of the hospital." Insurance does not cover it. I was shocked and appalled.

What were my options? To have the surgery in the parking lot? I have had numerous other surgeries in my 64 years and never, EVER was I hit with this ridiculous fee. I told her what I thought of this outrageous fee and my belief that a good part of that money goes directly to Laser Spine Institue. Particularly when I read here of several different fee amounts being charged. Needless to say, I did not go any further. If this review does not appear I will be surfacing on as many social internet sites as possible to let potential patients know just what is ACTUALLY involved. Buyer Beware.

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104 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 9, 2018

I can't say enough good about laser spine institute in Cleveland, Ohio. I was leery but when they told me I was a candidate and would go through testing to make sure the surgery was successful, I thought... what did I have to lose. The people are so considerate and treat you like they care, not like a number. Each individual testing area had a person or 2 that focused on you and took their time and listened to your issues. I was very comfortable and they understood my fears. We stayed at Staybridge hotel which is right around the corner from the institute and it was fantastic as well.

The whole experience was A+++ and I would do it all over again if need be. Very successful and my pain of 35 years is now gone. A 1" incision at my L4 5 and I walked out of there 4 hours after surgery. I have told several people about it and hope they take my advice because this place is great. My pain is GONE. All I can say is Thank you. It is going to be so nice to be able to ride my horse pain free. Thanks for giving me back my passion to ride.

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11 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 24, 2017

My experience started with a salesman, who ended up telling us that a $10,000 upfront deposit was needed to get started based on my insurance, and if they paid the full amount, it would be refunded. I had Blue Cross Blue Shield, a very good insurance plan, and he said this number was based on what similar plans had paid previously. This seemed very odd to me because it was good insurance and I had never had a medical facility need a large deposit up front before.

I was desperate though, living with severe back pain for 7-8 years after herniating a disc in my lumbar, and really wanted to believe in the commercials (you know the ones that have the guy running down the beach a few weeks after surgery). I was living off of $11 an hour and already covered up in medical bills and student loans, but was able to borrow the money from a sympathetic family member, so I set up the appointment, got a plane ticket, and flew to Florida.

At the facility I was given some consultation, a shot in my back that was supposed to resemble the results of surgery, and was suggested the surgical procedure the following day. Before leaving we had to go to the financial office, where they informed me that the deposit was non-refundable no matter what the insurance company paid. I felt cornered. Was I to head home, to a certain life of misery and pain, or spend the next 5-10 years paying off the debt with a chance of living a normal life again? I chose the latter option, signed the paperwork, and scheduled the surgery for the next day.

The procedure itself was quick and immediately left me in no more pain than I had already been living in for years. Within a week or so I began experiencing pains in my body I had never felt before. I walked around feeling like I had been kicked in the groin and would get sharp pains in my upper back (an area that had never been in pain before). Several weeks had gone by and I would receive follow up calls asking about my progress, at which point I would mention all of the above. They would brush it off telling me I just needed to give it more time, and consider physical therapy, something that had never been mentioned before this point. What happened to a couple weeks and getting my life back?

It has now been several years. I wake up every morning with severe arthritis throughout my entire back. I have substantially worse pain than I had before the surgery. My insurance paid the entire bill. I was obviously never refunded the $10,000. I am still paying off the debt. I would suggest to anyone thinking about surgery through The Laser Spine Institute to proceed with caution, get other opinions, and don't be as naive as I was when watching the commercials.

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179 people found this review helpful
Factual basis uncertain
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 21, 2017

My wife has scoliosis and went to Laser Spine in Oklahoma city. Got told that her back surgery was too extensive for them and they referred us to another doctor. They kept ensuring my wife that her back pain can be fixed and not to give up. But rather than go where they referred us I searched for someone with experience and reviews to prove it. Took her to Saint Louis and found out that Laser Spine is in fact only chiropractors and they were completely wrong in what they told us. That in fact she would need to have her back broken and reconstructed to fix the pain she is currently having and in doing so would in turn cause her pain in other places. So all Laser Spine did was give her false hope only to shatter that hope when she was seen by a real surgeon not to mention the time and money they cost us in travel. If you need your back realigned go see them. If you need surgery go to a surgeon.

82 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 13, 2017

BE WARNED!! I met with Dr. Michael ** in Miami to review my imaging for continued back pain that I have been having from a past surgery. He reviewed my imaging and assured me LSI can help. I met with Keith **, his insurance coordinator, and they reviewed my PPO policy in detail. I was GUARANTEED after reviewing my policy that they would do diagnostics and if they didn't have a surgical solution, I would ONLY be responsible to pay $400, unless I went for surgery, where my insurance would pay 50% out of network benefits. I asked twice regarding the $400. I agreed, drove to Tampa, stayed for several days, and was released without any surgical solution.

I was met with coordinator who discharged me and was assured again I'm only responsible for $400. Since then, I have been getting invoices every two weeks for $2500, constant calls, and offers to pay at a discount. I feel completely taken advantage of and I find LSI's business practices completely unethical. Hiring an attorney to disputed.

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141 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 11, 2017

We wasted 2 trips, hotel stay, and MRI before we found out the truth about the cost. We were given a deposit amt and told we would not owe much more after that. Something did not sound right so before we signed the financial agreement I decided to call our ins company myself. I found out something totally different than what they told us. If my husband would have went through with the surgery we would have owed a monstrous amount. Please call your ins company yourself. Do not believe what they tell you.

146 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 30, 2017

I ruptured a lumbar disc doing intense Crossfit and heavy weighted squats. I was not able to sit for long periods of time nor stand for long periods of time either. I felt like an old cripple because I could not do anything without being in pain. LSI was recommended to me and I have to say it was the best experience I've ever had. I had under 2 hours of appts (waiting and X-ray included) before my surgery and the surgery itself was a breeze. I got a sunburn on the trip to Tampa and that hurt worse than my incision post-surgery. I would recommend 100%.

48 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 29, 2017

Your staff were very professional. The operation in my opinion was a great success as the pain and numbness in my left leg were gone right after the operation. I have recommended your clinic to my Doctor, Dentist and Chiropractor and especially my neighbour who has been having shots for a year and recently had an MRI which revealed she has Spinal Stenosis. My only complaint is I have a problem in my left hip which hinders my walking. Possibly you have some explanation for this irksome problem. Any assistance would be appreciated.

35 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 29, 2017

I'm very pleased with the results of my surgery. My future son-in-law is having back problem so I told him to try Laser Spine Institute! I'm walking upright and straight for the first time in years. Thanks to the Laser Spine Institute!

19 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 13, 2017

The facility and staff were excellent. And I was assured that for $13,000 the Surgery at LSI would solve my problem. I am retired and on a limited income, but it would be worth almost any expense to be rid of the chronic low back pain. Well, I did walk out in July of 2016 with little or no pain. Unfortunately, that only lasted for about 8 months. Pain began to return in March of 2017 and now is as severe, and at times even worse, than before the surgery of July 2016. Add to it the pain of wasting $13,000 and I am really suffering in multiple ways.

I would like to learn from them if there is any recourse for me. Or am I stuck with financial loss and physical pain increase. I did try to contact the Phoenix facility, but there is virtually no way to do that online. Calls are not usually returned. Every time I see another one of their adds on TV stating you walk out with a lifetime of relief---I feel cheated and angry all over again.

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140 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

When I was 18 years old, I suddenly experienced debilitating back pain that uprooted my life. I was unable to walk or care for myself and was in constant, excruciating pain - I had to leave school, move home, and quit working. When my parents and I found LSI, it was like a godsend. The first time I spoke with my spine care consultant, it restored hope that I thought was lost forever. No other surgeon I found was willing to operate on me because of my young age; the severity of my pain was not being considered. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis and had no clear path through the woods. In LSI, I not only found restored hope for a pain-free future, I found cheerleaders, advocates, and people who validated my experience.

I will never forget how terrified I was when I arrived at LSI for my first back surgery. I cried almost the entire time. The staff was remarkable. The bedside manor, the concern, and the time spent explaining everything and going over the details of what I should expect meant the world to me. I will never forget the team I worked with.

When I woke up from that surgery, I was overwhelmed with relief - my pain was GONE. It was like someone hit the reverse button and as though I had never been in pain at all. From the minute I took my first steps post-op, I was overcome with gratitude and it has never gone away. That surgery allowed and empowered me to make lifestyle changes that have stuck with me ever since - I have lost over 100 lbs.!!

Fast forward 5 years and 9 months - in July of this year, I injured my back moving a piece of furniture. After a month I realized it was not going to get better on its own, and I gave LSI a call. Within 2 weeks, I was back in for surgery. Once again, I was met with care, concern, validation, and HOPE. This time I needed to have a nerve block test - the thought of it terrified me. The doctor himself talked me through it and the nurse literally held my hand. You will not find kinder medical professionals than the LSI team.

This most recent surgery was a bit harder on me. I'm older now, my degenerative disc disease has gotten worse, and I have a few other health problems that made the recovery more challenging. I relied on the SpineLine care for assistance and guidance, and they were there for and with me every step of the way. When I didn't call them, they called me. Just the other day I received a check-in phone call.

I am both 6 years post-op and 3 months post-op today, and the first word that comes to mind when I think of LSI is "grateful." I am so grateful for their services, so grateful for the manner in which they render their services, and so grateful to have my life back (again!). I work full time, I volunteer for many organizations, I walk 3 miles a day, I drive, and I am able to live the life I want thanks to you. THANK YOU, LSI, for everything. I know who to call if there's ever another problem.

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40 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 6, 2017

I had suffered from bulging discs (spinal stenosis and sciatica) since 1994. I tried all the conventional remedies, steroids, chiropractors, pain management, everything imaginable to no success. I heard of LSI on Facebook and said "what the heck". One week later I had surgery scheduled and on August 29, 2017 I headed to Oklahoma City and had my surgery. I had a pain rated at around a 9 when I was wheeled in. When I came to I had no pain whatsoever. This was the best I had felt in 23 years. "Praise God". Laser Spine Institute delivered on their promise. Before and after care was topnotch. I came back home to Texas. Sing their praises. I told everybody that would listen on how wonderful my surgery was. Thank you LSI!!!

69 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 28, 2017

On June 7, 2016, I had my laser surgery. It has been a little over a year and I feel wonderful! I had sciatica ablation in both legs through the spine, discs repaired and various other things. I had been taking steroid shots in nerves and back for 3 years. I finally went to LSI in Tampa and have had no problems since this surgery. I feel wonderful!

60 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 22, 2017

I suffered for neck pain and out of work for almost 6 months before I went to Laser Spine in Flordia. They helped me so much that I am living pain free and back to my old self. I haven't returned to the job I was at when I went out on FMLA, but I am living my life to the fullest. I would recommend Laser Spine to any of my friends that have any kind of issues. I have posted before and after pic.

30 people found this review helpful
Insufficient response received
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 22, 2017

When I called and spoke to some saleslady in Tampa, I told her I was interested in speaking to a Surgeon. After several minutes of her fact finding mission, she convinced me to send in my MRI for a free review. I asked to speak to a surgeon to discuss my degenerated discs, I was then called by a chiropractor, not a surgeon, who said I should come in for an evaluation that could take 2-3 days, and possible surgery 2 days later. My 1st thought was, why in the world would it take so long to determine if my back was ready for surgery. I asked around and found out that one of colleague's friend drove all the way to Tampa, just to be told he was not a candidate for surgery. Apparently his MRI report was reviewed by some representative with absolutely no medical experience.

Another person had surgery there I found out and she had a huge back bill of almost $10,000 that she keeps fighting Laser Spine Institute about. There are hundreds of great neurosurgeons who perform minimally invasive spine surgery. Be an intelligent patient, and find a good local surgeon and don't be sold a bill of cheap goods that could costs you thousands of dollars with no results. Many online complaints. Read for yourself.

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134 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 14, 2017

I had surgery @ the Scottsdale facility in 2011, cervical spine and lumbar spine. All seemed well, until not quite 4 years later when new problems surfaced. I felt LSI had done well in 2011, so feeling confident LSI may help again... BIG MISTAKE! I was directed to the 'new facility' in Creve Coeur (St. Louis). Prior to the lumbar surgery, there was a block done, insistent the problems stemmed from the prior surgery done, although I stated over and again the problems being experienced were NOT like the problems in 2011 (apparently I knew nothing of my body). When the block did not relieve the symptoms, another block was done on a different area of my lumbar and I would say there was about 70% relief - it was then determined to be a different area of my lumbar after all - but what did I know of my body after living in it 52 years.

The first surgery was at the lumbar site and I KNEW not only did the surgery not relieve anything, I was WORSE! Same scenario on my cervical spine 6 days later. I was in worse pain and the comment received "inflammation." I asked, "Why did I have NO pain in 2011, now I have worse pain than when I came in here?" Again, "Inflammation." (Apparently there was No Inflammation in 2011?!). Differences, new facility needed paid for? Different surgeon? Return home, no relief... Surgeries were done in Aug 2015... Calls to LSI, again, "Inflammation, take an **." Always take an **... By Jan 2016 I could barely get out of bed, so I requested from my PCP to have a MRI done on my lumbar again. The reading of the MRI's in July 2015 to the reading of the MRI in Jan 2016, no change... I wasn't surprised.

I sent the new (Jan 2016) MRI to LSI when the 'supposed' surgeon's nurse called me, she stated "The surgeon had made mistakes before and fixed them at no cost to the patient, but he couldn't see where he had made a mistake and he certainly couldn't take anymore bone... You could return and we can do fusion"... I told her, "I don't know what the hell you people did to me, I can barely get out of bed, your 'take an **' answer all these months have done NOTHING! Now you're suggesting fusion? The pain is so bad there is absolutely NO WAY I can get on a plane to get to your facility, as I told you I can barely get out of bed. I no longer have insurance." (Amazingly, she still suggested later in the conversation of returning for fusion.) No, LSI would NOT touch me again!

Fourteen (14) months after, 14 months of decline, worse pain than ever and not one prescription touched the pain between what the PCP and neurologist prescribed. The PCP finally did a referral to a local orthopedic surgeon. He and his team were very thorough and he was very informative of exactly what was happening in my lumbar and cervical spine and the only option was fusion. And... I had to know, so I asked, "Please tell me, was all this present when I had the surgeries done in Aug 2015? Did LSI know my ONLY OPTION then, was fusion?" He nodded and stated, "Yes, they knew." (I KNEW something was not right!) He referenced it a gimmick and a stick can only be whittled on so much before it gives. (Records compared against records - I believe the LSI surgeon took too much bone, considering the condition I was in by the time I seen the local orthopedic... Ugh!).

I will not write the words the surgeon heard. I am currently 9 months recovering from fusion on my lumbar, not yet able to work and patiently waiting for the surgeon to be comfortable with the lumbar healing before he will fuse my neck. This was an absolute horrible experience, nightmare come true! Outside of the receptionists, one male nurse and the surgical nurse, the people were not meant for the medical field. We were denied the exit interview we were told, "You're done, just go, just leave." We spent 5 hours in the waiting room one day (there was nowhere to lay down), another day was heading into 3 hours when we were told to leave and return.

Unfortunately the experience is not ending... Here I am 2 years later receiving bills from LSI. I sent a payment in Sept 2016 (for a billing received a year over the surgeries), it was just posted this last month July 2017... "The portion your insurance company states they don't cover"... I have spoke with the insurance company who I no longer have coverage with due to not being able to work. The insurance company has told me LSI did not submit the billing in the allotted time frame and there are investigational charges (something like that and that is also why LSI has not received any payments)... For as long as LSI decides they have charges to submit and the insurance company does not simply state they have paid all they will pay, I can continue to be billed on any charges submitted that the insurance would not have covered.

I was told originally the $1000 deductible would, should cover the costs and any 'over costs,' if there were any, it would not be much... I can tell you different. LSI is doing nothing more with people than a rancher does with calves... LSI is running people through a surgery room for $$$, as a rancher runs calves through a branding chute, as down the road the calves are all about the $$$ also. So, allow my nightmare to continue in remembering LSI is not about the benefit and care of the person, rather it is all about the $$$. And... had they simply been honest in stating they could not help me, or doing the only option I had... I could be healed and back to work by now. Nope. Collect all the $$$ possible. And, I still get to look forward to more surgery, recovery and healing of the fusion to be on my cervical spine.

I have read reviews and people who are on their 4th surgeries, etc. from LSI... People, 4 surgeries? If you are reading this, ask yourself if you think a 4th back surgery is the way you may want to find yourself. Remember, a stick can only be whittled on so long. Please, please do yourself a favor, find a local orthopedic or neurosurgeon who is known and does patients well.

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329 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 8, 2017

I'm a 73 yo woman who has managed back pain off and on all my adult life. Have used chiropractic care, massage, physical therapy, exercise, back brace, a cortisone injection and, of course, various oral and topical pain relievers. All of these treatments stopped providing relief. I then spoke to an Orthopedic surgeon who offered a double incision surgery and installation of hardware implants to stabilize my back to, hopefully, relieve the constant pain. Constant pain meant walking, standing, prolonged sitting, and sleep became almost excruciating.

Having had six major joint replacements already, I was not eager to undergo the surgery mentioned above. After talking to Laser Spine Institute (LSI) and researching reviews, I decided to go to Scottsdale to have minimally invasive surgery on my lumbar. My health care providers sent my MRIs to LSI first thing and I was informed by them that I was GOOD candidate for lumbar surgery. I went knowing that the MRIs from my doctor showed problems in three joints. My misstep was not confirming with LSI that all three joints would be repaired.

Only after paying for the trip from Denver to Scottsdale, signing on a $13,900 loan to pay my share of the cost, undergoing extensive testing including MRIs at their facility, the surgeon informed me they could only fix one joint at a time. He encouraged me that many patients experience relief after getting the worst repaired. I went ahead as I had already committed dollars for the tests and travel. So sorry to report that my back pain is still with me. While there was some improvement that indicates what was fixed was successful, I estimate that 80 - 90% of my chronic pain is still with me. I did get a nice and comfortable back brace out of the deal which I will use to manage living with the remaining back pain.

In summary, great procedure as far as it went but did not nearly solve my lumbar problems. Tremendously expensive for Medicare patients. Also, beware of the commercials that show people going from the surgical room to the golf course. There is a twelve week healing time between those two pictures, some of that time quite painful. Thank you for reading this far. Hope it was useful to you in making your decision.

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331 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 30, 2017

I asked for a review. Never got a chance to send in mri and a week later got a call they could help me. They said they reviewed my MRI. Well asked how much. They said 15,000 because they don't take my insurance. Two years later got insurance they take and now the same surgery is 22,000 with a 15,000 copay!!! Hum does this sound like a rip-off of the customers and insurance??? I think so in my opinion!

239 people found this review helpful
No response received
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 14, 2017

I made the mistake of late night internet surfing… I filled out a questionnaire about a review of my MRI. So, the relentless calls start coming in! Friday 7/14/17. 8:08am (they left prerecorded voicemail). 10:08am. 11:58am (they left prerecorded voicemail). 12:53pm. 2:45pm. 3:42pm (they left prerecorded voicemail). 4:37pm. 5:34pm. So, that's 8 calls and 3 voicemails in an 8 hour period. I figured out after the first call that I had the option to call their 800 number at my convenience. Needless to say, their activity has soured my mood to call them back. Oh! Plus the 3 emails I received for signing up and getting the link to their pdf file. I wonder how many times they're going to call me this weekend?!?!

208 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 10, 2017

L4/L5/S1 minimally invasive that destroyed my back and left me worse than when I went in. Completely numb on right side all the way down to foot. They have refused to help me further. Be very careful. Dr. ** caused a spinal cord injury on my first botched surgery and apparently another spinal cord problem that left me paralyzed on my right side on the procedure this year. You should chose an institute that is willing to fix their mistakes.

322 people found this review helpful

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Laser Spine Institute
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