Laser Spine Institute
We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offering a safer and more 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.
I had 2 cervical surgeries at LSI Philly facility, 10/1/2014 and 2/4/2015. My MRI showed spinal stenosis, bone spurs, in 2 areas: C 4-5 and C5-6. I had a nerve block on 9/30/2014 to determine what area was giving my toe most pain at that time, and that revealed that C5-6 was worst. So on 10/1/2014 I had the LSI minimal invasive procedure, but at home my Dr. wanted to do a conventional fusion, and there are MANY side effects with this procedure. After that procedure, my left arm was still quite weak and there was still minimum movement, so another MRI review showed that C 4-5 was the bad area now.
So on 2/4/2015 I had surgery on that section. After that, what a huge difference that made. Today, 2/4/2016, 1-year post op, I deem myself to be 95% healed and I have almost full rotation and up and down movement. LSI for me was the perfect choice for Cervical surgery. I will say to people who need to have surgery on their neck or back to give LSI a call. I saw their TV commercial, gave them a call, and now my neck is a whole lot better than with a conventional fusion.
My experience was awesome, they gave me my life back, so now I can live a better life without pain just in time to enjoy my grandbabies that are due in the next two months.
I am 54 years old and I had been in chronic back pain since a horseback riding accident when I was 17. I had tried acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, bio-electric therapy, yoga, inversion therapy, massage and drugs. Then in September of 2015, I felt something "give" in my back and suddenly my pain increased 10-fold! I could not straighten up. I could not walk more than 30 feet. I could not sleep. I could not work. Every moment was horrible, nauseating, wrenching pain.
I got an MRI and sent it to LSI. They approved my surgery and scheduled it within a week. Every moment of my experience was amazing. Everyone was so caring and professional. Right after my surgery, I could stand up straight. I could walk without pain for the first time in 37 years. No one should have to wait decades for spinal surgery! Get it as soon as you can! I have a brand new pain-free life. I am so grateful to LSI and every one of their staff! Don't wait!
I have had back issues almost my whole life. I have had two back surgeries: one on my L5 and one on my T6-T7 (done at the Mayo clinic). The T6 disc was causing me issues and instead of going back to Mayo I thought I would reach out to LSI to see if they could help. I spoke with Roth who was my coordinator. He looked at the MRI report and all my history (I spend a lot of time on the phone with him). He told me after speaking with some of the Drs that even though the area of my back was a rare place that they could help. I went over the billing information many times. They wanted $1000 ($250 to make the appt and $750 right before surgery) upfront for the surgery and then they would bill my insurance. Now if my insurance denies the claim then I would owe nothing else. I also asked that if they could not help me for some reason that they would refund me my $250 and I would owe nothing.
This is the trick part. The answer is no I would not owe anything but they would bill my insurance for whatever testing is done. Fast forward to the first day appt. I go in and tell them everything (again). I keep getting told "yep, we can help". Now mind you we drove 600 miles and spent 3 nights in a motel costing us well over $500 for the trip. On the 2nd day they wanted to do a new MRI and X-rays on the thoracic area (the one I brought them was less than 3 WEEKS old). And since I had surgery before on my lower back they wanted an MRI and X-rays on that area. I had no idea why but ok. I asked while there if I would be charged again for these images. The answer I got was "We will bill your insurance and if we get anything great, if not then no you will not be charged". ANYONE who heard that would feel like... "Ok, really no risk to me and if they lose money on doing a pointless scan that's up to them."
3rd day I met with the anesthesiologist who I again went over my history at which during he told me... "I'm not sure we even have a surgeon who deals with the Thoracic region on staff this week (which confused me. They knew I was coming and what I was coming for). Then he also tells me that they may not be able to do surgery because I told them that the disc was Calcified. He said the lasers can't get through it. Ok so now I'm MAD. I had told everyone from Roth down to every person I spoke with for the last two days about this and JUST then they tell me they might not be able to help. They send me over to another place to do a CT (as they didn't have equipment for doing a CT). They get the results and call me that night that they can not help.
I was refunded my $250 and moved on with my life until about two months later and get two bills in the mail from them. One was well over 6000 and the other over 1500. I call and talk to a woman who said "Oh, I see here you didn't have the surgery. That is our billing mistake. No worries you don't owe anything." So I ignore - move on with my life again. 6 months later (AKA last month) I get a call from them (guy's name is Jordan) wanting to "check up" on me. Turns out it was a collection call (internally). I explained everything that happened and that I have already been told I don't owe anything. He told me "oh ok well we do have to bill the insurance and so whatever they don't pay it will just sit on the account but no worries". I then confirm with him that it won't affect my credit or anything like that. He says that it won't as it's all internal.
Then yesterday I get a bill again (funny how I didn't get any for a long long time). I called into them and now they are saying that I owe the 1500 amount as that is what they billed my insurance for and because I had not met the deductible I owe that amount. All that was on there was the two MRIs, two X-rays and Two office visits (as those were the only codes my insurance would accept). Now I keep going back to that conversation about they would bill the insurance and if they get anything, great but if not no worries.
This was a VERY misleading comment. If I would have known that they would bill my insurance and if I had not met my deductible they would come after me I would have NEVER allowed them to do new images that were not needed. And the charges of the office visits are a complete joke. They did NOTHING for me there. Be very aware that they are out for your money and will mislead you to get it.
I had surgery on Feb. 29th. I never had any relief. I was told for about 3 months it was inflammation causing my pain. During this time they would not allow me to see or talk to the doctor. I could only speak to the support team. Over 5 months later I still have had no relief! Now they are releasing me to return to work even though I am no better than I was before surgery. Remember if sounds too good to be true, it usually is!!! Live and learn!
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Had lower back Surgery in April 2016. Staff was excellent, help you through the whole process, from the time you call them to walking you through the entire process. My great results since my surgery, have not had any lower back pain since the surgery.
After too many years with pain I reached my threshold of pain. I was contemplating suicide. No pain killers worked, no treatment. I had surgery 4 months ago. Woke up no pain after all the years of pain. That's a miracle. I haven't even taken an aspirin. Thank you.
I suffered from low back pain for several years. I would especially hurt if I had to stand in one spot for any length of time. Pushing a cart at the grocery was agony. In the past year, I began to have pain in my calves in the morning as well as the lower back pain. As the day wore on and I was active, it would get better. While watching an NCAA Basketball Tournament game, I saw an ad for Laser Spine Institute. I had seen their ads in the past but decided it might be worth talking to them this time.
After sending them my most recent MRI, they told me I was a good candidate, that they treated my kind of ailment almost every day. I decide to go to the St. Louis clinic for evaluation and surgery. While there, I was treated with great care and kindness. Dr. Troy ** performed my surgery, which involved trimming two ligaments which has thickened with age and were pushing on the nerves. After 14 weeks now, my pain is gone and I am back to full activities. My golf game had suffered due to my back pain and a bad hip, which I had surgically repaired last August. My game is continually improving now, almost back to where I was before I began to have the pain. I am very grateful to Dr. ** and all the staff at LSI for giving me my life back.
Had severe back pain and went down to Tampa to get help. Cost me 1,000 dollars out of pocket plus another 300 dollars hidden cost and they did more damage than they did good. After 8 to 10 weeks after I started hurting again so I called them. They gave me the runaround and said I would have to return for more procedures. Got opinions from 1 spine doctor and three neuro Drs. and all ask why they had removed hardware from my back L5 and S1 when it was clear on the MRI and x-rays there was a nonunion. Now 8 months later they send me another bill. I just had to get my spine fused from T-10 to S1 because of the removal of hardware they had done in Oct. of 2015. Surely there has to be some kind of law against this practice.
I'm a 72-year-old male, reasonably good shape, who recently experienced an extruded disk injury. We found Laser Spine Institute from their advertising. We contacted them by phone, submitted lots of data as requested (including MRI and previous medical reports plus insurance info). After their review, we were told that my medical condition met their guidelines and we scheduled a meeting at their Scottsdale facility not far from our home. The facility is very impressive, and our interview with a Dr. ** was quite revealing to us. Long story short, he explained that my injury was definitely repairable. Good news for us, so then we were ushered into an office with their financial councilor.
It was only then that we learned that Medicaid will not cover the entire cost of the procedure, and that the balance -- about $14,000 -- will be on us. And no, don't count on our supplemental insurance to pick up anything more than perhaps $1,000 or so "if we were fortunate". I understand that LSI is a business and not a public hospital. We assumed -- incorrectly, as it turned out -- that after reviewing the insurance data I originally submitted they would let us know of any out-of-pocket costs before inviting us to the interview. But no, it doesn't work that way. Instead, we went to the interview thinking the insurance we had would cover their service. While we haven't decided not to pursue laser surgery, I was quite disappointed that our LSI sales rep did not tell us upfront that my supplemental insurance would not cover the difference between what Medicare paid and the final cost. Just my 2 cents.
I had lower back pain and left leg pain and with the laser surgery all of the lower back pain and most of the leg pain is gone. I have not felt this good in over twenty years. It is amazing that you can go from pain to almost no pain and feel so much better. I would recommend this type of surgery to anyone that has this type of pain. I would have to say that this is the best thing that I have ever had done and it has been a wonderful experience.
I do not get the bad reviews. I had both of the surgeries one year ago June 3rd and 9th. I walked out on my own both times. Went shopping the day after my lower back. On the third day went to the beach at Clearwater. No pain, sore yes but no pain. Had a sharp pain down my left leg and numbness on the inner thigh for 13 years before I saw the ad. I made the call.
So glad I did 1 and 1/2 hour after surgery stood and walked without leaning on something to get up. Within three days was able to bend and tie my shoes, have not done that in years. And sleep a full night without waking to turn over due to numb leg. Next the neck, c6 was shifted a little to the right. Dr. ** fixed this. I was told the disc would have to replaced here at my local Dr. Again very Happy - I went to Laser Spine Institute - no more stiffness in my neck or numbness in my left arm. NO MORE PAIN. If you really want relief go to see these folks at Tampa, you won't regret it unless you don't want to get better. GREAT BUNCH OF PEOPLE AT LSI TAMPA!
Factual basis uncertain
I had major back surgery and was sent home with ** (I think). Anyway I saw so many TV programs on getting hooked on these and then going to **. I got worried. So I asked about getting off of them and the doctor's office sent me to the Pain Management (next door). They told me to finish the next 60 I was recently given and call back a week before I would run out. Well as I became more concerned I decided to wean myself off so I went from 2 a day down to 1 a day with no real issues. Then I tried to do without completely -- BAD results, so I had to continue. I called back early and requested an immediate appointment which I got. I took the balance of the pills with me and asked to please get me off. The Pain Management Dr had the nerve to give them back to me and tell me to finish them first. I REFUSED and asked that I receive a new script for a lesser strength NOW.
So he gave me a script for half the strength along with some other script in case I had withdrawal symptoms (whatever those would be). I never did take any of those. BTW... he took the remainder of my pills and I have no idea where they ended up. Within 2 weeks after that I weaned myself off of those new ones due to being concerned about addiction. I was successful on my own and cancelled the follow-up with that Dr and will not return. I have no idea what complications or possible side effects I may have caused trying to quit on my own. I plan on filing a complaint with the AMA later today. This stuff has to cease!
WAS MISLEAD BY THIS COMPANY... YES COMPANY. This place did 2 surgeries and planted the dream in my head before surgery that I would be fab and fit after surgery. Should of never had the 2nd surgery. First my neck than my back. Now 4 years later I am so bad in pain and grief daily. Left permanently disabled. Will never be the same unless I take pain meds and muscle relaxers. HORRIBLE LIFE DUE TO THEM. PLEASE BEWARE.
I was told by a spine doctor that I had herniated disc and spinal stenosis and needed a fusion. I saw advertisement on tv for Laser Spine Institute about getting up and moving and walking right away. So I call them thinking the clinic would be close by. Talk to a nurse and she asks a lot of questions then calls me back saying I am a candidate for them. So I go up and get a motel for a week. This is 9 hrs away from my home in Ohio.
They say they have to do a fusion too and will be back to work in 3 months, then go to get IV in and the real doctor comes in and talks to me telling me now it willl be 6 months recovery. Ok. Told by husband it took 7 hours instead of a 3 hr surgery and that my bones was like dust and couldn't keep screw in. Had to glue them in and this would be a tough 6 months and can not do physical therapy for 6 months. Now I am looking at long time of no work and a big bill. And then my insurance says they will not pay. Was not preapproved, which I was told by the nurse it was. I am in pain and been almost 6 months foot still numb and back so sore and legs weak, cannot walk. Now whole left is sore. Knee can't bend. It is getting worser. I have called them over the months and they keep saying this is normal...
So I decide to go to a local spinal doctor and he can not believe I am this bad, and going to do a test where they put dye in spine to see for nerve damage or blockage. I think there is bone fragments inside my back etc...from the bone cracking and so bad. I will never have a surgery with this INSTITUTE, WHERE you can not even meet the doctor doing the surgery until you are be doped up and don't even see him after the surgery or talk to him. No personal contact with YOUR DOCTOR. They throw you out the door and it is your problem now. Looks like another surgery and this one has set me back 30,000 or more. PLEASE go to a local doctor if need a fusion. They should always do a bone density test before touching your spine etc etc.
One afternoon, I was home. I was having in pain in my neck when a commercial for LSI came on. I either called or sent in my information online. A short time later I received a call from them. Long story short, I was informed that I would be a candidate. They requested my mri report, which I told them was over 3 years old. I finally scheduled the surgery and flew to Cincinnati.
The first day, everything was done: x-rays, mri, etc. They had already filed their surgical plan with my insurance prior to my arrival. When I met with the surgeon, the problems in my neck were worse than expected and he couldn't perform the procedure he had planned. I was told by another coordinator, I would have to get my chiropractor to send them a letter stating why physical therapy isn't helping with the pain so that they could re-file their new surgical plan with my insurance. This didn't make sense. I went back to my hotel and had to get my return flight changed, for a fee of course. This trip cost over $2000 in travel expenses, food, hotel, and my friend taking off work because LSI said I had to have a care giver with me prior to surgery.
All for nothing. I don't understand why their surgeon couldn't send a letter explaining why he had to change the surgery plan. They could have also saved me some time and expense if they had contacted the imaging center where I live and ordered new x-rays and mri rather than promising to do surgery and after the imaging is done there. I am very disappointed and frustrated. Their coordinator told me a couple of weeks ago that she would talk to my chiropractor since my attempts hadn't gotten me any closer to having surgery. When I email the coordinator and ask specific questions, she dodges answering my questions or simply won't reply. This is the worst and most expensive medical experience I have ever had!!
I just wanted to say thank you for giving me my life back. I had an awesome experience with the Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. Because of the Laser Spine Institute, I am able to lead a normal life and the relief I have is so amazing, that there are no words to express how grateful I am. Thank you.
LSI was/is very professional, prompt and treated me as if I was their most important patient. LSI was extremely thorough. I had suffered for over 35 years with severe pain and only a Chiropractor was able to relieve my pain. However, it was only for a couple of days before I was back. It is now going on 5 months since my Cervical Spine Surgery and I am doing fantastic. No more Chiropractor/adjustments and most of all no more severe pain.
I am a 60 yr old retired military officer. Flew helicopters and jumped out of airplanes which resulted in back injuries and chronic pain. I went to LSI in search of relief. They were professional in their assessment process and very well equipped to get me to the surgery room. Everyone I dealt with was polite and professional. No issues with anything that led up to that point. However, after three weeks, I had zero relief and in fact, my pain got worse. I tried to get feedback because I was living overseas. All I could get to respond was admin people or a nurse. Could never talk to a doctor. And the nurse tried to tell me I had because I flew on an airplane 3 weeks after surgery. But they brag that you can go back to work in a few days.
My biggest complaint is that the surgery is a lot of hype, I got zero relief. And second, their follow up is absolutely terrible. It's just like buying a car and taking it back with a problem and no one wants to talk to you. And when they recently moved their office, no one ever even informed me. I drove to Tampa to get my records for the VA and they were gone to another location. They had my email, because they bombarded me with marketing info leading up to the surgery. Why couldn't they send a courtesy email and tell their patients who spend nearly 50K on surgery, that they have moved? I would seriously think twice about this place or this procedure. It's all overrated when it's too good to be true... Buyer beware.
I had progressively worsening back pain for over 3 yrs. As a nurse, I have seen the results from traditional back surgery. It isn't pretty. Patients either became more debilitated or continued to live a painful life on multitudes of pain meds. I didn't want that for myself. So I existed. That's about all I did for three years. I woke up in pain, went thru the day in pain, and went to bed in pain. Rinse and repeat the next day AND everyday. I saw a pain doctor for 2 of those 3 years. Just trying to get by. It wasn't living - it was existing. I felt guilty. It wasn't fair to my husband. It wasn't what I expected for my life. I'm close to retirement and all I wanted to do was lay in bed. Then I found LSI on the internet! At last! An alternative! I hobbled in with a cane. Yes, I had progressed to the point I had to use a cane at home. I couldn't use one at work! So I suffered thru the day at work and cried once I made it to the car.
So I hobbled into LSI, and the clouds opened. For the first time I felt hopeful. The staff were so encouraging. From the front door forward. It was like the sun shining in my face. I walked out that first day and felt lifted. So I walked into surgery needing a cane, stopping every 30 feet to relieve pain, numbness extending from my hip to my toes. My first conscious thought after surgery "my back doesn't hurt!" I walked out with NO CANE! Repeat 2 days later. Flew home 2 days after that. Just 6 days that changed my life. I've not looked back. Has my life changed? You bet. I'm back to work. My husband and I even went to Disneyland! I have a life again! I'm ready to retire now. Because I'm ready NOT because I can't do anything else. I'm ready to live. And I'm not in pain or taking multiple of med pains. Thank you LSI. You gave me my life back!
Resolved outside ConsumerAffairs
Doctor changed plans the day before scheduled surgery. Rather than fixing the problem, the doctor decided I only needed to have facet thermal ablation. My condition has only gotten worse. LSI ordered another MRI but I have not heard back from anyone there. I have not and will not recommended Laser Spine Institute.
I had arthritis in L4/L5 and I'm late 30's, not a huge problem when compared to some of the other ones on here but made me miserable for 7 months - constant pain in low back and right leg, and quality of life was low and very depressing. I went to chiropractor, tried different therapies, went to pain management and had 3 shots, 3-6 Vicks per day - all for little to no help. A friend with serious back problems suggested LSI. I'm in Cleveland so had a location 25 min away.
Went through pre-op, all good. I still have the original Anthem insurance, was one of the lucky ones to be grandfathered in when Obamacare kicked in. Upfront cost was only $1000 with max out of pocket being $9000. So whatever out of network patient responsibility is, LSI said once everything goes through insurance, max additional out of pocket can be $8000, which they offer very flexible payment plan - minimum $20 per month, no interest, until it's paid off. Even if it's a max $8000, $20 a month is nothing. I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a small price to pay for your health.
Anyways, I had my surgery 5/19/16. Worse thing I did before surgery, 2 days prior, was going on this site and few others alike and read the negative reviews and all the horror stories. It freaked me out and gave me horrible anxiety, I lost 2 days of sleep and 8 lbs by worrying about nothing. Most complaints are about billing anyways. Make no mistake, LSI is in business to make money, they are not a charity.
They never claimed they have 100% satisfaction rate, no one does. But I'm sure it's high. They charge a lot of money for their procedures but the procedures work and the staff knows what they are doing. The place is very well organized, I got all the follow up calls and everything was smooth. Fixed my problem with very moderate pain and 4 days after surgery, I'm up walking around feeling great.
If you have serious issues, you have to have realistic expectations. Medicine isn't exact science. If you are ** beyond repair, they can't get you a new spine. But it seems they sure do what's possible with minimally evasive procedures to achieve the best possible outcome. Everyone was nice, straightforward, knowledgeable and helpful. It's expensive but you definitely get what you pay for. I would recommend LSI to anyone and I would strongly suggest NOT TO waste your time reading online horror stories, they wouldn't continue to grow, expand and do so well if any of those stories were true! Good luck everyone.
Factual basis uncertain
I sent my MRIs for review as requested. I was contacted shortly after with glowing, gushy news that I was an IDEAL candidate, and that they could solve ALL my problems which I have had for over 30 years. After short discussions about what could be done, the crucial question was asked -- How did I intend to pay for this miraculous surgery which would, in fact, change my life by restoring the youthful spine conditions I enjoyed before the injuries and other conditions arose which have almost completely crippled me? I immediately replied, "By my insurance!!" I have Medicare, and a Medicare supplement!!
The next reply floored me. The person on the phone responded that I would have to come up with an additional $30,000.00 in order to be considered for this life-saving surgery!!! I asked, "Does one of the surgeons need a new car or something?" The response was less than appropriate, and at that point I said the conversation was over! If it was possible to award a negative 5 stars, I would do so, for the poor treatment I received!!! If this is the kind of shyster outfit they are, I want no part of it!!
Starting in July 2013 to March 2014 I had four procedures. The first was a C4/5 for spinal stenosis and sciatica that I had over 35 years. At the time, I was in severe distress and ready for a wheelchair. After the first procedure, I had extreme difficulty sitting! I kept calling them to speak to my doctor but they never let me. I finally convinced them that they had to fix what they messed up! In the meantime, my hand was in great pain and started to swell and my doctor said it was my neck. So I go back and they do my back over. They also did both sides of my neck ten days apart. They took too much bone out of my lumbar creating severe instability. They just blew me off and blocked my calls. I had to get a fusion to stabilize my back. So two failed surgeries. I now have to get a cervical fusion to fix that goof up. So all four of their surgeries have failed miserably leaving me in pain bad enough to induce shock.
I had surgery last September and my experience was very disappointing. The surgery was quick, but did not work and I really got no satisfaction trying to get help afterwards. I am now seeing a surgeon who told me what they did should not have been done and they should have treated a different area of my spine. I also had gotten another opinion from another surgeon and he also said that what was done was not the right area. So now I will be having surgery with a doctor I feel very comfortable with and he has been very straightforward in what will be able to be achieved. If anyone is having back problems, the Laser Spine Institute in my opinion is not the place to go.
Factual basis uncertain
I saw the commercial on TV when in a radiology office to pick up a copy of my MRI/CT scan of my cervical spine. I had already scheduled conventional posterior entry cervical spine fusion surgery (C3 through C7) for May 4, 2016. This was in the middle of March, so I had plenty of time for a second opinion, which I thought couldn't hurt. I have since had a follow-up pre-surgical appointment with my surgeon (performed the first cervical spine fusion surgery on Oct. 2, 2015, which 2 of the discs FAILED to fuse, but it wasn't his fault. He showed me the X-rays, MRIs, and CTs from post-surgery, all showing that the anterior (from front, just to the left of my larynx of my throat, no muscle cut this way) entry surgery, the plate that he put in along with the 8 screws, were PERFECTLY done. I was simply "lucky enough" to be one of the 15% of those who were in that lot of people for whom the fusion simply didn't fuse.
I am still in neck pain, in fact the pain has increased since then. I lost 2 months of work (independent contractor, no work-no pay!) for the recovery from this 1st surgery. However, I still trust this surgeon (Orthopedic surgeon, not a neurological surgeon. He ONLY does spinal surgeries, over 1000 of them). I told him about my going for a second opinion. He encouraged me to do so, and even offered to help me find a qualified (proper credentials, experienced, and did a spinal surgical fellowship) surgeon to go to (even if he didn't know him he offered to look him/her up on the internet on the spot to recommend the absolute best one to go to).
However when I told him that my second opinion appointment was with the Laser Spine Institute in King of Prussia, PA (they call it their Philadelphia location/facility, but it is about 30 miles west of Philadelphia actually), my surgeon literally looked at me in disbelief. He told me that he does many surgical repairs for patients who went to the Laser Spine Institute because they totally botched the process and did more damage than good. They diagnosed the problem incorrectly, and he told me that once you're "under" (anesthesia) you can't even be sure that a real MD certified surgeon with more than 6 months experience will be the one who does the surgery on you. He urged me to do further research on them, to dig deeper into NON-Laser-Spine-Institute websites to get objective opinions (the LSI will only print the 5-star positive reviews by some patients, and they claim to have over 60,000 satisfied patients/clients).
Then I found this site, and read some of the horror stories about them. They have MILLIONS of dollars invested in advertising promising results that, according to my REAL surgeon, are IMPOSSIBLE to be promised. They use these "promises" of successful surgical effects to lure in people, tell them they accept their insurance (when in fact they don't), then bill astronomical amounts to the unsuspecting patients/clients. My REAL surgeon advised me that if I wanted to I could keep the appointment (scheduled through a patient surgical representative in Tampa, FL) if I wanted to, it wouldn't hurt, but he also advised me that once they have you in the building they will badger you (me) until I finally give in and consent to having them do the surgery after they trash-mouth conventional fusion surgery by ANY surgeon, no matter what skill level or experience.
I prayed and thought about it for a few days, and about a week prior to my scheduled appointment at the King of Prussia, PA, location, I called to cancel the second opinion (I already had signed the release form, they had all the MRI, CT, and X-Rays reports from post-surgery on my cervical spine (Oct., 2015) and lumbar fusion surgery (also FAILED, but by a different surgeon, who told me there was a 25% chance of failure... again, I was one of the "lucky" 25% people and my back is still in a lot of pain from the L5-S1 fusion failure). The representative in FL told me that I definitely WAS a candidate for the LSI minimal surgical procedure to repair BOTH failed fusion surgeries. (My REAL surgeon told me that, with my individual, unique situation, I would NOT be a candidate for LSI minimal invasive surgery anyway. Which one should I believe?).
I called to cancel the 2nd opinion appointment (65 miles away from my home, about a 90 minute drive on local roads and highways, one-way). I was told it would be a 2-3 hours appointment time and I would be finished and a surgical date would be scheduled. When I called to CANCEL this appointment, you would have thought that I was trying to return $2,000,000 worth of CD recordings I purchased after opening the original packaging (which NO company will allow you to do because of copyright laws). The "nice" lady on the phone started to trash-talk about my REAL surgeon saying he only wants to make money, that's his business.
I then asked, "Isn't that what you do, too?" She didn't answer that but "danced" around it continuing to argue with me that "it's only 65 miles away, most people have to take an airline flight to get to one of their locations and I was fortunate enough to be able to drive to mine. How could I pass up this opportunity? I continued to just tell her, "I just want to cancel my appointment" (still over 10 days away). She kept the pressure sales pitches coming. "I'll never tell you what to do, but I think you're making a huge mistake. You won't even give us a try? You won't drive even 65 miles for the second opinion? You won't even agree that the first fusion (actually, two fusions) failed because of the methods of your original surgeons? We have all your medical information, the hard part is already done, all you have to do is show up. You're making a big mistake. I'll go ahead and NOT cancel this appointment for you. You'll be glad you kept it."
I kept telling over and over, "No, CANCEL the appointment!". That never sank in. She just wouldn't let me off the phone until I "caved" and agreed with her. I finally had to tell her, "Well, if you won't cancel the appointment, I'm telling you right now, I'm NOT showing up for it. You don't have my credit card information yet, so you can't charge me, and I'm calling well within the time limit to cancel the appointment with NO penalties. If you want to go through that, go ahead, but I won't be there". She finally canceled the appointment, but not without one more "dig" at my REAL surgeon, "They're all in it for the money, you know. That's their business. Cutting people who don't need it."
I definitely need a 2nd surgery on my cervical spine (this time from the posterior entry point, through some muscle tissue, and I'll end up with a plate and 8 screws on the anterior front side of my cervical spine from C3 through C7, then after this 2nd surgery I'll have 2 rods and another 8 screws on the posterior rear of my cervical spine. This will render it totally immovable, and my REAL surgeon said that this was the ONLY way to stabilize the spine completely so that the fusion of ALL discs and vertebrae involved would HAVE to take place and the pain would severely decrease, if not disappear completely after the post-surgical pain wore off (2-3 months recovery). I'm now unemployed (covered by my wife's employer-coverage insurance, and it fully covered the first surgery, this second surgery will be absolutely the same... ZERO out of pocket dollars!
After reading the financial nightmare stories of others who have dealt with the Laser Spine Institute (all/various locations), I KNOW I'm making the right move. My surgeon KNOWS me, I trust him, my pain management doctor will be assisting him in the surgery, and they both know me and my spine better than any other doctors I've ever been to. It's SO important to go with an informed decision, but also to follow "your gut" with something like this, and my "gut" is telling me that the Laser Spine Institute is a money-making machine only which, once it gets its "hooks" into you, you can't get free until they empty your bank account and you'll still be in pain. I'm happy with my decision.
After the 2nd cervical spine fusion repair surgery on May 4 I'll come back and post more to this comment. Then I'll investigate on having the L5-S1 lumbar failed fusion surgery repaired (from Feb. 2012). Right now I have a neuro-electro-spinal-stimulator and rechargeable battery surgically inserted into my thoracic spine (epidural space for the 16-diodes and 2 cm. under my skin on my upper right hip for the rechargeable battery). This is minimally effective at best. I want it FIXED for good. The next lumbar surgery will be done after much investigation on my part, and will most likely be from the anterior entry side (through the belly button) since the first lumbar surgery was through the posterior (back) side of my back.
That was truly the worst experience of my life (post-surgery, the day of the surgery and the following 2-weeks). Hopefully, the anterior entrance to repair that surgical fusion FAIL will be much less invasive and will actually work this time. But I know one thing, it WON'T be at the Laser Spine Institute! Again, once this is done, I'll amend this comment to let you know how it turns out. Thanks for reading this long post.
Resolved outside ConsumerAffairs
In my investigations so far I am real concerned about the financial burden after hearing that they don't participate with insurance and I will be responsible for a very large amount above what my insurance does pay. To a certain point ok if this would help. Why on earth do they not participate if this so successful with all these wonderful comments I have read? I understand that profit is a part of the business they are in but it would seem they would have even more patient customers if they were in a network. Please someone explain this before I proceed and find out I end up owing tens of thousands of dollars. We are all limited by the all mighty dollar.
Factual basis uncertain
I have been communicating with LSI regarding surgery for my mother. They said I would have to go to Philadelphia for 5 days in a hotel (which I have to pay for). After speaking with Katie, Spine Care Consultant, I was excited to get my mother in for surgery. They retrieved my mother's MRI report which was done in December. Katie had said previously that they accept MRI's done within 4 months (which I am within the time). Next phone call, she got all my mother's medical information. She informed me that they may need to do another MRI and Xrays when she gets there. Also, Katie informed me that my mother's medical will pay for the procedure, but my mother will have to pay an additional $13,900.00. I said for what? Facility fee. Medicare does not give them enough, so they do not request it from them and it is up to the patient.
OK, now I am paying their mortgage along with everyone else that goes there. Hello people! Shouldn't they incorporate their fees altogether? Of course, they offer a payment plan which you will end up paying over $5,000.00 more than the $13,900.00. Also, which put doubts in my mind is the way they want $250.00 deposit which they wait 3 days to a week after you pay to schedule surgery. The other monies ($13,000.00) if you do the financing with them, have to be paid by debit card. No checks. I am getting a very uneasy feeling that I am being scammed!
I have recommended Laser Spine Institute regularly since my treatment 3 months ago. For the last many years I have been in pain and expected no change throughout the rest of my life. The procedure on my L5-S1 interface at LSI has allowed me to function in a pain-free state virtually from the time of the surgery. The level of professionalism is that of the highest level and the outcome is one that I wish for anyone wanting relief from spinal stenosis and compressed discs. I consider the outcome as a gift that I will enjoy the rest of my life.
Laser Spine Institute Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Laser Spine Institute
- United States