Column How to choose a hospital for a herniated disc: what key points should you keep in mind when choosing your doctor?
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, you may wonder how to choose a hospital and where to receive treatment.
What are the most important considerations for choosing a hospital and a doctor?
Criteria for choosing a hospital or a doctor
In most cases, the number of surgeries, the doctor’s position, and the doctor’s degrees should be the primary criteria.
However, the number of surgeries, the doctor’s titles, and whether the doctor has the appropriate diplomas are often used as criteria for choosing a hospital or a doctor.
So, what should you really look for when choosing a hospital or a doctor?
Number of surgeries
The number of surgeries and treatments is certainly one of the most important factors. The higher the number, the more experienced the doctor is. The higher the number of cases, the more likely it is that the treatment will be suited to your condition and your symptoms.
However, since the number of cases may not always be publicly available, you may want to check that particular information at the time of the first inquiry or during pre-treatment consultation.
Another important point is the technical skill aspect. If the treatment is minimally invasive, a high level of technical skill is essential.
The most reliable way to find this out is through word of mouth from patients who have actually undergone treatment. If you know someone who has been treated at the institution you are considering, you have the option to ask them directly.
While various information about treatment is easy to obtain nowadays, bear in mind that some of the reviews online may be fake (i.e., bad reviews written by persons who have not actually received the treatment).
Ability to explain
It is important for patients who have no medical background to be met by a doctor who is able to make the accurate diagnosis during the consultation and explain the findings and treatment in an easy-to-understand manner. Without a proper understanding of the medical condition and its treatment, it will be difficult for patients to commit to undergo treatment.
If you on the fence about whether to undergo treatment or not, you should start by taking a medical examination and then listen to the doctor’s explanation before reaching a decision.
Capacity to empathize on a human level
Another important point is the doctor’s humaneness and ability to empathize with the patients. Doctors must be people who do their best for each and every one of their patients.
Some doctors, unfortunately, try to promote their own worth by slandering and defaming other doctors’ surgeries, treatments, as well as other hospitals. We suggest avoiding physicians who exhibit this kind of dishonest and dishonorable conduct.
Key questions to ask the physician during the consultation
A medical examination is mandatory before undergoing treatment. If you are unsure about the treatment, it is recommended that you go to a medical facility where the doctor will take the time to listen to your concerns. If the consultation is too short, you may not be in a position to fully understand the findings and treatment procedure, so you may want to ask about the approximate length of the consultation at the time of the first inquiry or when making an appointment.
The consultation enables you not only to hear what the doctor has to say about your condition, but also to ask your own questions and clarify any doubts or concerns you may have.
Some people may wonder what questions to ask if they are diagnosed with a herniated disc, so here are some questions you may want to check with your doctor.
How are herniated discs diagnosed?
A precise diagnosis is reached in a comprehensive manner based on the results of a physical examination, which consists in a review of your current symptoms and past medical history, followed by a thorough review of your MRI and x-rays. Even if the MRI seems to indicate a herniation, there may be other causes of pain, numbness, or other symptoms that are not apparent at first, so a comprehensive examination is necessary, and not simply the viewing of the MRI scan images. That is why it is necessary to have a thorough medical examination that complements the MRI images.
What happens if a herniated disc is left untreated?
Under certain conditions, herniated discs may heal spontaneously, and the symptoms may disappear.
However, depending on the condition of the herniation and the severity of the symptoms, it may be dangerous to leave it untreated, so it is always a good idea to discuss your symptoms and condition with your doctor.
Can a hernia recur once it has been treated?
Depending on the type of treatment given, a herniated disc may recur. During your consultation, you may want to ask about the medical facility’s post-treatment recurrence rate and complications.
What should I be careful about after a herniated disc surgery?
Recovery time may vary depending on the treatment. After treatment, you should monitor everything from the distance you can walk, when you are allowed to return home, and when you can start doing daily tasks and exercises.
The doctors at our clinic will dedicate at least 30 minutes with you to conduct a thorough consultation to make recommendations and determine the best treatment program for each individual patient.
We also offer a free imaging consultation service for those who would like to send an MRI to know before the consultation if treatment is indicated for them.
Our treatments, including the Cellgel method used for restoring damaged intervertebral discs, are minimally invasive, risk-free, and can be performed as a one-day treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc or are suffering from back pain, please consider seeing us for a consultation.