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Using A Cvillian Surgeon Over Va Surgeon


oldman273

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Hello not sure if this is right area to post but can anyone tell me if my SC back operation has to be done by VA? I am looking at back surgery been all over the place found a good surgeon clsoe to home with experience (which is very important LOL) that I want to do recomended surgery. VA wanted to do my back in Charleston but it is like a 3 hour drive from home. Driving now kils me and that far after surgery is hurting me just thinking about it. It is going to be a solo trip for me as my family is not able to go down and stay that long reason to try and do it here. I will have to get someone to come and drive me home from Charleston biggest reason is better on family here. Any Advice? I have been waiting to do surgery for 5 months for VA but nothing happen overnight with VA. I had thought I could wait my back out to see if it eased off I am ready to try surgery just way too much pain every stinking day. Civ surgeon said he could do it within two weeks. Adios this is 3 disc replacment with fushion and hardware. thanks for any all advice...

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Perhaps you could put in a request for this to be done under Fee Basis.

carlie

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Carlie, how do you put in such a request? Is there a special form?

Oldman, good luck, I hope all goes well!

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Carlie, how do you put in such a request? Is there a special form?

hedgey,

Try the Hadit search feature for Fee Basis.

carlie

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If it was me I would use the Doc with experience. I really don't want some snot nosed intern learning how to cut on me.

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My knees are 80% SC and I recently had bilateral knee replacement surgery done by a civilian doctor of my choice. I sent in my information to the VA and requested the temporary rating of 100% for 13 months due to the surgery. I had to sign a release of information for copies of the hospital stay, doctors notes and physical therapy. But I got the temporary increase with no questions.

I DID NOT inform the VA I was using a civilian doctor.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Sandy:

Thanks hope that all went well.

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My knees are 80% SC and I recently had bilateral knee replacement surgery done by a civilian doctor of my choice. I sent in my information to the VA and requested the temporary rating of 100% for 13 months due to the surgery. I had to sign a release of information for copies of the hospital stay, doctors notes and physical therapy. But I got the temporary increase with no questions.

I DID NOT inform the VA I was using a civilian doctor.

Thanks for your input, I had been trying to hope the bad days would get fewer and fewer but the surgery with the VA is still not able to give me a date so I went and saw a civillian Surgeon one day got the word after he saw me that he would be glad to write me a letter stating even after the surgery due to the damage to my back I will not be able to hold a gainful employment. I got the word today surgey is going to be on May 5th and recovery time is about a year not counting what the other stuff I have going on. My knees are next are you happy with your knees? Mine are shot from injuries on active duty and Airborne but I heard that being airborne was not a sure thing. Adios and thanks...

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Oldman

I would use the doctor close to home and also consider you will have months of PT to do afterwards. You don't want to drive 6 hours three times a week to get one hour of PT. I would use the doctor with the most experience like Pete says. This is major surgery. You want as little stress as possible around this. To heck with the VA unless they do fee base. If you have good insurance and you have made up your mind then why wait? How many opinions have you had since this is such major surgery. You may still have pain even if everything goes well.

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Oldman

I would use the doctor close to home and also consider you will have months of PT to do afterwards. You don't want to drive 6 hours three times a week to get one hour of PT. I would use the doctor with the most experience like Pete says. This is major surgery. You want as little stress as possible around this. To heck with the VA unless they do fee base. If you have good insurance and you have made up your mind then why wait? How many opinions have you had since this is such major surgery. You may still have pain even if everything goes well.

Thanks I made up mind as we were going to go to Charleston last month but had to turn around and come home as the drive was just too much for me. The pain issue I hear people say pain is something you should deal with. Me I am a big old baby as the pain is what drove me to have the surgery. Now that I am having the surgery I will post what worked for me. My quality of life is the other major reason I would urge others to think about if they get to hwere I am. I had sworn surgery off but it just came to the one day I guess I just snapped. Adios and I am going to use insurance to help me with this. I just do not see any other way out of it. The VA could do more for chronic pain. Adios will keep you all advised I waited on the VA to get me on the books 6 months later I went ahead and did it Going under the knife on May 5th....

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No matter who does it, you should probably contact a VSO or the VA toll free # about getting temp 100% while you recover. I don't think the VA cares who does the surgery one way or the other.

If you don't have a VSO, call a Patient Advocate for your local VA clinic or at the Charleston VAMC, and talk to them about 1) getting Fee Basis approved 2) filing for temp 100% while you recover. If you explain the hardships to them, you might get Fee Basis approved. That will mean VA covers all costs, no out of pocket or deductible for anything. They might even approve Fee Basis for your Rehab Therapy too.

I'm no expert on this, but I did recently succeed in getting VA Fee Basis approved for chiropractic care. The VA Patient Advocate at the VAMC a couple hours away was the biggest help.

Best of luck whatever you do, hope they make your spine feel mighty fine.

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The pain issue I hear people say pain is something you should deal with. Me I am a big old baby as the pain is what drove me to have the surgery.

Oldman, everyone experiences pain differently - that's why the medical community has such a hard time coming up with a good, reliable way of managing it. What you put up with for years might have driven Samson to lying in a fetal position wailing his head off, and then you also have cases where people walk around on broken bones and don't think it's bad enough to go to a doctor about.

You do not sound like any kind of baby to me!

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Oldman: In 2004, I had lumbar fusion with hardware, etc. It was no cup of tea. I would never, repeat, NEVER of let the VA do the surgery. Hopefully, you have insurance. With a private surgeon, you have a say in who does the surgery and chances are he/she will be available for months/years after (with the VA, the Doc's are here today--gone tomorrow). Sure, the VAMC contracts with some of the private hospitals/surgeons---which means you possibly could get a good surgeon----which means (also) you might get a "surgery resident" left unattended doing your surgery!!! **The only way the VAMC have any chance of cutting on me is "if" I have no insurance and "if" there is no (NO!) alternative to having the surgery. Spinal fusion can be very serious, shop as much as possible for the best qualified surgeon available. Just my opinion and experience. Good Luck!!

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You have the right to choose whether you receive VA or private care/surgery. The main issue is normally cost. If you have secondary insurance that will cover it and the Dr. is close to home and you are comfortable with him, then go for it. Especially when you consider the long drive to VAMC. Good luck !

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The VA in San Diego has many surgeons that work both at the VA and UC San Diego..

so you get the best of both..

of course the type of surgery you need/get may not give you any choices..

I have had surgeries..

=================

You have the right to choose whether you receive VA or private care/surgery. The main issue is normally cost. If you have secondary insurance that will cover it and the Dr. is close to home and you are comfortable with him, then go for it. Especially when you consider the long drive to VAMC. Good luck !
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I think I already gave my Fee Basis story here, a while back..

my main suggesting is to get prior written approval before you take any steps regarding Fee Basis..

so there are no misunderstandings..

==============

No matter who does it, you should probably contact a VSO or the VA toll free # about getting temp 100% while you recover. I don't think the VA cares who does the surgery one way or the other.

If you don't have a VSO, call a Patient Advocate for your local VA clinic or at the Charleston VAMC, and talk to them about 1) getting Fee Basis approved 2) filing for temp 100% while you recover. If you explain the hardships to them, you might get Fee Basis approved. That will mean VA covers all costs, no out of pocket or deductible for anything. They might even approve Fee Basis for your Rehab Therapy too.

I'm no expert on this, but I did recently succeed in getting VA Fee Basis approved for chiropractic care. The VA Patient Advocate at the VAMC a couple hours away was the biggest help.

Best of luck whatever you do, hope they make your spine feel mighty fine.

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No matter who does it, you should probably contact a VSO or the VA toll free # about getting temp 100% while you recover. I don't think the VA cares who does the surgery one way or the other.

If you don't have a VSO, call a Patient Advocate for your local VA clinic or at the Charleston VAMC, and talk to them about 1) getting Fee Basis approved 2) filing for temp 100% while you recover. If you explain the hardships to them, you might get Fee Basis approved. That will mean VA covers all costs, no out of pocket or deductible for anything. They might even approve Fee Basis for your Rehab Therapy too.

I'm no expert on this, but I did recently succeed in getting VA Fee Basis approved for chiropractic care. The VA Patient Advocate at the VAMC a couple hours away was the biggest help.

Best of luck whatever you do, hope they make your spine feel mighty fine.

Well today was a good day got approved for fee basis (phone call) will wait till I get hard copy in Mail. Also got surgeons opinion that said I am unemployable due to SC Back 3 level degenerative disc and multiple herniated disc requiring a 3level lumbar fushion and decompression. His opinion is that I am unable to seek gainful employment due to SC back injury. I am gpoing to get fee basis approval for the local surgeon to do surgery. I can barley make it to Columbia now much less Charleston. Thanks for advice so much A lot of good infromation sure does help coming from those who already been there.

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