We've known for years how important it can be for consumers to take an active role in managing their healthcare. This includes actively seeking out the specialist best prepared to treat the individual medical condition. The best healthcare will not find you; you have to seek it out.
While the United States offers the highest standard of healthcare in the world, there is still huge treatment variation based on the doctor you see. Bottom line — the doctor you choose will determine the quality of care you will receive.
The importance of taking an active role in choosing a specialist was emphasized further with the release of a 2017 study published on Journal of Neurosurgery. In the study entitled "Impact of neurosurgeon specialization on patient outcomes for intracranial and spinal surgery: a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample 1998–2009", the authors proposed that the trend toward increased neurosurgeon specialization was associated with improved patient morbidity and mortality rates. The nationwide inpatient sample took place between 1998 and 2009. The final conclusion from the study was that for both spine and brain surgery patients included in the study, increased surgeon specialization was both significantly and independently associated with improved patient outcomes (improved state of disease and decreased risk of death), even after controlling for overall case volume. Click here to access the complete article.
The neurosurgeons at SpineNevada are all fellowship-trained and specialize in the field of spine surgery. Fellowship-training, the highest level of training in the United States, can be an indicator that the physician has invested an additional year in a specific area of specialization. Also, note where the physician has trained. Training at a large or prestigious institution would expose the physician to more complex cases, which in turn makes them more proficient in their chosen specialty.
Dr. James Lynch is a board-certified neurosurgeon and performs over 500 spine surgeries per year, including nearly 250 cervical surgeries. He specializes in complex spine surgery, cervical disorders, degenerative spine, spinal deformities, trauma, tumor infection and minimally invasive spine surgery.
Dr. Edward Perry specializes in Minimally Invasive Spine (MIS) techniques and performs over 300 surgeries per year. Furthermore, less than 40 percent of Dr. Perry's patients require fusions due to his careful patient selection and understanding of spinal biomechanics. He has completed additional training in major deformity and spinal reconstruction techniques. Due to Dr. Perry's investment in supplemental surgical training, he possesses a unique ability to perform larger complex spinal fusions and revision surgeries on patients that have failed previous surgical interventions.
Dr. Shane Abdunnur completed fellowship-training in Spine and Peripheral Nerve at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Abdunnur specializes in all aspects of spine surgery, including adult degenerative conditions, spinal cord injury, spine tumors and deformity correction. He also has training and experience in peripheral nerve disorders.
As with anything in life, practice makes perfect. All clinical outcome studies confirm that the more times a surgeon performs a procedure, the better they become at it. Consequently, spine surgeons who perform more than 300 surgeries per year will be more proficient than those who perform 50 each year. To learn more about selecting a spine surgeon, please click here.
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