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How to Deal with an Unresponsive Spine Surgeon

  • Category: Spine Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: DR. HAMID ABBASI
How to Deal with an Unresponsive Spine Surgeon

Surgery can be scary, but having a surgeon you trust can go a long way to calming your anxiety before, during, and after a procedure. But following your procedure and hospital stay, your surgeon will not be on call day and night. You may not be able to get a hold of them whenever you want to talk about your condition. In this article, we will outline some steps to take if your surgeon is being unresponsive after your surgical procedure.

Post-Op Follow Up

After spine surgery, your surgeon will likely want to schedule a few follow up appointments with you to see how your recovery is progressing. When these appointments occur will depend on the procedure performed and the patient in question, but generally you will have your first follow up appointment within a few weeks of your procedure. For most of this time, you will be recovering at home (after your hospital stay is over). This scares some patients who like the comfort of having medical staff on hand at all times – something that does not happen in the comfort of your own home. Once you leave the hospital, you will have a pain management strategy to help control your pain post-op. But sometimes these pain management plans need to change during the recovery period. If you experience sudden pain or numbness as you recover, contact your surgeon right away.

Your Surgeon Has Other Patients

It is also important to keep in mind that you are not your surgeon’s only patient. So you can’t expect them to be on call to talk to you 24/7 after your procedure. In the majority of cases wherein surgeons seem “unresponsive” – they are simply busy working with other patients, and can’t address your needs at that exact moment. That being said, there are situations in which you do want to contact your surgeon post-operatively. For example, if you experience a sudden and severe increase in pain that was not previously present, that could be a sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed.

Most surgeons will not give you their home phone number. Rather, they will have a surgical team consisting of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other medical professionals who know your situation and can help in times of crisis. Talk to your surgeon before your procedure to see what the proper protocol is for contacting their team post-op should you need help.