Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laser Spine Surgery: A Real Business or A Real Scam

Recently there has been a rash of people blogging about a controversial company called the Laser Spine Institute. TSB would be interested in knowing if anyone has had any experience with these facilities. Located in Arizona, Florida, California, and Pennsylvania this institute claims to use minimally invasive, endoscopic laser assisted procedures as a modality of treatment for various spinal maladies. Considering that during my tenure within the industry I have come to know many spine surgeons on a national basis, I am not familiar with this group. Any feedback would be welcomed by our patient readers. Once again, thank you.

284 comments:

  1. Scam. No published data. Not involved in any real national, scientific societies that they haven't created themselves. Cash-on-delivery care with no clinical followup - patients are told to call a local surgeon if there are any complications. When we have to revise them, its more difficult than traditional revisions. But hey its got Laser in the title so it must be great.

    They have a great marketing department (supposedly the company is funded by Outback Steakhouse) and are branching ("franchising") so I am sure they are generating good profits. They are selling an unproven, non-peer reviewed product to desperate people with money to spend. Great business. Questionable ethics. Bad medicine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How are they legal? No censure by the AMA or some government agency? It galls me how laws protect the bad guys.

      Delete
    2. Don't go, stay at home and wait until you wish you were dead. When you reach that point, from such horrible pain, than and only then, get Minally invasive surgery by a qualified surgeon. LSI is a very expensive joke. In my case, I think 96,000 worth of steriods.

      You are welcome to write to me anytime and I will tell you what I think and what I know. Anyone can. It's a SCAM

      Delete
    3. had back and neck surgery 2 months ago ,thought i was doing really good until i got home had cerbral fluid leakage they fixed but headaches have gotten worse like daily ..on 3muscle rellaxers had steroids and now steroid shots .back pain and ache legs more to right with nerve tingle in right ..wishing i could go back and not have surgery. waiting on them to send mri.. they really did a good job calling and checkin on me and talking to my husband until my 30 days where up. been calling for dr.vernon morris in tampa and i get a dumbass that says uyou need asprin or something like that whenfile says allergic will kill me . what do i do know?

      Delete
    4. I only know two people who have been to Tampa Laser Spine Institute and they firmly believe in them. I'm so sorry about hour bad experience. May God help you through this.
      I myself am considering this. Especially their bee thing -using stem cells to regenerate disc. Ive had two surgeries and several more then I can count now epidural/steroids shots. I'm desperafor a miracle and be able to go on with my lite with no or at least less pain and less mess than I am doing now!

      Delete
    5. I suggest not blogging unless you're willing to post your name. How can you post negativity about a company and remain anonymous? That puts no stock in what you say.

      Delete
    6. they have a law suit. they are a clinic not a hospital

      Delete
    7. For all those that are out there who maybe up in the air about LSI, please read this. I was attracted to LSI from their advertising and so forth. In addition, I worked just above their Tampa building for a while. Seemed like a great idea for my lumbar disk herniation. I should have shopped around and gone to a real back surgeon before anything else. When you go to LSI, you're treated like a King/Queen, fed, catered to, etc. Problem is, they're a mass suedo operation center and turn out laminectomies faster than a printing press. They conned me into their trap. Like many of you, I was desperate for relief and actually paid the $4500 cash because my insurance would not pay for them. That should have been an indicator.

      They scheduled me in, I got my surgery, and out I WALKED. Once you're out, your on the blacklist. I did experience some relief for about a month and some days. Then, during routine movement, I felt the area "pop" and I was right back in pain. Going back was a completely different story.

      When I finally was granted an appointment, I walked right past my "ghost" in the parking garage. A guy who was about my same age (40) with the same problem. His "operation" had failed as well and he wasn't getting anywhere with the administration. Being an optimist, I though it might go differently for me. I was wrong. Every person from the desk clerk to the administration circled the wagons just as soon as I walked in. I even weasled another MRI off of them to prove my point. I can still remember all the brass standing there in a closed office with their arms folded telling me that everything was just fine, and that I would get better. One of them actually had the nerve to say her back was worse than mine and she was doing fine. They gave me an epidural shot and sent me on my way, limping out the door with a cane.

      When I couldn't stand the pain anymore, I consulted a REAL and trusted physician. [By the way, stay the hell away from any place with the word "institute" after it", this just makes them harder to sue]. I went to Kennedy White Orthopedics in Sarasota. Dr. Fiertag, a long and trusted physician to me who, thank GOD, decided to move from broken bones to spines in the ten years since he put my leg back together. Michael did a new MRI, saw obvious problems in MULTIPLE disks, and scheduled surgery. He did a great and professional job, as usual, and the followup was fantastic. I'm much better off than before, as I can walk and ski again!

      Laser Spine Institute is a pure scam. They look great from the outside and the adverts, but go to a real doctor when it comes to someething as important as you spine.

      JW

      Delete
    8. Thank you for that post I was going to schedule a appointment with them and I guess I will just keep living with the pain

      MT

      Delete
    9. Has anyone tried the Neurolumen device? I'm looking into that for my daughter who has chronic back pain from an injury. She was told she will always be in pain by her doctor. LP

      Delete
    10. Melissa,

      Call Kennedy White Orthopedics in Sarasota, or go to a reputable spine doctor. Not a place the words "institute" or "management center" after it.

      JW

      Delete
  2. have a good day.

    http://forextraderclubs.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. 30K for surgery, they only do one level at a time, disc removal, no instrumentation. They have seminars to review patient’s records, select the best and schedule for surgery. I'd be careful about your accusations, it's really good medicine, but very limited. Your post will not escape their attention.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't forget NorthAmerican Spine. Very popular in Texas.
    news program from just last evening

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/New-procedure-promised-back-pain-relief-83215072.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Northamerican spine. After reading my MRI I received a call saying "sorry they could not help me" An "A" for honesty.

      Delete
  5. They are insanely profitable. Dig deeper if you can. They do have malacious networks so be careful. It is the Mafia network of the Spine industry. It goes hand-in-hand with Op-Ed piece. Insanely profitable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. To our Readers:

    If you are reading the same post that I wrote, never have I accused the Laser Spine Institute of fraud or a scam. Please reader what the headline was; " Laser Spine Surgery: A Real Business or A Real Scam. The rest is left up to our readers. Once again, thanks for your commentary our patient readers are looking for real feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have seen about 6 patients in 5 years who have had surgery at the Laser Spine Institute, which seems like a lot considering I'm based nowhere near them. Wouldn't be surprised if they get/have been investigated. Looks like they prey in the worst way on the desperate and ill-informed. Patients tell me they have paid at least $20-50K out of pocket. Multi-level surgeries are done one-side, one-level at a time with each surgery tens of thousands of dollars. No follow-up. Decompressions only, even the unstable spondys. The system is truly f'ed up when insurance only pays $4K to revise their work with a 2 level lami and fusion. Hey, cool name though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am considering sending my son over to the Scottsdale LSI center who had a Microdiscetomy four months ago and is still in the same pain he had before the surgery. I know of two people who had Dr Richley(San Diago LSI center- founder of the technology)perform surgery's years ago and both patients still doing very well now. I also had my dayughter-in-law go to the Scottsdale facility for a minor operation on her neck and it was successful. But recently on the internet I am seeing all these negative reviews about the Scottsdale LSI fascility and I don't know what's going on now, or what to believe of what perople are saying recently?

      You must be a docotor if patients have been coming to you after they have gone to the LSI... are the six patients you have seen all complaining about opertations "gone wrong" or have some gotten relief? I sure don't want to get in line if the LSI facility has now gone wild and is turning out bad results. Your input would be greatly appreeciated. My name is Mike I am an insurance broker. Please respond to this post so I can discuss this further with you.

      Delete
    2. DON'T GO THERE!!!

      stay at home and wait until you wish you were dead. When you reach that point, from such horrible pain, than and only then, get Minally invasive surgery by a qualified surgeon. LSI is a very expensive joke. In my case, I think 96,000 worth of steriods.

      You are welcome to write to me anytime and I will tell you what I think and what I know. Anyone can. It's a SCAM

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your post. I will watch closely. I sm st the point too where if it weren't for my family I don't know what I would do. I would have to be admitted to the psycho ward. I'm in so much painall the tome.

      Delete
    4. Went there four years ago. Had L5-S1 and L4-L5 herniated discs. They wanted $32,500 to do the L5-S1 and said in their report "I may need a second procedure". I asked why they would not do both and was told "that's not how they do things". I am not a doctor but as a Hearing Officer for Social Security Disability, I know medical stuff. Every question I asked came with no answer, JUST A REPLY CHANGING THE SUBJECT. A "care Coordinator" in Florida, Mr. Donavan is the rudest man I have ever spoken to. STAY AWAY

      Delete
  8. My grandfather lives in FL. He liked the procedure so much he had it done 3 or 4 times.

    Take that for what its worth...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandpa is naive and has money to burn. And, Mr. Anonymous, does grandpa even exist?

      Delete
    2. he nust have plenty of money as i was told that my medicare the dr would except and the facility wouldn't take my medicare and my blue cross and blue shield i would have to pay $18,900 up front as i am disabled because of my back and get a check for that because i worked all my life so as usual if you are not rich or have connection you ust suffer note this is nothing against your grand father just what happened to me my hope was up then my heart was broke because of money

      Delete
    3. Same here ... No lsi is fake.... Oh man i was hoping for help.

      Delete
  9. So finally the Bonati Institute has competition... Remember the Bonati ad in airline magazines with the girl with a band aid on her back on the beach? Completely commercial, no real science. Years ago, Bonati opened an office in the most expensive office tower in Amsterdam to rustle up European patients, and used patient testimonials in papers akin to the New York Post to find them. The diplomas on the walls were almost all from (self founded?) societies that the AMA does not recognize. Yet, commercially a great success.. The problem is that regular spine care so far has not done too great a job in science, and that the placebo effect of laser in spine is maybe even stronger than just a jab with the knife as compared to arthroscopic knee debridement. And, after all, most patient think that if it is this expensive it must be good....
    For those who want to relive a bit of history: http://www.sptimes.com/News/112000/news_pf/TampaBay/Is_surgeon_innovative.shtmlsive office toiwer

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sorry, this should work:

    http://www.sptimes.com/News/112000/news_pf/TampaBay/Is_surgeon_innovative.shtml

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The St Pete times link is gone

      Delete
  11. If you look at their website,
    http://laserspineinstitute.com/spinal_orthopedic_procedures/
    they explain their operative procedures as just facet rhizotomy, perc discectomy, (pain procedures), as well as foraminotomy and discectomy done through an 18mm tube (this is the largest of the Medtronic MetRx tubes. MetRx also comes in 14 and 16mm.) So they don't use the smallest tubes and are not the most minimal incision and there is no mention of the use of laser. It appears to me that they just do regular simple non-fusion spinal surgery with a pain management emphasis but in a spa setting. They just have great advertising and extensive use of the word "laser."

    There really is nothing special about lasers in spine surgery. Lasers are used in neurosurgery, ENT, ophthalmology etc. see http://www.omni-guide.com/index.htm
    but it's just a way to convey energy just like bipolar coagulation or radiofrequency. You're just burning tissue, burning nerves (rhizotomy).

    But the public sees "laser" as the latest and most sophisticated.

    Good spinal surgery on well selected patients is bound to have good results, so I'm sure they have good results just like most spinal surgeons and pain specialists doing these procedures. It's just that most spine surgeons collect a couple thousand dollars for a procedure and they collect a few tens of thousand dollars. Rich people will always seek out what and whom they think is the best, even though it may just be the same old thing that everyone else is doing.

    What I do think is interesting are some of these groups doing endoscopic spine procedures. These incisions are really small (4-5 mm). However, these usually are done "underwater" or with saline infusion and so lasers do not work with endoscopy (typically). Got this point from the Omniguide laser Rep.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had surgery at Laser Spine Institute a few years ago and it worked. All pain is gone and has not come back. C6C7 surgery.Before the operation the pain was unbearable so I took the plunge and got lucky. $30,000 was the cost an Dr was Dr St Louis. I checked him out and he is the very best there is a DO. Do's are now concidered equal to MD's but specialize in what they do. No complaints from me except the cost.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had surgery in October 2009 and was totally scammed. I went in for a thoracic discectomy, they didn't think it was bad enough to do the surgery, so they instead did a procedure on my cervical spine... getting the final bill at $41,000. It took 5 months to get me to a state of health equal to my state of health before the surgery. They said I'd be good to go in 4 weeks - now 5 months later, I can say the surgery did nothing for me, but I'm out $40k.

    Beware. Beware.

    ReplyDelete
  14. lots of blowhards on here tossing out terms and vocab to impress mostly themselves i gather. they aren't impressing me. nor is the blatant misinformation from some of the anonymous posters above. i've had sufficient experience with the high pressure front-end "sales" aspect of lsi to create suspicion. and after my due diligence, i find that they should be looked at as very suspicious. lawsuit for theft of intellectual property. conspiracy by several individuals who left former employer together, to create mirror company. degrees and certifications self-created to establish credibility. in-house and online guerilla marketing techniques i.e. surgery sales dept. and spam mail. zero post-op follow up. non-board certified and or fellowship trained personnel performing surgical procedures. chief spinal surgeon not an actual m.d. managed and marketed internally by peeps from food service industry- not health care. more chiefs (vp's) than indians (employees). and this is only the tip of the iceberg...creates enough doubt for me to run, not walk, in the opposite direction. the truth is out there. somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your input... Since I'm cosidering a procedure to end this missery after an accident at the office: head, neck & back all messed up!
      I do not want to end at the wrong hands again... Best Regards

      Delete
    2. Me too! I actually have a consultation there tomorrow! (Tampa) I have been trying to figure out things before I go. I hate this though b/c I really need a procedure like this done on my 2 herniated discs in my neck - one with bone spurs. I am so miserable. Am done with this pain since 2007 it's just gotten worse and worse. It's affecting my everything..... If ANYONE knows of anywhere else that does this type of non-fusion surgery method, please post...

      Delete
    3. Lisa, I went there a few days ago for a consultation. I have no idea what to do. My insurance will pay for the procedure at LSI, but will not pay an ortho doctor to do a disc replacement. I have had my herniated disc for 14 years :(

      Delete
    4. Hey Lisa, Have you had your surgery at LSI yet? If so how did it go. I went for my consult on 9/29/12 and was a good candidate. I have been to 2 Neurosurgeons in the past 4 mos. for my C5/C6 and impingement on the C6 nerve root and all they want to do is the Anterior discectomy with fusion. I had a girlfriend get it done and she came out with 6 screws in her Cervical C4/C5/C6 an she claims the neck is better, but she got frozen shoulder, which was bad! I don't know what to do!!! I do not want hardware in my spine. If you or anyone out there can give me a positive direction, I would TRULY appreciate it.
      God Bless to you and to all out there..be safe..

      Delete
  15. Hi,

    I'm actually love your articles about spine surgery. I hope u can visit my blog.

    Cheers,
    Laser Spine Surgery

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had lumbar surgery at LSI after having researched all my options. I had been living in pain for six years even though I'm a strong and very physically fit 40 year old. Looked at all the options, and what I found was LSI performed more surgeries than any other facility, and they have operated on more celebrities and well known people and athletes than any other facility.

    My experience there was a very, very good one. Professional, thorough all the way through. My private insurance paid for part of it. And most importantly, my condition was fixed completely. There were no guarantees it would be, but it was. So I'm very happy about it.

    While there having surgery, I met dozens of other patients from around the country, and I think every one of them had had a positive experience as well and was very glad they went to LSI.

    The negative comments on here are probably all from jealous competitors of LSI's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you, Mr. Anonymous, are a shill.

      Delete
    2. I am going to LSI in febuary for surgery on my back ,The one in Pennsylvania after you insurance paid was it very expensive,Im not rich but after 7 years of pain from being a nurse I really want to know if this works what did you get done ?

      Delete
  17. My husband had surgery at LSI in Arizona in May of 2009. What a difference, like night & day. One day he was a 47 year 'old'man using a cane to walk, could not walk more than a block, & was unable to work for 4 years previous. The next day he was walking up & down the street infront of our hotel without his cane and almost pain free. We were looked after very well, before, during & after the surgery. We received several follow up calls post surgery, (live in Canada) just to see how things were progressing. One year later, May 15, 2010 my 47 year 'ýoung' husband is right now out golfing with our son. That was the best 38 thousand we ever spent. Thanks LSI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i am so glad for u but my problem is i don't have that kind of money i have medicare i pay for each month andblue creoss and blue shield as a secondary insurance my husband pays a hundred dollars a week and the facility won't take it so as usual if you are blessed with money you can get help and if not you can get help from the goverment but us middle class can't get any thing so now i'm home and bed bound 98 percent of my life i am so glad god blessed your husband maybe some day some how i'll be blessed as well but not looking to good for me 55 yr old female

      Delete
    2. Dear 55 year old female, I pray that somehow someway God will get you through this. I myself sm in the same boat. Ive lost my job due to my condition and waiting to hear back regarding how much my insurance will pay and how much I will have to pay. You're right. Life is easy for the rich but for the middle class who have/had jobs that that actually work hard for their money get the shaft. Yyoud figure as much as this place makes they would did deep if the patient agrees to that patients financials and helps them and lowers the cost and writes it off which I'm sure they can do.
      good luck and God bless!

      Delete
    3. I like the comment about the middleclass who "actually" work hard for their money. As if the well off people didn't.. like everyone who has money just magically won the lottery. If you see someone in a multi million dollar house... they worked for it.

      Delete
    4. Paris Hilton lives in a multi million dollar house.How hard did she work to get that?Yeah I know she is a bad example and I know that most people earned what they have.The point is,If there is A procedure that can cure your illness,it should be available to everyone.It's not like people are complaining that they can't get elective surgery such as a nose job,face lift,liposuction or breast enlargement because they can't afford it."MEDICAL HEALTH CARE TO RELIEVE SUFFERING SHOULD NOT BE FOR PROFIT PERIOD".END OF STORY!

      Delete
    5. anyone can become rich, its not handed to people. Go to school become a doctor. if you cant do it then don't complain. I've seen people have no support at all, nothing and become wealthy. Try harder.

      Delete
  18. My thinking is that cash on hand to provide care without clinical follow-up, bone towards patients are told they should call a local surgeon, if there are any complications.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Super place state of the art, what they do worked, Pain free and happy.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Have they published in mainstream neurosurgical journals? If their results are so good, shouldn't they publish?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am accually researching options for my condition and have been looking into The Lazer Spine Institute as well as others. I am a Canadian and have been waiting to see a specialist here for months without so much as an appt so far so my choices are limited. I have lost 5 months of my life now and I am not willing to lose much more. If anyone has any recommendations or referrals to anywhere that could help me that would be great. I have 3 herniated disc in my lower back and one is out over 1.5cm and up. Physio olny made me worse and to the point where I can't stand up sometimes and need my husbands help for pretty much everything. Welcome to the Canadian health care system where it's free but we don't get any healthcare!!! Please help.

    ReplyDelete
  22. LSI has offices in PA now and AZ and is growing. My spine neck surgery went well. Stae of the art equipment and just plain nice folks to deal with. You cannot go wrong with LSI.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have read everything posted above the bottom line is who should I believe. I beg some one who had surgery with LSI to call me and would like to talk with as it relates for their experience with LSI. My number is 408-205-8941 and my name is Reza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you hear and get the surgery done?

      Delete
  24. Laser spine surgery is a critical surgery and care should be taken that the best treatment center and best surgeons are chosen for the treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have no idea what you get at LSI. I have no comment on there track record. If you are in the South Florida Area and need to see a physician. I suggest you see this guy: DrBmyers.com. He accepted my insurance and fixed a bad problem. Excellent bedside manner and specialty trained. He had residents and students learning from him. His office was busy so you many have a little wait. Once we spoke he did not rush me one bit. Answered all my questions.
    sincerely,

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree with many of the previously posted comments. I have seen many patients who have been offered surgery (even decompression for patient with obvious instability)for around 30-40K. Patients could not meet their surgeon until the morning of surgery. Essentially no postop follow-up. POD1 visit with PT and extender, POD2 with PT and extender, then telephone f/u. I personally attended one of their free patient seminars, and this is modern day "snake oil" medicine. A recent patient cancelled his surgery at LSI and was told he owed them $1000.oo for cancellation. This was not disclosed at any time before he cancelled, two weeks prior to surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My husband had surgery at LSI in Philadelphia in February 2010. It was an unbelievably positive experience from start to finish. I would be very weary of the people writing these nasty blogs...maybe have alterior motives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. where was his back bad? and how does he feel now?

      Delete
    2. If you had a good experience then that is wonderful,but to say someone who has had a bad experience has other motives is shameful.Makes me wonder what your motives are.

      Delete
    3. i am actually not worried about having a bad experience and i believe the surgery would work. I am worried about the costs. So is what they are saying about how much this costs true? I have United Health Care but obviously these amts are too high for a single mom with just one insurance carrier....I am just at my wits end with this neck pain...

      Delete
  28. I have a ruptured disc at L4-L5. I am 25 years old, and went from spending all my free time in the gym or running, to pain so bad I literally can't walk some days. I have seen 3 different neurosurgeons and all 3 agreed that some type of surgery needs to be done, but all 3 opinions differed as to the type of surgery. I refuse to have a fusion performed, as I know too many people who have had terrible experiences and continue to have pain after a fusion, but yet a spinal fusion is the most commonly offered type of surgery because it has been around the longest. My insurance company denied a request for a disc replacement, because it is "too new". I am currently in talks with LSI in AZ about my options, and I have to wonder why so many people are so quick to talk so negatively about newer types of procedures? If I can finally go back to a normal pain free life without a full out open surgery, what logical reason would I have to not try it? It must work pretty well, otherwise they wouldn't still be around, and they definitely wouldn't be growing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Had procedure at LSI in Tampa on March 3, 2010 to address degenerative disc and pars at L5/S1 to relieve pain extending from my lower right back down outside of right leg to top of right foot. Paid $16,900 out of pocket. After procedure, I continued to have the same pain with no improvement. I was advised that the nerves needed to "awaken" and improvement would be evident in 6 to 9 weeks. In June, still no improvement. Had follow-up MRI which showed that their procedure did no address the impingement on the L5 nerve. Requested that they address this and was told that they couldn't help me because further bone removal would destabilize my spine. Saw a neurosurgeon who confirmed the MRI report diagnosis and ordered a myelogram which further defined the problem, which is fixable with a similar procedure and that spine destabilization was not an issue. In June, after getting the follow-up MRI report and being told by LSI that they would not address the problem, that I wanted a refund. I was told that a committee would review my request. I have not heard back from them although I was told the process was a week to 10 days. I have also learned that they filed and received the full allowable reimbursement from Medicare and my Medigap policies although they say in their documents they are not contracted with Medicare. I am going to continue to pursue reimbursement and, if necessary, legal action.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think the surgery was nothing more than expensive Steriod shots.

    I had my surgery there and I will tell anyone not to go there. It honestly is all bad.

    With the exception of the people that are still benefiting from the shots, it is not believed that you will hear any good for long.

    The benefits of Steriold will end in time. Sad but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Steroid shots work at all. I have had a series of 3 steroid shots and my pain and overall condition is actually worse.

      Delete
  31. very nice articles..thanks for sharing this.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shame on you LSI scaming us. That is gross i almost did it . Whew!

      Delete
  32. Oh boy, went, last week, to one of their, LSI, seminars and was convinced that it was the way to go, as my chiropractor has now advised that I need additional treatment other than the 33 decompression treatments, and related services, along with PT. Have avoided pain killers, too many friends got hooked on them, but have heard that one can have epidural shots (which have their own risks)...so now am heading to a local surgeon, highly trained and recommended, unfortunately out of network, but I don't care....really need help.
    Would love to hear more possitive results particularly from the Phila. location. Am in NYC/CT area. Thank goodness for good insurance, they have stated my responsibility will be $8000.00 insurance pays the rest,some $35000.00. Any advice,suggestions, help would be appreciated. mybackpain2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. My wife had a laser spinal procedure performed today. She is documenting the experience on her website at http://totallyrosalie.com. At this point it is much too early to speak to the results. Follow her blog and find out with us if she benefits from this procedure or not. The surgery was performed in Fair Lawn, NJ by Dr. Liu of Atlantic Spinal Care. He performed an endoscopic procedure at L3-L4 and L5-S1. MRIs showed deterioration through the entire lumbar region with herniation at L5-S1. Discogram performed yesterday revealed L3-L4 also as a significant pain area. My wife initially contacted LSI, but while researching them we found Dr. Liu. His office worked much better with our insurance and he was very personable and easy to speak with. We got a much better vibe from him than LSI and the out of pocket costs were much less. We are very hopeful that this will work. She has been struggling with these back issues for more than three years. We've tried every nonsurgical treatment imaginable with no relief and the surgeons we consulted that preform more conventional open procedures all ruled her out as a candidate due to the multi-level pathology. She is only 38 years again. Follow at http://totallyrosalie.com as she continues to document the experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to your site and all I saw was a site about cats. What up with the back surgery?

      Delete
    2. I also went to your site and saw stories about your cat and Chemo. Would love to know how your experience ended.

      Delete
    3. I went there also, and noticed on the left side of her page is a Archive, you have to go to the August 2010 and go backwards to the 17th or 18 which is the beginning of her blog in regards to her surgery. While I went back to the beginning, I did see on a few pages of her current blog that she is still going to Physical Therapy, so that kind of tells me a little bit without having to read all of her writings. I to am researching Laser surgery for my 83 year old mother in law. Was thinking about LSI but there is a ton of negative stuff on the internet about them, so I am looking at the Bonati Institute, Hope this helps

      Delete
  34. I am a board certified, fellowship trained pain specialist and the majority of my care involves spinal pain. I closely follow the literature and have a front row seat for the circus of confusing choices that confront individuals with back and neck problems. 40% of my patients come into my office at one time or another clutching advertisements from the "Laser Spine Institute". I assure you, this organization is a marketing front offering care that could be covered by insurance by more skilled and reputable specialists). Those of us offering therapies which have been studied in peer supported literature laugh about LSI. Nobody knows the surgeons because they are NOT well known in their fields. They've never published anything at all and they had no presence at the most recent meeting of the North American Spine Society which is probably the largest gathering of spine specialists in the world. Why aren't they sharing these highly effective "laser" therapies with other physicians. The reason is they are offering nothing exceptional with their treatments. Rather, they are preying on the desperate, convincing them through slick advertising and polished presentation that they are superlative. They don't take care of their complications? And they don't offer spinal fusion for the patients in whom they may likely generate spinal instability? This should be worrisome to all. There will always be anecdotal cases of remarkable improvements following any treatment in which an individual has invested so much hope and money, but the long term results will be poor. I have seen this first hand. We may never know since this group isn't publishing any data. Shame on this organization for taking advantage of people in this fashion. Their victims are human beings in need of good care by well intentioned, responsible, ethical physicians. Back and neck pain can certainly be very complicated to treat and frustrating to the patients, but seeking out a "fix" or "cure" from these folks is NOT a good choice. Don't do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The appealing thing about laser surgery is that it is not open back surgery. If these minimally invasive surgeries are so common and nothing new, why are open-back surgeries being done? Where should someone go if they've had three failed open-back surgeries? Some suggestions of TRUE alternatives would be great.

      Delete
    2. I am a faculty orthopaedic spine surgeon at a major teaching institution. No peer-reviewed literature exists supporting the efficacy and safety of these "laser" techniques. None. These procedures are not performed in any academic center in the US for a reason and it is not because we lack technical skill. I would encourage any prospective patients to look at the fellowship training and board status of their physicians. The societies you want your spine surgeon to be members of are the "American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons" or "American Academy of Neurologic Surgeons." Other societies with similar sounding names are often created to lend a sense of legitimacy to those who may not achieve membership in the aforementioned.

      We routinely revise un-indicated or poorly executed procedures and many of these patients have been sold a false bill of goods on Google or Yahoo or wherever these popup ads appear. Many of these folks are in the hole for tens of thousands of dollars. I find it morally and ethically appalling.

      In reply to looking at alternatives, we perform MIS as indicated but it is not always appropriate. If a small incision will work, then that is obviously what we do. But many problems do not have a solution which can be achieved with a 10 mm incision. This I can assure everybody: The incision size does not matter of the surgical goal is not achieved. And people with longer incisions do not universally experience inferior outcomes. There is no study showing improved neurologic recovery with decreased incision length and some which show the opposite.

      The best alternative: a bit of research. Find a surgeon you personally like who can explain your pathology, treatment options, and validated outcomes. Ask them about the natural history of your disease (what if I do nothing about this problem). Stay off of narcotics. Talk to your primary care doctor about who they suggest. And, above all, don't make decisions on who your surgeon should be based on an ad anymore than you would use a TV ad to convince you who to vote for.

      Delete
    3. My husband had a tripple A surgery, a surgery where they place a stent through the inner sides of your legs. His doctor had found an abdomen aneurysm and referred him to a doctor here in Houston, TX. (Tomball, TX). Right after he woke up from the anesthesia, voila, his back was hurting so bad, and the so called surgeon, never realized what mistake he had done, but was the first to send his high costly medical bills. The surgery was done about six years ago, he was grateful that his doctor found the aneurysm in time to save his life, and he knew it to be better not to complain about the wrong surgery, so my husband hhas been living with an awful lower back pain every single minute of the day after the surgery. I pray always for some relief for him, some trustable surgeon who would perform a non invasive surgery, but am not aware of any around Houston. If you do wish to share your thoughts about this, please write to me (claraleitec@hotmail.com) or 713-858-4223. Thank you, clara Leite

      Delete
    4. The thing that bothers me about all these "professionals"... if you're so concerned about how corrupt and terrible LSI is...why isn't anyone doing anything about them? Malpractice? You don't even have the cojones to put down your name. I disregard ANY negative comment that won't print their name and occupation. Otherwise, you're just a guy with outdated skills that is pissed because someone is taking money away from you. If LSI is this bad...man up and put YOUR money where your mouth is. Otherwise, you're just spitting words. I don't work for LSI, I came on here to get info, but all you've done is make me wonder. My name is Vincent Thomsen. I'm a retired vet with back issues. Man up you panseys.

      Delete
    5. What is the alternative? I don't want rods & screws in my back. Any feedback on the stem cell therapy? I have been getting ready to schedule a procedure but after reading these horror stories, I am rethinking everything. My first surgery was in 1987 by A NEURO-SURGEON - I had a laminectomy at L5. I didn't have any more pain until 2005 and I had an epidural it only took one shot and that worked for 6 years. Now this is 2013 and I am 65 and gravity and years of gymnastics have taken their toll. I am 3" shorter and figure by the time I pop off I will be an oil slick and my family can save some funeral money and just kick some sand on me. I was shocked about the 18,900 they want for the use of the facility but physicians are covered by Medicare & Supplement. 18,900 sure would be a nice vacation and if things are as mentioned here I might as well say the hell with the laser surgery and treat myself to a nice vacation!

      Delete
  35. I had surgery at LSI in Scottsdale last June for a herniated disc. I spent all my $30,000 savings and was pretty much booted out the door. I now have severe pain with sciatica (which I never had before) and I do feel like they did something wrong---I have tried and tried to get them to contact me and fix this but they have not. If anyone has had this problem, please contact me. This is a very nasty institution. I should have gone with pain management and holistic methods.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My Dad, 83 years old, had a total knee replacement a few months ago at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. Since the knee replacement, his back has given out. Not sure exactly what happened. He never had back problems before. Drs. are now telling him he needs a laminectomy of his L4 - L5. If he doesn't get this, he will most likely be wheel chair bound as the epidurals have not worked. I was thinking of taking him to LSI for relief. But now that I am reading these blogs I am becoming concerned that LSI is just a con-artist scheme and that my Dad may live a life in a wheel chair as he has sadly stated he does not feel he can go through the major back surgery that the surgeons suggest. I really wish I knew if this place was legitimate or not. I'm starting to think the glass is half empty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What did you find out? And what did you do?

      Delete
    2. Take him to a good neurosurgeon and check that the surgeon hasn't even had a malpractice lawsuit filed against him/her. The laminectomy is a rather routine procedure, of course when you are messing around with the spine nothing is routine but if you do your homework and find him the right surgeon, he should be doing laps in about a week. At least that was my experience with the laminectomy at L-5.

      Delete
  37. I live in Canada and have lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) with pain, numbness, fasciculations (muscle vibrations) and loss of muscle tissue in my legs.

    Surgeons here have given me a contradictory 70% chance of being the same after surgery...to a 70% chance of being worse after surgery and a refusal to operate.

    I am seeking minimally-invasive surgery in the US and have found the following that will be of interest:

    1. Minimally-invasive surgery (which includes endoscopic and laser and some other techniques) boasts a much higher success rate than conventional surgery. Overall, conventional surgery is about 50% effective. The MircoSpine Institute, for one, claims an 85% overall success rate on 9000 patients spanning 9 years, where 50% of this number were failed surgeries of presumably conventional kinds. Laser Spine Institute
    told me a similar percentage. I believe Bonati was similar also.
    [Continued...]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What did you do? Please advise.

      Delete
  38. 2. In terms of customer service, Laser Spine has been the fastest, most helpful, most precise in answering technical questions. MicroSpine has seemed to be over-worked and unable to return my calls reasonably quickly. At first, they lost my MRI report and history I sent. They answer questions with imprecision when very specific medical questions are asked. To their credit, they do attempt to get the answers from the surgeon in the end. Bonati Institute was reasonably good in the service department.

    3. Prices: I have no insurance, since I come from Canada. I was told I have to pay "up front". Laser Spine Institute quoted me $15,000-$30,000US for a single surgery that might involve a couple of levels. MicroSpine said $9,960US plus about $200US in lab fees for a single surgery that might involve a couple of levels. Contrast with NeuroSurgery Northwest in Washington State, which would have done conventional surgery consisting of multiple levels for $10,000US. However, this is maximally-invasive surgery. [Continued...]

    ReplyDelete
  39. 4. Here are some other minimally-invasive surgical centers I am investigating:
    OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY,
    TORONTO WESTERN HOSPITAL,
    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO HOSPITAL,
    UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO HOSPITAL,
    CLEVELAND CLINIC,
    NORTH AMERICAN SPINE

    From their presentations so far, I am favoring University of California, San Francisco with Dr. Schiffer, University of Chicago, and I also like Cleveland Clinic. The reason is that Dr. Schiffer has apparently done this kind of surgery about twice as long as Dr. Mork at MicroSpine; the website anticipated a lot of my technical questions which none of the other sites did; there is just a "professional feel" to these sites, more rational than hype (although not entirely absent of hype). And, so far, I have not found any problems with complaints against their doctors, unlike with MicroSpine and now Laser Spine Institute. I have not compared prices yet.

    For anyone planning on surgery, I urge you to do your "homework". Ask the following questions and find out the answers, and THEN query the doctor or staff in the clinic you finally choose:

    1. Learn the physical anatomy of your spine in the area you consider having an operation on.

    2. Learn what your problem is in terms of that anatomy. For instance, know whether you have a disc herniation, spinal stenosis, nerve root compression, spondylosis, a combination of the above. In other words, get a diagnosis but translate that diagnosis in terms of the physical anatomy, what is going on in it. Make it clear in your mind what is going on. If the diagnosis is not clear, at least know the possibilities clearly. Is it unclear whether your symptoms come from a disc herniation or root compression? Visualize both in your mind, so you can understand both and ask questions.

    3. Once you know what is going on, or the possibilities, and can picture it in terms of your anatomy, learn what both conventional and minimally-invasive surgery intends to do to that anatomy and to that problem. In other words, visualize in conventional surgery how your muscles would be spread wide enough for two fists to get inside the hole; learn what structure or part of a structure they would ideally cut out or modify. Do the same for minimally-invasive surgery: a tiny hole, parting muscle tissue very little, what would be cut or modified? You want to know two basic things: what structures are being removed and how this will affect function and pain later. Here is the deal: nature made you with no spare parts. If some structure is removed, or modified, this will modify function in some way. That will cause excess movement or less than optimal movement, and with these aberrations of function will come pain--aside from the pain of healing. This will hold more in the case of conventional surgery than minimally-invasive, at least so far as the pain of healing is concerned (because of less cutting, less muscle spreading, less scar tissue).

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ask your surgeon: How will this affect my function? And you want to ask him to prove his answer with some peer-reviewed published study. It is not impertinent to ask these questions, although you may be the only patient he or she has that is asking them!

    I am concerned with being this accurate and informed because, as I said at the beginning, I have experts contradicting themselves about the possible outcome of my surgery. I have discovered that the specialists I saw did not consider my spinal hypermobility--which I mentioned and even demonstrated--when they made their predictions about outcome. Only today I read some research that plainly says hypermobility is a significant risk in conventional surgery and that conventional surgery increases spinal joint mobility. OF COURSE IT DOES! Because ligaments and pieces of the supporting structure of the vertebrae are being removed! That alters function, creates abnormal movement, and that can be a cause of more pain and ultimately more operations. Minimally invasive surgery--at least according to MicroSpine--does not ADD excess mobility after surgery. I find that hard to believe when they remove part of the facets on spinal joints, thus altering mechanics. But these are the questions I have yet to gain answers to in detail. [Continued...]

    ReplyDelete
  41. You also want to know what the rate of success is for YOUR operation, and where those results are published. If they aren't published, they are not subject to review and criticism by peers.

    You also want to know what kinds of risks there are, of course; not in general but for YOU.

    Finally, you want to know that if, at the last minute, after you have been assessed in the clinic, if you decide for whatever reason you do not want to proceed, that you can get your money back except for what you paid for the assessment.

    Good luck everyone. Ask good questions and don't stop till you get rational and consistent answers; and always apply those answers to the homework you have done to see if they make sense. What my specialists have told me simply does not make sense, if only because they are exactly opposite opinions. Just think if I had not sought a second opinion: I might be worse instead of just confused about whether to take surgery or not!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I has surgery at the laser spine institute on the 14 th of august and felt great for a few weeks then i began having pain again and it got worse
    now i am being jerked around by the LSI of scottsdale Dr Luke seems to be to busy to even see a post op patient, I have got nothing but a bunch of grief from this outfit and being strong along by endless phone calls and no return calls now i am out of pocket $8000.00 and back to square one, lip service is is all you get dont do this surgery with this outfit !

    ReplyDelete
  43. RUN,RUN AND RUN FAST ASAP.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the discussion.It is very essential that we find out about the credibility of the institution and the hands therein before jumping into a surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Any information on Dr. Ara Deukmedjian of the Duke Spine Institute of Melbourne FLA? Seems to be similar setup to LSI. Is this laser surgery a franchise?

    ReplyDelete
  46. have neck cervical issues foraminal stenosis i live in Canada Montreal , would like to contac LSI in Philadelphia but reading here good bad scam not scam etc.... confusing a bit tried everything in the book for relief so far without success.... would like to have personal feedback from somebody that went to LSI or Microspine wathever the case reverse charge on my phone i will pay the long distance charges my name is Marc 514-726-2998 thanx in advance people

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had cervical foraminal stenosis and underwent surgery at LSI in Philadelphia and can honestly say, it is the best thing I have ever done. The staff was wonderful and the whole procedure experience was much more than I expected.

      Delete
  47. Is there a reason why regular spinal surgeons cannot do what laser says they can do?I have a really bad back with shooting pain down my legs.I do not like pain Meds.Why are not regular spine surgeons addressing the issues that are addressed or seemingly addressed by laser spine.I am hoping that there will be a break through in back treatment someday sooner then later.As most Americans,I can only use my insurances plans.Which are very good.If there is a surgeon out there reading this in the PA area that can help my severe forminal stenosis please contact Keith nesara311@yahoo.com.I only have my two insurance policies and co pay.I also have a auto tort which means nothing to me.My health does.I am in extremely hard core fit shape and it scares me not to be able or to have to stuggle getting in a easy workout.Please help if you can.
    Keith H Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have been trying to research LSI in Tampa. I came across them when I was researching a procedure that a local dr had suggested for my back/leg pain. I sent them my MRI and reports and they got back to me that they could help me but in reading blogs about them I am very doubtful of them. Does anyone have any experience with Atlantic Spinal Care out of Edison, NJ? I also came across them and sent them my mri and they also said that they could help me. I have had lower back pain and pain and numbness down my right leg. I have been told that I have a bulging/herniated disc at L2/3 on r L4/5 . Along with spinal stenosis l4/5, foraminal stenosis l3/l4 facet disease l3/4 l4/5 and degenerative disc disease L2/3, L4/5 L5/S1. I feel completely lost on what way to go. I have a local dr telling me that he would fuse my disc, another dr saying diskectomy. LSI and Atlantic Spinal Care telling me they can help me. All I know is that I have tried physical therapy, steroid injections, different medications and nothing has worked to relieve any pain/numbness. I am a mother of three boys and I would like to be able to enjoy doing activities with them and taking walks with my husband again. If anyone has any suggestions please email me gato625@bellsouth.net. Thank you. Cathleen

    ReplyDelete
  49. I agree with those that are skeptical of these companies. The way they sell this procedure is very unseemly and a little unprofessional for me to consider it. My pain is at an 8 at rest and 10 doing anything else im only 39 years old. I would try anything to get relief but I will have to pass on this one just until my dr and the med community recommends it thanks for all the info I found on here it was very helpful

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dr. Choy who invented the laser procedure for the spine says its only for bulging discs. Shouldnt use it if they disc is ruptured. Its reduce the size of the bulge and tighten it up. There is another procedure to use for foraminal stenosis without being put to sleep or any hardware being implanted. the keyhole surgery thats out there is the best for this type of problem. Sort of like a roto rooter. Its an endoscopic surgery. There are only a few physicians in the country that can do this surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hey do you have the info on the docs who do the roto rooter?

    ReplyDelete
  52. If I thought I was confused before?
    Well I still am and beyond.
    This is like trying to understand the IRS
    I live in the richest country (I think) USA
    I still can't get the right advise, info or Dr.
    None the less I can't afford it even with my Insurance because its all like the IRS.
    Guess that's why it might be the richest country.
    PS Don't get me wrong I love the US Just trying to understand why we let it all happen.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I just talked to a very reputable spine surgeon and he said there is no medical evidence that lasers can help anything in the spine, that sometimes patients feel better temporarily most likely due to the placebo effect, and that the doctors at the Laser Spine institute are sociopaths who are only in it for the money and don't give a rat's ass about their patient's well being.

    ReplyDelete
  54. First of all I want to let you all know this... For the people that are thinking of going though this process of the laser Surgery. Their are other options this is why it is important to ask your doctor the other options. I had the symtoms probably that you did. I had the bulging disk and could not control my bowel movements as well as urine. I talked to a great doctor here in Chicago and recommended Spinal Decompression and let me tell you it really worked I did not hav surgery. A lot of this surgeons just want your money and don't give you te options because either A don't know or don't care! I went to three doctors to try to see what where my options. Rehab obviously was not going to work so I tried it and trust me this really worked. Laser Surgery is the last resort. It is not guranty you not going to have problems there is % that you will.

    The only differnece with the Laser i tha tuse are not infusioned with plates to hold you together, which I personally would hate that old fashion procedure. Please for those of you that had an MRI and had the same problem with the Bulging disk... It does not hurt to try... It will save you thousands and thousands of dollars. Insurrances noramlly cover this. It is not surgical. The website is

    http://spinaldecompressionmachines.net/

    This really did it for me. I thought I needed surgery good thing I investigated it first thanks to a special friend. A lot of peopel don't know about this because doctors are alaways going to want money money $$$ and don't tell people about other options!

    Think about it will save you thousands of $$$$

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wow. This is confusing. Like many, I came here with questions and curiosity about the LSI procedures. Post Op ethics and marketing aside, I'd love to hear from more patients to hear if the whole deal was successful or not. Does it work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was getting ready to go to the Phila LSI. They talk a real good game but now that I am doing more research, I'm hearing nothing positive about the LSI (all 3 locations). I am confused now what to do.
      Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.
      email me direct at: nurban12@yahoo.com

      Delete
  56. I WAS thinking of using LSI for treatment of a ruptured disc in my neck, I AM SCARED NOW. I have already had C5-C6 fused and I do not want another. I was fused less than 3 years ago and here I go again, I cannot take another year off from life waiting for my stupid neck to fuse. The feedback here is not the greatest and I think I will just wait and pray that god heals my neck. Anybody have comments related to the neck and LSI, any good comments????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What did you end up doing?

      Delete
  57. I went to Laser Spine Inst. back in Oct 2007. I couldn't walk and was in extream pain. It was a wonderful experiance. The biggest thing I would suggest is to make sure your insurance will cover the cost in writting. My insurance agreed to pay for the sugery a head of time and when LSI billed them they refuesed to pay. None the less I got stuck with a 30,000 dollar doctor bill and not way to pay it.

    Since I can't afford another 30,000 I have been looking at North American Spine to take care of some other major issue I have in my spine. If you have access to the money LSI is a great place to go. They treat you like a King while your their and they have been following up with me for over the past few years to found out how things are going.
    One of the things that impressed me there is that if someone came in and after a day of looking threw MRIs and Xrays and consulting with a patient, If they felt they could help them they were up front about it and would do the sugery. It was the nicest I have ever been treated by doctors and their staff.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am an M.D. spine specialist, fellowship trained, board certified. DO NOT GO TO LSI! Don't do it. This is a scam. There is nothing "confusing" here. If you doubt me, go to your closest university or major community medical center and ask some qualified spine specialists. LSI treatments are not "innovative", they are ineffective in a significant percentage of patients because they don't address the fundamental problems. The use of the word "laser" is pure 100% marketing. Dont waste your precious money, no matter how desparate you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's all I needed to hear. I am actually having fun with them now because I am educated in Benefits and could see in the first 15 minutes they wanted to rip me off. It has been all about money with them from the first call. I have emailed the sales rep a list of questions I want answered and I am pretty sure I will never hear from them again. If you don't mind asking can you refer a good doctor in Maryland?

      Delete
  59. they are scammers,they say youll get a refund and you never recieve it,palmer

    ReplyDelete
  60. Back to the original question of this thread:
    "Laser Spine Surgery, a Real Business or a Real Scam"?

    Did anyone read Bloomberg business yesterday?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-04/laser-spine-surgery-more-profitable-than-google-sees-surge-in-complaints.html

    ReplyDelete
  61. I had so called surgery at LSI. What a nightmare. i had to put up 30k and was told tha t my insurance was going to reimburse the entire amount because I had reached my out of pocket for the year. After fighting with my ins. co. for three years I received only about 6k. LSI refused to reimburse anything even though they gave me bogus dollar amounts that the ins. co. was going to reimburse. I contacted the BBB but they could not help. Needless to say the operation was a complete failure. I felt better for a short time due to the steriods they injected during the so called surgery. I am currently on SSI disability. It is truly unbelievable that a scam like this is allowed to continue. They do a good job of advertizing with their so called success rate. A very good friend of mine was also taken in by their advertizing and had basically the same results as me. I could go on and on about this nightmare but will leave it at this. Please take my advice and stay away from this place. Dr Wolfe was my surgeon.

    ReplyDelete
  62. DO NOT GO THERE..i AM A FORMER EMPLOYEE AND i CAN TELL YOU NOW THAT THE PHILLY EXEC DIRECTOR IS A FAKE AND PHONY AND A COUSIN OF THE CEO..SHE HAS NO CLUE ON HOW TO RUN A MILE LET ALONE AN ORGANIZATION..THERE IS CORPORATE"INBREEDING" AND THEY ARE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY...I SAW FIRSTHAND, AS A CLICIAN, HOW WHEN A PATIENT COMES IN AND IS DISSATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS THE EXEC DIR QUICKLY HAS HIM TAKEN BACK TO AN EXAM ROOM SO HE/SHE CANNOT TALK TO THE OTHER PATIENTS SO AS TO LOSE BUSINESS..ALL OF THE HIGHER UPS ARE SHADY AS HELL..BUYER BEWARE..THEY SELL SURGERY TO PTS WHO THEY KNOW WILL ONLY GET LESS THAN 50% RELIEF..THEY WON'T TALK THEM OUT OF IT,THEY TAKE THEIR MONEYAND PEOPLE WILL RISK IT BECAUSE THEY ARE SO DESPERATE..WOLVES IN SHEEPS' CLOTHING THE LOT OE THEM..PLEASE BE CAREFUL..
    ANONYMOUS

    ReplyDelete
  63. wau i read all of these posts because I wanted to check this Bonati Spine Institute for now it s like 50% of good ratings and 50% of bad ones.I call them because I had neck and back injury but the thing was I had 2 different opinions.I ve got their opinion and they are agreeing with my 2nd opinion which is that I have bulging discs in my neck and annular tears in my lumbar spine L4-L5.They were nice over the phone but still I said I have to think about surgery,they would like to perform foraminotomy and discectomy.I am scared never been on surgery,but tried everything to ease my pain.I can t walk,can t sit for too long,try epidural injection what made me worse and I m now in search of pain relief.I m from Florida,maybe I will go for 4 opinion but I m sure I don t want to go on classic surgery because I saw my neighbours back and he has a long scar from back fusion surgery and he is still in pain.Thing is that there is no cure for back,pain is going to be here no matter what.Brain and back are still unknown fields of science,for somebody it will work by that I mean he will be less in pain,but the pain will never go away.It s up to every person to decide what he want s to do,hope You will decide what s best for You!:}}

    ReplyDelete
  64. Lazer Spine Institute in Tampa Bay Fl. I"ve been reading these posts about LSI and I'm astonished and in disbeleif at some of the negativity. My experience with LSI is this. In June of 2009 I had a severe bulging disc at c6 and c7 with bone spures. After an extensive search I chose to go with LSI because they can also remove bone spurs. The surgery was a complete sucess. They did everything they said they could do.The day after the surgery I went to the movies. Within a couple of weeks I felt really good with zero pain. At this point I decided to take it easy for another four weeks. The surgery was minimally invasive but I know things like this take time to completely heal. It's been a little over two years since the surgery and I am still pain free. From the time I first walked in to the time I left they really took great care of me. Dr. Vernon Morris was my surgeon. When I first met Dr. Morris I wasn't sure what to think. Now I know he is truely a gifted and outstanding spine surgeon. I highly recommend him and LSI. It did cost a little extra to have it done there but to me it was worth it. The down time and results compared to the conventional way are not even close. Side note: I met people from all over the world there especially Canada. LSI is sucessful because of their capabilities and results. when I was there every person I talked with was a sucess story. I hope this helps. Sincerly, Michael Fort Myers Fl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      I had a triple fusion C4-6 and now have a bone spur on C6. Very scared of having another surgery and being in a neck brace for three months. Have a consultation set up to visit with LSI, but all the posts are really scaring me. Please tell me more information. Thanks.
      Dana

      Delete
    2. Dana, what did you end up doing?

      Delete
    3. I had surgery c5 and c6 also had a spur on c6 which caused pain that radiates down my right arm and my thumb which is numb, I was in minimal pain when I went there hoping to get rid of problem before it got to bad, and didnt want to have a fusion. I now can say almost 4 months out in more pain than before and also hurting in places that I wasn't hurting before I can say Big mistake on my part going there instead of getting your life back as they say, I can now say it Ssrewed my life up!! You are ON YOUR OWN!! when you check out of this place I finally got in to a pain clinic and probably gonna have to go back neurologist so more money it has cost me.

      Delete
  65. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVE POSTS Laser Spine Institute fixed my C6 C7 bulging disc and bone spurs. I AM 100% PAIN FREE. Their staff,doctors,techniques and facility are unmatched in the world DO NOT LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVE POSTS!! I almost listened to them but about 11 years ago I had conventional surgery on my L5 S1 and I am still dealing with it! IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME WITH SPINAL SURGERY this is a crucial decision for you. If there is a Laser Spine Institute near you go and visit them and talk to their paitents.BELEIVE the PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THE SURGERY WHO ARE THE POSITIVE ONES ON THIS BLOG! You people who have never even had Laser Spine Institute work on you should STAY THE HELL OFF THIS BLOG and stop trying to confuse people with your opinion you don't know what you are talking about!.And all you Doctors who still after all this time do it the same old conventional way.YOU HAVE A LOT TO LEARN! You are the ones trying to hold back progress blogging all this negativity so you can keep your livelihood you don't know what your talking about either if you did you would never cut a person wide open again when you know there's a better option but you haven't learned how to do it! Get off the blogs and go back to school and learn how to perform these better techniques so you can actually help someone. Very Sincerly Yours. Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, just read your post. I too have been suffering from bulging disk, bone spur in c6 c7. I have tried every conservative treatment possible. I did get relief from shooting pain,numbness down arms, tingling in hands from 2 epidural injections. I am in pain everyday. I have been on pain meds for 3 years, I hate it. Im waiting to hear back from Tampa LSI to get a quote after they run through my insurance company. I would certainly pay a large amount if this was to truly work.After reading all these negative comments, I dont know what to do. Are you still pain free and happy with results?

      Delete
    2. Did you have the surgery Mary? I have the same thing and 2 herniated as well. Scared to death, but I don't have the money anyway. Suppd to go talk to them tomorrow for my consultation but i am sure when they tell me the costs and i tell them i can't pay that kind of money (surely my insurance won't cover it all) they will boot me out the door....

      Delete
  66. Is there anything a surgon can do with my back here my report:Cervical spine x-ravs demonstrate a 10 degree left sidebending at C3. There is a 6.
    degree side bending with the left first rib and C7 transverse process elevation,
    indicative of thoracic outlet compression syndrome. There are anterior osteophytes
    if the vertebral bodies of C5, C6, and C7. There is uncovertebral jolnt hypertrophy
    and facet arthropathy at all cervical levels, especially C3, C4, and CS. This explains
    his upper extremity paraesthesias and TOCS pain. These symptoms co-exist with
    his cervical radiculopathy from the cervical spine.
    Thoracic spine x-ravs demonstrate a 10 degree left sidebending at T12, a 10 degree
    right sidebending at TS and a 10 degree left sidebending at T4. Multilevel
    degenerative disc disease is seen at all thoracic levels, especially at the apex of his
    thoracic kyphosis. There ls minor anterior lipping and spurring at TS, T6, and T7.
    There is osteophytosis noted at TS-9 with a spontaneous fusion occurring on the
    right side at that level.
    lumbar spine x-ravs demonstrate a 10 degree left sidebending at L4. There is no
    pelvic obliquity noted. There is extensive degenerative disc disease, particularly at
    L4-S and LS~SI. There are posterior wedge compression deformities noted at the
    l4-S and LS-Sl discs, resulting foraminal stenosis at those levels. This explains his
    . LS and 51 radiculopathv. The transverse processes at LS have formed a .
    pseudoarthrosis with the top of the sacrum and the medial border of the iliac.Impression:
    353.0 Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    716.99 Facet Arthropathy
    722.51 DDD Thoracic/thoracolumbar
    723.3 Cervicobrachial pain
    723.4 Radiculopathy-cervical
    724.1 Thoracic spine pain
    724.2 Lumbosacral pain
    724.4 Lumbar/lumbosacral radiculopathy
    724.6 Lumbosacral Instability
    756.12 Spondylolisthesis
    780.50 Disturbed sleep
    780.53 Sleep Apnea with Hypersomnia
    806.2 Thoracic compression fracture
    721.3 DJD Lumbar
    722.52 DDD Lumbar.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Gee Michael, who posted twice on July 9th, 2011, how much does the "Laser" institute pay you for your posts? This organization is a scam plain and simple. "Laser" is nothing more than a clever buzz word. We have a local chiropracter who claims to use a "Laser". Wrap your head around that one. And all these folks who are so enamored over the special attention, of course they're going to spoil you...they're getting rich! As an M.D. spine specialist, I am constantly fighting the American mind-set of "fix me" by discouraging surgery, but whatever you decide to do, don't waste your time with this. Pathetic RIP-OFF!

    M.D.

    ReplyDelete
  68. RE: My Experience

    I attended the free seminar with my parents today. I'm glad that it was free; what a strange experience. There were many warning signs during the free review of my parent's MRI and the free group presentation. First was the representing "famous" retired surgeon who wanted to make sure that we didn't forget it, so he referred to himself as "famous" two or three times. (I can see why he gave up being a spy after two short years --to be a spy few get to know your greatness.) I won't go into it all, but famous surgeons don't have to call themselves famous, nor do they talk about their famous parents and show baby pictures of themselves. Famous surgeons also don't give a nonsensical presentation that even a graduate student, with several semesters of biology, couldn't follow. (The surgeon was supposed to have taught laser surgery around the world. I can only hope that he wasn't paid.) Further disconcerting was that he spoke so rapidly, slurring his words, so that it was difficult to even make out all his words -- that made me really wonder what was going on. I also had trouble with all the jokes peppered throughout a presentation on the spine and pain. (Really funny material.) All in all, little if anything was professional about the free afternoon. As a teacher I believe that I could have researched problems of the spine and given a better presentation than the representing surgeon. When people (victims of back pain) began to ask questions, that was truly uncomfortable because the surgeon did not want to answer questions which interrupted his speech. In truth, it appeared that questions weren't welcomed. If I, desperate though I might be to see my parent get help for his/her back condition, ever encouraged him/her to pay 17,000 dollars (after Medicare) for back surgery with these people. . , I would be going against everything an education, over 20 years as a professional, and my gut instinct has taught me. Ask yourself this, if LSI is doing such amazing work, why does so much have to come from out of pocket? And, why aren't there LSI's in every state by now? Do you really believe, as purported today in the seminar, that other back surgeons are willingly ignoring LSI's brilliant breakthrough when it is supposedly so successful, is less invasive (I think that gutting was referred to), and causes less suffering and down time in recovery? Really? If you believe that, there are some great free tours in Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Have scheduled to have surgery at LSI this fall....after reading the posts it seems that I am going to have to cancel. My current pain dr says that he gets a lot of former LSI patients coming back to him to help with the pain that LSI was supposed to fix. If this place is "so great" why are there so many bad things said about them on their own blog. I have also talked to someone who has been there and they did nothing for them. Now I am totally confused! How does the medical licensing board let them continue if they are so many complaints and lawsuits? Any advice?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi,

    If it looks too good to be true, it is. If it looks like its sole purpose is separating you from your money, then it's probably not the best place to get medical care.

    If they give you the phone number for Tampa General's ER to call if you have a problem after they've left on their yachts and private jets for a weekend at Atlantis, you probably should go somewhere else.

    If they try to distance themselves as far as possible from their Jedi Master, Alfred Bonati, question their motives.


    Papers...schmappers. Who needs publications? Obviously, the head of LSI doesn't. Because he has yet to publish anything in a peer-reviewed journal about his revolutionary techniques in minimally-invasive spine surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  71. There is a solution for all these scamming MDs. SNIPERS!

    ReplyDelete
  72. My understanding is that they work on a cash only basis because no insurance company would pay for this type of surgery. And why would any reputable medical office refuse to deal with insurance in the first place? I wrote to the LAser SPine Institute asking if they take insurance and never heard from them. I also called them, had to leave a message and they never called back. Really suspicious.

    ReplyDelete
  73. THIS PLACE IS ONE BIG SCAM!!! DO NO TRUST ANYTHING THE TELL YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  74. DO not go to LSI

    regards

    alan

    ReplyDelete
  75. I AM VERY GLAD I FOUND THIS BLOG..IT OPENED
    MY EYES!!! NO WAY WILL I GO TO LSI I ALMOST
    BOUGHT INTO THIS SCAM..BUT THEY REFUSED MY INS.
    MEDICARE..SAYING THEY DIDN'T PAY ENOUGH..BUT
    THAT I COULD TAKE A LOAN FOR $20,000.I AM VERY
    SURE "IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE" YOU
    HAVE TO DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!!I DID ASK THEM
    WHY REAL NEURO-SURGEONS DIDN'T DO LASER,& WAS
    TOLD,BECAUSE THERE WASN'T ENOUGH MONEY IN LASER
    OPERATIONS,RATHER THEN HAVE THEIR OWN PRATICE..
    REALLY! THE LSI SEEMS PRETTY EXPENSIVE TO ME.
    I GUESS THERE IS ONLY YOUR OWN GUT FEELINGS.
    BUYER BEWARE!!!
    CHERI

    ReplyDelete
  76. Dear Cheri
    In doing my research, it was not that there was no money in it, it was that they would have to leave their current practice and lose money to learn this proceedure.

    I have heard an ex-employee talk about how the office is run, money money money is an issue. I have not heard anyone say the procedure is dangerous or does not work. I contacted four individuals from a list they gave me who have success stories. Sure they did not give me a list of non-sucessful storied, but heck, nero's tell you that their surgery might not work either. This blog and well meaning friends of my have scared me and taken my joy that I might actually have a life!

    cuteandsweet5555@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know nothing about LSI, but like you, I am trying to weigh all my options and would like nothing more than to find someone close by (southern Illinios) that can perform laser surgery or something similair for minimal evasive surgery that excepts my insurance. I have looked into 2 places farther awy than I can travel, the fist is in Texas ( North American Spine) they sound very good but they have a couple of questionable ethics that has detroured me from them. The other is in California with te Dr.that invented laser surgery and makes all the tools for it. His name is Dr. Tony Mork. He answers the phone every time you call or calls you back himself and has reviewed my MI but does not accept insurane for his portion (only for hosital) this was one issue with North American Spine) but they are busy enough they can do this, just not sure if it is ethical but most of his patients are high profile (other Dr.'s). The thing I really like about him ( that you can see by watching his vidieo) he does not remove disc, his therory is to stretch it instead, removing them calls for worst recovery and once they are gone you can't get them back. I have had disc removal in my neck and still have numbness at times and some pain. Do not wishto use the same Dr.. Now I have to look at my lumbar and S1 areas fixed cuz I can bearly walk or sit cuz of the pain. I washit in the side of my car by an ashalt truck and even though he was at fault my insurance s paying for everything right now and I do not have the funds to travel far, but have come to the conclusion that I can no longer putsurgery off. But my bother-nh-law had 3 surgeries and one the surgeon severed his spinal cord and he passed away from accidental overdose using pain patches at age 42, I am one year older then he was at his death and surgery terrifies me as well as pain meds. So I wan to find a very good surgeon like we all do so if you have any suggestions to help me please let me know and mayb tis info cold help you or someone else. But ont veryone is going to like te same surgeon and m opinion is that some of these other opinions are to much of the same and I find them to to unbelievable , not t say some ae not tue it just seems like the same person is very opinionated against all surgeons! So bewareare backs are injured not our minds!!!

      Best of Luck
      Sherry

      Delete
  77. I had surgery with them and am now disabled. Please do not go there.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Had heard about the scam..and looking at this response, people should definitely be warned about this "institute".

    ReplyDelete
  79. I am a recent patient of LSI here in philadelphia, I had lumbar and cervical surgery there and have read all of your postings,I can only tell you that my lumbar surgery went well as far as the pain that went down into my left calf and into my 3 toes, I was unable to walk a city block with out suffering some major pain, for now that is gone, I still have DDD and arth pain that wakes me every couple hours and know that every lumbar disc has issues in my spine along with the hips, I also had surgery 3 years ago the old fashion way to correct the same proplem in my right leg, the costs were about the same, the recovery was a bit worse as far as pain and today I am thankful for having these surgerys, I am not 100% satisfied but as mentioned every level has issues in my lumbar spine , I have also had many mri"s over the years and it just gets worse
    as for the DDD, I am just 6 weeks now out of work and do not think I will be able to perform the job as to lifting anything for a while, I have worked as a platemaker lifting 60lbs for 30 years throughout my workday, only time will tell, just one week after my lumbar spine at lsi I was head over hells and felt great, I honestly can say that you have to take it easy, do what you can and listen to your body, I also had cervical surgery at LSI in phila and again all levels have issues, today after 5 weeks post opt I am not happy at all, my pain is worse
    and knowing it takes 12 weeks to recover I have
    hopes this will get better,I did not ask any questions because I was informed about every thing but the test to pin point what disc would be the best to releave the pain, that was the only thing I was not happy with but it was necessary because there were a few areas that were in need of repair, that was done at another center, they shot me up with steroids in the c-6,7 area and the pain was gone,so the area to do the proceedure was noted,I am having more pain know then before the surgery, so it appears that some time you win and sometime you lose, I will deal with the day and hope for no other, everyone is different and nothing is the same , its your choice, My wife had surgery at lsi for pain in her right side back all the way to here toes and it worked for her, its been two years and now her left side is starting to bother her, so she was pleased and the process
    never ends for some of us, I hope this helps to shed some light on the topic, any questions that you might have ,hit me up, thwjr99@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. there are too many controversies surrounding this Laser Spine institute. definitely scam

    ReplyDelete
  81. Isn't there any governmental licensing agency to deal with these doctors?
    Lasar Spine Institure actually advertises in aarp!!
    (A picture of a 30 something beutiful slim fit woman running down the beach playing with a dog. That alone should open your eyes!!

    ReplyDelete
  82. I have just begun researching LSI and NorthAmericanSpine. Have had two steroid injections and they only help for about 2-3 weeks. I have 4 kids ranging in ages from 10 yrs-1 yr. I am very active and so is my family. It is starting to look like surgery is my only option. Can someone offer other options? The short recovery period is very enticing, but I am extremely skeptical. Feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place.

    ReplyDelete
  83. LSI website is well explainatory and convincing. The procedures used in LSI are world class and can do wonders for your spine! Go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  84. LSI "surgeons" are outcasts from random specialties with little spine training. anyone with DO or MD behind their name has been recruited, massive money making scam, wonderful advertising / scare tactics. seek their opinion if you have money and time to waste.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Had surgery there Nov 07. What a nightmare. This place is truly a scam. The surgery was a total failure. Had to get on SSI disability shortly after their so called operation. Had to put up 30k of my retirement and was assured by them I would receive full reimbursement from ins. After over two years of fighting with ins co received only 6k. Even though they assured me that I would be reimbursed they refused to reimburse anything. I regretefully told a friend an of mine about them before I realized how bad I had been scamed. His financial story is basically the same as mine but his physical story is even worse. He was forced to have a three level fusion to clean up their mess.
    I filled a complaint with the BBB and Florida attorney general but they were of no help other than to file the complaints. This is just a small portion of my nightmare but will leave it at this. Please take my advice and run don't walk away from this place.
    Also might want to go to Bloomberg News web site to see their story about this scam. Don't understant the success stories unless they are posted by Laser Spine Institute employes. It is obvious that they do this. Also have had friends who had similar problems that were helped by simple steroid injections which they do during their so called operation but they can be performed without going through all this hell.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Questioned LSI about help with internet application. Have a Medicare Supplement. Got an email back that there would be a break on the operation but had to pay my share first. $18,000. Did not jump at opportunity. All work done in Tampa.
    Just met a friend that had work done at LSI and feels great and raved about their operation. Has United Health and his share was around $150.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What did you do for yourself?

      Delete
  87. Had LSI surgery 3 years ago--have not had a good day since and worse than prior.

    No follow up, no communication,and don't care.

    Anybody that does well was either easy or lucky.

    The Florida Medical Assoc. should step in!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Crystalturner83@yahoo.comMarch 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Wow!! I will definitely not be going here EVER!!

    ReplyDelete
  89. This is shocking to know that there are such institutions or hospitals who are operating freely without permission. Be careful. Thank you for sharing this post. Laser Spine Surgery Houston, TX

    ReplyDelete
  90. Laser spine surgery in India has made a revolution in the field of sophisticated medical services. Laser spine surgery utilizes arthroscopy, endoscopes and microscopic techniques to perform highly specific minimally invasive spinal surgery. With laser spine surgery in India, you could shed your back problems at affordable costs, which could be 50 to 80 percent lower than in the United States or Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I just couldn’t leave your website before telling you that we really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors… Will be back often to check up on new posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's not quality information at all. I'm amazed that everyone choses to put such negativity on here about LSI but won't post they're names, therefore I put no stock in the information at all.

      Delete
  92. I think people experiencing back pain are desperate for relief. I have a co-worker with tons of money who is having surgery there. I hope it goes well. LSI was not receommended by a physician, my co-worker did his "research" on the internet. No reputable surgeon advertises on the internet! This is obviously a money-making venture, profiting on people's misery. I predict that my co-worker will come back to work telling of the miracle LSI performed and then benefit of the steroid injections dissapate be in worse pain than before.

    ReplyDelete
  93. OMG, LSI is a joke. Founder is a DO with no real training in ortho or spine. Made up resumes. For a high volume group, they have published nothing in a peer-reviewed journal or any other journal for that matter. Their docs have never presented their "data" at any national meetings. Another doc in the group has a DUI arrest in AZ and they've run up a ton of malpractice cases in a short period of time. We've seen pre and postop MRI's on their patients; and, you can't tell a difference. Why? Because other than putting in a tube retractor they do absolutely nothing. They have no admitting privileges at any inpatient facility. So, if you need to be hospitalized for any reason, you are SOOL.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Oh my. I signed up for their seminar but now I'm convinced this is not a group I want to trust my back to. I wish I could find a well respected ortho or neurosurgeon to treat my back. I really want a less invasive type surgery if possible. Any suggestions in the Virginia - North Carolina area? Just too many negative comments here about LSI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I am a neurosurgeon in Utah and trained with Dr. Brian Subach, now in Virginia Beach I think. He is a fellowship (one extra year of spine) trained spinal surgeon after neurosurgery training. He is HONEST and will give you a fair opinion on your condition. I would not recommend ANY "laser" institutes, but then again, there are also many main stream spine surgeons that are overly aggressive as well. Find one you trust and feel comfortable with.

      Delete
  95. I stumbled upon this thread and I would plead that before shelling out thousands of dollars, PLEASE pay a few hundred for a second opinion. Spine surgery works or fails most commonly based on the choice of WHO needs it. First, spinal fusion is tremendously overused and generally NOT needed. Minimally invasive is a marketing ploy as is "laser" spine surgery. Most decompressive non-fusion types of surgeries require a one inch or smaller incision, regardless of the use of a "laser" or "minimally invasive" techniques. For all of those (many who have posted) that cannot get post op care, this is patient "abandonment" and is medical malpractice. The cost of surgery includes appropriate post op care for 90 days. Get an attorney, or at least file a complaint with the state professional licensing board. It is outside the standard of care not to address further problems after surgery. Finally, I have seen many medicare patients who have been told that the "laser" procedure is not covered by medicare, and that they must sign an "advanced beneficiary notice" that allows the center to charge the patient. This is not correct. Medicare does pay for discectomy (CPT code 63030) and decompression (code 63047) and does not specify or care if a laser is used or other more traditional instruments. The fact is that Medicare DOES cover this procedure and it INCLUDES the use of laser if the surgeon prefers to use it. These doctors do not wish to accept the 800 or 900 dollars that medicare pays for this, so they claim it is not covered. Finally, to all those Canadians, I feel for you. My mother and all her relatives are from Alberta, and I was born there and raised here in US (my father is US and mom naturalized). PLEASE find a reputable neurosurgeon to give you an opinion here in the states, there are MANY, not just these marketing institutes. There is a reason 99.9% or more of spinal surgeons (neuro and ortho) do not use lasers and do not recommend these centers. It is not some "conspiracy" or "jealousy". Get an appointment with a traditional spine surgeon and at least hear what they have to say about it in person. There is simply too much to say and too technical to cover in a blog post. Finally, please remember, we cannot "fix" everything, I can't tell you how many MRI scans I have seen that have no clear sign of why my patient hurts and unfortunately there is sometimes just nothing surgery can offer. Do not let desperation cloud an intelligent assessment of your options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't thank you enough for your post. It almost brought tears to my eyes to hear such, mostly, unbiased honesty.
      I had open back L4-L5 surgery for a herniation, causing severe sciatica, in 2005. I was 95% til recently. I reinjured my back recently, and was seriously considering LSI. After all the research, I've pretty much ruled it out. The traditional surgery worked great the first time, and has a documented and credible record. Why wouldn't I use it again?!?!
      To hear you speak so intelligently about it has reaffirmed my decision.

      For anyone wondering, I was 23 in my first surgery and 30 now.

      Thank you

      Donny

      Delete
  96. Laser sine surgery in India is real and not a scam. You get top quality surgery experience at an affordable cost. The surgeons and hospitals providing laser spine surgery are certified and lisenced to perform such surgery on their national and international patients. Learn more on truth, benefits and success of laser spine syrgery in India at http://www.dheerajbojwani.com/laser-spine-surgery-India-low-cost-benefits.html

    ReplyDelete
  97. Here is a useful link to a Bloomberg article about LSI and how they operate:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-04/laser-spine-surgery-more-profitable-than-google-sees-surge-in-complaints.html

    ~Kendall Seifert

    ReplyDelete
  98. To Utah Neurosurgeon and the many others who have researched this organization, I thank you. I am terrified of surgical procedures and was lured by Laser Spine Institutes claim to "Relief without the complications of traditional open back surgery". I sent my x-ray and MRI reports to them which document 3 herniated cervical discs, disc ridge complex, spinal cord compression / impingement and spinal stenosis. I was informed by the representative that I was a candidate for three minimally invasive procedures that would not be covered by my insurance. The cost was $30,000 and I would have to pay cash.
    I waited months for an cattle call appointment and after two unbearable hours in a metal hotel chair, met with Dr. Richard Richley from Southern CA. I had brought my medical records including an EMG report that documented damage to the Spinal Accessory Nerve. Dr. Richley spoke positively of the procedures while reviewing the x-rays and MRI but when he read the EMG report, told me I was no longer a candidate. LSI currently has a "95% success rate" with their procedures. Because they could not address the S.A. nerve issue and I would still likely have some degree of chronic pain, it would skew their success rate if they performed procedures on "patients like me". I tried to express to him that any lessor degree of pain for me would be a success. In mid sentence, he dismissed himself from the conversation and walked away without a word.
    Laser Spine Institute's claim that they are "Leaders in Endoscopic Surgery" fail to include "for only a focused group of cash paying patients". Please note that my husband had made a call to our health insurance a week prior to my appointment. He was told the procedures would be covered if the proper pre-approval forms were submitted.
    I was inconsolable at the time. My pain is severe and life altering and I am desperate for relief. The information shared on this forum made me grateful for the outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I placed a call to this organization last week after years of sciatica pain, steroid injections, chiro, PT and massage, I got rear ended in my car which jacked up my neck and blew out the remaining tear in L4-5.
    The screener on the phone asked my insurance carrier....when I answererd C*GNA she immediately said she would transfer me to a "patient coordinator". No answer, so I left a VM. Subsequently, after leaving 3 more VM's I haven't heard a thing. My guess is that my insurance company C*GNA has figured out LSI's scam and isn't going to play.
    BTW, C*GNA has been FANTASTIC to deal with. They have paid everything from my accident, agreeing to chase the other insurance company of the "at fault" driver.
    Watch out for LSI, me thinks they are too good to be true.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I had surgery at LSI in Scottsdale,AZ about 3 years ago. Up until 6 months ago, everything was great. I was a huge fan of LSI. I was completely pain free. What I was told they were going to do, was to use a laser to clean up the disc and allow it to scar over. They were also going to open up the nerve hole to give the nerve more space. LSI has been giving me the run around. When I first called them, they directed me to my primary care physician instead of using there in house MRI machine like they do for free when they are trying to get your "business". After an MRI confirmed that the same disc was herniated and pushing against the same nerve I faxed them over the MRI report. After they got that, they wanted the complete MRI disc which I sent them. A nurse called me and was going to talk to a surgeon and get back to me the same day. That was about a week and a half ago. After seeing all the bad press on LSI I decided to get a second opinion. The neurosurgeon I saw this week says I have some DDD at 4 cervical levels now and the same disc is herniated and pushing against the nerve. The LSI surgical report says nothing about touching the disc. All they did was open up the joint so the nerve didn't get pinched. I feel completely ripped off. I spent $8,000 out of pocket on the surgery alone. At this point, I have to agree with what most people are saying. Stay away from LSI. They don't do what they say and they don't stand behind what they do. They are used car salesmen. According to this surgeon, the disc access is so limited from the back where they go in, they just couldn't possibly do much to treat the disc. Now I'm trying to decide on a single level fusion. My concern is I have 3 other disc that are going to cause future problems. It's very frustrating. I am a very athletic person and exercise regularly. I just have to wonder how much of this was caused by what LSI did or didn't do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, what did you end up doing? I have same issues in my neck, bone spurs too....

      Delete
  101. If you're seriously interested in investigating LSI as an option, please make sure your MRI is reviewed by an actual physician. Then ask to discuss the results with the physician prior to providing insurance information. See how quickly your sales person facilitates this.

    ReplyDelete
  102. For me its not a scam because I do have a laser spine surgery and it is successful. I know its really risky to have a laser spine surgery. But the doctors in Spineone where I've done my surgery on my spine is successful. Thanks to my doctors in there.

    ReplyDelete
  103. They don't actually use a laser. They insert a series of canulas and nibble away at the bulge annulus.

    PLDD or Percutaneous Laser Disk Decompression is not what LSI or North American Spine do. PLDD goes into the disk and fires a laser into the nucleous pulposus and that cause the hernia to recede.

    There are other methods that accomplish the same thing.

    Spine Wand is also a percutaneous nucleoplasty that goes inside the disk but it uses less heat than a laser and can be more precise. The trade name is called Coblation which mean controlled ablation.

    Then there is ozone diskolysis: Medical ozone and oxygen is injected into the disk and it also causes the hernia to recede without loss of disk weight.

    The Stryker Decompressor is also a method of disk nucleoplasty. It uses a tiny auger to chew up the nucleus and then some of it is sucked out.

    DiscGel the the injection of radio opaque gellified alcohol. I also pulls the hernia out but it leaves a flexible prosthesis in it's place.

    You won't find too many surgeon doing these methods in the US as the cost about 80% less than standard surgery and the work much better for the right patients. The right patients are people with enclosed hernias.

    What LSI and North American Spine does is dangerous, unproven and a recipe for disk rupture. Think of it like this. You have a bulge in a tire and that bulge is scraping the fender of your car. The mechanic shaves off enough so that it won't hit the fender. How long do you think that tire will last?

    ReplyDelete
  104. Wow! All I can say is thank you and glad I trusted my gut! I wanted lots of opinions and came accross something on " scam laser spine"... I then saw a law office on malpractice with LSI.
    I started to research their docs...or so called docs
    I just started finding all this crazy stuff!

    We are not buying a car, if someone says they had major problems...let alone lots then something is wrong. I don't care how many replys say "oh don't listen to the negitive comments"
    Really? These are human beings (mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc..) and their life is so important to not be foolishly gambled with money.
    Walk into a Hospital and ask to meet one of their doctors that do this kind of work.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hello, Musculoskeletal thanks for your information. Now a days Laser sine surgery becomes populer.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I tried LSI..such a scam. I was double covered by insurance & these con artists told me that my insurance would cover it. I was so desperate & in pain so believing the hype I borrowed $10k to do this surgery. They are so slick when answering questions. I have multiple spine injuries & asked if the surgery would treat c-7 to c-5. "Of course" the con artist said. When I got to their surgery center I found out that the 10k would be for each area. So a total of 6 surgeries! Crazy I shouldv'e ran! But stupid& desperate for relief I did the left c-7.ABSOLUTElY NO RELIEF! These people prey on the desperate that need help for their spinal injuries.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I had two surgeries done on October 7, 2011 (lower back) and one on October 13, 2011 (neck) in Tampa, FL. This was the result of being hit by a drunk driver while walking. SO I signed something that they would get paid upon the settlement. They billed me for FOUR surgeries and my insurance company paid on all four surgeries. My total bill was more than 106K! They also billed me for an MRI because when I got there they told me they could not open the one I brought. I opened it on my home computer, so they said they would comp it. They did not. My attorneys did nothing about this when I told them many months ago. This is insurance fraud and I am wondering how to go about getting them charged as well as stopping it from happening again. I have a funny feeling that if it is a law suite involved, they double charge. And no, I did not get rich off of the settlement. My life has pretty much been destroyed by this.

    ReplyDelete
  108. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

    ReplyDelete
  109. We Care India provides Lumbar spine surgery India with excellent medical facilities. The reason Spine Surgery in India is becoming the favorable destination among Nigerian is because of the quality of surgery available at some of the best spine hospitals under the best spine surgeons at such an incredible low cost. Since India is also one of the most favorable tourist destinations in the world, Medication combined with tourism has come into effect, from which the concept of Medical Tourism in India is derived which is gaining huge popularity with every day. Success rate spinal surgery India

    ReplyDelete
  110. Thanks everyone for all the info as my husband was considering going to LSI for some back pain relief. Most likely will not be dealing with this institute now. Has anyone heard of a machine called Neurolumen which was created by a nurse around 2010 to help her injured daughter with pain?? Please post here if you know anything about this. Thanks!! Pam

    ReplyDelete
  111. Interesting article thanks

    ReplyDelete
  112. Hello,
    I have a bulging discs at my L4/L5 and my L5/S1. When I try anything active it causes muscle weakness in my right leg that lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. I've had MRI's taken and the doctors I have seen don't see any nerve impingement so they don't recommend surgery. After trying PT, chiropractic, decompression, traction and back2life I feel as though I'm running out of options. I've been dealing with this for the past 6 years and believe that there has to be something that can be done. Has anyone had similar symptoms and what did you do, or does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks, Lane

    ReplyDelete
  113. Am I ever glad that I took the time to read all the reviews in this blog. I have definitely made up my mind to do further research. I know we have the best spine surgeons here in Canada at the Toronto Western Hospital

    ReplyDelete
  114. Very fruitful information. laser surgery is become a business now.even stock and commodity tips business is also became a business and people are cheating innocent people.
    regards,
    ncdex tips

    ReplyDelete
  115. Severe valve damage means that the valve will need to be replaced. Heart valve replacement surgery is most often used to treat aortic valves and severely damaged mitral valves. Heart valve replacement surgery in Indiais a popular solution to get rid damaged valves in clinical, yet safe, friendly, and relaxing manner with assurance to get the best possible result.
    Herniated disc surgery in Indiahas become a specialty. It combines the latest innovations in medical electronics with unmatched expertise in leading neurosurgeons and spine surgeons. Indian spine centers have the distinction of providing comprehensive spine care spanning from basic facilities in preventive back-care to the most sophisticated curative technology.
    Valve replacement surgery india
    HCG Hospital Bangalore
    Herniated disc surgery in india
    Robotic heart surgery India
    robotic heart bypass surgery India

    ReplyDelete
  116. Nice information. You have improved my knowledge on this topic.
    Regards,

    commodity market course

    ReplyDelete
  117. Pleasa no good doctor no good falso december 29 2011 a have surgery L5L6 now am in well chair now
    Os make $41.000for nateen pleasa don gol any pleasa do todo anylaser spine nogood naow a have danfusion bicus os doctor no todo indica wing pennsilvania no good please you need any informacion bad muy experiencia coctad to mi ronalcruz.com@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  118. Sorry muy ingles n to todo dongoen any placea láser spinal instituto no f goo dbad work a nave new seurgery fusión os doctor no good

    ReplyDelete
  119. Chiropratic is Best Acupressure is a traditional Sciatica Treatment, wherein finger pressure is used in line along the designated channels and meridian points (Nerve Endings) to tackle various ailments.

    Sciatica Treatment in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  120. Please take a minute to google Topix and laser spine institute for more recent information. This is my fourth time attempting to post on this site so I will try to get my message out in a few shorter posts. Tapping this out on my phone lying in bed because I have become numb from my waist down thanks to an LSI surgery Jan 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  121. LSI is successful 75% of the time which are good odds if you are just betting money but this is not just money, it's your life as you know it. LSI is designed for success, not failure. Woe is you if you are the 25% group, or whatever number LSI advertises...which no one can contest since their books are not open to an independent organization. I had surgery in Jan 2013, which resulted in a herniated disk, which resulted in numbness from my waist down for the L4-L5 nerve and muscle areas. I received no after surgery support and I had the most painfull weeks of my life until I received surgery from. a real neurosurgeon.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Make sure you know which doctor will be operating on you because they play a shell game with their "doctors".The doctor who does your diagnosis will probably not be the one who cuts on you. The one who cut on me had lost his license in Arizona...his approval rating is around 50%. Imagine that! 50% of the time he is successful but whoa that means he screws up 50% of the time. Boy, was I ever stupid. I so wanted to believe that I would be in and out of surgery and back to work and golf in a few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Would believe the doctor who did my surgery I only saw a few minutes before the surgery and a few minutes after. I never saw him or his nurse in the five painful weeks after the failed surgery! I only saw their assistants...and that was after five weeks of phone calls beseeching their help. After they told me I then had a herniated disk, they offered to fix their mistake for only $42,000! I quickly went to a real neurosurgeon to help me....which he did this last Fri. He has given me hopes of walking again. Please think several times before you decide to go to LSI even though they sound so good. As they say, if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't. Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Spine Surgery, Spine Surgery India, Spine Surgery Cost In India Info On Cost Spine Surgery Delhi Bangalore India, Spine Surgery Hospitals Mumbai India, Spine Surgeon India, Spine Surgery Center India, Spine Surgery Doctor India, Spine Surgery Clinic India, then you must search for Spine surgery India, Laser spine surgery India, Best spine surgeon India, Spine surgery best hospital India & spine surgery cost india

    ReplyDelete
  125. I have study full of your post related to website development.
    It is very knowledgeable content about development.
    Thanks friend….
    phoenix property management

    ReplyDelete
  126. Yes you are right.Thank you for giving information on neurosurgery.It is really good and helpful for the people.Keep giving such a valuable information.I will wait for your next post.
    Regards:spine surgery india

    ReplyDelete
  127. Houston staffing agency specializing in accounting, clerical, engineering, and light industrial employees and staff. Temp, temp-hire, direct, and payroll services offered.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Cosmetic surgery is usually performed to correct a physical abnormality or to enhance an otherwise normal physical feature and thus improve appearance.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Cosmetic Surgery needs extra care and maintenance. you must aware.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Anonymous
    THIS IS A SCAM!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Stem cells do not work on spinal disc. It is complete scam. There is no blood supply in the spinal discs. Stem cells need a blood supply. Why the Feds are not prosecuting this place is a mystery to me.

    This is completely unfortunate, because stem cells do work in other orthopedic applications.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I think your information on neurosurgery is not sufficient.Can you give more details so that reader can easily understand it.
    Thank you for giving this information.
    Regards:spine surgery india

    ReplyDelete
  133. Nice Blog , thanks for shareing the information

    ReplyDelete
  134. All of the comments have been very informative. I'm definitely taking that into consideration. I do however recommend you check out Laser Spine Surgery New York for more information about doctors there.

    ReplyDelete