Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons to have your procedure performed at Northwest Spine and Laser Surgery Center:
- We are a world-class facility with a team of renowned and award-winning doctors who have unparalleled experience and precision in today’s revolutionary spine and neck surgery.
- We treat every patient with respect and dignity. We understand how pain impacts daily living and it is our mission to provide long-lasting pain relief with minimal disruption to your life.
- There is a national trend toward freestanding surgical facilities for outpatient surgery and we’re proud to be part of it. We are smaller than a hospital, which means each patient receives highly personalized attention with no delays in scheduling.
- Our facility is warm, comfortable and immaculately maintained.
We use the most advanced state-of-the-art techniques but we all know that in the continuum of life and learning, that there will be new great advances in the decades to come.
One thing you can be assured of, our doctors will only recommend surgery if they believe they can help you.
Our insurance coordinator will be able to assist you with your questions regarding benefit coverage for your health insurance plan. At Northwest Spine and Laser Surgery Center, we accept out-of-network benefits for many insurance companies. We will bill your insurance company directly for the facility portion of your surgery and accept the predetermined negotiated price as payment in full. Many times other surgery centers charge you the difference between the price the insurance company will pay and our fee but we do not. Our billing manager, can answer any questions. Please contact her at (503) 694-8600.
Yes. Our staff will review your pre-procedure instructions at the time you schedule your appointment. Prior to your surgery you will have an appointment at your physicians office. At that visit you will be given your pre-procedure instructions. If you are taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid or Lovenox, please contact our office for additional instructions.
After you are registered for surgery, you will meet the surgical nurses and anesthesiologist who will be caring for you. Shortly before you enter the operating room, your surgeon will visit you and briefly discuss the surgery to be performed.
You will go from the operating room to the recovery room for several hours before you are discharged.
As soon as your surgeon leaves the operating room, he will meet with your family in the family waiting room area. It is usually possible for a family member to see the patient about one hour after surgery.
Yes. We strongly encourage you to have completed all the registration forms before the day of surgery.
Please notify the surgeon and the Northwest Spine and Laser Surgery Center at (503)694-8600 as early as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Early notification can help us better accommodate you and other patients.
Please wear comfortable clothing. Button-down shirts or blouses are best. Wear comfortable shoes. Leave all jewelry at home, including body-piercing jewelry. If you wear contact lenses, you will probably have to remove them for the surgery, so consider bringing your glasses. If you have to wear your contacts, please bring contact solution and contacts case. Please do not wear any make-up as this can hide certain clinical signs.
You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. This complication is very serious and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations.
Each patient’s situation is different. It is best to discuss your medications with your doctor prior to your surgery. We generally will have patients take, with a sip of water on the morning of surgery, blood pressure and heart medications, acid reflux medications, anti-seizure medications, Parkinson’s medications, and asthma medications/inhalers. You will be contacted by a preoperative nurse who will discuss your medication list and advise you on which medications to take. Please bring all your medications with you.
People using inhalers must bring them to the surgery center on the day of surgery.
Some medications will be stopped for the surgery, particularly diabetes medication/insulin and blood thinners (like Coumadin/Warfarin, Plavix, Ticlid, Lovenox, Heparin.) You should bring these medications with you the day of surgery. Please call us with any questions you may have.
Herbal medications may have harmful effects on the surgery. Many of these remedies may effect your clotting mechanism and interfere with the anesthetic agents. (The list of drugs and their side effects are too great for this site.) We generally request that you stop these medications two weeks before surgery. Please remember to mention these remedies with your surgeon at the preop visit and when being asked about your current medications.
We will individualize each patient’s care.
Yes. Please take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. Please do not use make up, hair spray, nail polish or toiletries. These may interfere with the anesthesia monitoring and possibly hide clinical signs from the anesthesiologist.
If you are not feeling well, please contact your surgeon immediately. During normal business hours, you can call the surgery center for advice. There are some surgeries which are safer if delayed when you are sick. We need to know specific details to make the decision. Please do not delay in contacting your surgeon or the surgery center.
It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. Only essential surgery is done on pregnant patients. If there is any doubt please contact us immediately.
Any patient receiving anesthesia, including IV sedation, should not drive until the next day. The few patients who have procedures performed under “local only” anesthesia could possibly drive home if permission from their surgeon is obtained.
We strongly recommend that all patients have a ride home and will be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk or take public transportation after sedation and anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.
All patients will be seen by the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery prior to entering the operating room. Sufficient time should be spent to answer any questions you may have. If you need to speak to the anesthesiologist before the day of surgery, you are welcome to call Northwest Spine and Laser Surgery Center and we will arrange for you speak with an anesthesiologist. We can also arrange a preoperative interview if you desire.
We will make every effort to accommodate any special need you may have. We strongly encourage you to call the surgery center in advance so that we can properly prepare to make you comfortable. Do not hesitate to call and suggest anything that may make your day easier.
Yes. Please bring any walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, glasses case, contact lens solution/case, etc.
- Bring case for eyeglasses or contacts
- Bring insurance identification cards, driver’s license, completed billing forms, copayments
- Bring all medication, including inhalers and insulin
- Bring your portable CPAP machine if you have sleep apnea
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing
- Leave all jewelry and valuables at home
- Bring special equipment like crutches, walker, etc…
- Bring pillows to elevate your surgical site for the ride home
- Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home for 24 hrs
The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our postoperative call at home. We need to inform and prepare you for each step of the process. This education will begin with our first contact. You will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain from a numerical scale (#1 being just a little pain, #10 being the worse pain ever.) Using the results of our communication, we will alter the therapy as needed in order to ensure your comfort.
The management of your pain will be taken very seriously. We will often use a combination of different modalities to help make you comfortable, choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc. and prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please feel free to bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and hence a smoother, more comfortable recovery.
At the time surgery is scheduled, a follow-up appointment also is scheduled for after surgery.
The speed with which patients can return to normal activities varies considerably with the type of surgery. This is discussed at length prior to surgery and also during follow-up visits.