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  #1  
Old 11-24-2008, 05:11 PM
Adrienne Adrienne is offline
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Posts: 57
Question Kaiser for ADR?

Just got back from UCSF where they gave the the OK for a one-level ADR at L5/S1. Great!

Of course it costs 50 - 60K to do it there, 30K in Germany.
I have Kaiser insurance as well. They would charge me nothing...assuming they agreed to do it. They do them right here in Oakland and the doc at UC assured me that Kaiser does a lot of them.
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with with the Kaiser Spine Center in Oakland.

Money is certainly a consideration but not the most important one.
__________________
Minimal DDD L4/L5
Minimal DDD L5/S1
Disco 4/07 : Large tear: @L5/S1
Idet 4/08 No improvement
Now looking at ADR vs. Fusion
ALIF Fusion 2/10 Stanford
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2008, 01:00 AM
builder5840 builder5840 is offline
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Adrienne,

Hey I went to see doctor Baines for a second opinion. My Fresno doctor had told me that he would go off label and do a two level for me but eventually backed out, so instead of telling me face to face he left a message on my phone and reffered me to Oakland. Dr Baines spent an hour with me telling me that ADR's wern't that great although he had done a few. Then proceeded to try and convince me to have a two level fusion. He told me that if they were to do a two level they would be open to a lawsuit and I got the feelling that he was trying to get my doctor here out of trouble for telling me that he would do the two level. Anyway I think i'm gonna be better off going overseas to have the two level adr done. From what I gathered in Oakland the only ADR's that dr baines had done were a few during the clinacal trial that they participated in. He did mention that he had attended a Prodisc seminar so he might be approved to do the surgery using the prodisc but he said he didn't like the keel on the Prodisc, not sure if he was just trying to talk me out of it or if he really feels that way. I'm gonna have the Discover disc put in which is not approved by the FDA yet but is in trials, it is made of titanium which is one thing i was hoping for. and the surgeon that will be doing mine has done close to 150 surgeries compared to my local surgeon which has done 1 single level Prestige and Dr.baines who has done a few of a disc that he can't use yet.

The monies are a big factor and if I wasn't get help with that I don't know what I would do. I was considering doing the surgery locally if they would have done it and paid for it. But I'm glad its working out this way for me. Maybe there are other Oakland dr's with more experience and if you only need 1 level they say that they will pay for that if you fall within the FDA trial guidlines? I hope you get it all figured out and that it turns out well for you.

Fall from ladder 05 lots of pain
lots of test DDD C5,6,7
Scheduled two level Discover disc
Malaysia March 09
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2008, 01:32 AM
Adrienne Adrienne is offline
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Builder,

Dr. Baines is with Kaiser Oakland? Anyway, my doc at UCSF told me that since Kaiser is the spinal hub for Northern Ca., that they do a lot of these surgeries...though I'll be sure and ask them for a count. You have to wonder what an acceptable number is. 50? 100? 1000?

Just curious: Why were you hoping for titanium?
And curious-er: How much does it cost in Malaysia?

Thanks for responding and I hope it all goes well for you. Good luck and keep us informed.
Adrienne

Also, for the benefit of any Kaiser patients out there:This afternoon at 4:35 I emailed a physiatrist I saw more than 18 months ago merely to begin to get the wheels turning for referral to Oakland. 4:38, got the response saying she'd do it but that I'd need a current MRI (she was unaware that I had one last week). 5:30, the radiology dept. called to schedule! Talk about efficient, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Kaiser can be good when it wants to. If there are inquiring Kaiser-minds who what to know, I'll keep you informed of the process. Let me know.
__________________
Minimal DDD L4/L5
Minimal DDD L5/S1
Disco 4/07 : Large tear: @L5/S1
Idet 4/08 No improvement
Now looking at ADR vs. Fusion
ALIF Fusion 2/10 Stanford
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:25 AM
builder5840 builder5840 is offline
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Adrienne,

Wow! that is somthing on the appiontments I emailed my kaiser doctor about getting a new MRI for my surgeons in Malaysia since my last one is about 14 months old, he did answer me the next morning and the Radiology department contacted me a few hours later insted of the usual two weeks i'm used to and they had a cancelation so I got it the same day. Something is going on with Kaiser hope it keeps getting better.

Dr. Baines is with Kaiser Oakland but they may have several surgeons there with ADR experience. I got the opinion from him that he had only done a few. I'm not sure about the experience thing, from what I understand the surgery is very similar to a Fusion surgery so if your surgeon had done say 500 fusion surgeries and 20 ADR surgeries that might be enough? I think the more the better if they also have a good reputation to go along with it. From what i can tell the most important thing about ADR surgery is getting the alignment correct and getting the correct size implant for your disc. So you would want someone who cares more about doing a good job than someone who wants to get it done fast so he doesn't miss his Tee Time

Malaysia: the hospital, surgery, hotel, airfare, etc... is going to cost me 32,000 US

Titinium: When I was meeting with my local Nuerosurgeon, he showed me an MRI of the Prestige disc (stainless steel)that he put in a local fireman. Basically where the ADR was placed and parts of the upper and lower adjacent disc where so blurred they were worthless. Apparently MRI's cannot read around most metals. Titanium is what they call MRI freindly You can take an MRI and still be able to see the adjacent joints clearly, the actual ADR won't be clear but the surronding area will be or at least that is my understanding. Also it looks like the newer generation Disc are heading in that direction for that reason. Currently there are none available in the US. You can still get CT's, X-rays that will be clear. If I could get a two level done here with a doctor I felt comfortable with here and didn't have to pay what I'm having to I would do the non Titanium rather than wait a couple of years for an FDA approved one.
But since I'm paying for it and they do make em I wanted to get one made with titanium
Hope that's not clear as MUD

Good luck with the appiontments and I hope you get an appiontment with the best Kaiser has and that they are able to fix you up

_______________________________________________
Fall from ladder in 05, lots of pain, lots of test
DDD C5,6,7 scheduled for surgery in Malaysia March 09
two level Discover disc
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2008, 05:01 PM
Adrienne Adrienne is offline
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Posts: 57
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Builder,

Great that Kaiser is paying for your MRI to take to Malaysia…so at least they’re taking on part of the expense.

If I get a go for a Kaiser ADR, I’m going to try and make the case that they could save money by sending me to Germany. I’m sure it won’t fly, but you can’t blame a gal for trying.

And now, of course, I’ll have to research Malaysia. Which hospital/doctor are you hooked up with?

Adrienne
__________________
Minimal DDD L4/L5
Minimal DDD L5/S1
Disco 4/07 : Large tear: @L5/S1
Idet 4/08 No improvement
Now looking at ADR vs. Fusion
ALIF Fusion 2/10 Stanford
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2008, 02:14 AM
builder5840 builder5840 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Adrienne,

Good luck with getting Kaiser to pay for Germany but who knows, It seems that with the money that we are paying them for insurance they should either do it here or pay for it where we want it done. I just got my notice for next years increase up almost 150 a month

I'm using Med retreat to help me book my trip www.medretreat.com I'm going to Panang, Malaysia and going to the Glen Eagles Medical Center and Dr. Lim Heng Him will be my Primary surgeon. let me know if there is anything I can help you with and of course let me know if you make any head way with Kaiser

Richard
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2008, 07:37 PM
Adrienne Adrienne is offline
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Richard,

Yikes on the 150/month hike! I’m afraid to go to my mailbox now.

Thanks for the info. I just talked to medical retreats; the conversation went something like this:

“Where did you hear about us.”
“I know someone who has used you.”
“They must have had a good experience.”
“Well, I don’t actually know him and he hasn’t gone yet. He’s going in March.”
“Oh. RICHARD!”

I wonder how many customers they have? LOL Anyway, they did seem very organized and polished.

Naturally, they professed to the hospital’s accreditation, safety..and bla bla bla bla. Apparently they fly in the big banana from Kuala Lumpur to lead the surgery, while the hospital staff assists? Sounds reasonable.
Seems almost vacation-like too, with even a personal assistant at your disposal. All medical things being equal, it seems the place to be. Certainly more appealing than Germany in the wintertime. Oakland too, actually.

Was quoted 20K for the whole works, door to door, for a one level lumber. Could be the no-frills package, (oh, you wanted anesthesia?) but I’ll certainly add this to the possibilities. Thanks again.

Adrienne
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2008, 04:47 PM
Adrienne Adrienne is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 57
Default Turned down at Kaiser

Yesterday I was turned down at Kaiser for an ADR. The surgeon cited the facet hypertrophy at that level as exclusionary even though it's mild.

He proposed an anterior fusion with minimally invasive posterior screws if necessary.

Anyway, something to chew on.
__________________
Minimal DDD L4/L5
Minimal DDD L5/S1
Disco 4/07 : Large tear: @L5/S1
Idet 4/08 No improvement
Now looking at ADR vs. Fusion
ALIF Fusion 2/10 Stanford
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2008, 06:20 PM
berry berry is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 280
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Adrienne

As someone who has gone on to develop facet arthrosis at the index sites and degeneration at three levels above above my ProDiscs I think that proposal sounds good.

Best wishes

Lynda
__________________
Cervical Activ C, C5/6 & C6/7, Feb 2008
Craniotomy and excision frontal lobe brain tumour, May 2006
Lumbar ProDiscs, L4/5 & L5/S1, Feb 2004

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  #10  
Old 12-23-2008, 11:30 PM
builder5840 builder5840 is offline
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Adrienne,

I'm sorry that you got some bad news, although like Berry said maybe it's for the best. It's really hard trying to figure out what is best I know what it's like and I wish you the best in your continueing search. Maybe one of the new hybrids? I'm not sure how far along those are.

Merry Christmas,
Richard
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