Your Consultation



1. All radiology studies pertaining to your current medical problem. This includes any x-rays, MRI or a CT scans, call us if you need assistance obtaining copies of your studies from hospitals or other offices.

2. Prior medical records. This includes any operative reports, radiology reports, injection histories, EMG and nerve conduction results. Also include consultations from other physicians, particularly those from your referring physician.

3. A complete list of all medications you are currently taking.

4. Your insurance card, co-payment, and billing form. You may want to contact our billing company, MedNet, at (310) 322-4278 if you have any questions regarding coverage by your insurance plan.

If Worker’s Compensation is involved, then written pre-authorization is required by your employer’s insurance company. Please bring the written pre-authorization with you to streamline the paperwork and payment process.

5. The names, phone numbers, and addresses of ALL physicians involved in your care. Please be sure to include primary care physicians.

6. The completed New Patient Questionnaire (click link to display for printing.)

7. Completed New Patient Registration Paperwork (click link to display for printing.)

We appreciate your patience and cooperation. Please notify us of any cancellations at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Your consultation is the time when you learn what Spine surgery can do for you and we decide how best to help you achieve your desires. At the Santa Monica Spine Institute, we have several goals we work to achieve during your consultation:

  1. We want to educate you about your spinal condition and spine surgery in general.
  2. We want to understand, and help you refine, your goals and expectations.
  3. We want to evaluate your present situation along with your goals and help you decide which procedure is best for you.
  4. We want to get a complete knowledge of your medical history and condition so we can provide you with maximal safety.
  5. We want you to have an accurate expectation of exactly what spine surgery can achieve for you.
  6. We want you to completely understand the entire process of your proposed surgery, including the period before your procedure, the day of surgery, and all of phases of recovery.
  7. Finally, we want to begin to get to know you, and for you to know us (the surgeon and the staff) so we all become comfortable working together.

In order to achieve all these goals, your consultation has several steps. First you provide us with some written information about why you came to see us, what sort of limitations you have noticed, an accurate description of your pain, what surgery interests you, and your medical history. We have a beautiful and elegant reception area. We hope you become comfortable here so you are relaxed during your time with the doctor.

Next you go into our consultation room where you will meet your Los Angeles Spine surgeon. Your doctor will discuss your medical history and then your desires for plastic surgery. He will examine you with all this in mind and then discuss how spine surgery can help you address your specific goals. During your examination you will be seen by the spine surgeon along with our patient coordinator. We do not use non-physician “consultants,” as many Los Angeles surgical practices now do, because we believe you should have your questions answered by the surgeon who will ultimately be doing your procedure for you.

We will then discuss all the phases of your Spinal surgery including the period before the procedure, the details of the surgery itself, and the recovery. We will address when you can resume various physical activities, when you should return to work, and the timing of your post-procedure visits back at our Santa Monica office. We will answer all of your questions in detail. But we find that people often have additional questions after they visit us, so we encourage you to call us back if you have any other questions.

Next you will go to our manager’s office where our patient coordinator will show you before and after photos of our work. We have many photos and you will gain a lot of information by looking at these pictures. We will discuss scheduling and fee issues and arrange spinal surgery financing if you desire it. We will provide you with our written pre-op and post-procedure doctor’s instructions and discuss them with you so you know exactly what to expect. Finally, we will take you on a tour of our on-site, state of the art, fully certified outpatient surgery center and recovery room so you see where your procedure will take place if applicable.

Your consultation will take about an hour overall. We find that by being this thorough during your consultation we are best able to help you meet your goals for Spinal surgery.