Brain and Spine
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How to Choose a Back Surgeon

You want the best when you’re choosing a back surgeon. That goes without saying.

But, how do you know if a surgeon is the best doctor for you?

Most cities, including Portland, have several neurosurgeons from which to choose.

Your primary care physician may refer you to a back surgeon. You may have the option of traveling to another city for your operation.

Ultimately, it’s you who will decide who to trust with your surgery.

How to Choose a Back Surgeon

Start by learning more about your diagnosis. Speak with your primary care physician and research online or at the library. If you are already seeing a neurosurgeon, ask the doctor lots of questions.

Get more than one opinion if you want to. When evaluating a doctor, ask yourself these questions:

Are you at ease speaking with the surgeon?
Does the doctor and office staff answer your questions fully?
Does someone from the medical office respond to your calls and questions promptly?

To get proper care, you need to have a good relationship with your healthcare providers. Patients and doctors are partners in medical care.

Your surgeon will gather information from you about your condition. It’s vital to feel comfortable and confident when you speak with your physician.

Learn About the Surgeon’s Experience

Choose a doctor whose specialty is spinal surgery. Ask the surgeon what types of procedures they have performed and how many times they have performed a particular operation.

Dr. Kuether treats various back and brain problems and specializes in noninvasive procedures. You can learn more about his experience and training here.

Is the Surgeon Board Certified?

Look for a neurosurgeon who is board certified and works at a reputable facility or hospital. Dr. Kuether is board certified in neurosurgery.

At Legacy Emanuel Hospital he is the Director of Neurotrauma, where he works in the nationally recognized neurosciences department.

Does the Surgeon Practice Near Your Home?

When all else is equal, it’s nearly always preferable to have surgery near your home. Your care will be more convenient if you don’t have to travel out of town for an operation or pre-and post-operative appointments.

Dr. Kuether works in several locations in the Portland-metro area. He has offices at Meridian Park and Emanuel Hospital.

He operates at Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Emanuel and Wilshire Surgery Center.

What If There Isn’t a Neurosurgeon in My Town?

Some patients must travel for medical care. Patients in rural areas or small towns don’t usually have access to a neurosurgeon.

Some people simply prefer a surgeon who lives in another city. In some cases, you can complete tests and paperwork remotely.

Speak with your doctors to find out more.