Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cost Factors Affecting The Final Amount Spent On Mole Removal Procedures

There are several factors that are likely to determine the expense you incur in getting a mole removal procedure carried out (within a medical clinic). It is largely on account of these factors, which we will be examining shortly, that we end up with a situation where people who have skin moles removed in different clinics end up paying substantially different sums of money for the procedures. Even the timing of the mole removal procedures could also end up making a difference in the final amount or cost that would be paid by those who are undergoing the mole removal procedures. It does not even matter that the person who conducted the mole removal procedure was one and the same, or that the procedure was exactly the same, and the procedures were performed on the same clinic or medical facility. Health care expenses and costs may run high but, if it were up to many people, it would not matter much since health is not something you should pinch pennies for. However, keep in mind that not everyone has the capacity to readily spend cash on heath care. Some do not even have a health insurance coverage to protect them. Many of these people would be highly interested in finding out about cost-related issues when it comes to medical treatments and procedures.

One thing you have to consider that could have a great impact on the final cost you will have to pay for the procedure would be the profile of the medical professional who will perform the said procedure. Between a dermatologist who specializes in skin care and skin treatments and a general medical practitioner, it is most likely that you would be paying less for the services of the latter. There are instances, too, that the skin moles are of such a nature that cannot be handled by a mere general medical practitioner. It could also be that an oncologist would be preferred, especially if you found out that you are dealing with cancerous skin moles. Expect to have to pay higher costs if you choose special consultants to work on your skin moles condition instead of the general medical practitioners.

Even the profile of the specific medical facility or clinic would have an impact on the cost that will be incurred by the person who will go there to have their moles removed. If you make comparisons of the cost that you will incur in having your moles removed in a government-subsidized medical facility and a privately-owned or commercial medical facility or clinic, you will find that the latter will be charging you a lot more than the former.

And then there is the mole condition and the type of procedure that will be performed to get rid of them. Expect the overall cost to be affected by the type of the mole, the risks involved, and the exact sort of treatment. Simple put, there are some procedures for removal of skin moles that end up being very involving and time consuming. You will also find other procedures that are more straightforward. Your final choice of a mole removal procedure could depend largely on the assessment of the doctors of your moles. You may end up spending a lot more than you expected if it turns out that the moles have to be removed using more complicated procedures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pain After Spinal Fusion May Indicate Hardware Failure

There are many potential causes of back pain after a spinal fusion surgery. The spine is a highly dynamic mechanism, and the attempt to make one or more of its segments into a rigid unit may not yield perfect results.

Spinal fusion is done to eliminate painful motion from an unstable segment of the spine. During the procedure, a piece of bone graft or similar material is applied between two vertebrae, and the segment is secured with rods and pedicle screws. Ideally, the hardware used provides enough stability to allow the bone graft to slowly fuse to each vertebra, thereby joining them into one rigid segment.

A number of things can go wrong during and after surgery. First, the hardware may be implanted in such away that it interferes with nerves and muscles around the spine. Even though surgeons have extensive knowledge of spinal structures, the area is complex enough that even an adept surgeon may place a screw or rod in a position to cause pain. It is also possible that the fusion never takes place; this could be due to excess motion of the segment post-surgery. Hardware may break or migrate during the healing process, creating pain and increasing the risk of failed fusion.

It's important to be aware that pain after surgery could indicate a hardware problem. If pain occurs soon after surgery (after the initial post-operative pain subsides), it is possible that either the placement of hardware is the problem or that hardware has migrated. Sometimes after a fusion procedure, the rod moves out of place before the fusion sets up or scar tissue forms to secure it. In either case you may feel localized pain and tenderness when the skin over the rod is touched. You may also have signs of nerve interference (shooting pain, numbness, and/or weakness along a nerve path).

Over time, metal fatigue can cause the rods or screws to fracture. This can lead to nerve pain and muscle spasms, since the fragmented implant may be interfering with a muscle's movement.

Pain caused by hardware can only be resolved by removing the hardware in a surgical procedure.

Lonstein et. al. performed a study assessing the complications associated with pedicle screws used in 915 spinal fusions performed between 1984 and 1993. They found that late-onset pain required the removal of hardware from those who received 24.3% of the original procedures. 20% of those who had hardware removed were found to have pseudarthrosis, or failed fusion. In the other 80% of cases, then, it is possible that hardware was the main cause of pain. 

The study above is rather old, but new studies into the complications associated with spinal fusion surgery are lacking. The rate of spinal fusion procedures has increased 250% since the mid-90's with the greatest increase in the Medicare population. This has raised concerns that surgeons are performing unnecessary surgeries for the kickbacks they receive from hardware manufacturers.

Though spinal fusion boasts of a 95% or greater success rate, it is important to remember that this rate doesn't take into account a number of complications that may result. If you're feeling pain after spinal fusion, request imaging tests to see if your hardware is out of place or fractured.