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Home Education Laser Spine Institute buyer beware
J
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2:29 pm
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Around March of 2006 I developed a Herniated Disc at the level L5--S1 causeing pain from my low back though my hip and all the way down the right leg to my toes, From a very mild to a make you cry pain. no fun. 7/18/2006 I paid a down payment I let LSI operate on me and a day later I told them, I still hurt, but they said it's was in my head. I Asked for an MRI and LSI said no because it was to soon after surgery. Now 3 months later 10/05/2006 they tell me to get another MRI. I did and they saw that there procedure did not do me any good. I went back to see them but was treated like they where going to do me a favor and that it may not work. ((I am not the only one here)). Things that they told me where not true. I have had surgery 8/1/2008 by another Doctor and miss more work all total time not able to about 8-12 weeks, now can you go that long without pay. I can't. there is more. Doing business with LSI was like a Car Deal starting at $29, 900.00 how much do you have and when do you want it done..

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26 comments
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J
Aug 23, 2018 11:30 pm

Wish I would have seen these complaints before I had my surgery. I have 2 failed surgeries done by LSI. I can't even get in touch with a Doctor. They just want new mri's. I just need to speak to a doctor. The cervical procedure wasn't what I expected and have been in pain ever since the surgery. The lumbar seemed better for a while but I did have a different kind of pain shooting up my back while sitting for a long time. but the sciatica seemed much better. Just before a year had passed it came back and has continually gotten worse. I'm in constant pain and can't believe they won't let me talk to a doctor.

V
Aug 01, 2018 8:07 am

Had surgery cancelled by the surgeon on the day of surgery because he did not feel that my situation was best suited to an outpatient facility.
Just as a note, I live 96 miles away from the LSI facility so while it is driving distance, it is not around the corner.
To start from the beginning - Pain radiating down left arm all the way to the hand with numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers...not good when you are in IT and play guitar. MRI shows C5-6 and C6-7 herniations, impingement on nerve roots and pressing on the spinal cord at both levels.
My regular neurosurgeon (I have had 2 lumbar fusions in the past) says immediately – 2-level fusion. Wanted to try the minimally invasive option at LSI.
Went for the "Free MRI Review" and the Dr. said they could bypass doing a fusion and go in and clean up the discs to relieve the pressure. He actually said “Why sell you more than you really need?”
Went for pre-op testing, had blood drawn on the Friday before the procedure was scheduled. The following Monday, day before surgery, I went to meet with the surgeon who told me that the “clean-up” procedure was not an option, that I need a 2-level fusion. I was going to cancel everything then and there, but ultimately decided to go through with it for the advantage of the minimally invasive procedure. Of course, this changed everything with the insurance and that all had to be re-submitted.
A month and some later, surgery rescheduled, I went up this past Monday for pre-op…again…and another blood draw.
Next day was surgery day, left the house at 5:30 AM to beat traffic, got up there well before my scheduled time. Was checked in and ushered back to the pre-op area. Hospital gown on, compression stockings on, nurse reviewing medical history, another nurse made two attempts to start the IV and was successful on the second. IV running, they gave me some meds to help with post-op nausea.
All ready to go, and the surgeon comes in and explains that after reviewing my MRI while planning the actual surgery, he feels that it is not safe to do my surgery in an outpatient facility.
SO – 4 round trips at 192 miles per trip, time off work, wife’s time off work, 4 needle sticks, meds administered that I did not need, ridiculous that I could have had this done months ago and been feeling much better by now. Don’t trust the initial consultation, “Free MRI Review”. They may be able to do great things to clear away obstructions in cases where there is only mild to maybe moderate disc degeneration, but I don’t think I’d recommend them for a major procedure unless they were a last resort and even then, what is better, the devil you know or the devil you don’t know?

J
Jan 08, 2016 6:47 pm

I'm in the process of getting a more recent MRI for them to look at...I have 3 herniated discs on my lower back..and in a lot of pain for years..tried everything including Pain Management which worked for a while because of the strong med..but the pain is back. After reading all you have posted, I'm not having the consultation...I will not take the risk at my age to be worst off than I'm right now. No way...thanks for posting your experience...it had opened my eyes...I've talked with them about my Insurance which is United Health but never crossed my mind that you have to come up with Cash before the surgery...I've worked in the Medical Field all my life and this is the first one for me...and if that is the case, I don't have a penny on my name anyway..my only income is SS so I'm out...for good...I guess I'll continue with my Pulsation machine, and bed rest...!

C
Dec 10, 2015 6:27 pm

They are horrible, all about money, had surgery, $10, 000.00 up front, fought them for year after surgery in Tampa, , relief for about a week &insurance called it experimental so won't pay, there a scam my regular dr, people have asked him, he is like NO WAY, They should be investigated, and the 10 gs I paid up front came back as unclaimed funds really, in there pocket BEWARE NO A GOOD PLACE

S
Apr 01, 2015 7:44 pm

Don't do it! They have damaged my vertabrae by cutting too much bone out. Now my spine has collapsed on itself to the left, making my scoliosis worse according to a renowned Neurosurgeon in Houston TX. I am looking into sueing them. Hoping the C spine surgery doesnt go down the tubes. Ha ha. Oh yeah, when they could not get paid using the correct insurance coding, they have attempted to defraud Cigna and Medicare by coding as a neurostimulator implant! Theyve def got the customer service bit down. I have to give them that. We went to Oklahoma City location.

R
Nov 01, 2014 12:33 am

Hey everyone sorry to hear so many negative comments. Just spent last week on philadelpia LSI After two years trying everything they found my problem in 2 minutes now here on nov.1 a week after surgery i have no pain finally. They are the best at what they do (philly location) atleast...i truly walked out of surgery. I have no affiliation with them only my surgery and i am telling 100% truth. I will go there again should i ever need more spine work.

T
Sep 19, 2014 5:13 am

I am also disappointed to hear the complaint here because I had my hopes up of going there to get some relief from LSI. However, I noticed that most of the main complaints are from 2012. I would like to believe that they have improved since then. So I am not shutting the door on LSI yet to get my surgery. I know many are desparete like me and all I can say is do your research. One thing about LSI is that they do have mostly all Board Certified Surgeons. So make sure you get one of them to do your procedure. Thank you and any feedback would be great.

S
Jul 10, 2018 1:11 pm

I had an experience with Laser Spine Institute in 2018. They are the shining example of bait and switch. They told me that my insurance company would pay for everything except the remainder of my out of network deductible. This was $2, 200. After I traveled to AZ, had x-rays and consultations with them, they gave me a nerve block. Worked wonders. Then I was brought into a side room and they told me that the surgery I needed, my insurance company would not cover, so I had to pay $8, 000.00. Never did they mention my insurance company would not cover their ablation surgery. I was pretty upset and crying and was ushered out a side door. I attempted to call an Uber driver but my phone died. I went back in the front door and asked them to call m a taxi, and I was crying pretty hard by now, and instead they called the police. Do not trust these people at all.

A
Jun 25, 2014 4:09 pm

I'm disappointed to read these reviews. I was hoping I was going to find somebody who would do surgery on my back, I've been dealing with disabling chronic back pain for 10 yrs and no doctor will do surgery on my back because they say it will hurt me worse then I already hurt, I really thought I had finally found something that would work for me and allow me to get back on my feet instead of having to file for disability. I'm thankful that I done research on this company and have found good reliable information as to why I wouldn't deal with LSI. I'm sorry for the people who had to go through with the scam in order to warn those (like me) who thought about doing the LSI procedure.

H
Aug 31, 2013 7:30 pm

I am so glad I read these remarks. I have just been diagnosed with severe canal stensios and have had it for about 3 years now. It is so bad now I can hardly walk. I was considering going to this place however after reading these complaints there is no way! They had told me my portion would be $19, 000 which was making me think twice now I know why I was thinking twice. The 2 week recovery verses 6 weeks sounded so good but I am afraid I could be paralyzed or something like that now. Thank you all for posting your complaints I will Take heed! Happy I found out.

D
Jan 16, 2013 1:53 am
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I thought LSI was the answer to my prayers, because of my back pains I sent them my MRI on my lumbar and cervical to LSI in Tampa, Fla and was told that I needed 4 proceders done on my lumbar, never did find out about my cervical.MRI.. I was feeling like there was a light at the end on my dark tunnel . That was until after I heard from LSI insurance person about my insurance covering my procedure for which they told me that they except insurance and Blue Cross has paid for this procedure before so I gave them my insurance information to the Patient Coordinator, two days later I recieved a call from LSI insurance woman around 8pm and she started the conversation with telling me that my insurance would not pay for my procedures and telling me why my insurance company tdenied me, so they told me that I would have to pay out of pocket money CASH, the subject cash was the first thing that came out of her mouth?, instead of asking me to call my insurance company to find out why they would not cover it, so I took it into my own hands to called my insurance(Blue Cross /Blue Sheild) company asking why they denied me to have surgery at LSI and MY INSURANCE COMPANY told me that they never recieved a call or even talked to anyone from from LSI, and if they would have talked to LSI they would have never have told them of what LSI told me of why I was denied.. MY insurance Company gave me a Fax number to give to LSI insurance woman .to send the approval claim to so. I called LSI back and told her what my Insurance Company told me I told her that they never recieved a call from her or anyone from LSI. I ried to give LSI insurance woman the fax number and she told me that she was not trying to get a approval she just wanted to know what our coverage was. Obvioulsy she was caught of how decivieving she was being, because I never heard back from LSI.
Since LSI has been dihonst with me.. That gives me anough reason not to trust them to do surgery on my spine. .If something seems to good to be true(its sad to say) it usally is and it was. Now my gut feeling me not to trust them at all.
If you lie, its because you have somthing to hide, and they lied to me. God gave us gut instints, so always go by your gut instint, it will keep you safe.
Its really disappointing to know of how some doctors mislead and take advatage of alot of people who are in serious pain..I believe that what goes around will back come around..

B
Oct 04, 2012 7:08 pm

I attended a free seminar in Surprise, Arizona, and after a quick look at my MRI and Health Insurance Card by the physician giving the seminar, I was a good candidate for surgery. Two days later a "Patient Coordinator" contacted me about my health insurance benefits and when would I like to schedule surgery. I explained that I didn't have the up front money and would have to wait. I was told that the insurance may not be the same next year when contracts are renewed and I might want to take a loan out with LSI for $2000 to help pay for part of the surgery. Really? Nothing was discussed about what type of procedure would be done or anything medically. What are the responsibilites of a "Patient Coordinator"? Of course, this raised a red flag for the urgency on getting the surgery because of my insurance. I decided that this might be a money making scam with my health at stake, and decided to do research. So, thank of you, for taking time to save the rest of us who have not fallen prey to their tactics.

I just called this company, because I too have disabling chronic pain. I was so excited to see a laser spine institute commercial. I finally had the beautiful feeling of hope to finally be free of the pain. I was so disappointed when I was treated the way I was. When the"sales “representative answered the phone I initially went into telling her about my prior back surgeries and my chronic pain, but! she just kept interrugpting me by asking what my name was. I was patient with her when, after giving her my name several times because she wasn't really paying attention. Once she got my name, and ZIP CODE for some reason, she put me on hold and it was apparent she was talking to someone between questions. She then pressed me for my insurance info. she then told me that I would speak to a "care specialist". I was then put on hold again. After a minute or two, she came back on the line and said they were all busy and she would have one of them call me back, but it may be on Monday (today is friday. She then proceeded to hang up. I'm like, "aren't you at least going to write down my number". Stuff was like ust called this company, because I too have disabling chronic pain. I was so excited to see a laser spine institute commercial. I finally had the beautiful feeling of hope to finally be free of the pain. I've never had hope until I called LSI just now, and was so disappointed when I was treated the way I was. When the"sales “representative answered the phone I initially went into telling her about my prior back surgeries and my chronic pain, but! she just kept interrugpting me by asking what my name was. I was patient with her when, after giving herolfr my name several times because she wasn't really paying attention. Once she got my name, and ZIP CODE for some reason, she put me on hold and it was apparent she was talking with someone

questions. She then pressed me for my insurance info. I was then put on hold again. After a minute or to

L
Apr 05, 2012 8:23 am
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I have contacted LSI for severe neck, arm pain with headaches. They asked for my most recent MRI's (2) and emailed me the release of information form. along with a request for my insurance info. I decided to research LSI and held of on submitting the ins. info & release form. A couple days later i received an email from LSI saying that they had reviewd my MRI's and that I was a perfect canidate for their surgery. I want to knbow how they got ahold of my MRI reports without a release of information. Has this happened to anyone else?

L
Mar 08, 2012 5:22 am

Not sure what to think of these reviews good or bad. It would be wrong to assume that all reviews posted on the internet are the truth. I think the real truth would be in looking up court cases filled against such companies. I think I'll research this a lttle further before I decide if the proceedure is right for me.

C

I was told it would cost an additional 17, 000.00 on top of medicaid/medicare charges.lol, only to find out they are rip off artist!Be aware when dealing with these losers!

P

Thanks goodness for these reviews. Makes you think twice and do a great deal MORE research before going to another state for any type of procedure. Thanks everyone!

Q
Oct 26, 2011 5:42 pm

LSI advertise on in flight magzine of various airlines. I saw LSI ad in Southwest airline magzine. It sounds too good so I check online and seeing all this complaint. Beware of this company.

T
May 26, 2011 12:25 am

I have pain in my left lower back that get worse when bending or sitting. I tried everything and finally doctor after doctor told me that I need spinal fusion. I wanted to avoid fusion at all costs. I found LSI and they told me never fuse your spine especailly at a young age like mine. I had surgery on my L4/L5 in 10/09. They told me I was a textbook case. The percuaneous laser discectomy is very common and it should resolve all my pain issues. After the surgery I was in the worst pain I had ever felt. I went to the facility and told everyone that would listen but nobody seemed to care. The PT was worthless and kept telling me I had a "stab wound in my back and it just takes time". I knew something seemed off. Other people that had surgery the same day as me were up walking around like nothing happened. Later, after days of complaining I found out I was not giving the steroid shot pre-surgery. This caused a great deal of swelling and extra pain. As time passed and I healed the pain did not get better. I called and I called but was just disregarded multiple times. Finally at my one year check up a wonderful patient advocate called to check on me. I explained my situation and she sent me some information on what I needed to get done to be considered again. I went out and got another MRI and sent it to LSI, 2 weeks later I got a letter from the doctor stating there is nothing that they can do for my pain except spinal fusion. The very thing they told me to NEVER consider. I guess once they got my money they don't really care about what kind of pain I have on a daily basis. I'm so discouraged and I don't know where to turn or who to trust. Everyone tells me they have the answer and I can be pain free, but so far nothing has helped.

S
May 06, 2011 12:43 am

My 18 year old daughter is a competitive soccer player, playing for a D1 College. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc and manages her pain daily. I found LSI and went for a consultation without my daughter and they approved her as a perfect candidate for the laser spine procedure. We scheduled a procedure date. I was extremely excited until I started researching everything I could regarding LSI. RED FLAGS were popping up in everything I was reading. From LSI not requesting another MRI from the one I had from two years ago, not requesting lab work, not seeing the surgeon until the day before surgery, to them telling my insurance carrier that my daughter needed procedure for arthritis, spinal stenosis, etc. Obviously, I cancelled the surgery. We are now consulting a Neurosurgeon. All I can say is to do a lot or research BEFORE you commit to anything.

B
Mar 29, 2011 3:08 am

I hurt my back in August of 2009. It was so bad that I had to call 911. The leg pain was the worst pain I ever had times 10. For 8 months I couldn't sit without pain and leg pain was 24/7.. I tried everything, doctors, five epidurals, PT and drugs... nothing worked and was really getting depressed. Being a golfing, I thought for sure I would never play again.. I heard about LSI from a friend of my brother in-law..I figured I give it a try. April of 2010 Dr St Louis preformed my surgery..6 weeks later I was playing golf with about 80 percent less pain. Today I have zero back pain and very little leg pain..100 percent satisfied with LSI .

A
Aug 22, 2010 9:55 pm

LSI NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO ATTENTION of Radio OR TV

MY WIFE HAD UNSUCCESSFULl surgery in 2008

Call me to DISCUSS I live 40 MINUTES from SURGERTY CENTER

Alan Berkov [protected] or [email protected]

C
Jul 08, 2010 12:59 pm
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I had surgery at LSI in April, 2010 in Tampa, FL to correct a stenosis, performed by Dr Wolf. The immediate results were very good. Its too soon to know about any long term issues. And, my first impression of LSI is that they are very profssional, have done this many times and have everything down to a few steps. They are careful to explin everything. However, this is where my complaint starts. I was told that after I paid my deductable, there would be no other costs because LSI does accept United Health. Now, United Heath tells me that the procedure is classified as experimental and has denied the claim - leaving me with a potential bill in exces of $16, 000. Of all the things that LSI was careful to poinht out and explain (including that they participated in United Health), the word "experimental" was never mentioned.

M
Apr 10, 2010 1:19 am

Hi Jill,

You should have post the name of the doctor that performed the surgery or treatment to your back and also the location where this procedure took place. I went to their office today for a free consultation about the same situation like yours and I was convinced to thru their procedure that's why I'm doing a research if I'm making the right decision but I don't want to make the same mistake like yours.

Laser2b06

A
Nov 05, 2009 10:35 am

10/5/09...LSI is a business... not interested in helping you but in numbers; more people more money. I had problems similar to Jill; surgery in fall of 2008. I was pronounced "text book " perfect 3mos. later with an increased pain level. Many, many calls later and months, back in to be told, It didn't work, therefore have more surgery with pins and screws to fix their mess. This pins and screws approach is exactly what Dr. Perry preaches against. I am left with excruciating pain in my left and less mobility than before the surgery. I averaged 2 hours waits for each appointment with a two and half hour wait the day after surgery. All That was achieved was an increased level of nerve pain and less flexability. BEWARE K

T
Oct 05, 2009 8:44 am

Hi Jill. Their CEO has a blog. It's http://blogs.laserspineinstitute.com/. You should post your complaint there too.

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5332 Avion Park Drive, Florida United States
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