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You may not believe this!

Rae-CARRae-CA Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I checked into the hospital yesterday (1/20) at 5:30am for my surgery, lumbar laminectomy, bone graft & fusion, L4/5. The nurse escorted me to pre-op. I was prepped, had the compression socks (up to top of thigh) on, shorter socks over them, and then plastic wrapped around each leg with tubes running down each one. I was covered in warm blankets. The Anesthesiologist came by and explained the drugs I would be given & said I would be given something to relax me after my Dr came by. He said the O R was blocked for 7 hours. The nurse told me that my Dr would be by shortly to mark my back.

I was getting mentally prepared to be wheeled into the O R. My Dr and his PA showed up. He said the surgery had to be postponed because they had not recieved the approval code from my insurance company. Apparently my INS Co has a 5 day approval time and the pre-certification dept only requested the approval 2 days ago. I couldn't believe this was happening. I said everything I could think of to get the surgery to go forward but they wouldn't budge. I got dressed and left with my husband and son. I felt wiped out and exhausted. At 10:00 am I got a call from the PA that they got the approval code and she apologized. A rep from my INS Co told her they had a power outage that morning and wasn't able to contact them in time for the surgery. My surgery has been rescheduled for next Thursday, 1/27, same time.

I guess everything happens for a reason. At least I will be forced to just relax for a week. I was pretty tired going into the hospital from doing so much at work and home to get ready for this.

Has anyone ever heard of this happening?



  • Rae,
    That must have been horrible. I think I have only heard of one other person who has gone through that, although there are probably many. Like you, I had been getting myself and my house all ready the week before, and was exhausted physically & mentally by the time I went for surgery. I don't know what I would have done if they had canceled it. But, I always think those things happen for a reason that we may never know. Try to relax this week and catch up on some good reading.
  • Reading that really upset me!
    How awful! I have heard of problems with insurance but never so last minute!
    Do relax next week, and you will be so glad to finally have your surgery!
    Lots of gentle hugs for you )"(. )"(. )"(
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I am really sorry that this happened to you. What I do not understand is why the Drs. office was not aware of a pre-auth code being on file. You should of never went through that. Your surgery should of been canceled prior to your arrival at the hospital. It looks as if both parties are to blame.
  • that reminds me of a frined´s scheduled fusion l5 s1 surgery:
    he was already in the OR when they figured out that they had the wrong screws, his surgery was postponed, but he never showed up again as he did not trust that hospital anymore
  • That so sucks! I think I would have lost it. I remember being in so much pain and actually looking forward to the surgery because I knew it was my only option to stop the pain. I hope all goes well next week. Blessings to you.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • OMG!!!!! :jawdrop:

    How horrible :(

    I would have had a fit, which maybe you did have ;)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    My wasn't as bad. But I was in the same place you were, on my way to the OR when they found out one of the monitoring machines needed was not in the hospital and they had to call a vendor. They gave me 2 bags of glucose IV since I was SO hungry and then wrapped up my hand with the IV in it and sent me home for 5 hours. If they could not get the machine they'd call me and reschedule and I'd come back to the get the IV out. They had blocked the OR all day for my extensive fusion and a one level cervical fusion of someone else. She was told not to eat after 8 am but just to be safe she had not eaten after midnight and from what I hear she was THRILLED to get called in early. They did her surgery and as they were in the midst of that the needed machine arrived and I was back in pre-op 5 hours later. It is psychologically tough to prepare yourself and then go home. The doc and nurses were great, they were trying to add IV's so I could stay in pre-op but the department was being re-done so they sent me home. Luckily it was done that day. But I can't imagine having to get myself ready again days later!!! If only they had you hang out for a while and have some nurses really work on the problem!
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • That is absolutely horrible!! The more I hear of experiences such as yours, and have unrelated ones myself (major and minor), the less I like the medical profession. Today I added a personal one to my collection: my primary care doctor's nurse mistakenly authorized a one-month refill on my thyroid hormone Rx even though the blood test done a week before was normal. I called his office to get the situation corrected. Guess what came in today's mail? A letter informing me of his decision to terminate me from his care. Unbelievable! Stay positive, Rae, and keep us posted. >:D< Love, Essmoe
  • wow, just wow.


    The mental preparation going into surgery is so huge only to have it all change at the last minute.
    The possibility never crossed my mind when I was going in. I would have been shellshocked.

    You are one tough lady. O:)
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • With my first fusion, I was all set to leave, and my husband and I had to go the day before because it was winter and a four hour drive,
    The afternoon before surgery we were called to let me know I was denied the fusion. We left as my insurance agent was working with my Surgeon and the insurance company to get it approved. My Dr talked directly with the Insurance companies Medical Director trying to get him to change his mind. We got there and found out the next morning that they thought it wasnt medically necasarry. I was so devastated after it happened, then became mad. I fought them all the way to the state appeal and won. That was July 30. I won the appeal and had surgery Dec 8 of 2008.
    It is horrible when these things happen. It is hard enough to deal with all the pain and everything else. I learned from that experience to start the process at least a month in advance, as I was not going to have that happen again. Good Luck with your surgery this week. Let us know how you are when you are able to post. Will be thinking of you!
  • So sorry to hear that. I would have been furious.
    Yes, someone should have made sure all the paperwork and approvals were done LONG before that point.
    What an inconvenience to make arrangements for hubby to be there with you, etc, etc, only to have it delayed and rescheduled.
    Good luck with everything next week. Let us know how everything goes!!
  • I feel so bad for everyone who has had a similar situation. My situation was very minor compared to those stated. i was just going in for a cervical epidural with sedation. I was in the prep room waiting to go into the OR and had already spoke to anesthesiologist and everyone else involved. But they kept postponing my time and giving me all sorts of reasons. It was my first time in the hospital for this type for procedure. Turns out that the pain management dr. did not have rights at the hospital yet, the paper work was stuck on someones desk. They were willing to perform in the dr's office or have someone else perform at the hospital without fluoroscope. I went home hysterical and in more pain that I was in before. Thankfully when it was time for my 2 level ACDF everything went smoothly. They wanted to change my time from 7 am to 4:30 PM but the surgeon fought to keep my time as he know I would be beside myself. Hopefully only positive situations will occur in the future.
  • and hoping that you have been able to have a nice weekend.

    I bet your surgeon was really annoyed about having to cancel the surgery too. It must have been too late to use the operating room for someone else.

    Hope that all goes really well next week.
    We'll be here cheering you on. :H =D> :H =D>
  • That is terrible what happened to you.Wow, like others have said, that definately should have been decided way before you were set to go. Everything does happen for a reason though. I hope that you are able to have a nice relaxing week and you will continue to be in my thoughts this week and on Thursday for your big day.
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,870
    but never because of Insurance reasons. Its hard to believe that pre-authorization and approvals needed today that your insurance company and the surgeon's office did not hook up to work out the complete details.

    Just the fact that your surgery has been postponed is an impact. You get all physched up for the surgery, scared, worrying, etc, then you go in ready for it, and now you just have to do it all over again.

    Stay in tune, it will happen soon
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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