How do I make an appointment?
Ideally, your primary care physician should give you a referral to a neurosurgeon after they have already tried conservative treatment and ordered some imaging, such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Some insurances require this. You can call our office at 240-513-4591 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, and we will be happy to get you in as soon as possible, with or without imaging.
What will happen at my appointment?
Dr. Caruso meets some patients on the initial visit; however, your first appointment may be with one of our neurosurgical-certified physician assistants. Dr. Caruso will consult with them and determine the course of action. He will then discuss with you in depth whether or not your condition would likely improve with surgery, and make sure you have a thorough and honest understanding of your condition and treatment.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
You should also bring your insurance cards, a photo ID, any co-pay required by your insurance, a referral if required by your insurance, and any copies or CDs of imaging, such as x-rays CT scans, or MRIs if you’ve had the within the past year.
If you have a list of medications or previous surgeries, it would be helpful to bring a copy.
If I need surgery, what happens next?
If it is determined that surgery will improve your condition, you will be given detailed instructions. You may need certain health clearances from your primary care physician, including blood work, imaging, or an EKG.
We will supply you with cleansing sponges to clean the area of surgery. When we receive all the required information to ensure a safe and successful surgery, we will schedule a time. It’s important to follow the guidelines, or your surgery can be delayed.
Please do not take any blood thinners for seven days prior to surgery. This includes NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve, as well as aspirin. (Tylenol is acceptable for those who can tolerate it.)
What are the risks and recovery time?
Pain, risks, and recovery time vary from individual to individual. Factors such as age, fitness, medical history, smoking, obesity, and even attitude and motivation, can play a role. These will be discussed in depth on an individual basis.
Where will my surgery occur?
WVU Medicine Brain and Spine surgeries take place at Berkeley Medical Center. Minimally invasive, same-day procedures are performed at the Hagerstown location.
What happens after surgery?
You will be scheduled for a post-op appointment at one of the WVU Medicine Brain and Spine clinics. If necessary, we may refer you to physical therapy, pain management, or other recovery options.