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10 Best Spine Surgeon In Florida

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Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

If you're suffering from chronic back or neck pain, deciding on the best treatment option can feel overwhelming. This is why you need to find a doctor who will evaluate your condition and help you determine the best course of action.

If you stay in Florida and you're searching for the best spine surgeon in Florida, this article contains a list of the best spine surgeon in the state and everything you need to know about them, including their qualifications and specialty.

But first, what are the things to consider when selecting a spine surgeon?

Things to consider when selecting the best spine surgeon in Florida?

When selecting a spine surgeon, there are various things you need to consider. The following are questions you should ask yourself before selecting a spine surgeon in Florida:

1. How experienced is the surgeon?

When it comes to spine surgery, experience is essential. While it is true that many newly qualified surgeons can carry out complex spine surgeries, you'll feel a lot safer choosing an experienced surgeon.

According to a recent report, patients who undergo high-risk surgeries have a higher chance of complications when the surgeon has little or no experience. To avoid or minimize complications, you need to choose a surgeon with experience.

An experienced spine surgeon is someone who has performed a spine procedure for a period of 5 years or performed the spine procedure at least 30 times, and it has resulted in:

  • Faster recovery
  • Little to no surgical complications

Before choosing a spine surgeon, it is important for you to ask the surgeon for the number of surgeries they've done and their complication and success rates.

Once you've established their level of experience or qualification, you can move on to the next question.

2. Is the surgeon board-certified?

After graduating from medical school, Surgeons must complete an internship, a residency, and a fellowship. Many surgeons, however, choose to be board-certified. Board-Certification requires further, extensive specialty-specific training. It is an extra step taken by many surgeons to prove that they know the latest developments in their specialty. 

Surgeons who have an ongoing commitment to their board certification:

  • Attend training and assessment beyond what is required from their peers.
  • They work to improve the care they deliver continuously.

Surgeons who are board-certified by independent bodies such as the American Board of Surgery (ABS) demonstrate great commitment to their specialty and show a lifelong commitment to learning. 

For a surgeon to be board-certified, they must have completed the following:

  • Five years of residency training
  • Met all the ABS requirements
  • Completed American Board of Surgery's rigorous and intensive examinations.

While board certification is not a legal requirement to practice, surgeons who spend their time, energy, and other resources to get board-certified are simply showing their commitment to being the best. 

So while it may not be a legal requirement to practice, if you're going to choose a spine surgeon, you should choose a board-certified spine surgeon. Because it shows, they've devoted more resources into becoming the best.

3. What is the surgeon's specialty?

Many spine surgeons have an area of specialization. Some spine surgeons focus on pediatric spine conditions, while others focus on treating trauma to the spine. Spinal surgery covers a variety of procedures which can range from spinal fusions to treating herniated discs and other forms of spine diseases and deformities. 

The first thing you need to do is decide on the type of surgeon you need. You need to ask yourself if you need a neurosurgeon or an Orthopedic surgeon. When operating on the spine and treating back pain or neck pain,  A neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon are equally qualified for the job. The only difference is a neurosurgeon is trained to treat the brain and spine. At the same time, an orthopedic surgeon focuses on diagnosing and treating bone and joint disorders such as spinal disorders. 

To increase your chances of having the best care, you need to look for surgeons who specialize in the specific type of procedure you need. If you're suffering from disc herniation, you'll need a surgeon who specializes in treating herniated and bulging discs using minimally invasive surgical procedures.

4. Are you comfortable with your surgeon?

For many people, the thought of surgery can be scary. Many people are unsure of what to expect. This is why it is important for you to always go with a surgeon that you feel safe and comfortable with. 

When choosing a surgeon for your back pain or neck pain, you need someone who can quickly answer your questions in the least technical manner.

To help you understand if you're comfortable with a surgeon, here are some questions you can ask yourself.

  • Do you have a good relationship with the surgeon?
  • Is the surgeon willing to answer your questions in the least technical manner?
  • Is the surgeon willing to offer you research to back up their treatment suggestions?
  • Do you believe the surgeon puts forth their best effort to identify the best treatment for your specific case?
  • Do you have the surgeon’s undivided attention? 
  • Do you think your surgeon is on board with your choices?
  • Does the surgeon assist you in understanding all of your alternatives and the benefits and risks of each surgery? 

5. What type of reviews does the surgeon have?

Over 74.6 percent of people look for information on doctors, dentists, and other medical services on the internet before engaging their services. This makes online patient reviews one of the best ways to know how good of a service a surgeon provides. 

To ensure you get an authentic review about a surgeon, don't just go over their websites. Marketing agencies carefully craft many website reviews. What you want to do is go on google or youtube and look up the patient reviews of the surgeon. 

Here's what a patient testimonial/review looks like:

Also, you'll find patient reviews on forums like Reddit or quora. The more negative review a surgeon has, the more you should consider staying away from them.

6. How invasive is the procedure?

Before deciding on a surgeon, you need to know how invasive their procedure is. The less invasive a procedure is, the less pain you feel afterward. 

When it comes to performing minimally invasive procedures, some surgeons are more skilled than others. An example of this is the Deuk Laser Disc Repair which Dr. Ara Deukmedjian developed. It is an endoscopic surgery with a higher success rate than other laser surgeries and traditional fusions. It also requires no metal implant and has the lowest infection rate. Patients who undergo this surgery get to walk home that same day with no internal damage or scarring. 

If you speak to a surgeon and the surgeon suggests getting a metal implant, whether artificial discs or metal screws, it's vital for you to seek a second opinion. Certain institutes suggest metal implants because it is more expensive, and they get paid more. However, metal implants are an invasive procedure with a lengthy recovery period. 

Once you've narrowed down your search for the best spine surgeon in Florida with these questions, there are a few more things to consider before making a decision:

Consultation:

After narrowing down your list of surgeons, the next step is consultation. Consultations are important because they give you the chance to ask your surgeon all the necessary questions and understand the problem, the treatment options, and the next steps. 

Having surgery, especially spine surgery, can be overwhelming. There are usually a million questions going through a patient's head. This is why you must be as well informed as possible. 

If a surgeon dismisses your need to have a consultation, that's usually a sign for you to find a new surgeon. Surgeons who care about your wellbeing will take their time to examine you carefully. Many surgeons are overly reliant on MRI scans which sometimes causes the patient not to get the optimal treatment required. 

During your consultation with a spine surgeon, these are the things you should expect:

  • A review of your medical history
  • A thorough physical examination
  • A walk through the operation and their expectation
  • Discussing the next steps

Also, during the consultation, these are questions you can ask to help you get a better understanding of the situation:

  1. What is the procedure, and why is it being recommended?
  2. Are there any alternatives to consider?
  3. What are the benefits of the procedure?
  4. What are the exact risks involved?
  5. How long is the recovery period?
  6. Are there other materials about this surgery that I can review?

Getting a second opinion

Getting a second opinion is important because it helps you make an informed decision regarding the best treatment for your condition. It can help you assess the risks and benefits of surgery against other alternatives.

Most health plans will require you to obtain a second opinion on non-emergency procedures. Medicare may also cover the cost of obtaining a second opinion. Even if your plan does not require you to get a second opinion, you can still request to get one. 

The only exception is emergency surgeries, which should be performed as quickly as possible.

Also, you should always weigh the necessity of getting a second opinion against the urgency of the medical condition.

10 Best Spine Surgeons In Florida

We've compiled a list of 10 of the best spine surgeons in Florida for you to consider. We've listed their location, credentials, as well as the types of surgeries they specialize in.

1. Dr. Ara Deukmedjian

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About the surgeon: 

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, also known as Dr. Deuk to his patients and colleagues, is a renowned neuro-spine surgeon and a true pioneer in minimally invasive, laser, and endoscopic back, neck, and thoracic pain treatment. Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, who grew up in Southern California, now practices at the Deuk Spine Institute in Florida. 

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian developed his laser procedure called Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Deuk Laser Disk Repair is the most advanced laser spine surgery in the world. This revolutionary procedure is an alternative to dangerous invasive surgeries like total disc replacement or spinal fusion. 

Dr. Deuk has treated over 1,000 herniated or degenerated lumbar discs, performed over 2,000 cervical decompressive discectomies, and performed more than 1,300 laser spine surgeries to date with no complications. 

Deuk Laser Disc Repair has had a 95% success rate with no complications in any patient, which is higher than any other surgery available today. 

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian is a member of the; Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Surgery Department Chair, Parrish Medical Center, and Brevard County Medical Society (President, Board of Governors). He has also been awarded the ‘Patients Choice Award’ for consecutive years.

Surgery types:

  • Deuk Laser Disc Repair
  • Laminectomy / Foraminotomy
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Artificial discs
  • Spinal degenerative deformity correction

Location:

Deuk Spine Institute, Titusville: 494 N Washington Ave Titusville, FL 32796

Deuk Spine Institute, Viera: 7955 Spyglass Hill Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940

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2. Dr. Jeffrey B. Neustadt

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About the surgeon

Jeffrey B. Neustadt, M.D. received his medical degree from Emory University School of medicine. He had his orthopedic residency training at the Jackson Memorial Medical Center/the University of Miami. His pediatric orthopedic fellowship was at The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. 

In 1996, Jeffrey B. Neustadt was chosen by his peers to be included on the list of Best Doctors in America, and he has been chosen annually since then. He is the current Chairman of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. He served as the previous Chairman of the Department of Surgery. 

Dr. Neustadt was board certified in 1992 by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and was recertified in 2012

Surgery types:

He specializes in the treatment of a variety of orthopedic conditions:

  • Scoliosis 
  • Kyphosis
  • Fractures and Trauma
  • General Orthopedics.

Location:

Tampa, FL

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3. Michael A. Gleiber

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About the surgeon

Michael A. Gleiber, MD, is a native of South Florida. He attended The University of Miami, where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree. Dr. Gleiber received his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. 

Dr. Gleiber completed his internship and residency at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Gleiber, after completing his residency, attended The Kenton D. Leatherman Spine Surgery fellowship, where he underwent orthopedic and neurosurgical training in all areas of the spine. He devoted a significant portion of his training during fellowship to treating Spinal cord injuries and spinal trauma. 

Dr. Gleiber is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with multiple awards. He received the Harrison McLaughlin Award for excellence in orthopedic trauma surgery, the Harold M. Dick Award for excellence in orthopedic surgery, the Leonard Marmor Surgical Arthritis Foundation Award, and the Leonard Marmor Surgical Arthritis Foundation Award.

Surgery type:

  • Spinal Trauma
  • Spinal Tumour

Location:

West Palm Beach, FL

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4. Gregory V. Hahn

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About the surgeon

Gregory V. Hahn, M.D. was board certified by The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2001 and was recertified in 2012. Dr. Hahn is an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at John Hopkins University and the former Chief of Staff at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. He is also the past chairman at the Division of Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Hahn received his B. A from the University of Virginia and got his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also carried out his orthopedic residency training. Dr. Hahn completed his fellowship at San Diego Children's Hospital. He enjoys every aspect of pediatric orthopedics and has a special interest in scoliosis.

Surgery specialty:

  • Scoliosis 
  • Kyphosis
  • Fractures and Trauma
  • General Orthopedics.

Location:

Tampa, FL

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5. Hunaldo J. Villalobos

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About the surgeon

Hunaldo J. Villalobos, M.D., FAANS was recently profiled in Orlando Magazine. He is a board-certified neurosurgeon practicing in the greater Orlando, FL area. Dr. Villalobos completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Buffalo, New York, and is fellowship-trained in two disciplines. The two disciplines are Neurosurgical Oncology and Neurosurgery Trauma and Critical Care.

Dr. Villalobos has written book chapters such as Controversies in Neurological Surgery: Neurovascular Disease. He specializes in tumors, trauma treatment, and critical care.

Surgery specialty:

  • Spine Tumor
  • Trauma Treatment

Location:

Orlando, FL

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6. Lloyd Zucker

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About the surgeon:

Lloyd Zucker, MD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon and is the director of Neurosurgical Services at the Delray Medical center and Good Samaritan Hospital. He treats every aspect of neurologic illness, which includes the brain and the spine. Dr. Zucker has dedicated the past two decades to the neurosurgical care of the people of Palm Beach County. 

Dr. Zucker is a graduate with honors from Johns Hopkins University. He had his medical training at Rutgers University, after which he did his residency at the University of Connecticut. He completed his training with a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at the University of South Florida.

Dr. Zucker is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and is the secretary and treasurer of the subcortical surgery.

Surgery specialty:

  • Spinal Surgery

Location:

West Palm Beach, FL

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7. Dr. Milad Alam

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About the surgeon

Dr. Milad Alam is an active member of multiple professional societies, including the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon who completed his medical training at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Alam completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Jackson Memorial and completed his fellowship at Bern University Hospital in Switzerland as a visiting spine fellow.

Dr. Alam has written multiple peer-reviewed journal articles about spine conditions and is dedicated to helping his patients create customized non-surgical and surgical plans for their individual lifestyles.

Surgery specialty:

  • Robotic spine surgery

Location:

Delray Beach, FL

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8. Bret Baynham

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About the surgeon

Bret Baynham, M.D is recognized by many of his peers as one of the pre-eminent physicians in Palm Beach County. Dr. Baynham is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon.

Dr. Baynham completed his internship and residency at the University of Florida Health Science center. He started his private practice in 1993 and focused on the diagnosis and treatment of both Pediatric and Adult Spinal Disorders.

Dr. Baynham served as the Chairman of the Governing Board of St Mary's Medical Center and was the Director of the Pediatric Spine Program at the Nicklaus Children's Hospital. He was also the former Director of the Spine Trauma Program at St Mary's Level 1 Trauma Center

Surgical specialty:

  • Pediatric and Adult Spinal Disorders

Location:

West Palm Beach, FL

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9. Donna Saatman

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About the surgeon

Dr. Saatman is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon who specializes in treating patients that suffer from back pain and neck pain. Dr. Saatman received her medical degree at SUNY Health Science Center and completed her residency at the University of South Florida. Dr. Saatman completed the fellowship program focusing on Neurosurgical Oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center

Surgery Specialty:

  • Spine Tumors

Location:

Ocala, FL

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10. Jonathan Hyde

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About the surgeon

Jonathan Hyde, MD, is a Board Certified orthopedic surgeon and the lead surgeon at Miami Spine Specialists. Dr. Hyde got his degree in medicine from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His first Fellowship was at the Texas Back Institute, where he trained with many renowned physicians.

Dr. Hyde is a Clinical Assistant Professor of orthopedics at Florida International University and a member of the Society of Lateral Access Surgeons (SOLAS). He performs diagnostic and therapeutic injections for varying spinal disorders as part of conservative non-operative spinal care.

Surgery specialty:

  • Spinal Surgery

Location:

Miami Beach, FL

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About Deuk Spine Institute
World leader in Laser Spine Surgery
With world-class physicians on staff, the newest and most advanced technology, and a patient experience pathway that is unrivaled in it’s efficiency and and pedagogy of care, Deuk Spine Institute has performed thousands of procedures and achieves a 95% success rate in elimination of pain.

 The services we offer are not offered anywhere else in the world, and the treatments are curative, not palliative.  On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of each and every patient, and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
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