Neurosurgery: Frequently Asked Questions


“I am experiencing back pain; do I need to have surgery?”
The most common causes of back pain are sprains and overexertion. Usually, you’ll need to rest your back. Sometimes – though less common – physical therapy is needed. If you have intense pain accompanied by a pain shooting down your leg, then you may have a herniated disc. A disc is the cushion between each of the vertebrate in your spine. Each disc is covered by a tough, fibrous tissue which has the consistency of leather. When the covering ruptures, the inside of your disc, which is “the consistency of crab meat” slips out and presses against nerves in your spine. Contact Dr. Sanjay Ghosh at SENTA Clinic to schedule an appointment.

“What do you do to treat ruptured or herniated discs?”
Our surgeons operate to remove the damaged disc and leave more room for the nerves. We take out all the soft disc material that has slipped out of the covering, and about 60 percent of the disc that has not yet slipped out, ruptured or herniated from its cover.

“Do you replace a damaged disc with an artificial disc?”
 Yes we can. If you have a damaged cervical or lumbar disc, we evaluate the need for disectomy, fusion, or replacement. We offer minimally invasive disectomies for lumbar herniated discs, as well as minimally invasive fusions in select patients. In some cases, the artificial disc may be best.

What kind of headaches should I worry about?”
If you experience a sudden, severe headache–the worst headache you’ve ever had in your life–you should go to an Emergency Room immediately. You could have a bleeding aneurysm caused by weakened blood vessels in your brain. This is a very serious condition. A headache that appears every morning and disappears later in the day may indicate a possible brain tumor. You should first check with your primary care doctor who may then refer you to Dr. Sanjay Ghosh at SENTA Clinic.

“How do I know I do not have a brain tumor?”
It is true that sometimes we have illnesses we don’t know about because they have no clear warning signs. But with brain tumors, headaches and neurological deficits, generally, there are symptoms that provide clear warning signs and require a physician office visit. It is unlikely you have a brain tumor if you have normal concentration, memory, vision, balance, and hearing; if you have not experienced a dramatic change in personality; or are not weak on one side of your body. Contact Dr. Sanjay Ghosh at SENTA Clinic for more information or to schedule an appointment.

“If I have a brain procedure will you shave my head?”
In general, it is not necessary to shave your entire head, although the area immediately around the incision must be shaved. If you have surgery scheduled, please feel free to consult your surgeon about this or any other question you might have.

“Where do I go if I have surgery?”
It is best to arrive at the hospital one to two hours before your scheduled surgery. Driving and parking directions are available online.

“What do I need to bring with me to surgery?”
Bring your x-rays and any other medical records you have. Your surgeon will instruct you if you need to bring any additional items. Contact Dr. Sanjay Ghosh at SENTA Clinic for more information or to schedule an appointment.

“How long will I be in the hospital?”
It depends on what type of procedure you have. Your physician will provide you with that information prior to surgery.

“How long will it take to heal?”
The amount of time will depend on what type of surgery you have as well as your condition before surgery. Your physicians will review your treatment and recovery plan with you.

“What should I expect in my recovery?”
Recovery time depends on the kind of procedure, the patient’s age, and health before the procedure. You may have some tenderness around the area of the incision. You will not be able to perform heavy lifting, exercise or activities. As with any procedure, your physician will give you specific directions.

“Am I allowed to see Dr. Ghosh?”
The answer is yes if you have out of network benefits. Our office staff can help determine this before your visit.

“Will it cost me more to see Dr. Ghosh rather than an in-network physician?”
It completely depends on the specific benefits of each individual plan. In many cases, the cost to the patient is the same as if they saw an in-network physician. Our office staff will help you understand the potential costs of your office visit. We will also put in writing the maximum out of pocket costs that you will incur before embarking on any surgical procedures with Dr. Ghosh.

“Where can I find additional information?”