Frequently Asked Questions

Please find a list of FAQ’s below to help you through your journey with us. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Please remember to obtain and bring the following to your appointments:

  •  Current relevant X-rays and/or scans. Our doctors prefer to review images on film, as images on CD are sometimes incompatible with software used in this Practice. If you have had any scans/x-rays prior to the appointment, or are unable to obtain your scans/x-rays in the preferred format, please call our office to discuss your options as some companies make them available to our Doctors online. (Failure to bring images may require an additional appointment so that the Doctor can properly assess your condition.)
  • Current referral, Medicare or DVA card and Private Health insurance details
  • Your appointment letter
  • Completed patient details and privacy policy forms

Please note the relevant forms will also be emailed or posted to you.

What is the consultation fee?

As this is a private medical practice, there is a consultation fee that will be payable on the day.  Some of this fee will be covered by Medicare.  At the time you making your appointment, the consultation fee will be discussed.

What can I claim from my health fund?

Private health insurance does not cover your appointment fees with your surgeon, though you will receive a Medicare refund.

You may be covered by your insurer for your surgical procedure. If you and your surgeon have decided surgery is the best option for you, an estimate of medical fees with a detailed list of item numbers will be provided to you. It is important you contact your private health insurer to make sure you are covered for the surgery you need and what sort of a refund you can expect from the item numbers you have been quoted.

How long will it take to get an appointment?

Typically, new patient appointments can be made within 2-3 weeks. If, upon review of your referral, your surgeon feels that you need to be seen sooner, we can usually accommodate urgent referrals.

What is the difference between a Neurosurgeon and Orthopaedic spinal surgeon?

The main difference between an orthopaedic spinal surgeon and neurosurgeon is that an orthopaedic spinal surgeon tends to specialise in paediatric and adult scoliosis and other spinal deformities, whereas neurosurgeons specialise in treating conditions affecting the spinal canal including spinal cord tumours, Chiari malformation and spina bifida.

Both specialists are adept at performing cervical, thoracic, and lumbar surgery, including spinal cord and nerve decompression, spinal fusion, microsurgery and minimally-invasive spine surgery.

How much will my surgery cost?

BrizBrain & Spine choose to use the Australian Medical Association schedule of fees as a guideline for billing. Our practice provides informed financial consent before your operation. If you are in a health fund, you may be covered for your surgery. Hospital cover does not include Doctor Cover, which is why there is a gap or fees charged by our practice. Please refer to your private insurance policy for further information.

When can I drive following surgery?

This will depend on the procedure. Generally, it is advised not to drive for at least two weeks after spinal surgery, or longer depending on the procedure. Driving after brain surgery needs to be discussed with your treating surgeon.

When can I fly home?

Your specific medical condition will determine when you can fly. Most airlines will require a signed medical clearance from your treating specialist before you are able to board a flight.  These forms can be obtained from your airline. Some links to the most common airlines are below for your convenience:

Virgin Australia medical clearance information

Jetstar medical clearance information

Qantas medical clearance information

When can I return to work?

This is dependent on the type of surgery you have had.  Clearance is usually given at your post op appointment, which scheduled for 4 – 6 weeks after surgery.