Jane Saunders had been dealing with pain in her back, hip and leg for almost 10 years. She eventually sought help from Dr. John Cuff when her pain kept her from enjoying gardening and spending time with her daughter and grandchildren. When radiology imaging revealed stenosis and a disc bulge she knew something had to be done. After having surgery on the left and ride sides of her lower back she no longer has the burning sensation or pain that hindered her from doing her favorite things for so long. She says “I’ve recommended Dr. Cuff to many friends. He’s the best surgeon I’ve ever encountered.”
Daniel Anderson thought that crippling back pain would always be a part of his life. For the past nine years, Anderson has kept the UGA campus beautiful as an employee in the horticultural/grounds department. But, the physically demanding job took a toll on his lower back. He hoped the pain would eventually go away, but instead it escalated until he was barely able to walk. A trip to the chiropractor revealed that the culprit was a herniated disk. Concerned friends recommended that Anderson give GNS a call, and after a consultation with Dr. Bruner, he had surgery at the GNS Surgery Center to repair the herniated disk and remove his arthritis. In just three days he was back on his feet, and in three weeks he was back on the job. Agonizing pain is no longer a part of Daniel Anderson’s daily life.
For Tim, having surgery was all about getting rid of pain and getting back to his active life. His herniated disc was keeping him from kayaking, riding his motorcycle and many other activities that he enjoyed. “The Wednesday before Christmas I woke up and couldn’t walk,” Tim explains. A close friend, who is also a local physician, recommended Dr. John Cuff. When talking about his relationship with Dr. Cuff, Tim refers to the “chain of trust” that led him to his office. Tim was pleased that Dr. Cuff was able to quickly diagnose his disc issue as something he could effectively treat. When it came to choosing between an ambulatory surgery center over a hospital setting, Tim saw clear advantages in the contained surgery center environment. “I felt perfectly safe going [to the Surgery Center]… Sick people are [at the hospital]. That’s why they go there. The Surgery Center is a whole different thing. It’s there to treat some specific problems.” As for the surgery itself, Tim recalls his amazement at the efficiency of the Surgery Center. According to Tim, Dr. Cuff began his procedure at 8:30 a.m. and by 10:21 a.m. Tim was walking into the waiting room. “I have to tell people, they didn’t wheel me in, in a wheelchair. I walked in. It’s just great. It’s been great ever since.” Tim was especially pleased with the concern shown for his family while he was in the operating room. “…My father, mother and best friend were there, and they all told me that the staff there had really taken care of them…,” he says. “You didn’t just care of me – that’s your job; that’s what you are supposed to do – but you took care of my family and I really appreciate that.” Tim, a sales engineer, was pleasantly surprised that he was able to return to full work status within three weeks of his surgery. “The day after surgery I walked a mile, in five little walks. The Sunday after surgery (this was Friday that I had it), I walked four miles in five or six little walks…” “…I was out of work for a week and then I worked from home for two weeks.” Pain medications had also been a concern of Tim’s, but he found that they were unnecessary only a week after his procedure. “…By Wednesday I had already been cutting down on the pain meds… Friday was the last half of a pain pill I took. I was only on the pain meds for a week. I was never in pain again.” Through it all, Tim was taken aback by the care he received from the Georgia Neurological Surgery/GNS Surgery Center team: “[From] the lady that met me at the front desk to the surgeon, particularly the people at the Surgery Center, the staff here has just been over the top, exceeded my expectations. […] You know, I couldn’t believe that after the surgery [someone from the Surgery Center] called me. And, if I called with a question somebody called me back within an hour with an answer, and always with a ‘If there’s anything night or day you call us.’ […] Everybody’s just so nice and they really want to help you, and you see that when you walk in.” Tim recalls coming into the office with questions for his provider: “…I had my iPad with a list of questions – when can I do this, is it okay to do that. […] I even apologized […] She was just like, ‘…We want to get everything answered.’ […] They want to make sure that every question I’ve got is addressed. They don’t want me sitting there wondering.” “…everybody is just so professional and so helpful. You just can’t fake that day-to-day.” Tim’s only complaint? Laughing, he says, “…the coffee is too weak.” Tim, we’re working on that.