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Neurosurgery Care from the Comfort of Home

By Kushal Shah, MD, neurosurgeon

June 19, 2020

When you think about telehealth, brain surgery probably isn't the first kind of care that comes to mind.

In fact, a variety of brain and spine conditions can be evaluated and treated virtually through telehealth visits. That means you can get a lot of the care you need by connecting with a provider from the comfort of your home.

Brain tumors, spinal disorders, neurovascular conditions, pain and seizure disorders and peripheral nerve ailments are just some of the conditions we can evaluate and diagnose in a telehealth visit. Through this virtual care platform, we can design and begin personalized treatment plans.

We can accomplish a lot together in a neurosurgical telehealth visit:

  • Your doctor can use the video function to perform a neurological exam.
  • Your doctor can review your MRI and CT images with you.
  • Your family members or caregivers can take part in the visit, whether they're sitting beside you or in their own homes.
  • If it's determined you need surgery, we can schedule it at the end of your telehealth visit.
  • We can use telehealth for follow-up and post-operative visits, including to review imaging and evaluate incisions.

If you live far away from your doctor, telehealth can save you the time and cost of travel. If you live nearby, you may simply prefer the convenience and comfort telehealth visits offer. If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone with audio and video capabilities and an internet connection, you can securely connect with your provider to receive care.

While we need to see you in person for actual surgeries and procedures, you might be surprised by just how much neurosurgical care we can provide by telehealth. Still not convinced? Let's answer a few questions we’re often asked.

  • Yes, you can. Your doctor can evaluate you for a brain tumor diagnosis by telehealth, reviewing your imaging and performing a physical exam. Appropriate, in-person treatment can be scheduled based on the findings.

  • No. Telehealth has been used for many years. It has become much more common in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as patients can obtain important healthcare while minimizing risk.

  • Yes. The University of Kansas Health System uses the licensed version of Zoom® to ensure we can conduct meaningful telehealth visits in a secure, private manner.

  • You shouldn't need another visit to accomplish the same goals as the telehealth visit. We can effectively evaluate you, review scans, develop treatment plans and schedule next steps by telehealth. Your personalized treatment plan may require other visits to occur in person, such as to perform procedures or surgeries.

  • Yes. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover your telehealth visit. You can contact your insurance carrier directly with specific questions.

  • Call 913-588-1227 and let the scheduler know you would prefer a telehealth visit. You will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare for the telehealth visit.

Kushal Shah

Kushal Shah, MD

Dr. Shah is a neurosurgeon who specializes in complex cranial procedures and treatment of a variety of spinal disorders. He completed a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at the University of Indiana Goodman Campbell Brain & Spine after completing his neurosurgery residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

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