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What to Expect with IONM

Affordable and noninvasive, neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring helps protect your central nervous system during high-risk surgery.

After you and your doctor have discussed surgery and decided neurophysiological monitoring is necessary, your doctor’s surgical staff will contact the Head and Spine Institute to request an IONM clinician who specializes in your procedure. In addition to being in the operation room for the duration of your procedure, we help you focus on a full and fast recovery by handling any paperwork for your insurance claims.

Before Your Surgery

If you are undergoing an invasive procedure that puts your central nervous system at risk, such as an orthopedic, neurological or neurovascular operation, your doctor will decide which IONM tests may be best. Once you’ve consented to neurophysiological monitoring, you may receive the forms necessary to file a claim with your health insurance carrier. If you need help completing these forms or have any questions about reimbursement, our administrative staff is happy to help.

The Day of Surgery

Your IONM clinician from the Head and Spine Institute arrives early to prepare all necessary equipment and electrodes. They also may write up a brief medical history to document the reason for surgery, the type of surgery, and a description of current symptoms. You also may receive a short physical examination to establish pre-operative functionality.

Your clinician and surgeon may also prepare a neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring plan. This determines where the clinician will place IONM electrodes, which varies based on your surgeon’s preferences, as well as the type and site of procedure to be performed. Additional electrodes may be applied by the surgical team once you arrive in the operating room.

In the Operating Room

Your surgical team explains the process for anesthesia and outlines expectations, then your clinician records pre-operative baseline data as you fall asleep. This data is used as a guide by your surgeon throughout the procedure and may include a number of different electrophysiological tests depending on your type of surgery.

During Your Surgery

The primary goal for neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring is to report information that may improve your post-operative results and recovery. All data acquired as your procedure progresses is communicated to an onsite neurophysiologist and your surgical team. In the event that changes occur, the clinician immediately alerts the OR team who chooses how to modify the procedure to best minimize risk.

End of Surgery

The IONM clinician removes all electrodes and typically waits for you to awake from anesthesia. You’ll need a short neurological examination before you’re taken to recovery. This is performed by your surgeon to determine post-operative functioning.

After Your Surgery

The Head and Spine Institute team first generates a report from your IONM data. We then file your insurance claim and invoice your carrier. Our administrative staff works hard to get you the best reimbursement results possible. If you need additional payment assistance, our collections specialists are available by calling 972-786-6167.

Additional Information
If you have any questions or concerns about your neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring services from the Head and Spine Institute, please read our “list of Patient FAQs” or call us at 972-786-6167.