Patient Reviews ?
Before Dr. Refai did my surgery I could not walk farther than 50 yds without a lot of pain. I could not stand for more than 15 mins. and the pain in my back, legs, and feet was getting worse every day. My options were give up and ride a wheel chair or just give up mobility. I had fallen 1yr before and broken my thigh and back. The leg was fixed promptly by another surgeon but the back went untreated and undianosed until I was able to see Dr. Refai. The surgery (in two parts) involved placing a device into my back and securing it with 7 screws. I am 8 months post surgery now and can walk any distance I choose, stand, work and sit. I experienced zero complications from surgery and healed rapidly. The device is supporting fusing and the desired bone growth my back needed. Not a bad 2 sessions work in surgery I'd say and job well done. Thanks
Dr Refai and his staff were impressive. Professional yet kind and very thorough. I am 71 years old and overweight, and Dr. Refai was kind and honest in explaining the difficulties involved in the surgery and the complications which could result from fat. I recommend and would use him in a heartbeat for surgery. His team is excellent.
I am so happy that I was referred to Emory and the selection of doctor, Dr Daniel S. Refai. He has very positive people skills and correcting my L4 & L5 through posterolateral lumber fusion.The severe pains that I was experiencing in back, hips and legs prior to surgery left the day after surgery. Dr. Refai and staff are superb! I am now free of pain that I was having over 3 years. Definitely, I am going to recommend anyone that I know that have the same problem that I had.Job well done and I am most appreciative.
After a failed surgery on his back (scoliosis and vertebral degeneration with nerve entrapment) my 64 year old husband had lost hope. He was no longer able to live the active life he wanted to live. As a professor of nursing, I began to do research to see if there was anybody in the southeast who might be able to help him. I found Dr. Daniel Refai through a thorough internet search and my husband made an appointment. We were both so impressed with Dr. Refai's genuine compassion over David's situation, and although he knew a second surgery would be very tedious and technically difficult, he believed he could help. Now, three months post-op, David is walking for 45 minutes at a time without pain or numbness and he is swimming 20 laps in an Olympic-sized pool three times a week. Dr. Refai helped David to reclaim his life, and for that I will always be thankful. I must mention Dr. Refai's brilliant, skilled, and compassionate office nurse, Shawnee Wallace. She has provided on-going coordination of care and she is a pain management expert. Shawnee makes me very proud to be a nurse. David and I will be nominating her for the AJC Excellence in Nursing Award next spring.
I've had lower back and sciatic pain since my early 20's. Now at 67 years the pain increase in August 2013 and began extremely unbearable. After three steroid shots the pain level remain the same. Dr. Garcia of the Emory Spine Center recommend seeing a surgeon from the same Spine Center. In May 2014 I met Dr. Daniel Refai and he took the time to listen to how my pain level was beyond a scale of 10 and most important my quality of life has been affected. After several tests which include Cardiac Stress test, CT, MRI with contrast, Bone Density, X-Rays, blood tests, etc. It was determine I had a fracture and damage to my L1- L5. On 7/14/14 I had surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown, ATL. The operation which took nearly 6 hours involved a fusion to L1-L5 and inserting a 10" rod and screws in my back. I left the hospital on 7/21/14 and had 4 weeks of in house physical therapy. My life now consists of 1 hour of abdominal isometric exercise and I forget to say "NO BACK PAIN" since the operation. I do have sore muscles but the exercises help resolve it. My thanks and appreciation to Dr. Refai, his staff especially Shawnee, Emory Spine Center and Emory University Hospital Midtown Staff, who improve my quality of life. "Jersey Strong"!
When I went to see Dr. Refai, I could not walk more than 100ft before my feet would go numb. I would have to bend over to relieve the nerves in my back, to stop the numbness in my feet. Dr. Refai right away diagnosed me with Spinal Stenosis. He gave me a couple of options but recommended a Laminectomy. I had the surgery which took a few hours. Come to find out my stenosis was worse than first thought. Dr. Refai managed to cut away the bone and clean the area up from the stenosis. Two days after the surgery I was able to get up and walk around with the help of a walker. I was extremely surprised that there was no tingling or numbness while walking. It's been six weeks and I'm walking one mile a day and back at work. I have been dealing with this stenosis for ten years and now I have my life back! There are no words to describe what Dr. Refai has done! God has truly blessed me by helping to find Dr. Refai Wanted to also mention Shawnee his assistant. She is top notch and helped us with the whole procedure. This definitely helped my wife and I, to put our mind at ease! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
10 months ago I started experiencing extreme pain starting at my left upper hip into my glut and traveling down the side of my calf. After being mis-diagnosed with a pinch nerve from another physician because I did not have an MRI at the time, I waited it out. After 3 months when a pinch nerve should have healed, it had gotten worse. I am a BootCamp fitness trainer and exercise on a daily basis and I thought, How could this be happening to me? I had an MRI and was diagnosed with a Synovial Cyst which had formed between my L4-5 which was secondary to my main problem of Spinal Stenosis/Degenerative Disc Disease. I went to a spinal surgeon with another medical group and he recommended a minimal invasive surgery to clean out between L4-5 and then a bone fusion. I didn't feel comfortable with him as he didn't seem interested in answering my questions/concerns. I dealt with the pain for another month or so before I decided to get an second opinion, that's when I found Dr. Refai. I had to wait 2 months for a consult appointment with him, that was my first sign that he would be the surgeon for me! During my consult he spent a lot of time explaining what was going on with my body and what needed to be done. I immediately knew he could help me and that it was time to have the surgery. On May 7th, I had open surgery to remove the cyst and to have a lumbar fusion between my L4-5. Today is my 12 week post-surgery date. I waited to write this review because I wanted to tell you not only about how incredible Dr. Refai is with what he does but to tell you about how my recovery has developed. I didn't have any review to read about that so I thought you having to read one would help you to understand what exactly to expect. I was scared to death! I had never had surgery or anesthesia so I didn't know what to expect! First. I also want to thank Dr. Refai's nurse, Shawnee....she helped me tremendously through this whole process. She compliments Dr. Refai!! I mentioned that I am a fitness trainer, I am 51 years old and have been exercising regularly since I graduated from college in 1984 so my body was in excellent condition before I had my surgery. I truly believe that because my body was in such good shape that my recovery has been so successful so if you are considering this surgery get out and your body moving and exercise as much as you can even it it's just walking before you have this procedure done. The first 4-5 weeks after surgery aren't pretty! You will need to take lots of pain meds and stay on top of the pain and you will need someone to help you. I was heavily medicated for about 4.5 weeks but I was up and about after 7 days. I started walking with a walker but after 3 days got rid of that. At 2 weeks post surgery I was walking one mile, I was slower then my norm but I was walking and I worked through the pain. After 3 weeks I was out walking 2 miles every morning. After 4 weeks I was walking 2.5 miles every morning but was picking up speed with my walk. At 5 weeks I started weening myself off the drugs...which was hard because I still had the pain and I started back instructing my evening BootCamp class ( I had someone drive me and had a chair to sit in when needed). At 6 weeks I was drug free, driving and was back instructing all 3 of my BootCamp Teams (two in the morning, one in the evening). I was NOT doing any exercises but was there. After trying for 2 weeks, at 8 weeks I was able to hold a plank and was up to walking with my dogs at a vigorous pace for up 4 miles daily. From weeks 8-12 I have noticed myself getting stronger and stronger each week...and I kept wearing my brace when I was up and active. At my 7-week post surgery appt. with Dr. Refai he did not prescribe physical therapy for me because of my fitness background, instead he encouraged me to try different exercises to see what I could and could not do. Each week I have discovered different things I can do. I am not exercising full capacity at 12 weeks post surgery but I am out walking up to 5 miles at times plus doing some exercises that I can do without causing too much discomfort. I know I am not the normal patient who undergoes this surgery. My review to you is to encourage you to have the procedure so that you can eventually get back your quality of life. I waited 7 months before I had my surgery...that was 7 months of pain and misery. Immediately after surgery, leg pain was gone and the rehab was started. At 12 weeks post-surgery I will say that it was worth it. I have some days when I hurt and know it is because I tend to overdo and push myself too much, on those days I take it easy and take a valium before I go to bed. I know I still have a more recovery ahead of me but I know that in time I will prevail and be back at 100%! If you decide to have this surgery.... Listen to Dr. Refai so your body is ready to recover if you have this surgery....lose weight, don't smoke, condition your body....this way you will be able to recover better. Thank you again Dr. Refai and Shawnee for helping me! I know this is a long review but I hope that my words of experience will help you or someone you know who is experiencing a decline in the quality of life due to back issues like I have experienced! Don't be scared! Let Dr. Refai help you! He's the BEST!!!! Good luck!
I appreciated Dr.Rafai's honesty and knowledge regarding my diagnosis. He kept open communication with me and my family and had incredible bedside manner. Dr.Rafai listened to my concerns and now I am pain free!
The surgery, in hospital, as well as outpatient care was above and beyond what was expected.
Dr. Refai was straight forward and conservative in his approach towards my problem. He explained what the problem was, the risks involved, the time frame in which surgery was warranted. He is conservative and wanted the best outcome. If I needed this surgery again, I'd go straight to him. But his secret weapon, my hero, is his nurse Shawnee who managed my pain meds and side effects in a warm and loving and understanding way. She talked me off a mental ledge and I cried at her and she was sweet, had a plan and then told me to take action. I could not have done it without her. I met her at my consultation and she was the first person I spoke to when I got home. She made sure I was taken care for physically and mentally and am so grateful for her. The nurse matters a lot! Once the surgeons operation is over your nurse manages your post op concerns and problems. I now completely understand why people love nurses. But Shawnee made the experience tolerable. I needed her and her tough loving mothering style more than I can put into words.
My experience with Dr. Refai was excellent. I found both his skill as a surgeon and his bedside manner to be superior. He clearly cares about his patients and is very bright, confident, and capable. I felt like he worked *with* me and truly listened to my needs as well as provided honest and straightforward feedback about our options (surgical and non-surgical). It is clear that he won't perform unnecessary surgery. After we exhausted all other medical, pharmacological, and therapeutic options, in the end, I needed surgery (a laminectomy and discectomy in my lower back), which he performed. I am very pleased with the result. I can walk again! I also would like to commend Dr. Refai's office staff and nurse, Shawnee Wallace. Everyone there is caring and kind, but she in particular shines as smart and efficient and very quick to respond to my calls and emails. When we ran into troubles with my insurance the day before surgery, she and the other office staff helped me navigate with ease. I feel strongly supported and like they are my advocates. Additionally, Shawnee has made herself available to me, before and after surgery, as a resource for any of my questions. I would recommend Dr. Refai and his team to anyone who needs back surgery. They are a very busy group, so if you know you have a problem, I recommend calling as soon as possible to get on their calendar to avoid a wait. But even with a wait, it is worth it to be in the hands of such a capable, skilled, and caring surgeron.
I Broke My Neck at Home By Falling Three Years Ago and Had to have a Rod and 10 Screws Put In, Had it at Snellville, Ga. But I had been in pain the last three years, I had so much pressure in the back of my neck that was pushing me forward and had 3 bones that was sticking up (not thru the skin) that hurt all time and Dr. Daniel Refai Done Surgery on me March 27-2014, He shaved the bones down that was sticking up and he relieved the pressure I had in the back of my neck, I am 64 years old and a Diabetic, I was afraid to have the surgery But I have Done Wonderful and Have not had near the pain that I had three years ago after my surgery, The Other Doctor used staples and Dr. Refai used Glue, he Knew Exactly what to do To Help me, I can't begin to tell you how Happy I am that I Found Dr. Refai. Just Six weeks after surgery I hardly have any pain and I can Turn My Head already without much pain at all, I Highly Recommend Dr Daniel Refai and His Nurse Shawnee Wallace is Wonderful and very Helpful Also, Dr Refai ia a Very caring Doctor and Now a days you don't find that in every Doctor, I Just Can't say enough Good things About Him. If You Would Ever Like to call me My Phone Number is 770-963-0019
Dr. Refai specializes in neuroorthopedic surgery and is a master. I've had two procedures (known as anterior diskectomy and fixation) to correct outlet obstruction at C3-4 and later at C5-6 and C7-Ti. His work is superb and the end result was the disappearance of pain, restoration of sensation and regaining of strength . If you have this procedure, expect difficulty in phonation and swallowing for several weeks to a month post-op (this comes with the territory and is to be expected). Dr. Refai is a warm, gracious and concerned physician who was a pleasure to work with.
I was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis which was causing me to have neck pain and weakness and numbness in my arm, hands and fingers. I needed help with dressing and grooming and I love to fish and could not tie a knot on a hook. Thanks to Dr. Refai and the surgery he performed my problems were resolved. I can now tie a knot and get dressed and do other basic things that I could not do before without help. Dr. Refai took time to explain the procedure in detail and I am very pleased with the outcome. I would highly recommend Dr. Refai as a neurosurgeon.
Can't say enough positive things regarding Dr. Refai. He exceeded all of the expectations given and he made the entire experience of pre-op, surgery and post-op far easier and better than I had allowed myself to expect.
I had a benign schwannoma tumor grow into my spinal canal in my neck. Dr. Refai quickly realized the gravity of the situation after seeing my initial MRI, and demanded I immediately check myself in for surgery. He took pictures during the surgery, and the technical work was incredible to see afterward. It was a major surgery, but now a year later I am pretty much back to normal. The tumor was squeezing my spinal cord to the point of me beginning to lose control of my arms and legs. He literally saved my life - I was close to becoming a quadriplegic. I highly recommend him and his very capable team at the Emory Midtown hospital.
I waited a long time (over and hour) to see his PA and then longer to see him. He was rude, arrogant and dismissive. He didn't feel like i should have surgery and that he definitely would not do it -- his medical opinion was fine - but his delivery was condescending and his bedside manner was terrible. I feel like I wasted my time and money to see him. He wouldn't even give me a recommendation as to what I should do since he didn't think I should have surgery (been trying conservative treatments for over a year now) -- just said you came for a surgical opinion and that is mine - we are done - and left the room. After all the four star reviews on here I was really let down. He didn't have to agree to surgery for me to give him a good review as i am not eager to be operated on, but he could have been nice and compassionate towards a sub group of us back suffers -- who have enough damage to be in pain and impaired - but apparently not enough to be the "proper" candidates for surgery. He told me that he know who goes through surgery well and who does not and that I would not -- I guess 3 minutes is enough to make that determination as he was only in the room with me for 5 all together.
Dr. Refai was the only doctor that could help with my back issues. My surgery was very delicate as a disc was pressing against the spinal column. My incision was 15-16 inches and I did not have the first stitch, he glued the skin. Therefore I barely have a scar, it looks like a pencil mark straight down my back. He was very reassuring and make me feel confident. I now am walking, and sitting without pain. He answered all my questions before and after surgery . His office nurse returned all my calls or answered all my emails. He really cares about his patients and referred me to a hip surgeon.
If you are in need of a thoracic surgeon - this is definitely the person that you want! The level of care, professionalism, and expertise that we experienced here is out of this world! Please do not hesitate to call - everyone that we encountered at this office was awesome.
I came to Dr. Refai after most discouraged me because of the very poor condition of my back. I needed surgery on all three sections of my back. Dr. Refai was direct with me which is what I needed. I was over a hundred pounds overweight and he explained that he was afraid I wouldn't make it through the surgery due to my weight. But he offered me hope in that if I could lose weight he would do the necessary surgery. He also suggested that I speak to Dr. Findley to discuss gastric surgery since I was unable to exercise due to my back. Dr. Finlay did excellent surgery and I lost 100 pounds and returned to Dr. Refai. He made me feel that he was so proud of what I had accomplished. Had my first surgery on my neck in January and have recovered very well with that surgery. I can now walk with a cane and had been in a wheelchair prior to surgery. Gained my balance back. My next surgery on my mid-back in scheduled in April. I would highly recommend Dr. Refai and his direct approach to this process. You can't recover overnight from years of issues, but he will help you get through the process. I have already recommended him to several friends. He is an excellent Neurosurgeon!!
I would give Dr. Daniel ReFai five stars of excellence. PROFESSIONALISM KNOWLEDGE COMPASSION ATTENTION TO DETAIL FOLLOW THROUGH YOU ARE MY HERO...YOU ARE THE BEST!! Thank you!!
Dr. Refai did cervical fusion surgery on me about a month ago. He was very professional and the surgery went well.
my first impression was wrong this doctor is awsome everything he said was spot on. i would like to tell him thanks for giving me a better life. no more pain in my shoulders and neck. first he got me to stop smoking then fixed me and hus staff is the best. i like the fact that he works with other doctors during surgerys, i had a thoart surgeon help too.best doctor for this type of surgery. dont let your first visit scare you he knows what he is doing.
I had been dealing with a CSF leak for almost five months when I met Dr. Refai. It was the second one I'd had, and it had kept me on bedrest for four months because I was pregnant and the four non-invasive blood patches that had been attempted weren't working. I met him on a Friday and he literally agreed to do my surgery 9 days later because I wanted to have it done before my preemie came home from the NICU. His approach, demeanor and expertise made me immediately comfortable - and the surgery ended up being much more complicated than either of us had imagined - but he removed C7, patched the degenerative area and sewed me back up. I am now seven weeks post-op, and while I have a bit of neck/shoulder/back pain from my recovery, my headaches are GONE. Even my scar looks FANTASTIC. I was and have been overwhelmed by his warmth, knowledge and interest in my well-being, and I am indebted to him - and to his staff - for LIFE!!!!
I would highly recommend Dr. Refai to anyone needing spinal surgery. Initially, I was so impressed with the time he took to talk with me and answer any questions that both my husband and I had. The decision to go ahead with surgery was entirely up to us. I was fully confident that with his diagnosis and surgical experience I would be fine. I just went for my CT scan after a year and all is well. I have been golfing and enjoying life pain free.
I was so pleased with Dr Refai and his staff. The hospitality was awesome. I was very pleased with Lauren and Shawnee as well. If I ever hear of anyone that have neck problems and need a doctor I will definitely refer them to Dr Refai. Thanks again Dr Refai!!!!!!!
I immediately felt comfortable with Dr. Refai and his team. He didn't sugar coat my situation or his surgical recommendation. He spent time examining me and giving me options. I saw him several times and his pre-surgery visit eased me even more. His entire team was just as thoughtful and confident. I'm currently recovering nicely and am already feeling my pre-surgery symptoms going away. I had been in pain so long and it feels so good to know that I see a brighter future. Thank you Dr. Refai, Shawnee and everyone else at Emory. You can't imagine what you've given me and my family and I hope you know that.
Dealing with Dr. Refai was one of the best experience I have ever had with the medical industry. He will make you trust doctors all over again. He is the kind of person that cares about making your quality of life the best it can possible be. What I like most, is that he gets excited about healing you and I think that is an important quality that is missing in the medical industry. I would refer him to anybody that I felt he could help like he helped me. He turned my life around, so if there is anything he needs me to do to help him I am there. Thanks for my life back Sir
My Mother was a patient of Daniel S. Refai. He did a VERY SERIOUS surgery on her neck that also included coordinating the surgery with an ENT Specialist also. Dr. Refai was a wonderful, compassionate & caring Dr. Our experience with him was exceptional!! We ended up in ICU for like 12 to 13 days instead of the 2 days originally planned after surgery. We had our whole family there or at least several there every day in the ICU waiting room. He and his Associates came by to talk with us all every day to explain my Mother's condition and they were wonderful at keeping us updated on her progress. I also loved Dr. Refai's Nurse, Shawnee. She was always available to help with the details and help us whenever needed. We would definitely refer them to anyone looking to have serious spine surgery. I sure hope we don't need surgery again any time soon, but if we did that's exactly who I'd want to operate on any of my family members!!!!
I would consider my experience with Dr. Refai and his staff excellent. I had a small blip with Emory insurance people, but that was quickly resolved. The front office staff were always quick and efficient. Even when I was late, I was seen in about 15 minutes or so. His nurse and PA were involved and interested in my situation. They return emails promptly, follow-ed up with me within a day or so, and are committed to the entire process. I had three vertebrae fused and the surgery was successful. The recovery was tough, but shorter than anticipated. What I appreciated most was that I felt I was in competent, skilled hands. I wanted information, options, decisions, then efficiency. I believe I got that. Thanks Doc !
After enduring many years of back pain and after exhausting all conservative treatments, it became apparent that I needed fusion surgery to treat my back caused by profound degenerative discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1. Despite living in Atlanta, GA, I was initially referred to the MAYO clinic in Jacksonville, FL because of their outstanding reputation for spinal surgery. I met with a neurosurgeon who recommended a controversial exam called a discogram, which is designed to determine the origin of my back pain. This exam demonstrated that I indeed needed fusion surgery and he recommended a posterior 3 level procedure using an insert into the disc spaces composed of a scaffold and a sponge saturated with a protein called bone morphogenic protein which recruits bone cells necessary for fusion to occur. With many questions still unanswered, I returned home and decided to consult with another neurosurgeon. After much research, I decided to make an appointment with Dr. Refai. My initial impression was excellent. He reviewed all of the data and recommended fusion surgery as well; however, he carefully explained that not only would he only fuse 2 vertebrae (not 3), but also he strongly recommended an anterior approach because of a much shorter recovery time interval. I found him to be professional, compassionate, a good listener, and he explained his justifications for his recommendations in language that I could readily understand. Furthermore, he explained the risks and benefits and the success rate in his practice compared to the national rates for the same procedure. His success rates are higher because he carefully selects his patients. In other words, if he feels as if he would be unable to help you, then he will not operate. This approach was very encouraging to me and I decided to have Dr. Refai perform the surgery rather than going back to the MAYO Clinic. I also had the opportunity to meet with his team; namely, Jessica, P.A. and Shawnee, RN both of whom are excellent. The surgery went very well and now I am 5 months beyond my surgical date. My pain level has dropped precipitously, but not to zero. Shawnee, who held my hand throughout the recovery period, is one of the kindest, honest, uplifting, helpful, and spiritual persons I have ever known. I don't know what I would have done without her always within close reach whenever the need arose. Dr. Refai is extremely happy with my outcome and expects me to lead a normal life within a short time. I am beyond grateful to him and his team and would highly recommend this very caring highly skilled surgeon to anyone in search of surgical back pain relief.
Dr. Refai and his staff took care of both me and my son. I had to have a 4 level cervical fusion and my son had a T6 herniated disk. The entire experience was wonderful and I am very thankful for Dr. Refai and his staff.
Dr. Refai came into my life back in October after I had a year of pain and suffering. I had been told by the orthopedic surgeon I was seeing I needed lumbar fusion. My family wanted me to get a second opinion and see a neurosurgeon. That's when Dr. Refai comes into the picture. A friend gave me his name and phone number and three weeks later I was sitting in his office. He agreed the surgery was inevitable and felt that I would have good results. Three weeks later I had the surgery. And five days later I went home pain free. No pain, no spasms, no pain meds taken! After six weeks in recovery I've been released from the doctor for six months. If you have back problems get that second opinion. See Dr. Refai and his staff. He is confident and truly cares about his patients. He is dedicated to making his patients whole again.
Dr Refai was / is excellent. He takes time with the family and patient. Very thorough, caring, concerned. He Diagnosed my problem and was right on target -- the afternoon of my surgery , I saw immediate resultss. IF I need any more surgery on the spine HE IS MY DR . RECOMMEND HIM TO ANY ONE NEEDING A GREAT SURGEON FOR SPINE !!!
I had a tumor (ping-pong ball sized) removed from my spine between the L1 & L2 region. I was in a great deal of pain before the surgery, and once this diagnosis was made, Dr. Refai removed the tumor within weeks. Although it was a difficult and painful major surgery, I am almost fully recovered and have none of the painful symptoms that I had previously. Dr. Refai is extremely knowledgeable and courteous and cares about his patients. His staff is extraordinarily courteous and knowledgeable as well. My experience could not have been better with Dr. Refai and the Emory Health Care Center.
I was in a serious automobile accident in December 2010. I suffered a disc herniation to my neck. I started seeing Dr. Daniel Refai following the accident. After exhausting all non surgical treatment for the disc herniation, I underwent ACDF (anterior cervical disc fusion) at C6-C7 in August of 2012. Dr. Refai performed the surgery at Emory Hospital and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. He was very thorough and complete in the explanation of the procedure. He took his time to answer any and all questions that both my husband and I had about the surgery, as well our questions regarding post-op recovery. Dr. Refai is very professional and personable and did an excellent job with not only my surgery, but all of my treatment as well. He took whatever time was needed in easing my mind with regard to the surgery. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who needs neurosurgical treatment. His knowledge and expertise in the neurosurgical field is outstanding. His nurse, Shawnee, and staff did an excellent job as well. Should future treatment/surgery be required, I will definitely return to Dr. Refai.
I was referred to Dr Refai in November of 2012, after seeing a local neurosurgeon for a second opinion. I had 3 failed back surgeries and a spinal cord stimulator that was not going to work with my situation. I had been in horrible pain for the past 3 years and allergies to pain medications complicated my situation. Dr Refai explained what he thought was the best approach and after a myleogram, we had a game plan. But a broken ankle put things on hold for months. After re-grouping from the break, surgery was scheduled in June. We both knew going into this .....that it was going to be tough. I had surgery on a Thursday and to everyone's surprise, went home on the following Monday. After hardware was removed, spinal cord stimulator removed and more hardware placed, I felt better in 3 days than I had in the past years. I jumped up and ran fast and am still running. I told Dr Refai, he gave me my life back. For those who have written negative comments, you obviously have not had a really bad experience with a surgeon and the results of bad surgery. This doctor really cares about his patients. His nurse Shawnee was awesome. She kept me straight on all the things that I needed to do through emails and phone calls. She is a sweetheart and I am thankful everyday that I was referred to this practice.
I was refered to Dr. Refai from another neurosurgeron who had a great reputation but would not operate on me due to the possible outcomes of this very delicate operation. After reviewing my records and MRI's , he walked into the exam room and asked me if I would like to be relieved of 95% of my pain. A resounding yes sprang from my lips , after years of debilitating pain I was willing to chance the possible outcomes, all of which was quite negative. A successful outcome resulted due to Dr. Refai's skill and expertise.
He and his radiologist didn't even report on the sequestered disc at l2 which I was there for. It was not until I had the radiologist review the results did they even see the lesion and put an addendum on the report. My home town radiologist had to correct them. Thoroughly not impressed and I'm a physician. A most unfortunate experience.
very personable Dr. took time with me as patient and my family; very thorough in explaining procedure and diagnosis. staff was also superb very attentive to every need or request. I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM TO ANYONE NEEDING A NEUROSURGEON.
Dr. Refai saw me in June 2012 and strongly recommended spinal surgery to remove a small tumor at the base of my spine, even though the odds were that it was benign. The surgery was done in early August and my recovery was even quicker than he had thought. He was professional, compassionate and patient, answering numerous questions from both my wife and myself. Every aspect of his care was superb!
After struggling with neck pain for a number of years, my symptoms werehad deteriated to constant pain, numbness and tingling in my face, neck and shoulder. My internist referred me to the Emory Ortho and Spine Center. After a number of tests, I met with Dr. Daniel Refai. He explained my problem in great detail, giving me treatment options and the relative risk for each option. I found his recommendations consistent with the xrays and complete enough for me to make a reasonable decision regarding treatment. We scheduled surgery and he repaired 3 discs in my neck. The surgery, recovery and healing process went exactly as he had outlined. I have now been released to normal activity and have no symptoms whatsoever!! Dr. Refai has given me new freedom to normal activities without pain and I will forever be grateful for his expert treatment.
If you are the least bit overweight this man will not treat you. If he had listened he would've heard that I was there because i was falling. He thought I was there for back pain but was too busy telling me to lose 60 pounds. (I need to lose 30 according to my doctor.) He is, at best, an idiot egomaniac. Oh please don't waste your time.
In Oct. 2011, my husband Gerry, 72, sustained a brain injury, central and anterior spinal cord injuries (C-4) in a fall. He was unable to move from the neck down when he was transferred to Emory Midtown from Atlanta Medical Center.The surgeon on his case, Dr. Refai elected to operate after increasing blood flow to the spinal cord for a few days. To complicate matters Gerry had severe spinal stenosis in the neck and other medical problems. Dr. Refail told me he felt Gerry's best chance for any recovery was surgery. A few days afrer Dr. Refai operated Gerry was transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, where he stayed for 5 months. In Feb. 2012 he returned home and has been in therapy with Dr. Stephaneie Palma at North Georgia University. Over the past 18 months Gerry has slowly regained use of his arms --though not completely up to his former strength but close-- he is out of the wheelchair and is using a walker with the possibility of moving on to a cane. He has regained bladder control (the supra pubix was removed two months ago) and bowel control. I believe none of this progress would have been achieved if Dr. Refai had not operated on Gerry when and how he did, Medical professionals are amazed by his progress over the last 18 month. As Gerry's wife and caregiver, I was most grateful for Dr. Refai's caring attitude, patience with my questions and positive approach.
My mother suffered back and hip pain for nearly a year. After seeking out help from a number of doctors and specialists, I finally set up an appointment to see Dr. Monson at Emory Clinic. After seeing my mom, Dr. Monson immediately referred her to Dr. Refai. Dr. Refai diagnosed spinal stenosis and scheduled her for a spinal laminectomy. Two weeks later my mom had surgery. The results of the surgery have been nothing short of miraculous. My mother's pain is completely gone and she has all of her mobility back. Before the surgery she could hardly walk. The surgery was so effective that my mom was able to return to her part-time work as a nursing professor two weeks earlier than projected. All this and my mom is 72 years old. I love the Emory system and Dr. Refai is an exceptional surgeon. I am very thankful we found him.
Dr. Refai immediately diagnosed my thoraic problem, was very patient as he explained the problem and the surgical cure. He performed the surgery at EMory Mid-Town, Atlanta on December 13, 2012 and the results were excellent. I will schedule another surgical procedure in the fall of 2013 and he has already given me a lot of information about the procedure. He is an excellent diagnostician, surgeon and a very caring person.
This guy has an ego a mile long. He operated on me but today I am still unsure if he was even in the operating room. I never saw him following my surger or prior to my release from Emory Hospital. I would never recommend him.
After 5 - 7 years of suffering from lower back and left hip pain along with constant gradual loss of function of my right leg, bowell and bladder I was reffered to the Emory Spine Center. After the intial mass was discovered at the T12 vertbrae I was finally referred to Dr. Daniel Refai.Dr. Refai saw me on a Friday he clearly and carefully explained all that he saw on the MRI and admitted me to the Hospital on a Saturday with surgery taking place on Monday. Dr. Refai made immediate changes to his schedule to fit me in while never mentioning any problem or issue this caused him. After 7 hours of surgery Dr. Refai had removed the turmor and spent all the necessary time explaining the details to my family later that night. His professionalism is unmatched ! His bedside manner is absolutley perfect !Following surgery I have had NO back pain, NO hip pain, I have more function of my right leg then at any time in the last 5 - 7 years. Dr. Refai has been spot on about every detail all through the process. It is hard to imagine where I would be had I not been treated by this outstanding Doctor. Dr. Refai and his entire staff are the VERY BEST I have ever dealt with. Should you ever find yourself with any issues related to your spine there is really only one Doctor in the USA that you want treating you and that is Dr. Daniel Refai.I am forever grateful for the outstanding care and treatment I recieved from Dr. Refai. He is simply the very best !Best Regards,Doug House
Dr. Refai did an outstanding surgery on my back. I had suffered w/increasing pain in my lumbar spine for years.I was blessed to be put in contact w/Dr. Refai. He told us he felt he could help me and did. I was hospitalized for 2 wks. w/him or a staff Dr. coming by each day. They were all concerned and knowledgable of my surgery. After 3 mos..I am now pain free in my back w/the surgical pain getting better each day. Dr. Refai did more than expected and I would highly recommend him. I feel he is an honest and caring physican.
Having to stay in the hospital for 10 days was just a little trying, however, my caregivers and physicians ,Dr. Refai and Dr. Stewart, were top notch. There are not enough stars to check off on this survey. Without surgery I would more than likely be in a wheelchair. I am now fully healed, riding bikes, walking, gardening and horseriding. Their combined skill and care were extroidinary.
Fall from a 16' ladder in 2003 resulted in L-1,L-2 & L-3 bursting into my spine.Surgery was performed @ Emery Universityhospital by Dr. William Hortman to Fuse L-1,L2 & L-3. A rib was removed from the right side to be used in this procedure. This surgery was a complete success. In 2010 I began to notice pain in my left hip & leg. My Internist diagnoised that most likely L-4 & L-5 was deterorating. June 2011, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Daniel Refai. After Xrays & an MRI, he confirmed the vertabraes were degenerating & scheduled me for decompression surgery in August 2011 to try & avoid more extensive surgery. After a few weeks, the pain returned to my left hip & left leg. In Dec. 2011,Dr. Refai fused L-4 & L-5. I have not had any pain in My Hip or Leg in the 4 months since surgery.
Waited 2 hours to see this jerk. Should have checked his ego at the door. With only 5 years experience, he obviously has not realized how far a compassionate and humble attitude can take his practice. Waste of time and money.
Dr. Daniel Refai is a miracle worker. I had neck problems for almost 20 years with 2 prior surgeries. I was told by 4 other surgeons that surgery was not a possibility and my prognosis was to get worse until I was paralyzed. I was physically addicted to morphine among other things which I had been taking for several years. Dr. Refai insisted that I stop taking the narcotics before he would do the surgery. He made me wait for 6 months, which shows he's not knife happy. Today I am contemplating going back to work after not being able to work at all for 3 years now. I have taken no pain killers since those given by Dr. Refai and I don't want or need them, not even tylenol. I feel like a new woman and can't wait to live my life. To me this is miraculous, I thought my life was over, it's just begun. Thank you so much Dr. Refai, I am eternally grateful to you and Emory.
In August 2010, my back was in continuous pain. I could not find a position that would give relief. I had previously received epidurals at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center that had relieved pain in the neck and shoulder area approximately five years earlier. From August to December I received three series of epidural shots on each side between the L5 and S1 which appeared to be pinching the nerve on each side. The epidurals dulled the pain but caused my legs to feel heavy and difficult to walk. I was 72 years old at the time. Emory made a MRI and a consultation appointment was made with Dr. Daniel Refai. Dr. Refai showed me on his I-Pad the MRI of the spinal stenosis from L3 L5 with the L5 out of place and explained the remedy. He stated he could relieve 90% of the pain due to the spinal stenosis but would wait until the surgery on deciding what would be done with the L5. Being a snow skier and an active person, I felt spinal surgery was the last resort and had several questions: 1) would I be able to ski after the surgery - Dr. Refai said yes but recommended not skiing moguls, 2) would I be able to ski 2010-2011 Dr. Refai said no, 3) I had season ski passes for 2010-2011 in Colorado with reservations for skiing most of the month of February; therefore could I have the surgery in March Dr. Refai stated skiing would not cause further damage if I could withstand the pain and asked if I wanted a prescription for pain. I told Dr. Refai the epidurals had given me enough relief that I didnt need the medication. However, the next week a sharp pain went down my right leg to my knee and it felt as if the knee exploded. Even during the ice storm and difficulty for personnel to get to the office, Dr. Refai, RN Holly Doe and Emory rescheduled and the surgery was performed in January 2011. I had the surgery on a Friday morning and left Mid-Town Emory on Sunday. I was totally painless from spinal stenosis immediately, Dr. Refai recommended core exercises and Im able to perform work around the house that I have not been able to do in ten years. A letter signed by Dr. Refai giving the spinal surgery as cause for not being able to use my 2010-2011 seasonal ski pass allowed me to receive my money back except administrative fee and I already have my 2011-2012 seasonal ski pass. I think Dr. Daniel Refai, RN Dolly Doe and Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center is a blessing to all of us in the Metro Atlanta Area. Thanks, HET
I had been having back problems pretty much all my life. I am now 55 years old and had Dr. Daniel Refai perform surgery on me in mid Feb 2011 at Emory (Mid Town, Atlanta) with OUTSTANDING results. This guy met with me, told me how he could correct all my problems, answered all my questions (which were numerous) and was dead on in everything he told me. His entire operating staff at Emory came and spoke to me before my operation and were so very freindly, polite, and professional I just couldn't get over it. I have been around a while now and in my 55 years of life I wouild reccomend Dr Refai (and his great staff)to any and all I know, if they are have the same back troubles I was having (mainly spinal stenosis and compresstion problems). Just a few months ago I could not walk more than a couple of minutes at a time, now 13 weeks after my surgery (as of 5-17-11) I am already up to 2 to even 3 miles of brisk walking per day with no breaks! I feel like I am 25 years old again. I would like to thank Dr. (my new best friend) Refai for giving me my life back. I will never forget him. - MA
I am a female; sixty-nine years old and I never had surgery. I had been to therapy many times, and had numerous steroid injections on my lumbar spine. The last few injections did not relieve my sciatic nerve pain down my legs. I struggled to walk, and I feared surgery. After getting two opinions from local doctors, surgery was the only answer to my problem. I called Emory Orthopedics & Spine Center, and was able to get an appointment with Dr. Daniel Refai. He was the answer to my prayers. He put me at ease immediately and assured me that he felt surgery would help me with my pain. On October 25, 2010, Lumbar Laminectomy with Pedicle Screw Fixation Surgery, and as soon as I awoke in the recovery room, I knew I had my life back. I could actually move my legs, pain free. From that day until now (six months later), I have experienced zero pain and only minor discomfort from my surgery. The care that I received was excellent. In my opinion, Dr. Refai, his nurse, Holly Doe and Emory Hospital are rated a ten plus on a scale of ten. Anyone with spinal problems, I immediately tell them where he or she can get relief, and get it with first class care. My surgery was on a Monday - I came home on Thursday. On Saturday, I made homemade soup from scratch and served my husband. On Sunday, I did laundry. The following Monday, I drove myself to the grocery store and shopped (Holly fussed at me a little for that). Four weeks later was Thanksgiving and I had my three children, their spouses and five grandchildren for dinner. I surprise them by doing all the shopping and cooking. However, I let them clean the kitchen while I played dodge ball and rode scooters with my grandchildren.This spring I have been able to work in my flower garden, pain free for the first time in many years. I was even able to lift forty-pound bags of top soil as well as bags of mulch.Bottom line, if you are suffering with spinal problems, Dr. Refai may be your answer to a new life without pain. His knowledge, skills, and bedside manner are excellent. He was definitely for me.Barbara T.
I found Dr Refai after being referred to someone else in his practice that could not see me for months, but was told Dr Refai had availability. I intended to get 2-3 opinions before agreeing to have surgery, therefore I took the appointment. Since Dr Refai joined Emory Spine at the beginning of 2010, I could not find any reviews of him but I liked his credentials and was anxious to meet him. After meeting with him one time, I cancelled the other appointments. Dr Refai performed a laminectomy on L4/5 in February. I was not one of the people that was instantly free of pain after surgery. I was in the majority of people that need time for the sciatic pain to calm down, which it did in eight weeks. Dr Refai and his nurse, Holly, are amazing! In the first few weeks, I emailed his nurse frequently with questions. She would discuss it with Dr Refai, and she always responded within hours. I know many of the ortho doctors in Atlanta after years of back pain related to spinal stenosis. I think I was lucky to find Dr Refai when I did. I disagree with the first two reviewers regarding arrogance. I found Dr Refai to be extremely considerate, professional and giving of his time. He diagnosed my situation exactly as it was suggested by my Physiatrist and others. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion based on what is true to them. However, I would not let another person's subjective perception about arrogance sway me when making a decision about finding the right person to operate on my spine! I chose Dr Refai based on his education, experience, and yes, bedside manner.
A physician of neurosurgery and orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center in Atlanta, GA (USA), Daniel S. Refai, M.D., came very highly recommended to me by other Emory Healthcare hospitalists and neurosurgeons. His scholarly preparation for his career goals is impeccable, and he adheres to high, ethical standards as prescribed by his profession.The assessment meeting was our first meeting; I was very impressed with Dr. Refai and his direct, efficient communication. He very carefully articulated the risks and benefits of thoracic spine surgery (a corepectomy procedure) to prevent me from becoming a paraplegic. The conversation was flexible enough to allow me to ask questions. I was surprised at how well Dr. Refai had scoped this conversation, leaving only a few questions left on my list to address. Dr. Refai wanted to involve key surgeons and was willing to coordinate schedules to accommodate this need.Holly Doe, Nurse to Dr. Daniel Refai, was very helpful in working with me to schedule a time for the back surgery so that a carefully selected team of experts could participate. She worked with me via phone and electronic mail; the letters were helpful in the pre-planning phases of the work. Dr. Refai and his highly skilled neurosurgery resident, Marshall Cain, were extremely helpful. They very carefully articulated the tasks that might be challenging for me. With the encouragement of this team of doctors and their support staff, I was able to effectively use respiratory therapies to increase the strength of my lungs following the surgery.Prior to the surgery, Dr. Refai shared with me one of the recent images showing the deterioration of the spine. After seeing this visual, I knew that time was also critical. Thoracic vertebraes T10 and T11 were damaged from bacteria from a prior blood infection. During the surgery, Dr. Refai removed the damaged vertebraes and changed my spine angle from a very bent 35 degree angle to a nearly perfect angle of 11 degrees. He used hardware to correct the spine alignment. On vertebraes T9 and T12, he placed a plate. He then used titanium cages filled with my own crushed rib to begin the fusion process. Lab reports following the surgery indicated successful eradication of the bacteria from this area.Dr. Refai made numerous follow-up visits while I was in the intensive care and surgical units of the hospital. As I prepared for the challenging acute rehabilitation program, Dr. Refai had the goal for me to be able to walk. I met this goal after much hard work. Now, my task is to focus on healing and to continue the physical therapies that I have already learned.It was a delightful surprise to receive a post surgery call from Dr. Refai at my home. He phoned me to find out if I had any additional questions and to see how the recovery was going. The surgery went exceptionally well for the degree of damage to the spine from the prior infection. It gives me great pleasure to recommend Dr. Daniel Refai to you.You may also like to read his new book available from Amazon entitled, Take It from an Intern: Medical Advice from a Brain Surgeon Kindle Edition (June 16, 2010).Submitted by: Gloria A. Reece, Ed.D.
During 2007 I started having leg pain which I later discovered, by Dr. Michael Schaufele of Emory, was due to a herniated disc and spinal stenosis. The condition continued to get worse where epidurals were no longer relieving my pain. In January 2011 I was referred to Dr. Daniel Rafai of Emory for surgery evaluation. After researching Dr. Rafais education, background and credentials I decided to make an appointment. Dr. Rafai explained to me in layman terms why my condition was worsening and probably would continue to do so. He recommended surgery and detailed what he would be doing during the surgery. Im now six weeks post-surgery and pain free, walking one to two miles every other day, working out at the gym and back to my regular life. Fourteen hours after surgery I was walking the hall ways of Emory Midtown. I have the upmost confidence in Dr. Refai, finding him accessible and very easy to talk with. Like some other post on the blog I may have waited thirty or forty minutes but I also realize there are others going through the same or worse pain. I will be 66 in May and feel better than when I was fifty. Sanders Dupree
I had spinal surgery at Emory Hospital done by Dr. Refai. I had excellent care by him and the staff at Emory during my stay there. During and after my surgery, the doctor made sure that my husband was kept fully informed of my progress. Dr. Refai checked on me every day during my stay in the hospital, and has made several phone calls to my home to check on my progress.Dr. Refai is one of the most professional doctors that I have experienced...and he seems genuinely concerned about my health. He is an excellent surgeon and I would want him again if I had to have another operation. Based on my experience I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND him to anyone who needs spinal surgery.
I just returned home after back surgery for a herniated disk with Dr. Refai. He gave me excellent, personal care. His nurse, Holly, was also exceptional. I hardly waited anytime at all to see him. When one does have to wait for a surgeon, it may be because they have an emergency. I do not mind waiting in that situation because frankly it could be me needing him for an emergency, and I would like to know that he places emergencies as a priority. I was reluctant to have surgery because I wanted to pursue a non invasive solution. He gave me an excellent evaluation based on my MRI and unique situation. I am in the healthcare profession myself. Many believe that surgery is the only answer. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't the solution. Dr. Refai gave me an extremely well informed opinion based on my unique case. I received great care. I knew one of the surgery nurses who was present during my surgery and she was also impressed with the quality of the surgery. He followed up with me during my stay at the hospital. He was very nice and down to earth. He called me himself to find out how I was doing and spent a great deal of time on the phone answering my questions. As a person, I liked him a great deal and more importantly trust him. I am having my mother in law come from across the country to be evaluated by him as well because I trust his opinion. She is elderly and a complicated case and needs surgeon who can assess her with the highest standard of care. I know, too, that she will feel as comfortable with him as I did. I would highly recommend him. Anne
I recently had spine surgery at Emory. Dr. Refai not only was a superb surgeon, but followed up with me EVERY DAY, in-person at the hospital. He was so caring and compassionate, even showing up at 8am on a Saturday. Thank you so much!
My actual wait time was over an hour and a half... just as the person that rated him before me, I too found him to be arrogant and exceptionally rude. He couldn't care less about your wait time, your pain or what your there for. I would NEVER recommend this "Dr." to anyone EVER...it's one thing to be skilled and educated and it's another to have all that AND compassion which he does not have. Just goes to show that you CANNOT go by credentials on a website alone. He needs to check his inflated ego at the door before he enters to talk to a patient.
I have been under treatment for a herniated disc and spinal stenosis for the last seven months, all confirmed on MRI. I was referred to this doctor for a surgical evaluation. I found him to be pompous and uncaring. His diagnosis was nothing like my previous physiatrist who has been treating me and I question the accuracy of Dr. Refai's diagnosis of my problem. I am seeking another opinion. Don't waste your time seeing this doctor, there are better more caring doctors out there.I would never recommend this doctor to anyone. Dr. Refai is new to Emory so easier to get into see more quickly. I have been told Dr. Rhodts in this same practice is excellent but his appointments are booked months out and it is not easy to get into see him if you are in pain. I now wish I had waited to see Dr. Rhodts.