Patient Reviews ?
My orthopedic surgeon called one day and I was in the next day for an appointment. Waited 30 minutes to get in which I thought was amazing that I could get to see him that quick. Scheduled me for back surgery following hip replacement which I had from Doctor Schwartzman on July 8; 2013. Back surgery on July 30, 2013. He was very courteous and took the time to talk to us and the surgery went as he predicted. Came out of surgery with no pain. In fact no pain from either surgery. I would recommend him and think he did an excellent job. Good doctor.. I have not had to go back following the 6 week visit. I liked him a lot.
If there were a million neurosurgeons and I needed more surgery - I would search him out. He was my miracle!
Dr. Montalbano undoubtedly has an excellent degree of technical expertise as a surgeon in his chosen field, and I'm sure he's had a great number of successful cases. However, in my case, his rush to use the latest and greatest mechanical device to come down the pike has cost me dearly. I had a three-level cervical (C-3-4-5) fusion in which he inserted a Harms cage in my cervical spine. I had concerns regarding this new device and said so; when I asked why not simply use the 'old-fashioned' method of fusion, he strongly recommended the Harms cage and I trusted him to know. As a result I will live with excruciating pain for the rest of my life, relieved only slightly by medication. In addition, following the surgery the doctor promptly left on vacation within hours after my surgery and forgot to include orders for post-operative pain medication. Were it not for my wife literally raising h--- in the hospital and insisting the nurses find a doctor who would give the order for pain meds my ordeal would have been even worse than it was. I've had other neurosurgery performed by other doctors, all with excellent outcomes and no problems. There was a definite and distinct lack of bedside manner; I got a very strong impression he was way too busy and important to spend any more time with his patients (in hospital or office) than what the bare minimum required. Nor was there any respectfully listening to what I had to say or the questions I asked. Then to top it all off, his cost for the surgery was exorbitant, almost three times more expensive than customary (according to my insurance company) and I was left with a huge bill even after my insurance paid.
Dr. Montalbono may not have the best, bedside manner in the state. But he is a great surgeon. I've been recommended to him over and over again by trusted sources and other surgeons who've worked with him. I may not like his shortness, and bedside manner much but that doesn't mean he isn't still good at what he does. I have had two surgery's with him. Both times he did an excellent job. The second one was a lower back fusion. I am very pleased with the outcome. He properly medicated me after the surgery and while I was in the hospital. To me this is key. Because if the pain is too much and they won't listen to you... Then that's a problem. Which turns a surgery into a horrific event. I've had other surgeons not do a good job but are too cocky to admit that they may have screwed up. Leaving me in severe pain and suffering as a result. Montalbono is not likely to screw up but I know that if I had a complication he would listen. Now that said... Every doctor is out there to make money. I'm not going to be upset with him for that. So long as he is properly and adequately taking care of me. To me that means, not leaving me in pain! When I couldn't afford insurance or had insurance issue's he's opted for physical therapy. It didn't make me happy but there really isn't anything that he can do. He can't go around doing delicate serious surgery for free. So I understand that. Anyway, I hope this helps someone else.
Think twice especially if you are dealing with Work Comp. He works for and with WC to get you back to work asap, even if you are still having issues. He will swear that your MRI's and xrays are wonderful and your symptoms don't go along with how "perfect" your scans are. He doesn't try to figure out anything else.. he's ready to ignore anything else. Also make sure you check to see what hospitals he can perform surgery at. From what I understand, he NO longer does surgery at St. Alphonsus or St. Lukes.
It has now been 5 days since my L5 S1 discectomy. My surgery lasted 20 minutes. Dr. Montalbano came right out to the waiting room and spoke with my husband and folks. It all went as discussed. Dr. Montalbano's PA, Debbie came in later when I woke and answered every question we had. Then Dr. Montalbano came in himself with Debbie and wanted to check in as well. I know that some have said he has done otherwise, I'm not sure what the circumstances were, I can only tell you about my situation. Dr. Montalbano was very accomodating and understood my desire to use ibprofin instead of pain meds. Yes I did receive those as well to take home IF I needed them. I reached out to SEVERAL doctors in our Boise area about his character, professionalism and experience. I received nothing but fabulous referrals about his work and results. I feel I did what I needed to make sure I was doing the right thing with the right specialist. If Dr. Montalbano has done anything inethical, he wouldn't be practicing, let alone having fellow collegues speaking nothing but wonderful things he has done for patients. :)
First of all as the person below seems to be a expert in neurosurgery I would highly recommend doing research in the State of Idaho it is the #1 state per capita for back surgery. Stating that you can only imagine the quality of surgeons who are available. And to say that it is a "club" would be a understatement. They all are friends and to really get a unbiased opinion I would head out of state. Paul Montalbono is by far THE worst Doctor I have been too. I was very naive I thought if you had the title of Doctor that in some way shape or form it meant that you have my best interest you have taken a oath to protect my life so with that I trust your judgement and have complete faith in you and your level of expertise. I will NEVER trust another Doctor thanks to Montalbono. At first I believed he was the best. Time would soon tell that with every surgery I was worse off then the first. A microdisectomy lasted 7-8 hours. Woke up with permenant nerve damage and yes I fight for my life every day. After 6 weeks a spinal cord stimulator was discussed...thought it would help with the nerve damage etc...never resolved. I have now gone out of State to California with world class Doctors who work on proffessional athletes. As it has been stated" I cannot fix what happened to you in Idaho, you will have permenant problems for the rest of your life." Please do not be ignorant in your road to recovery. Research if you need to go out of State then go..do not put your life in this persons hand. Yes,he is a human being and at one time I had all the respect for him..however, Dr Montalbono does more damage then he helps. Take it from me do not trust him. Real Doctors Stanford board Doctors have taken time 1-2 hours to explain exactly what they are going to do and how and what to expect. There is NO EXCUSE for a DR to not explain what he is electing to do. Do not be ignorant. Do not be naive. Be your own advocate and demand a explanation as to why and how before you allow someone to open you up. 7 surgeries later trust me. I have nothing to lose and nothing to gain. Dr Montalbono you need to find a new proffession...just saying! BTW...I had a surgeon in CA operate on me he noticed I needed a fusion and NO I did not wake up with a fusion. PlZ! No excuse to have that happen on any grounds or on any terms unless they are saving your life from death.
For starters, we all have different personalities. And sometimes they don't get along with others very well. When I read some of these reviews, it makes me wonder what REALLY happened. For some to say that a procedure was done without their consent is inaccurate. You sign a form that states there MAY be another route that needs to occur in order to make the procedure a success. All of this is discussed PRIOR to surgery. Any lawsuits spoken of are available for anyone to see and read to educate themselves on what really happened. READ BEFORE YOU MISREPRESENT YOURSELF! As for my appointment...we did wait an hour to see Dr. Montalbano. In the process his P.A. came in to evaluate me and go over my medical history. The doctor does look over BEFORE the appointment. He didn't go over it with me. Nothing big, however, Dr. Montalbano did take the time to look at my MRI and discuss options. I mentioned I wanted a second opinion and he was all for it. Dr. Montalbano took the time to find another doctor that was in clinic that day for me to get in. The whole procedure was explained to us. All of our questions were answered. Again, please just keep in mind that you are looking for the BEST surgeon for you, not a best friend. Yes, bedside manner is nice, however, if you're a negative person who complains about everyday life in general, you're going to be that person with your injury before and after...in lamin terms...if you're a pain in the butt with everyday life, you're gonna be a pain in the butt healing. :)
Maybe a good surgeon, although my outcome has not been positive, doctor definately needs a lot of work on social skills. Very full of himself. Not willing to discuss other options or possibilities for my recovery. While I was always on time, there was a long wait to get into an exam room and at least a 30 to 45 minute wait for a 3 minute consult. Tough to sit that long with back injury. Not willing to listen to concerns regarding my recovery. Seemed focused on a timeline when things should happen, instead of realizing that patients recover at different speeds. Went in with one serious condition, had surgery and now have ended up with a disabling condition, which he thinks is made up. Tell that to my leg that doesn't function anymore. Office staff is rude, except to themselves. We were treated as if we were the bubble gum from the bottom of their shoes. Be cautious in your selection. Seek a second opinion before making a decision. If you are having back issues, read up on the condition called FAILED BACK SURGERY.
This has to be the worst experience I have ever had seeing a Dr. Left work on my time, to my scheduled appointment where I waited 30 minutes in lobby and over an hour past my scheduled time in an exam room... I finally went out and complained, when right after he came in... spent all of a minute with me, thru my MRI result that I brought on a chair and told me I needed another MRI of the Lumbar that the Thorasic MRI I brought was of no good to him.. never even looked at the images on the screen of my spine that the medical assistant brought up.. What a JERK... Told me I needed to see a General Surgeon to see as I was also complaining of pain in front which a pain specialist told me was from nerve issues in my back... He had the gall to tell me it was a hernia.. I will NEVER NEVER go back to him and am going to tell everyone I know to Not go to him Worst BEDSIDE MANNER ever. Never said sorry for being late. Very full of himself and I really think he is in the wrong profession, He is out for the money and money only not to help anyone. Truth hurts Dr.. doesn't it? Maybe you should step off your high horse and take a spoon full of your own medicine.. JERK
I have a family member who had a brain tumor removed. We waited 2 hours for the consult and he spent two minutes with us. At the surgery, he was late, when we waited to speak to him about how things went, we waited an hour in the consult area to get 10 minutes with him, 5 of which were completely nonmedical related. He never addressed any family members, only one of us. Then sends the patient out with only one consult from PT and a total of 2 days in the hospital with zero advice regarding care at home. Denies a referral to neurorehab 3 times after falls and patient confusion. In the meantime, at our follow ups, listens to our concerns, and completely ignored them. Spent 5 minutes with us, then leaves the room after telling us he would be right back. This is about as bad as it gets. He has a great skillset but by far the worst bedside manner, arogant full of himself, attitude I have ever witness. And take it from me, who is a medical professional who deals with jerks all day long, but he takes it to a new level. Get a second opinion before doing anything with this guy!! Or be ready to turn him into the medical ethics board, like everyone else has!
He has to be one of the worst doctors I've met. He seemed to do an OK job with my spinal fusion but during the 6 days I was in the hospital following my surgery he didn't visit me once. The only time he stopped by the hospital was on the day I was being released so he could sign the discharge papers. I have over 15 follow-up visits with him and he never spent more then 2 minutes in each visit and rarely spoke directly to me. My wife attended all appointments and he would only speak to her. What kind of doctor does a 4-level spinal fusion and doesn't check on the patient at the hospital. In addition, how do you know if the patient is doing better if you don't listen to what they say. He tells me I am fine now and when I tell him my back still hurts terribly, he ignores me. He won't let me see another doctor because he says I am fine. Worst doctor ever. Be careful agreeing to have him as your doctor especially if you are in a workers compensation case because once you see him you won't be able to see anyone else and he will say whatever the insurance company tells him to say. He owns the hospital where the surgery was done and he owns the imaging company where the MRIs were done. He is in the back pocket of the insurance companies and he will do and say whatever they tell him to say. WATCH OUT!
My case had been misdiagnosed by another doctor. By the time I ended up in St. Al's ER, I couldn't walk. Dr. Monteblano accurately diagnosed the problem, had me moved when St.Al's OR became backed up due to a car accident and operated that afternoon at St. Luke's. I was up and walking the next afternoon. I am very happy with the outcome. He was always considerate and treated me and my husband every well.
very poor follow-updoes not return callsnot personable
my wife waited more than 36 hours on a backboard with a neck brace and was denied a sip of water or even a sliver of ice, while we waited for Montalbano to review xrays and c-scans. when he finally graced us with his presence, he spent less than one minute with her, answered none of our questions, and didn't touch the patient.maybe a good surgeon, but a poor excuse for a human being
Dr is not a title this "doctor" deserves! I had a microdiscetomy and not to mention three other surgeries with this Doctor. I waited hours to see him He spent a total of ten minutes with me and spent HOURS operating on me.... I have sought out other care as my symptoms have not resolved and I know he botched my back as I have other real Doctors explain to me. BEWARE of Montalbono! I would NEVER let him touch me again! There is a reason he lost his privlages with St Als! Look up lawsuits and his name he works for the insurance company and his goal is NOT to give you your life back to make money! I REPEAT DO NOT LET HIM TOUCH YOUR BACK Y
I found this really appropriate to post for all those patients that have experienced Dr. Montalbano's put downs or his retaliation from a Supreme court case: "On the other hand, the record shows that the proceedings were instituted for valid reasons. It discloses that Montalbano had previously had repeated behavioral issues in the hospital setting. Disruptive behavior by a physician can have an adverse impact on hospital patient care and can give rise to limitation or removal of a physicians hospital privileges. See Miller v. St. Alphonsus The Fair Hearing Panel recited numerous alleged conduct violations on the part of Montalbano dating back to 2001, a number of which were found to constitute policy violations, some of which resulted in corrective action. The complaint that gave rise to the present proceeding resulted in a finding by the panel that Montalbano had engaged in disruptive behavior with regard to a patient who desired to fire him. The panel noted that during the pendency of the proceedings on that matter, Montalbano had filed complaints against three other physicians, which were found to have been in retaliation and to be conduct negatively affecting the operation of the hospital. It seems apparent that the Hospital had good reason to take action regarding the allegations of disruptive behavior and that the proceedings were not merely a pretext for stifling competition."
Not only did we wait forever to see Montebano, but when we did see him, he mostly spent time talking about how much money he made rather than diagnosing the problem. a complete was of money and time.
Montalbano likes patients that heal fast, don't have much pain, that don't ask too many questions. His appointments last two minutes and then he figures out a way to leave the room before he answers questions. God help patients that fall outside his cookie cutter approach. If you need an MRI at Sage, he's all over it, because he owns it. It's ridiculous. Don't give one cent of you money and don't trust him with your health.
Dr. Montalbano likes to take things out-a friend told me. I went to him with numbness in my arm. He told me I had two disc needing repair. After surgery, he did not tell me, I found out on my own he took out a vertabra, fuzzed my disc making 5 discs fuzzed. I have been told by numerous docs not to have 5 fuzzed. I discovered my missing vertabrae on an xray. When I asked him why he took it out he just said because it had to come out. He has not answered any of my questions. He has a terrible bedside manner and he only spent a few minutes at a time with me. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and he was flabbergasted at why Montalbano took out my vertebrae and fuzzed me. He neeeds to be stopped.
He is rude,arragant spend no time with patients.He is rude to hosptal staff.He doesn't talk to you,or even want to hear what you have to say,or ask.Doesn't admit to wrong doings.I wouldn't send my dog to him......TOTAL CLASS A JERK!
The doctor had a great personality, for the 2 minutes I saw him on visits. He would practically run out of the room as soon as he could leaving many questions unanswered. I was lucky and my surgery wasn't a complete flop. I will admit my symptons are better, but I had 2 back to back herniated discs and only took care of 1.
Dr. Montalbano is kind, caring and an excellent surgeon. I highly recommend him and cannot thank him enough for restoring my mobility and eliminating my pain
Dr. Montalbano is a horrible Dr. If he is your Dr. for the workmans comp case be very careful. Get an attorney before everything is done because it might be too late. He will screw you over. He operated on my back (herniated disk) and after that my back and leg symptoms got way worse. After the surgery arachnoiditis showed up and surgery can be one of the causes for it. There is no cure for that. This Dr. just listens to what the insurance companies tell him. He spends no more than 2 minutes in the exam room with the patient.