Prior to making an appointment, Mr Heppner will require a referral from either your family doctor, a specialist or a physiotherapist.
Peter is a New Zealand & Australian trained Neurosurgeon with subspecialty fellowship training in spinal surgery, based in Auckland, New Zealand.READ BIO
- FRACS (Neurosurgery)2007
- FRCS (Glasgow)1999
- BHB, MBChB (Auckland)1996
Should I “Google” my condition?
The internet is potentially a powerful tool for patient education. It can, however, provide confusing and, at times, misleading advice and cannot take into consideration the specific nuances of each case. Much “information” on the internet is little more than advertising for specific doctors, units or companies. Dr Heppner believes that the best way to answer your specific questions is by having a direct face to face discussion with an appropriately trained and accredited surgeon. In a typical new patient appointment 45 minutes is dedicated to this process and sometimes further appointments are required to fully understand all treatment options. If, after this, you would like more information, Dr Heppner is happy to direct you to reputable websites with high quality, unbiased information.
Should I have my Surgery in Public or Private?
Most neurosurgical conditions can be treated in either the public or private sector. Ascot Hospital in Auckland is equipped with the most up to date state of the art microscopes and neuro navigation equipment, coupled with a well resourced High Dependency Unit. Alternatively, treatment can be undertaken at Auckland City Hospital which is one of the largest neurosurgical units in Australasia and has an excellent reputation for high quality care. Dr Heppner would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these options with you.
Will my Insurance cover Treatment?
This will depend on the specific policy that you have taken out and the company with which you are insured. Most insurance companies will cover any procedure recommended by a registered neurosurgeon. Some companies, however, have a list of operations covered and a number of the operations performed by neurosurgeons may not be on that list.
If your insurance policy does not reimburse the full cost of surgery, the copayments can be relatively high, given the complexity of neurosurgical operations. If your surgery is declined by your insurance company or the co-payment is prohibitive, Dr Heppner will work with you to arrange an alternative plan for your treatment.
When can I drive after surgery?
It is advisable to avoid driving for 2 weeks after spinal surgery. If you are having cranial surgery the law requires you to stand down for between 6 weeks and 6 months, depending on the type of operation being performed. This can be clarified during your consultation.
Where will my operation be performed?
Dr Heppner operates in private at Ascot Hospital in Greenlane. In public he operates at Auckland City Hospital and Starship Children's Hospital in Grafton.
I take non prescription medications (herbal, naturopathic, etc). Should I continue these if I am having surgery?
Some herbal medications have blood thinning properties which can increase the risk of bleeding complications with surgery. It is advisable to stop all non prescription medications for 2 weeks before surgery.
- Any CDs of Xrays or Scans relating to your current medical problem along with the reports.
- Any reports from other medical specialists who have seen you regarding this current medical problem.
- A medication list with dosages relating to any medication you may be taking.
- If you have been in a hospital in relation to your current problem please bring a copy of the Discharge Summary.
- You are very welcome to bring along a support person who can be both reassuring and help with your understanding of the consultation and discussion.
A typical first consultation takes around 45 minutes. During this a thorough history and examination will be taken. After this any imaging that has been performed will be reviewed and a plan made. Often this will include further imaging. Most brain and spine conditions require an MRI scan (or CT) to guide treatment. At a subsequent consultation, the results of any investigations will be discussed and a plan for treatment (surgical or non surgical) and follow up will be made.
Mauranui Clinic has off street parking behind building.