It is understandable to be freaking out about the surgery. Been there. I once contemplated heart surgery in Buenos Aires, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act I was able to get a second opinion in the U.S. from an experienced surgeon who didn't understand why they were pushing surgery with a risk of stroke on me when the lowest dosage of a side effect-free medication works just fine. My surgeons in the U.S. and Buenos Aires were both excellent and I held both in high regard, but in the end I opted for no surgery. But I'm assuming you're either over 26 or didn't have coverage from your parents to begin with. I'm also assuming surgery in your case is absolutely necessary, because it sure sounds like it is! I'm sorry, that really sucks.
When contemplating surgery, it's always a good idea to get a second (and perhaps third) opinion, if possible. If you are 100 percent positive you can't get private insurance in BA, shopping around is also a good idea due to cost issues. I don't know if it would perhaps be cheaper to go directly to a specialist rather than to a hospital. I can give you my spine specialist's info (see below). He is a surgeon with a private practice in Belgrano and he definitely knows his stuff. His walls are covered in degrees, certifications and conference stuff, and considering the amount of traveling he's done I am almost positive he speaks English. He does surgeries at a hospital in the morning and sees patients in the afternoon and evening. I was able to get in to see him very quickly a few months ago when I injured my back.
Luis Rubén Cariola (traumatólogo especialista en columna)
Ciudad de la Paz 1948 PB B