Chiari Online Support Group

Private surgery UK



I just wondered if anyone has had Chiari surgery privately in the UK, and if you don’t mind me asking… how much was this?

Reason I ask is because I saw my neurosurgeon yesterday and he advised surgery for me (I have a 15mm herniation with blocked csf flow posteriorly and significantly reduced anteriorly), however, he said the NHS neurosurgery waiting list is approx 3 months or more at the moment. I understand it is not urgent in relation to other surgeries other people require, but my employers have stopped me working as a result of my symptoms and three months is a long time for me to be off work prior to even having surgery.

Its very unlikely i could ever afford care privately, but I just thought i’d ask you all.

Thanks, Amy xx


I would also be interested. I’ve got a private appointment with a neurosurgeon next Friday so would be good to have an idea. I’m also in the UK.


I am in Canada and about 7 years ago, my husband checked out the price of surgery in the US which was $100,000 dollars American. This did not include pre-consultation and testing nor follow-up. Follow-up could be done in Canada. I am thinking that a 3 month wait would be more financially advantageous depending on UK differences in the cost of private medicine.

It is a shame that you do not have sick time nor short-term disability with work. Financially, Chiari can take a toll on a family. I would suggest making as many changes as you can to mitigate financial loss, as debt during an illness can be debilitation. Also, post-surgical recovery can be hampered if you are worried about money. There are lots of stories here and elsewhere about people who go back to work too early and compromise their health.

Good luck in making decisions!

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I have to agree with Gabby, although that 3 months maybe stressful but It could also have advantages, especially considering the financial toll. If it’s at all possible I would suggest obtaining total permanent disability (TPD) cover AND income protection (IP) cover as soon as practicably possible. At least this way you have some sort of cover if the whole process does not go to plan. Personally I was SO lucky that I had such cover. I’ve required a few neurosurgeries and although the first couple went according to plan (well, sort of anyway). The last few operations did NOT go to plan. My plan was to be returning to work, well, that didn’t happen and although the actual claiming of the insurance was not a straight forward process, the income protection covered my 85% of my normal income whilst I was recovering from the surgery. When that recovery didn’t recover I could then claim the TPD portion of my cover. Had I not had that cover I would have lost my house as well as had my condition to battle.

If you can use that wait time constructively and put things in place to cover yourself and your loved ones all the better. Look, we all hope, pray, beg that the whole thing goes according to plan, but lets face it, this is not always the case. You’d be much better using that time to make sure you have all bases covered. Some insurers will say you need to have at least a 3 month waiting period before making a claim. So rather than looking at that time as a negative, use it as a positive. Use that time constructively.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team


Thank you for all your replies. Yes I agree, I am not viewing this in a negative way I just don’t like not being able to work, but 3 months isn’t too long. I was just curious if anyone had surgery privately, though I did think it would be very expensive! I hadn’t thought of contacting my health insurance, thats a very good point, and I will do that. Thank you all xxx