Kerry Shuffelbottom, PA; John Sarzier, MD; Rachel Lee, LPN; and Jennifer White, CMA: pictured from left at Optim Neurosurgery in Brunswick.

Rachel Lee relishes helping others. As a nurse, she’s crafted a career on doing just that.

Five years ago, Lee joined up with Dr. John Sarzier, a local neurosurgeon based at Optim Health System in Brunswick. Together, with Dr. Sarzier, Rachel and the rest of the Optim team work to offer relief for patients suffering from neck and back pain.

“We primarily treat neck and back pain. Although some pain is experienced as numbness and tingling in the extremities, it can stem from nerves in the spine. It’s called radiculopathy,” according to Lee.

Some of the conditions Dr. Sarzier treats include herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, arthritis of the neck and spine, spinal fractures, sciatica, scoliosis and spinal tumors. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Sarzier has decades of experience and is trained in the most current neck and spine procedures.

Each patient is unique, and symptoms and ailments can vary greatly. That is why Dr. Sarzier takes time with each patient to go over all options for treatment. Lee is quick to stress that not all patients who see Dr. Sarzier have surgery, some other options may include non-invasive measures to see if symptoms can be alleviated without surgical intervention.

“Dr. Sarzier definitely doesn’t push surgery — just because you have pain doesn’t mean you need surgery,” Lee explained.

The first step toward a better quality of life begins with a consultation. Often patients can call the office directly to schedule an appointment. Other times, a referral from another doctor is required. Health insurance drives this process, so it is always a good idea to check with your insurance first to understand what is required.

“Sometimes we need an authorization for insurance purposes. You can call our office and we will be able to tell you if your primary care physician needs to refer you to Dr. Sarzier,” she clarified. “We can usually get you in within one week, we have four different locations that we go to — Brunswick, Baxley, Reidsville and Hinesville.”

Dr. Sarzier’s multiple locations allows him to better serve patients with limited mobility or those who have transportation issues, offering the highest quality of service is always the goal. To that end, the practice offers in-house x-rays in addition to ordering any necessary testing.

“We do x-rays onsite at the clinic. In addition, if a patient already has MRI images, we ask them to bring them on a disc as it is very helpful. Dr. Sarzier reads them himself and it will save a step, so that’s important,” she said. “If an MRI, or any other testing, is needed Dr. Sarzier can order.”

Dr. Sarzier’s service-oriented care, his upfront approach, and willingness to explore all pathways allow him to provide his patients options for a better quality of life.

“It’s really amazing to see patients who aren’t able to do simple daily tasks like getting out of bed or playing with their kids call and thank us for giving them their life back,” Lee noted. “As a nurse, being a part of Dr. Sarzier’s team is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

To set up a consultation with Dr. Sarzier call 912-342-7112.

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