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Dr. Choll Kim

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World Class Punctuality Badge
Exceptionally Helpful Badge
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12 reviews

Ratings for Dr. Choll Kim

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5
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I am not sure where to begin-I suffered for over a year and a half with severe back pain. I had several Epidurals - which worked for a short while and then things just got worse and worse. I was in so much pain day and night and then my friend recommend I call and get a phone diagnosis with Dr. Choll Kim. Besides being “over the top qualified” he was so reassuring over the phone and he felt he could really help me. Following our phone call - I went to see him and was immediately ready to do the surgery - I did not feel like I was a number - he was so gracious and reassuring - even though he said I wouldn’t like him for the first 3 months. It has been 6 months now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and what he did for me - no pain - I have my life and smile back. He is the best!!!!

Was this rating useful? 2

flag | Submitted February 22, 2017

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

In 2012, Dr. Kim treated me for severe pain in both my legs due to bulging L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 discs with moderate bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing and a small posterior annular tear in one of the discs. I had sciatica pain for years, but it had become debilitating in 2012. Maintaining a normal life was nearly impossible with how much it hurt to drive a car more than a short distance and perform daily functions. Physical therapy and steroid injections did not help, and I had become nearly immune to certain pain killers. Dr. Kim turned all that around. I could not be more happy and satisfied with the care I received from Dr. Kim. Ultimately, Dr. Kim performed a minimally invasive discectomy on my L5-S1 disc, which eliminated the pain. I was impressed that Dr. Kim was confident that the pain originated from the L5-S1 disc, despite the MRI indicating that I had bulging from my L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs as well. He explained that it’s important to only operate on areas that are causing the pain in order to preserve the longevity of spinal health. If he were to operate on the asymptomatic discs, they may degenerate more quickly and become symptomatic. I was a unique patient in that I am an Air Force pilot that routinely experiences high g-force maneuvers, which puts significant stress on my back. Due to my condition, I was removed from flying status and needed Dr. Kim and his staff to help get me back on track. To make matters worse, I had to fly to San Diego for all of my appointments since I lived out of state, and had a limited amount of time to get the surgery and get my flying status back. Dr. Kim and his staff were always very willing to work with my unique situation and correspond electronically as much as possible. When I finally arrived for surgery, it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. I was able to walk out the same day as my surgery, which is a testament to the quality of Dr. Kim’s minimally invasive surgery techniques. The only pain during recovery was normal surgery pain, which was very tolerable. After my first check-up appointment, Dr. Kim prescribed physical therapy as a normal recourse. I had no complications during physical therapy. During subsequent follow-up appointments, I asked Dr. Kim if he would generate verbiage of my recovery for an Air Force flying waiver, which he was happy to do. His comments were key to me being granted a flying waiver. It was just under 4 months from the time of my surgery to me flying high performance aircraft again, which I could not have done without the support from Dr. Kim and his staff. It’s been over 4 years since the surgery and my back is still doing great. I have no pain and am still able to fly high performance aircraft. Without a doubt, I would not have been able to maintain my flying career in the Air Force without Dr. Kim’s expertise and his great support staff. I highly recommend Dr. Kim. He is highly experienced, very reasonable, and treats patients as family.

Was this rating useful? 1

flag | Submitted January 30, 2017

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5
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I had a lumbar disc herniation that caused debilitating pain for six months. I could not sit or stand without excruciating pain. Surgery was my last option after months of physical therapy. Based on my research, I could see that Dr. Kim was one of the top spine surgeons in the country. Dr. Kim performed a microdiscectomy surgery to repair my disc herniation. The surgery was 100% successful and the results were immediate. It has been 2 1/2 years since my surgery and I have had no pain. Dr. Kim truly gave me my life back.

Was this rating useful? 2

flag | Submitted January 25, 2017

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Dr Choll Kim and colleagues did an excellent job realigning and repairing the lumbar area of my spine. I have suffered from severe scoliosis for about 40 years. I had 11 spinal fusions and castings as a youth to correct and stop the twisting of my spine but over the years much of the lumbar area broke down. I could hardly walk 3 years ago. Dr Choll Kim; with confidence and care, worked together with a team to clean up, reconstruct, stabilize and realign my lower back using a minimally evasive technique. I am now a strong, happy, healthy woman with hopes and dreams to pursue again. I have been given back quality of life.

Was this rating useful? 3

flag | Submitted January 20, 2017

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

I am an orthopedic surgeon and came from Arizona for his care. I was quite pleased in every aspect! His staff was courteous and helpful. Dr Kim took time to listen to my concerns and address them thoroughly. I was back to work full time in 1 week!

Was this rating useful? 3

flag | Submitted January 18, 2017

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Dr Choll Kim was an awesome physician. I felt extremely confident going in for my neck surgery. The actual surgery took longer than expected and he personally called and also had the surgical team call to keep my wife Informed so she would not worry . His before care and after care was wonderful . My only frustration was his office doesn't answer the phone and wants you to communicate thru email. I would highly recommend Dr Choll Kim.

Was this rating useful? 2

flag | Submitted January 17, 2017

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5
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Dr. Kim is very competent, brilliant and compassionate. He is one of the most talented surgeons I have been a patient of! I have had three previous back surgeries. This one was minimally invasive with a quick recovery and fantastic results!

Was this rating useful? 4

flag | Submitted May 30, 2016

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

After four previous back surgeries by other physicians that didn't work and left me in excruciating pain, Dr. Kim worked his magic. I wish I'd found him first. Beyond outstanding

Was this rating useful? 2

flag | Submitted May 25, 2016

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5
Staff
5
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Simply put Ourstanding..........................................................

Was this rating useful? 1

flag | Submitted April 28, 2016

,
5
Staff
4
Punctuality
5
Helpfulness
5
Knowledge

Dr. Kim took me from barely able to walk to a return to all of my activities, plus. He has an incredible survival team and staff. The post surgical care I recieved made my recovery much shorter than I had anticipated. He is not only a world class surgeon but a vey caring person. Five stars for Dr. Choll Kim!

Was this rating useful? 3

flag | Submitted April 28, 2016

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Dr. Choll Kim's Credentials



Accepting New Patients

Yes, this doctor is accepting new patients


Biography

Dr. Choll Kim graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and completed his fellowship training in complex spine surgery at the Mayo Clinic. In addition, he is double-board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Board of Spine Surgery. Dr. Kim is an internationally recognized expert in the field of computer-assisted minimally invasive spine surgery. He has trained and continues to train specialists throughout the country on the safe and effective application of state-of-the-art techniques using image guidance and navigation technologies. Dr. Kim utilizes a broad range of minimally invasive treatments to effectively treat all aspects of complex spinal disorders, including herniated disks, spinal stenosis, adult scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, traumatic injuries, tumors, and infections throughout the entire spine from the neck to the low back. He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world to master laser endoscopic spine surgery (LESS), a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure that effectively treats herniated disks, radiculopathy and sciatica. The LESS procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, in a same-day setting and with a small stab incision that is covered with a bandaid. A leader in his field, Dr. Kim is the founder and past-president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (SMISS), the founder of Minimally Invasive Spine Centers of Excellence (MIS-COE), the chair of the MIS Committee for the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), the director of the Advanced Spine & Joint Institute at Alvarado Hospital and an associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. Furthermore, Dr. Kim is a Qualified Medical Evaluator and a past voting member of the FDA Orthopedic Devices Panel, which reviews all new spinal technologies. He has designed minimally invasive instrumentation used by surgeons around the world. Dr. Kim is an active member of the North American Spine Society (NASS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and a fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Kim has over 200 publications and presentations.


Languages

  • English

Education

  • Mayo Clinic (Grad. 2002)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Grad. 1992)
  • Harvard University (Grad. 1996)
  • University of California San Diego (Grad. 2001)

Other Specialties

Unavailable


Areas of Expertise

  • Herniated disk
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal fusion
  • Laminectomy
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched nerve
  • Back Pain
  • Neck pain

Awards & Recognitions

  • Leaders in Healthcare: Doctor of Excellence - July 2014
  • San Diego Magazine Top Doctor - October 2014
  • UCLA Mandel Scholarship - Term 1991
  • San Diego Business Journal Healthcare Champions Finalist - September 2014
  • US News and World Report Best Doctor - 2011, 2012, 2013
  • San Diego Super Doctors - February 2011
  • World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery & Techniques: Lyman Smith Award, Best Basic Science Presentation - June 2008
  • ABC News Expert Consultant - May 2007
  • Fourth Annual Asian Heritage Awards Nominee - May 2007
  • UCSD Academic Senate Grant - April 2003, June 2007
  • VA Merit Review Entry Program Grant - January 2004
  • Academic Geriatric Resource Center Award - February 2003
  • OREF Zimmer Award - January 2003
  • California Orthopaedic Association Lloyd W. Taylor Award - February 2000
  • James Esch Award for Best Clinical Research - June 1999
  • Harvard Medical School: Honors in Special Field, cum laude - June 1996
  • Harvard Medical School Research Assembly: Selected Speaker - June 1994
  • Safest Doctor for Lumbar Spine Fusion (Posterior), ProPublica - August 2015
  • Healthcare Champion, San Diego Business Journal - October 2015
  • Reviewer of the Year, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) - June 2015
  • 341 Spine Surgeons to Know, Becker’s Spine Review - January 2016

Publications & Research


Insurance accepted by this Doctor

Other patients have successfully used these insurance providers, please call the Doctor's office to find out if your insurance plan is accepted.
Aetna
Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union
Amerigroup
Avmed
Bakery & Confectionary Union Plan
Blue Cross / Blue Shield
  • BCBS Florida
Champ Va
CIGNA
Commercial Insurance Company
Connection Dental Network
Coventry Healthcare
  • Coventry Health Care
Ebs-Rmsco
Emblem Health
Fmh Benefit Services
Golden Rule
HealthFirst
Humana
Medhealthinsurance
Medical Mutual Of Ohio
Medicare
Medico
Ngs American


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