Dr. Harold Colbassani Jr, MD

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Neurosurgery | Male

Dr. Harold Colbassani Jr, MD
One of my earliest recollections as a child was writing the word 'Medicine'. Not that I gave it much thought at the time but the reaction of my parents ingrained that moment in mind forever. Both my mother and father were teachers but my father's subjects of interest were math and science. Because of the latter, early on, I had him order me jars of creatures preserved in formaldehyde, and so began my attempts at surgical dissection. My parents were excellent role models as teachers but because of my passionate interest in science and medicine, I became focused on 'going to medical school one day'! I attended Fairfield University in Connecticut as one of 120 premedical students to begin that program in 1974. Four years later, I survived the rigors Anatomy and Organic Chemistry and graduated 'Cum Laude' as one of 40 students to complete the program. I then attended Georgetown University Medical School in Washington D.C.. Four years later, once again I graduated 'Cum Laude' with awards in Surgery, for "Highest Academic Performance" as well as the Upjohn Achievement Award for "Outstanding Research", having my research paper published in the peer review journal 'Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics' as a senior medical student. I was also awarded membership into the prestigious honor medical society, 'Alpha Omega Alpha'! In my first year of medical school, we were required to take Neuroanatomy. I found this fascinating. While many of my fellow students had difficulty maintaining a passing grade, I 'Aced' every quiz, lab, test and final exam. As a third year student I rotated on the Neurosurgery Service at Georgetown University. As soon as began working with those residents at 5am on that first day, I knew which field of medicine I would study for the rest of my life! I then attended Emory University in Atlanta for my internship in General Surgery and then my residency in Neurosurgery, which I successfully completed in 1988. After several years in the practice of Neurosurgery, I received my Board Certification from the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. After leaving Emory University, I entered the US Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, stationed at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. Because of a shortage of neurosurgeons in the Army at that time, I volunteered to work as a staff neurosurgeon at the Letterman Army Medical Center in the Presidio of San Francisco. While on active duty there I was awarded the 'Meritorious Service Medal' for outstanding "initiative and personal dedication". In 1990, I volunteered to serve aboard the USNS Mercy hospital ship which was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While there, I had the opportunity to personally meet General Norman Schwartzkopf , the Commander of Coalition Forces. Upon returning to California, I completed my tour of duty as a staff neurosurgeon, being honorably discharged in 1992. I then moved to Palm Harbor, Florida where I began my private practice in Neurosurgery where I continue to practice actively to this day. I have witnessed a great amount of change in health care since then and have moved on from my own private practice at Mease Hospital in 1992 to a member of the more than 500 member BayCare Medical Group and an active neurosurgeon at the 675 bed Morton Plant Hospital. Currently, my practice is centered about the care of patients with cervical and lumbar spinal disorders. I am also active as a physician leader within BayCare, serving as Medical Director for Neurosurgery at Morton Plant Hospital and Assistant Medical Director for Specialists in the BayCare Medical Group.

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Dr. Colbassani Jr's Care Philosophy

Ever since I began my private practice in neurosurgery, I have always adopted a very conservative approach to recommending surgery to a patient. Just because an MRI or CT scan is abnormal does not mean you need surgery. There are certain conditions; however, that can be critical even though you may not have much in the way of symptoms. In all cases I firmly believe in being truly honest with patients and I will make recommendations that I would make to a family member. I am also a believer in fully explaining your condition to you and I will personally review any diagnostic studies (MRIs etc.) with you. In this way I am able to educate you as to the nature of the problem at hand, and the ways it can be treated. If surgery is an option, I will explain how it can benefit you but will also explain the possible complications and the long term consequences of having surgery. Yes, I am a neurosurgeon and I enjoy performing surgery, but my first goal is to help you and make you well if I can. I want you to be happy that you chose surgery, if indeed it is an option for your condition. In every case, the decision on how to proceed is yours. In the end, you are person of value deserving of my respect and I will always be compassionate and considerate of you, your family and your needs. Unfortunately, I am not able to help everyone and even patients that I operate on, not every one of them will be better, but I do promise to do my best and treat you as I would want to be treated.

Dr. Colbassani Jr's Experience

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    Visiting Dr. Colbassani Jr

    Dr. Colbassani Jr accepts 18 insurance carriers

    Dr. Colbassani Jr is now accepting new patients

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    Hospital Quality
    Check out the quality of care at the 1 hospitals where Dr. Colbassani Jr has admitting privileges.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr's Reviews

    Likelihood of recommending Dr. Colbassani Jr to family and friends
    4.1
    based on 19 total reviews (3 with comments)
    Dr. Colbassani Jr Says:

    I want to thank all of my patients for commenting on their experience when they have come to see me for a Neurosurgical opinion. I truly value this feedback, so that I can be made aware of the things I did right and where I may have fallen short, so that I can continue to improve on the care I provide each and every one of you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to...

    more
    Dr. Colbassani Jr's Performance
    • Trustworthiness
      EXCELLENT
    • Explains condition(s) well
      EXCELLENT
    • Answers Questions
      EXCELLENT
    • Time well spent
      EXCELLENT
    Office & Staff Performance
    • Scheduling
      EXCELLENT
    • Office environment
      EXCELLENT
    • Staff friendliness
      EXCELLENT
    • Average wait time
      16 to 30 minutes
    Patient Comments (3)
    in Tarpon Springs, FL |
    Dr. Colbassani did my surgery on March 14, 2017. After many years of constant pain I am now Pain Free! I have many issues with my bad back, but Dr. Colbassani was clear and direct with what he felt was possible and what was not possible. I feel very fortunate to be a patient of his. It is amazing to wake up everyday and not have pain shooting down my leg. I am only 9 days post op and I feel wonderful. I am able to go walking and be back to my Life. He is truly a Genius.
    in Dunedin, FL |
    Upon initial exam I was told to call when the pain got bad. I called as instructed by Dr C, my GP and a Chiro. After 6-8 calls over several days I got an appt. Upon exam I was told I needed a spinal tap asap. At 4:00 the next day I still hadn't heard, I worried. I called and spoke with the OM as Francy wasn't available, he'd call me by 3:55, he didn't Dr C called at 4:06 asking me to call, but they close at 4. I'm hurt, scared, worried and chasing the only Dr I trust to cut me open for help.
    in Holiday, FL |
    Outstanding Doctor
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    Dr. Colbassani Jr says...

    One of my earliest recollections as a child was writing the word 'Medicine'. Not that I gave it much thought at the time but the reaction of my parents ingrained that moment in mind forever. Both my mother and father were teachers but my father's subjects of interest were math and science. Because of the latter, early on, I had him order me jars of creatures preserved in formaldehyde, and so began my attempts at surgical dissection. My parents were excellent role models as teachers but because of my passionate interest in science and medicine, I became focused on 'going to medical school one day'!

    I attended Fairfield University in Connecticut as one of 120 premedical students to begin that program in 1974. Four years later, I survived the rigors Anatomy and Organic Chemistry and graduated 'Cum Laude' as one of 40 students to complete the program. I then attended Georgetown University Medical School in Washington D.C.. Four years later, once again I graduated 'Cum Laude' with awards in Surgery, for "Highest Academic Performance" as well as the Upjohn Achievement Award for "Outstanding Research", having my research paper published in the peer review journal 'Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics' as a senior medical student. I was also awarded membership into the prestigious honor medical society, 'Alpha Omega Alpha'! In my first year of medical school, we were required to take Neuroanatomy. I found this fascinating. While many of my fellow students had difficulty maintaining a passing grade, I 'Aced' every quiz, lab, test and final exam. As a third year student I rotated on the Neurosurgery Service at Georgetown University. As soon as began working with those residents at 5am on that first day, I knew which field of medicine I would study for the rest of my life! I then attended Emory University in Atlanta for my internship in General Surgery and then my residency in Neurosurgery, which I successfully completed in 1988. After several years in the practice of Neurosurgery, I received my Board Certification from the American Board of Neurological Surgeons.

    After leaving Emory University, I entered the US Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, stationed at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. Because of a shortage of neurosurgeons in the Army at that time, I volunteered to work as a staff neurosurgeon at the Letterman Army Medical Center in the Presidio of San Francisco. While on active duty there I was awarded the 'Meritorious Service Medal' for outstanding "initiative and personal dedication". In 1990, I volunteered to serve aboard the USNS Mercy hospital ship which was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While there, I had the opportunity to personally meet General Norman Schwartzkopf , the Commander of Coalition Forces. Upon returning to California, I completed my tour of duty as a staff neurosurgeon, being honorably discharged in 1992.

    I then moved to Palm Harbor, Florida where I began my private practice in Neurosurgery where I continue to practice actively to this day. I have witnessed a great amount of change in health care since then and have moved on from my own private practice at Mease Hospital in 1992 to a member of the more than 500 member BayCare Medical Group and an active neurosurgeon at the 675 bed Morton Plant Hospital. Currently, my practice is centered about the care of patients with cervical and lumbar spinal disorders. I am also active as a physician leader within BayCare, serving as Medical Director for Neurosurgery at Morton Plant Hospital and Assistant Medical Director for Specialists in the BayCare Medical Group.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr's Care Philosophy

    Ever since I began my private practice in neurosurgery, I have always adopted a very conservative approach to recommending surgery to a patient. Just because an MRI or CT scan is abnormal does not mean you need surgery. There are certain conditions; however, that can be critical even though you may not have much in the way of symptoms. In all cases I firmly believe in being truly honest with patients and I will make recommendations that I would make to a family member.

    I am also a believer in fully explaining your condition to you and I will personally review any diagnostic studies (MRIs etc.) with you. In this way I am able to educate you as to the nature of the problem at hand, and the ways it can be treated. If surgery is an option, I will explain how it can benefit you but will also explain the possible complications and the long term consequences of having surgery. Yes, I am a neurosurgeon and I enjoy performing surgery, but my first goal is to help you and make you well if I can. I want you to be happy that you chose surgery, if indeed it is an option for your condition. In every case, the decision on how to proceed is yours.

    In the end, you are person of value deserving of my respect and I will always be compassionate and considerate of you, your family and your needs. Unfortunately, I am not able to help everyone and even patients that I operate on, not every one of them will be better, but I do promise to do my best and treat you as I would want to be treated.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr says...

    When I finished my training at Emory University, I felt uniquely qualified to treat most neurosurgical conditions. However, experience is the best teacher. I have been actively practicing neurosurgery for 28 years and while I may have not 'seen it all', I have seen a lot.

     Currently I evaluate and treat adult patients with a variety of neurosurgical disorders of the brain, spine and spinal cord. Early in my career I routinely performed upwards of 300 surgical procedures per year but currently I perform less than 200 per year as I have taken a greater interest in mentoring my younger partners and advancing their careers and I have assumed a greater administrative responsibility for improving the delivery of neurosurgical care within our HealthCare System.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr says...

    In the private practice of Neurosurgery, at least 70% of the surgeries I perform on a yearly basis are spinal operations. Over the years, I have become interested in primarily treating cervical disc disease. There are two reasons for this. First, I enjoy the challenge of delicately removing bone spurs that dangerously compress the spinal cord and nerves. Successfully doing so changes patients lives. And thus, the second reason is that the outcome both immediately and long term is excellent in a majority of cases and patients are very grateful.

     In most cases, a surgical fusion is necessary but in properly selected patients I will insert an artificial disc to replace a ruptured disc thus avoiding the need to fuse the spine.

     In all, over my almost 30 year career, I have treated thousands of damaged cervical discs. Patients derive significant benefit from this surgery 80 to 85% of the time. My complication rate is less than 5%, and probably closer to 2%.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr says...

    I want to thank all of my patients for commenting on their experience when they have come to see me for a Neurosurgical opinion. I truly value this feedback, so that I can be made aware of the things I did right and where I may have fallen short, so that I can continue to improve on the care I provide each and every one of you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my nurse, Francy who is always available when I am out of the office.

    Dr. Colbassani Jr's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:

    •  Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
    •  Specializes in Neurosurgery
    •  Board certified in Neurosurgery
    •  No malpractice claims found
    •  No sanctions found
    •  No board actions found

    Awards & Recognition

    • Awards & Honors
      • Healthgrades Honor Roll
      What is a recognized doctor
    • Media & Publications

      Dr. Colbassani Jr has no media or publications listed.

    Background Check

    • 0
      Malpractice Claims

      No malpractice history found for Florida.

      What is medical malpractice
    • 0
      Sanctions

      No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

      What is a sanction or disciplinary action
    • 0
      Board Actions

      No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

      What are board actions

    Board Certifications

    Why It Matters: Dr. Colbassani Jr's Board Certifications

    Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the... More

    • Neurosurgery

    Conditions Treated

    • Adult Brain Tumor
    • Brain Cancer
    • Brain Disorders
    • Brain and Nervous System Cancer (incl. Gliomas, Astrocytoma, Schwannoma, Medulloblastoma, Chordoma)
    • Cerebral Hemorrhage
    • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
    • Cranial Trauma
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Herniated Disc
    • Intervertebral Disc Disease
    • Low Back Pain
    • Meningiomas
    • Myelopathy
    • Osteoarthritis of Spine
    • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Spinal Cord Tumor
    • Spinal Instability
    • Spinal Stenosis
    • Spine Disorders
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Subdural Hemorrhage
    • Thoracic Spine Myelopathy
    • Traumatic Brain Injury

    Education

    • Medical School
      Georgetown University School Of Medicine

      Graduated in 1982

    • Internship Hospital
      Grady Memorial Hospital

      Completed in 1983

    • Residency Hospital
      Emory University Memorial Hospitals

      Completed in 1988

    • Undergraduate School
      Fairfield University

      Graduated in 1978

    Languages Spoken

    • English

    Memberships &
    Professional Affiliations

    Dr. Colbassani Jr does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Colbassani Jr and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your free profile.

    Specialties

    • Neurosurgery

    Procedures Performed

    • Abscess or Fluid Incision and Drainage
    • Brain Surgery
    • Brain Tumor Surgery
    • Disc Replacement
    • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
    • Herniated Disc Surgery
    • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
    • Microdiscectomy
    • Microsurgical Spine Surgery
    • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
    • Pituitary Gland Tumor Excision
    • Posterior Lumbar Fusion With Robotic Assistance
    • Spinal Fusion
    • Spinal Tumor Surgery