Mr. Ghaffari, you have studied, researched and worked at various renowned medical institutions in the USA and Australia. What brought you to Switzerland, of all places, 20 years ago?
At the time I was in a relationship with a Swiss doctor and therefore decided to move here.

Your original focus was on cancer research. What interests you about spine surgery?
I am a people person. I enjoy contact with others. Cancer research can be a lonely undertaking since the researcher spends the majority of his time with cells and microscopic organisms. I found the field of neurosurgery fascinating and challenging, and decided to focus on the spine surgery aspect of neurosurgery. As a spine surgeon one learns to combine the intellectual and technical aspects of the profession with helping those who are

You are also a specialist in pain therapies. Surgery is one of the possible options for spinal disorders, but it is always associated with anxiety for patients. When is a surgical procedure advisable?
When all other therapy possibilities have been exhausted, surgery remains the only option.

What would you advise a friend or acquaintance with back pain?
I would inform them that back pain has a multitude of causes and is a very broad term. The majority of back pains can be treated conservatively. The start of this conservative management involves physical activity, a strong musculoskeletal constitution, good posture, healthy nutrition and a myriad of other factors. The first stop in seeking medical advice should always be a visit to the general practitioner.