There are several steps for preparing yourself for spinal surgery. Before you undergo surgery, it is vital to understand the process and expectations of the surgeon in the coming days and weeks. It is ideal that you assume a pro-active role in understanding and managing your medical needs.
When you use the service of spine surgery hospitals in India, you will want to recover in the healthiest manner. Whatever the procedure- disc replacement, spinal fusion or any other- you can follow certain steps for speedy recovery.
- Learn about the nature of the procedure:
Since there are many types of spinal surgeries, you need to ascertain from the doctor, which precise procedure you may need. In spinal fusion surgery, support is given to weak spine using steel rods. In discectomy, portion of disc is removed to ease pressure on the back. In a corpectomy, a part of the vertebrae is removed.
Ask all relevant questions to the doctor. Make sure you follow all the medical jargon. Ask the doctor and surgeon for accurate explanations. Try to take notes as and when the doctor provides information.
Get to know all the members of your medical team like surgeon, anaesthesiologist, nurses, physical therapists, dietitian etc.
Find out whether you have access to a physical or occupational therapist while recovering in the hospital. Also, find out if you need to attend a rehab facility after hospital stay.
Do further research, by consulting reading material or good websites. Join an online forum and talk to persons with experience in this type of surgery.
- Getting prepared:
The first thing you need to plan for is a strategy for pain management. Talk to the doctor about type and extent of pain expected. Pay attention to your nutrition and follow a balanced diet. Follow some physical exercise prior to surgery to make your muscles strong. Another important plan is to quit smoking. Smoking increases rate of post-operative infection and complications. It is good to stop smoking for 3 months before surgery and same time after surgery.
- Adjusting medication:
You must apprise doctor about all your medication. You must stop all Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen, Motrin, Voltaren, etc. to prevent bleeding while surgery is carried out. You must also stop anti-coagulants like Aspirin, Plavix etc. Herbal supplements and vitamins must be stopped 2 weeks before surgery. Diabetics need to reduce or stop insulin products the morning before surgery. Also, avoid any diuretics. Doctors will usually recommend Tylenol or other pain medication.
- Preparing home:
You must arrange home for recovery after surgery. Ask a friend or a relative to stay with you first few days after surgery. Stock up food and ready to eat meals. Seek help from someone to help in household chores. Place commonly needed items in easy to reach places. Purchase products like grabbers, toilet risers, crutches and walking sticks. Get slip-on shoes to avoid bending. Get rid of clutter like rugs, electric cords, etc., so that you don’t slip and fall.
The foremost issue to be decided before surgery is where you will get treatment. For this, do some research on the best hospital for spine surgery in India. All other considerations can follow.