In the grand scheme of things, spinal surgery has come a long way even over the past decade or so in terms of how it’s done. In fact, some procedures that once typically required a brief stay in the hospital can now be performed as outpatient operations. This is welcome news, but you’ll still need to take some steps to prepare for spinal surgery that will be done as an outpatient procedure.
Even a minimally invasive outpatient spinal procedure can put some added stress and strain on your body. This is why it’s a good idea to do some exercising before your scheduled surgery to strengthen your spine-supporting muscle groups. Your surgeon should be able to recommend some safe strengthening exercises you can do prior to your procedure.
There are several steps you can take as you prepare for outpatient spinal surgery when it comes to your medications. The most important ones involve:
• Letting your surgeon know about any and all medications you’re currently taking
• Changing or stopping certain medications to prevent anesthesia issues or surgery complications
• Finding out if your current meds might present some issues with post-op meds
Before your outpatient procedure, take some time to get your home ready. Do this by picking up loose rugs and other potential tripping hazards. Also consider:
• Stocking up on “grabbers,” raised toilet seats, and other assistance devices that can ease stress on your healing spine
• Preparing a convenient living/sleeping area if going up stairs will be too difficult for you
• Doing some basic cleaning so you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you get back home from your outpatient surgery
After surgery, you may not be able to easily get around your kitchen or go through the typical meal prep process. Also, it can be tempting to opt for quick, easy meals after surgery that aren’t too healthy. Address both of these issues by preparing and freezing some healthy meals ahead of time so you can simply heat things up when you return home.
Typically, patients aren’t allowed to drive themselves home after surgery because of concerns about alertness and stress on the spine. Make your ride arrangements ahead of time so you’re not scrambling at the last minute to find someone to take you back home.
It’s natural to be somewhat anxious or nervous before having outpatient spinal surgery. What you don’t want to do is be so stressed out that it affects you mentally and physically. If you have any last-minute concerns, talk to your Los Angeles spine surgeon. Also, focus on the benefits associated with your procedure and the ways your quality of life will likely be improved.
On the day of your procedure, get to the outpatient center early. This will give you time to fill out any paperwork or deal with any insurance issues in a more relaxed way. Finally, heed the instructions you’ll get from your surgeon regarding such things as post-op meds, your level of activity following surgery, and what to do about such things as your diet, bathing or showering, and any lingering discomfort you may experience.
Whether they have artificial disc replacements or minimally invasive procedures such as coflex surgery, Los Angeles spine surgery patients can boost their chances for smooth recovery by being prepared ahead of time. For more information about how to be prepared for spine surgery, reach out to the experienced professionals at The Spine Institute. Call us today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.