Many people who require spinal surgery are able to return home the same day that they have their operations. Outpatient surgery, also known as ambulatory or same day surgery, is performed at a hospital or free-standing surgery center. It is becoming increasingly more common due to the prevalence of minimally invasive spine procedures in Los Angeles and throughout the nation. These types of procedures are known to be less traumatic than open surgeries.
A few days before surgery, the patient will usually have testing performed at the hospital or doctor’s office to be sure that he or she will be able to tolerate the procedure and to give the surgical team baseline data. Common tests that are done include a complete blood count, bleeding time, a chest x-ray and an electrocardiogram.
The day before the operation, individuals are told to not eat anything 12 hours prior to surgery. They also may be instructed to shower with a special, anti-bacterial soap before coming to the hospital.
When people arrive at the same day surgery unit, the admitting nurse will have them change and sign any necessary surgical consents and required forms. Vital signs are taken, the surgical site is cleaned and shaved, and an IV is started. Patients are taken back to an operating suite where the surgery is performed and then to the recovery room for about an hour post-op.
Once patients have been stabilized, they will return to a room on the same day, in the surgery unit where they will be monitored for a few hours. Vital signs are taken at specific intervals, and pain is assessed. Patients will need to show that they are able to tolerate food and drink before they are allowed to return home, and their pain will need to be under control. Individuals will be released after certain criteria has been met, and specific instructions to follow during the post-operative period will be given from their doctor or spinal surgeon.
If you are living with back or neck pain and are interested in learning more about your options for out-patient surgery, reach out to Dr. Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae is the center’s medical director, specializing in minimally invasive surgery and motion-preserving treatments, and has been involved in some of the industry’s most cutting edge clinical trials for stem cell regeneration and artificial disc replacement. Call 310-828-7757 for more information or to schedule an in-person consultation.