No matter how much you trust your spine surgeon or how many times you’ve been told about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery, it is normal to be apprehensive prior to your procedure.
As is true in so many other circumstances, the more you know ahead of time, the more confident you will be, so here is some information meant to help you prepare and know what to expect from your surgery day.
Whether your minimally invasive spine surgery is targeting your cervical spine or your lumbar spine, there are certain steps you can take to improve your overall health in advance of your procedure. These include:
- Investigate the procedure that you are having so that you understand what your physical problem is and how the operation your physician is suggesting will remedy the situation.
- Drop a few pounds if you’re overweight, If you’re only a few days away from the surgery this suggestion may not be practical, but if you have even a couple of weeks before surgery, taking a few pounds off will help your recovery and may improve many of your vital signs such as blood pressure.
- Stop smoking. Again, the longer that you have in advance of your surgery, the more of a benefit you’ll get from quitting, but even foregoing cigarettes for a day or two beforehand will help improve blood flow and oxygenation. Smokers tend to have longer recovery times, and research has shown that your body begins to heal from the ravages of smoking almost immediately upon quitting. Take advantage of your surgery date to give yourself an excellent incentive to quit smoking entirely.
- Take time off of work and ask friends or family members to be available to drive you to and from the procedure and to help you on the first day or two after the surgery.
Your physician may have additional suggestions or orders specific to medications that you are currently taking or your health condition. Make sure that you follow all of your physician’s orders exactly, especially those surrounding eating prior to the procedure, any medications that you should or should not take prior to or on your surgery day, arranging for transportation and making plans for the care of children or pets until you have fully recovered.
Most patients who undergo minimally invasive surgeries are able to walk immediately after their procedure but take a few days to feel normal, and usually take several weeks before they can resume all previous activities such as exercise or heavy lifting.
Your doctor will provide you with pain relievers as well as instructions regarding care of the incision. You will also be scheduled for a follow-up appointment so that the doctor can assess your recovery and healing.
If you are suffering from back pain and aren’t sure whether you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery or not, contact our lumbar spine surgery practice in New Jersey today to learn how we can help.