After you are registered, you will go into a pre-surgical holding room and change into a hospital gown. A spouse, family member or friend may accompany you into this room before surgery. A nurse or medical assistant will come and ask you many repetitive questions about yourself and your surgery. This is done in order to prevent errors and to ensure your safety. An IV (intravenous) line will be started. Your vital signs will be taken. You will be attached to monitors to measure your blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and heart rate.
Your Anesthesiologist (a physician who administers your sedation before and during surgery) will come and talk to you about your sedation for the procedure. He/she may ask you questions pertaining to any past experiences with anesthesia you may have had, to ensure that the appropriate form of sedation is used for the procedure with the least amount of side-effects for you. The type of anesthesia that is used for spine surgery is general sedation, whereby the patient is rendered completely unconscious and will need mechanical assistance to breathe. This requires that patients be intubated and put on a ventilator during surgery. Intubation involves the insertion of a plastic breathing tube into the airway by the Anesthesiologist while the patient is sedated but not fully unconscious.
Your OSC Spine Specialist will come and visit with you before your surgery. He will ask you if you have any last minute questions or concerns that he needs to address. He will also let you know how long he expects the surgery to take and that he will come to talk with you and your companion after the surgery.