When you decide you are ready to have surgery, your physician’s surgery scheduler will:
1. Arrange a date and time for your surgery
2. Clarify if the surgery will be Inpatient [overnight(s) in the hospital] or Outpatient surgery (go home the same day)
3. Obtain any insurance pre-authorizations necessary
4. Order pre-surgical lab tests (blood work and/or diagnostic imaging)
5. Arrange any medical clearance appointments for you (for cardiac, diabetic or other issues)
6. Fit you for any required collars or braces to be worn post-surgery
7. Arrange for home nursing/health care (if needed)
8. Arrange for in-home Physical Therapy (if needed)
After these important details have been completed, the surgery scheduler will also go over all pre-surgical instructions with you, in order to best prepare you for the surgery to come. Among the topics to be discussed are:
• When to report to the lab or hospital for your pre-surgery blood work and tests
• What to take to the hospital for inpatient/outpatient surgery – loose, comfortable and easily removable clothing, toiletry items, footwear, reading materials, snacks
• Transportation to and from the hospital or ambulatory surgery center
• Care arrangements for you after your surgery
• The possibility of blood transfusion/autologous blood donation
• Any recent change in your health, new prescription medications, new allergies or if you are taking blood-thinning medication, such as an NSAID(s) (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), Coumadin or a biologic drug, such as Humira
Your Physician or Physician Assistant may advise you to begin an overall health improvement regimen before you have surgery to ensure that you have the best outcome possible. Some of their suggestions may include:
• Eating a nutritious diet and adding vitamin supplements, such as iron
• Conditioning exercise to strengthen weak muscles or Physical Therapy
• Smoking cessation (if necessary). Smoking is especially harmful to spine surgery patients, greatly increases healing time and chances for complications.
Compliance with these recommendations will help you to have a better experience and may improve your recovery and results after surgery. If you have questions about your own specific needs, please discuss those with your doctor.
Return to Your Decision to Have Spine Surgery page.