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Spine Surgery Preoperative Instructions

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  1. NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT PRIOR TO ADMISSION.

  2. Shower ALL OVER (with particular attention to your anticipated operative region) with the ANTISEPTIC SOAP HIBICLENS which you will get from the hospital before admission. You need not wash your hair with this soap although you may do so.

  3. Please provide a good contact number to my office staff since this will be given to the anaesthesiologist who will call you the night before surgery. Please be available and feel free to ask any questions regarding this important service.

  4. Patients who are the first on the operating schedule must be at the hospital at 6:15 AM. You will be advised by my staff exactly where to report. All other patients will be advised regarding the time and place to present to the hospital.

  5. You will be given long white elastic stockings. This is to keep blood from clotting in your legs while you are asleep. Put them on just before you go to the Operating Room.

  6. You will be given some preoperative medication to assist in helping you to relax. Just before the nurse offers this medicine, GO TO THE RESTROOM AND EMPTY YOUR BLADDER. In most cases, I can do the operation quickly enough so that we can avoid inserting a urinary bladder catheter. This will help to reduce the risk of infection.

  7. Accompanying family members/friends may go to the operating area with you. They will be shown the way to the Surgical Waiting Room. I will talk with them as soon as I have completed the operation and I am satisfied that you are comfortable in the Recovery Room. You will be here for about one (1) hour.

  8. Following my discussion with your guests I want them to go to your room and await your arrival. I will want them to help to keep you awake for the next three (3) hours once you get to your room. This will allow you to deep breath and blow out the anaesthetic gases. In most cases, I will want you up out of bed at a point four (4) hours after surgery.

  9. PAIN MEDICINE will be provided to you after surgery. Some patients will be given a slow release narcotic patch (Duragesic which incorporates the drug Fentanyl) while in the Recovery Room which will help with pain control over the early several post-operative days. You will also have a "menu" of medications to choose from. This extends from injectable narcotics down to "Tylenol" and other medications of intermediate strengths. TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED. Injectable narcotics will put you to sleep rendering you less able to deep breath and blow off the residual anaesthetic agents. We do not want you to experience intolerable pain. Choose wisely. If you have questions about this, feel free to ask.

  10. For most patients, I will want you to be walking round the hospital ward at a point four (4) hours post-operatively. You should have a nurse assist you the first time you attempt this. To get out of bed, TURN ON YOUR SIDE and draw your knees towards your chest. Push with your arms to a sitting position. Once you are satisfied that you are not dizzy or light headed, push down into the mattress with your arms and hands by your sides while leaning forward. Rise quickly to a standing position with your knees locked. Stay that way for a moment until you are satisfied that you are not dizzy. Your first few steps will be cautious. Once you are able, I will want you to walk briskly. This will help reduce paravertebral muscle spasm in the early postoperative days.


This page last edited on 2/20

All content ©2016 by Neurosurgical Consultants, P.A.
Author, Martin L. Lazar, MD, FACS
All Rights Reserved. See Usage Notices.