Patient Care

Patient care for back surgery varies from hospital to hospital. But here are some of the more common practices that you can prepare for.

In preparation for your surgery, you may have an appointment with your attending surgeon. During this time you can discuss the procedure, it is the best time for you to ask any questions you may have.If you wear a back brace, ask if you still need to wear or bring it when you come in for the procedure. You would also need to talk to your primary care or specialist, to get clearance for the surgery.

Before starting the procedure, you will undergo certain tests. This will check your general health to see how your surgery will impact you. Some normal tests include urinalysis, chest x-rays and electrocardiograms. You may undergo additional examination if you have any other diseases, like diabetes. While the surgery may be performed by a neurologist, your primary doctor and any other specialists necessary may bepresent or involved during exams.

Before the day of surgery, you will get a call from the hospital staff to set an appointment for your pre-registration. Depending on the hospital, this process can range from a simple interview to a briefing or seminar. If you will require post-op care, you can ask the hospital if they can provide training for whoever will assist you with that.

During pre-registration you need to give your information to the treating facility. This includes basic information like your name, address, social security number, insurance provider and policy details.You’d also need to tell them if you are allergic to any kind of food.

You may also need to bring your medical records. You will be asked not to eat anything the night before your surgery. Bring a list of all the medication you take regularly so that the hospital staff can tell you what you can skip and what you still need to take and which you can skip.

There are some forms that you may need to fill out before the surgery. One of the most common ones is the Health Care Proxy form. This designates a person to act on your behalf in case a decision needs to be made during surgery and you remain unconscious. If you already have this form, make sure to bring it with you during pre-admission.

You’d also need to have a meeting with the anesthesiologist. This doctor will review your medical records then go over the sedation to be used during the surgery. At this time you will know what to expect when brought under for the procedure.

Before surgery, you will be given a list of what you need to bring to the hospital. This includes what kind of clothing and shoes you can wear. You may be reminded at this time to make arrangements for post-operative care. If you’ll do it at home, the nurse or medical assistant can instruct you on how to prepare.

You’ll be reminded what time you need to come in for the surgery, what you should bring and do, and any forms you still need to bring.

When you check in on the day of the surgery, you’ll be taken to a prep area where you’ll be changed into a hospital gown. A nurse will verify your information, go over your medical history and prepare you for the history. At this time you will be hooked to an IV, wherein fluids and medication will be fed. You will be sedated and you may not even notice when they take you to the operating room.

After surgery, you’ll wake up in the recovery room. Visitors may not be allowed in this area, they can visit you once you’re moved to a hospital room. If all goes well, you will be discharged in a few days and the rest of your recovery can be done at home. Expect your surgeon, neurologist, and primary doctor to look in on you before you are discharged to discuss post-operative care.