A few days before your surgery our neurosurgeons will meet with you to go over all details and answer any questions. Here are the most commonly asked questions:
What tests need to be performed before surgery?
You will need routine blood work to check blood cell counts and chemistry profiles (sodium, potassium etc) as well as an EKG and possibly a chest X-ray. Our staff can arrange this to be done for you at a convenient location.
How many days will I be in the hospital after surgery?
In most cases patients undergoing simple lumber or cervical spine procedures may go home the same day. Patients undergoing more complex cervical or lumbar spine procedures such as multi-level fusions may need to spend one night. All patients undergoing brain procedures will stay in the hospital 1-3 nights.
Can my wife or husband stay with me overnight in the room?
Yes. Provisions can and will always be made. We try to make your procedure as comfortable as we can.
Will I be given medications to take after the surgery?
At the time of your pre-operative visit you will be given a prescription for pain medication and an antibiotic.
Our neurosurgeons will see all patients in the office approximately 2 weeks after surgery. Prior to surgery, you will be given a date for this first post op visit. Here are the most commonly asked questions:
When will my stitches or staples be removed?
In almost all instances we place stitches that will never have to be removed as they dissolve in just a few weeks. This eliminates the discomfort associated with stitch or staple removal.
What do I do about my dressing when I take a shower or bath?
You may either put cellophane over the dressing to keep it dry while bathing or you may simply place a new dressing on after bathing and replace the wet dressing.
How long will it take to recover from surgery?
You will be up walking the next day. Recovery periods vary depending on age, physical condition etc but generally speaking, patients require 4-8 weeks to recover from removal of a single herniated disk in the neck or back. Patients undergoing lumbar fusion may require longer recovery periods.
When will I be able to return to work?
This will vary from patient to patient depending on the physical demands of your job and the progress of your recovery. Our neurosurgeons will never rush you back to work until you are ready to return and will discuss returning to work with all patients. Generally speaking, if you have a job that does not require lifting over 20 pounds (ie, office work) you should be able to return to work within 2-4 weeks after neck surgery or a simple lumbar disectomy. Patients whose jobs require heavy labor may be out of work for 2 to 6 months after neck or back surgery.