Compared to traditional (“open”) spine surgery, laser spine surgery swaps out the old-fashioned scalpels for nouveau lasers. The laser is used to create a relatively small incision, which provides access to the spinal column structures. Laser surgery generally results in less scarring, less damage to the surrounding structures, reduced pain afterward, and a quicker recovery time than with traditional back surgery.
Patients are typically able to go home within one to two hours after the operation. Depending on what you are having done to your spine, a full recovery could take up to 12 weeks.
If you’re scheduled to have laser spine surgery, let’s talk about what to expect, how you can prepare, and where you can go in Northeast Ohio for world-class back surgery.
How to Prepare for Laser Spine Surgery
Here are some tips on how you can be an active participant in preparing for your back surgery as well as your recovery:
Ask All of Your Questions
Be sure to write down all of your questions to ask the surgeon for your pre-surgery preparation appointment. If you have read or heard about anything that makes you concerned, be sure to ask the doctor about it – don’t wait until you’re at the facility getting ready for surgery.
Fast After Midnight Before Surgery
You will be advised not to consume any kind of food or liquid within about eight hours before your surgery. This is to prevent any food or liquid from getting into your lungs during the operation because general anesthesia relaxes the sphincters and other organs.
Don’t Take NSAIDs
Some medications can thin your blood and thereby cause excessive bleeding during or after surgery. Be sure to consult with your surgeon on what medications you should avoid taking during the week or so before your surgery.
Prepare Your Home
Back surgery can be a bit debilitating during the recovery phase, so your movements will most likely be limited post-surgery. With this in mind, place all of the items you use daily – such as your TV remote, phone, charger stand, etc. – within easy reach so you don’t need to bend or reach too high.
Be sure to clear all pathways and remove any tripping hazards in order to minimize any risk of tripping and falling around your home. Consider adding easy-install (usually via suction cups) grab bars around the shower area, and you may also want to get a toilet seat riser so it takes less effort to sit down and stand up in the bathroom.
Arrange for a Ride for After Surgery
Hospitals and clinics today require that you have a known driver who is taking you home, so don’t expect to just hitch a ride from an Uber or Taxi. This is for legal reasons and to ensure your own safety.
Laser Spine Surgery in Westlake and Avon, Ohio
If you’re seeking lasting treatment for your back pain, look no further than Orthopaedic Associates. With our expertise in treating back pain via both nonsurgical and surgical approaches, we can provide comprehensive care suited to your needs. Our own Dr. Jeffrey Roberts and Dr. Samir Shaia are here to help you with any issues you have with your back and spine.