PREPARING FOR BACK SURGERY
Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
Plan ahead for both your surgery and recovery. Be sure to follow any instructions you are given. And talk to your doctor if you have questions about surgery or how the procedure will be done.
- Stop smoking. Smoking makes it harder for bone to heal. Ask your doctor about quitting aids such as gum, patches, or medications.
- Move household items you’ll need after surgery. Place them between hip and shoulder level. This keeps you from needing to lift or bend.
- Arrange for rides. You may not be able to drive for a week or more after surgery.
- Get a pair of slip-on shoes with closed backs. That way, you don’t have to bend to put on shoes.
- Talk with your doctor about storing your own blood for surgery. Rest assured that all donated blood is tested for diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
- Stop taking aspirin and ibuprofen 7 days before surgery. Ask if you should stop taking other medications, herbal remedies, or supplements.
- Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home.
- Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery.
- If you are told to take medication the day of surgery, swallow it with just a sip of water.
The Day of Surgery
Arrive at the hospital on time. Before surgery, your blood pressure and temperature will be taken. You’ll be given an intravenous line (IV) to provide fluids. You may also get medication to help you relax. Just before surgery you’ll be given anesthesia (medication to prevent pain). Local or regional anesthesia numbs just the surgical area. General anesthesia lets you “sleep” during the operation.