While the prospect of back surgery may seem like a cause for concern, procedures range from minor to complex. You need to know what to expect before you go under the knife, preparing for your surgery and planning your recovery.
Perhaps the best place to acquire the necessary knowledge is in consultation with your neurosurgeon. Asking the right questions provides the insight and information that eases your experience while aiding your selection of practitioners. Your comfort and confidence in your surgeon are important to a successful procedure.
The Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center specialists believe that a partnership between patient and practitioner drives the outcomes you want when surgery becomes necessary. We’ve provided this list of four questions to ask before your back surgery procedure.
Is back surgery necessary?
Usually, surgical solutions are a later-stage option for back problems. Asking if surgery is necessary and whether you can explore more conservative approaches are valid questions, and we assure you that we always exhaust all options before resorting to surgery.
This conservative attitude is central to our treatment philosophy at Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center. Surgery isn’t always the best approach for every patient, and we’re committed to avoiding unnecessary procedures. Be sure to understand why surgery is the best alternative for your condition.
Ask your surgeon about their expectations for the outcome of your procedure. If their answer doesn’t mesh with what you expect, ask further questions to discover the reasons for the differences. In some cases, surgery may only partially relieve symptoms while you expect these to be gone. Realistic expectations mean you won’t be surprised later.
Will surgery be open or minimally invasive?
The type of surgery you have impacts your recovery. Open surgery requires large incisions and damage to healthy tissue, while minimally invasive techniques lead to faster recovery and fewer complications. Be sure you understand the differences and have your surgeon explain the reasons for their choice of approach.
What can I do to prepare for surgery?
There is a “big three” when preparing for any surgery. Addressing these factors, if they apply to you, gives you an advantage through your procedure and recovery.
Manage your diabetes
If you’re diabetic, keeping blood sugar under control puts your body in the best position for handling the back surgery process. Aim for an A1C blood glucose level of 7.5 or less before your surgery.
Nicotine interferes with blood flow and other healing factors. Smokers have generally slower recoveries with increased chances for complications. Back surgery gives you another compelling reason to quit tobacco use.
Carrying a few extra pounds can also slow your recovery and increase the risk of blood clots. Talk to your surgeon about help with weight loss ahead of surgery if your back pain interferes with your ability to exercise.
The list of questions doesn’t end here. Write down any thoughts or concerns you’d like us to address so you don’t forget while at the office.
You can book a consultation with Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center in Scottsdale or Tucson by calling the nearest office or through our online booking tool. We’re standing by to help you recover from back pain, so schedule your visit today.