Your Long Island spine surgeon, Dr. Daniel Choi, will provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions and specifics about the type of back surgery you’ll be undergoing. Below, we’re outlining the basics to give you an idea of what to expect and to provide you with guidelines to follow for a safe procedure and successful recovery.
The Day Before Surgery…
- Follow Dr. Choi’s instructions for taking your medications.
- Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure.
- Let us know right away if you feel ill or develop a cold, flu or fever before your surgery.
The Day of Surgery…
- Do not wear make-up or body lotions.
- Bring comfortable clothing that is easy to put on.
- Bring your toiletry items and, if applicable, your back brace.
- Bring your eyeglasses, contacts, dentures and/or hearing devices.
- Do not bring valuables, such as money, jewelry or credit cards with you.
- Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home if you’re having an outpatient procedure.
Your Arrival and Pre-Op Preparations
While it will depend on the hospital’s rules, in most cases, your family will be able to stay with you during the pre-op process.
In preparation for your procedure, we will:
- Discuss your medications and allergies.
- Review your surgical history.
- Take and record your blood pressure, oxygen levels, weight, heart rate and temperature.
Once your vital signs have been recorded, we’ll insert an IV and administer fluids containing sedatives and antibiotics. You’ll then meet with the surgical team in the pre-op holding area. This team will include Dr Choi, the anesthesiologist and nurses. They will go over the potential complications and risks with you one more time and answer any questions you have.
When the pre-operative process is finished, you’ll be taken to the operating room. If your family is with you, they’ll head on over to the waiting area. Our team will keep your family up-to-date on your progress both during and after your surgery.
Unless you’re having an outpatient procedure, you’ll probably need to stay in the hospital for a day or two. During this time, Dr. Choi will monitor your progress and healing.
Immediately after your spine surgery:
- A physical therapist will show you how to safely get in and out of lying and sitting positions without twisting or bending your spine.
- You will be provided with a brace to wear full-time, including while sleeping.
- You will need to keep the dressing underneath your brace dry. Let Dr. Choi or a nurse know immediately if your surgical incision develops increased redness or drainage.
- You will be able to take sponge baths, however, you can’t shower until four days after surgery.
- You’ll wear compression stockings to ward off blood clots.
Dr. Choi will give you additional post-op instructions to follow as you recover at home. We’ll also schedule you for a follow-up appointment two weeks after you’re discharged from the hospital. At this visit, Dr. Choi will look at your incision, evaluate your healing and change your dressings. If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery period, please don’t hesitate to call our practice. Our team is always happy to help!