What to expect
At the outset of the evaluation process, our goal is to offer non-operative therapy to alleviate your condition. However, some patients will require surgery and be treated accordingly. In most instances, surgery will hasten your recovery when compared to those patients who decide to optimize conservative (non-surgical) options.
Once you decide to have surgery
Surgical Coordinator: Tracy Barth is my surgical coordinator and makes the entire process effortless. Once you decide to have surgery, she will take care of the rest. Tracy will coordinate your day of surgery, and schedule preoperative appointments for medical clearance. These usually include:
- Laboratory Data
- Chest X-Ray
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- History and Physical by Primary Care Physician
- Specialty Clearance if necessary (Cardiologist)
Prior to surgery, Tracy will also schedule you for a brace and bone stimulator if necessary as this helps with the fusion process and overall recovery.
Braces are used only for multilevel complex spine surgery. Bone stimulators are utilized to hasten the recovery and fusion process of the bone. This technology is provided by another company and typically covered by most insurance plans. These devices transmit waves of energy through the skin that stimulate the bone to grow and heal. You will be instructed on how to use this device by a technician prior to surgery.
The day before surgery, NWH calls you to tell you what time to come to the hospital – if you do not hear from them, call our office (914.948.3008) or the hospital (914.666.1200).
What to expect
On the morning of surgery, you are checked in at the ASU by the nursing team. The Neuro-anesthesiologists will come in to introduce themselves and explain what to expect prior to going in the operating room. The Operating Nurses will come out and speak to you as well. The first level of safety is that your incision is marked by myself prior to entering the operating room – the operation is verified prior to any anesthesia. During this period, our Neuro-monitoring team is placing leads on your skin for monitoring the nerves and spinal cord during surgery.
In the operating room you are put to sleep then after surgery is complete, anesthesia is stopped and you awake before going to the recovery room.
Patients spend at least 45 minutes in the recovery room prior to going to their private room for postoperative care. Some patients who require additional care go to the step down unit if necessary.
The discharge process begins the moment your surgery is done. Depending on the level of care, patients will either go home or to a rehabilitation facility. Typically, patients go home within 48 hours of surgery, again, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Prior to discharge, all medications are determined including pain medications and muscle relaxants.
Dr. Abrahams will provide you with his cell phone number for questions after the procedure if you cannot contact him through the office to provide the safest and acute care possible.