How to prepare for back surgery

Back surgery! Not long ago, those were two very dreaded words. In today’s world, advances in minimally invasive technology for back surgery mean less risk, less pain, and faster recovery than ever before. Here are a few general tips to help you prepare for back surgery:

  • Maybe most importantly, stay engaged and proactive. The more clearly you understand the procedure and expectations, the more likely it is, they will go smoothly. Ask as many questions as you can and always discuss your scenario openly with your doctor.

A few practical considerations to prepare for back surgery:

  • Rearrange areas in your home to prepare for back surgery and make objects you need more accessible. Any items you routinely use, should be within your reach, without having to bend or twist for them. For example: In the kitchen, you may want to move certain cooking utensils to the counter-top vs a lower cabinet. Or, place the telephone in a convenient area…etc.
  • Prepare at least a few days’ worth meals that are ready to eat. This will eliminate unnecessary exertion while you are in the recovery stage.
  • Prearrange an assigned person to assist with transportation, follow up, shopping and/or other errands.

Some Suggestions that seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised:

  • Maintain your overall physical and mental health as best you can to prepare for back surgery. From eating a nutritional diet to managing the emotional stress, your body will undergo surgery much easier if it is healthy. Try to stay as active as you can before your back surgery. Exercise can boost the immune system, promote feelings of well-being and assist with a speedy recovery.
  • Stop smoking tobacco. Studies show nicotine can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications. Generally, it is recommended to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to your surgery.

A few last medical tips:

  • Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Discuss all risk factors and possible outcomes with your doctor beforehand.
  • Review all medications with your doctor and follow any instructions to temporarily discontinue use.
  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery – not even water.
  • Follow all other pre-operative and post-operative precautionary instructions as directed by your doctor or health care facility.

One of our primary goals at the BioSpine Institute is to inform and educate patients so they can prepare for back surgery. We hope this list has been helpful. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Concierge Team who will be happy to help.