How to Prepare for Back Surgery: Before, During, and After
Back surgery can take a toll on a person—physically, mentally, and emotionally. To make the best of the situation, it is important that you spend some time preparing for what’s to come. You’ve decided to get back surgery, so it’s likely that you’re in significant pain. It may even be critical that you move forward with surgery. However, by the end of your surgery journey, you should find the relief you seek. The process can be difficult at times, but with the right preparation, it will be well worth it in the end.
What to Do in the Months Before Surgery
Depending on how soon your surgery is, it can be a good idea to start preparing in the months prior. Do some research on the procedure you will be getting, and ask your doctor some questions about the process. Some key things you may want to ask include:
- How long does the procedure take?
- How does the procedure work?
- What are the side effects?
- What is the recovery time?
- How often will I need to come back for check-ups after the surgery?
Furthermore, you should try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to keep yourself in good physical condition for the surgery. Ask your doctor about the best ways to get exercise without aggravating your back or spine condition or causing pain.
If you are a smoker, it is best to stop before your surgery. It may not be easy, but smokers have a higher surgical risk and are more prone to back problems. In the long run, it will make the process much easier.
What to Do in the Days Before Surgery
In the days before your surgery, you will most likely have to visit your doctor for a pre-operative appointment. Use this time to ask any last-minute questions you have about the procedure or the recovery period. You may also have some tests done during this time, such as blood tests or an x-ray.
Make sure to check with your doctor about diet restrictions, as well. Some surgeries may require that you do not eat or drink for a certain amount of time before your surgery.
What to Do on the Day of Surgery
On the day of your surgery, make sure you arrive on time. Leave early so you don’t feel rushed or stressed about getting there in time. Wear loose-fitting clothes, and if it is a longer procedure, bring some toiletries with you. Once it’s time to enter the operating room, try to relax. Before you know it, it will be time for recovery.
The Healing Process
The exact healing process will differ, depending on the procedure, but you can be prepared for a few things. You may have to wear a brace, and you might have trouble standing up or getting around. Arrange for family members or friends to be around to help for at least the first few weeks of recovery.
You may experience intermittent pain, which is normal after having surgery. Pay attention to your body, however, and let your doctor know about any unusual pain or sensations. If you are having a lot of trouble moving or getting back into your normal physical routine, physical therapy may be necessary to start you back on the right path.
Although it takes a lot of preparation and recovery, ultimately, back surgery will help you feel better. With Branko Prpa M.D., your experience will be as pain-free as possible. We’re here to help you find relief and feel like yourself again.
Contact the office of Milwaukee spine and back specialist Dr. Branko Prpa to find out more about our practice and what we can do for you.