When you and your doctor have determined that spine surgery is the best treatment for your neck or back pain, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit of anxiety and stress about the big day. For the uninformed especially, spine surgery can seem scary and mystifying. But, one way to ease your mind is by asking your spine surgeon the right questions before your surgery and learning as much as possible about your procedure.
When you have a better understanding of what to expect before, during and after surgery, it decreases stress and anxiety significantly. It also prepares you to have the best outcome and spine surgery recovery possible.
Thanks to ever-evolving technology and the mass amount of information available on the Internet, as a patient, you have greater access to healthcare information than ever before. This allows you to play a larger role in making informed decisions regarding your own health and improve the quality of your care. But, asking the right questions is key.
If you are scheduled to undergo surgery or are considering it as a treatment option, here are five need-to-know questions to ask your spine surgeon before your procedure.
1. Why is this procedure best for me?
Find out the why the chosen surgery is the best type of procedure for your spinal condition. For many spinal conditions, surgery is considered only after more conservative, non-surgical treatments have failed to provide long-term relief. Don’t be afraid to talk to your surgeon about possible other treatment options, or even seeking a second opinion.
2. How is this procedure performed?
Ask your surgeon to explain the entire procedure and exactly what is going to be done. Every spine surgery and patient is unique, so be sure to inquire about how your case may differ from others your surgeon has performed in the past. Additionally, ask about specific instruments and techniques that will be used.
3. How many of these procedures have you performed?
Get a better idea of your surgeon’s experience level with your particular procedure and condition by asking how many of these surgeries he or she has performed. Consider requesting to see patient testimonials or to be referred to a former patient who underwent this procedure.
4. What are the outcomes for this procedure?
The main reason for undergoing spine surgery is to improve quality of life. Knowing about expected outcomes is just as important as knowing why the surgery is being recommended and how it is performed. Unless quality of life is expected to be moderately or greatly improved, it’s unlikely a surgeon would suggest surgery as a treatment option.
5. What will my recovery look like?
Finally, it’s important to understand what life after surgery will be like. From instructions immediately following your procedure to when you may return to full activity, it’s important to know what to expect during the course of your recovery and post-op care.
At Southern Laser Spine, our goal is to provide patients with the information and help that they need in order to make the right decisions when it comes to their medical decisions. For more information about our minimally invasive spine surgery procedures, please request a free consultation or contact our team today.