Dr. Schröder is happy to inform you about the surgical treatment of your neck or back condition. He'll also discuss the possible complications of the procedure.
Dr. Schröder is happy to inform you about the surgical treatment of your neck or back condition. He also discusses the possible complications of the procedure with you.
After you've carefully weighed up the pros and cons of the surgery, you can decide for yourself whether you consider your condition serious enough to operate.
Instructions for after you have left the clinic
Once you leave the clinic:
- Make sure that someone comes and picks you up in a car, and refrain from driving yourself
- Make sure that you recline your car seat
- Make sure that you are not home alone for the first few days following the operation
- Allow the wound to heal for the first 2 to 3 weeks
- You are allowed to shower, as the nurses will give you a waterproof plaster to cover your wound before you leave the clinic
- You must not drive for 3 weeks, but you will be allowed to sit in the passenger seat while someone else drives you around
- You are allowed to do whatever you feel up to, as long as you keep listening to your body and stop doing whatever it is you are doing whenever your body tells you to stop
Your doctor, nurse and/or physiotherapist will provide you with more information on how to look after yourself following the operation.
How long will I have to stay at the clinic?
Depends on the nature of the operation
The duration of your stay with us will depend on your situation and on the type of surgery you are undergoing. If everything goes according to plan, and if you are undergoing a minor back or neck operation, you will only have to stay with us for one night. If you are undergoing major surgery, such as a spinal instability operation, you will generally have to spend a few nights at our clinics.
Swelling after surgery
Swelling reduced after 2 to 3 months
After the operation, your wound will swell, which may be painless but may also be a little uncomfortable due to your skin being pulled so taut. Generally speaking, the swelling will subside of its own accord within 2 to 3 months of the operation, and the skin will grow less thick.
Medication after surgery
Following the operation, you will be given painkillers for as long as you need them. You will receive these painkillers in accordance with a set schedule. It is vital that you take your medication at the scheduled times, even when you are not experiencing any pain. In this way, your body will build up a steady level of analgesia.
Most people will be able to stop taking painkillers a few days after undergoing back or neck surgery. If your painkillers somehow fail to provide you with a sufficient level of relief, we recommend that you notify a nurse as soon as possible. If you were on morphine-like medication prior to your operation, we advise that you gradually cut down on your medication after the operation, if your level of pain allows you to do so, in consultation with your GP. Acute withdrawal may result in adverse events.
If you are experiencing an excessive amount of pain, you will receive additional painkillers
The level of post-operative pain differs from person to person, and from operation to operation. Generally speaking, major lengthy operations will prove more painful than brief minor operations. At our clinics, all patients receive proper painkillers following surgery, as a result of which very few of our patients ever experience a great deal of pain. In consultation with yourself, we will determine your pain score, both at the ward and once you are home (we will call you to discuss this with you). If your pain score is too high, you will be given additional painkillers.
Where will you be taken after surgery?
You will be taken to the recovery room
Towards the end of the operation, the anaesthetist will stop administering the medication that is keeping you unconscious. You will gradually come to of your own accord. You will be taken to the recovery room, which is a separate room close to the operating theatre. A specially trained nurse will monitor you while you gradually wake. You will still be hooked up to a vital signs monitor while in the recovery room.
Room in a nursing ward
Once you are fully awake, you will be taken to your room in a nursing ward, where a physiotherapist will come and see you to explain to you how to go about moving around again. The duration of your stay at the clinic will be determined by the nature of your operation. If you are having a spinal hernia or neck hernia operation, you will generally be able to leave the clinic on the day after your operation. The same holds true for a stenosis operation. If you are undergoing surgery due to spinal instability, you may have to stay at the clinic for several nights.
All patients will receive general anaesthesia (i.e., controlled unconsciousness) prior to the operation. Due to the patient’s position on the operating table, spinal anaesthesia is not a recommended anaesthetic. The medication inducing the anaesthesia will be administered by an anaesthetist.
The day of your surgery
Make sure you arrive at the clinic on time
On the day of your operation, you will report to the main reception desk at our clinics. A hostess will direct you to the Back and Neck Centre, where the nursing team will look after you. Please make sure that you arrive at the clinic on or before the scheduled time.
The day before your surgery
Have an empty stomach
If you are scheduled for a morning operation, you may eat and drink as normal until midnight on the evening prior to your operation. After that you must neither eat nor drink. Patients who are scheduled to receive surgery in the afternoon are allowed to have a light breakfast. Your doctor will discuss all this with you prior to the operation.
Avoid using skin-care products
You are kindly requested not to apply skin-care products to your neck or back, as they will make it hard for us to disinfect your skin.
Undergoing surgery – how does it work?
The operation itself will not require much preparation on your part. However, it is crucial that you prepare for the post-operative period. After undergoing surgery, you will not be allowed to work for a while. Please notify your employer of this fact. Furthermore, you should consider getting some help around the house after the operation, as you will experience some pain after the operation, having just received surgery. You will not be allowed to drive for a while. Be sure to get someone to help you do housework and to look after you and any children you may have.