If surgery is decided upon, please make note of the following during your pre-operative visit in our office:

1.       Blood thinners: inform your doctor of medications that thin your blood, which include Aspirin, Plavix (Clopedogrel), Coumadin (Warfarin), Aggrenox, Lovenox, Heparin, and other less common blood thinners. These medications will have to be stopped at least ten days before any surgery or procedure.

2.       Anti-inflammatory medications: these include Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), Voltaren (diclofenac) and others.  Since these medications have tendency to thin the blood at times, they have to be stopped at least 5 days before any surgery or procedure.

3.       If you smoke it is important that you stop now. Ask us or your primary care doctor for a smoking cessation alternative that will help you with this process. Smoking can be harmful to your cardiopulmonary status, can negatively affect wound healing and spinal fusion during back and neck surgery, and can make vascular problems in the brain worse.

4.       Tell us if you are allergic to any antibiotics since you will receive a dose immediately before your surgery.

5.       Prior surgery: if you had any issue with a prior surgery or anesthesia, please inform your doctor during your pre-operative visit.


Medical Checkup

See your primary care doctor to make sure you are in good medical status for surgery.  In certain circumstances, we may ask for a formal clearance from your medical doctor or specialist.  Inform us of all your medications before surgery, including over the counter medications and remedies.


Getting Your Home Ready

Some suggestions on making life after surgery easier and getting your home ready are:
-Place things where you can get them without reaching or bending.
-Pick up clutter.
-Remove throw rugs.
-Tape down electrical cords to avoid any accidents
-Arrange for someone to help you with household duties and cleaning if possible.
-Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home after surgery.


Your Family’s Role

If you are a family member for one of our patients, please note the following:

-Support the patient by offering to help with daily tasks such as attending appointments, running errands, and cooking. Be a good listener and be sure to keep all family members involved, including children. The treatments your loved one is having may seem frightening to them.
-You and your loved one will go through stages of feelings. Your ability to share these feelings and listen will help keep your loved one from feeling alone.
-The timing of surgery may depend on you or your loved one’s condition.

-Make sure to keep all follow up visits and check that all medications are taken as directed.
-Be patient with mood swings, pain, or fatigue that your loved one may feel.


Night before Surgery

Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight before surgery including water, chewing gum, and mints.  Further instructions for surgery day will be given to you at your hospital pre-operative visit.


Day of Surgery

You should arrive at the hospital a few hours before your surgery. If you have not preregistered,
you will have forms to fill out. After you change into a gown, certain tests may be done.
Then, one or more IV lines may be started. These lines provide the fluids and medications you need
during surgery. If we are using monitoring (SSEPs and MEPs) during the surgery, the professionals
performing the monitoring will introduce themselves and answer your questions.  You will then meet your surgeon, who may perform a brief physical exam.


At the start of your surgery, in most cases you will be given general anesthesia.
This medication will make you sleep through the surgery. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist is in charge of the anesthesia. He or she may meet with you before the surgery begins to talk with you and answer any questions.