Getting Ready for Surgery
What examinations are needed in preparation for the operation?
In standard cases, the following examinations are required prior to the operation (results should not be older than 2 weeks at the time of the surgery):
- Full blood count;
- Coagulogram (indicators of blood clotting);
- Blood group, Rhesus (Rh) factor and anti-erythrocyte antibodies;
- Electrocardiogram (ECG);
- In some cases, if you have a history of heart or lung disorders, your doctor may also order the following examinations in preparation for surgery:
- ECHO (echocardiogram);
- CXR or chest x-ray (Rtg thoracis);
- Spirometry (external lung breathing);
What to do if you are taking blood thinning agents (blood thinners)?
The most commonly used blood thinning agents are:
- Anti-aggregants – drugs containing Aspirin, Clopidogrel or Ticagrelor (Aspirin, Thrombo ASS, Hjertemagnyl, Duoplavin, Citramon, Plavix, Alka-Seltzer, Efferalgan, Aspirin Cardiac, Clopidogrel, Platel, Trombex, Zyllt, Ticagrelor, Brylique);
- Anticoagulants – Warfarin (Orfarin, Warfarin), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Heparin (Heparin);
Blood thinning agents decrease the blood clotting capacity of your blood – it is therefore potentially dangerous to perform surgery! If you are using/taking any of the aforementioned drugs, please, inform your doctor about them!
When to stop eating and drinking before surgery?
In order to minimize the risks associated with anaesthesia, it is generally recommended that you do not eat at least 6 hours before the scheduled surgery and do not drink any liquids at least 4 hours before the surgery.
Practically speaking: if you are scheduled for surgery in the morning or in the first half of the day, please, do not eat after midnight and do not drink any liquids after 3:00am!.If you are scheduled to have an operation in the afternoon, you can have yourself a light breakfast, do not drink or eat anything after that during the day before the surgery. If there are some medications you have to take on the morning before the surgery, it is permitted to take them with a small amount of water.
When to arrive for surgery?
If you are scheduled for an operation, you should come the hospital on the morning of the surgery.
In some cases, if additional examinations, or a doctors visit is needed, or if the patient has difficulty getting to the hospital early in the morning, it is possible to enter the hospital the day before the surgery. You will discuss when to arrive for surgery with your specialist during a pre-surgery visit.
What do you need to bring with you when going to the hospital for surgery?
It is important that you bring with you all the examinations and the results relating to the planned operation (magnetic resonance imaging and / or computer tomography, blood tests and other results).
You also need to bring with you any medications you are taking that are not related to the surgery(such as high blood pressure), as well as any personal hygiene items you require, a pair of slippers and a bathrobe.
Catering is provided at the hospital, free WiFi is available on the grounds as well as TV access with the most popular channels.
How long does it take to recover from spinal surgery?
A long time has passed since spinal surgery meant major cuts, prolonged hospitalization and a painful recovery process.
Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, tools and equipment, most spinal surgery has transformed into “minimally invasive procedures”. That means that the surgery is done through a small incision in skin, surgery is guided under a microscope minimising damage to the surrounding tissues. An intraoperative x-ray is used to accurately locate the level of surgery.
Our operations are thus patient-friendly, cause minimal tissue damage, therefore the patient’s post-operative recovery period is relatively easy. In most cases, patients begin to walk on the first day after surgery and are discharged the same day to continue recovery at home. Depending on the type of surgery, full recovery takes 2 to 6 weeks.