According to research from Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. In fact, they also indicate that approximately 8% of Americans have chronic back pain problems. This causes…
It’s never easy to hear that you need surgery, but when it comes to degenerative disc disease, sometimes it is the best thing you can do. While it is most often the last resort, degenerative disc disease surgery can help to relieve pain, restore function and improve your quality of life.
Preparing for your degenerative disc disease surgery is not only going to help the surgery go more smoothly, but it is also going to help you solidify a commitment to healing before and after the procedure. To help you prepare, we have put together a list of things to do before degenerative disc disease surgery.
Getting Your Affairs in Order
Most of us don’t like to think about our mortality, but it is vital to have our affairs in order before any surgery, just in case. The benefits here are twofold: 1. You are helping to minimize any administrative constraints in the event of an emergency, and 2. You are mentally preparing yourself for your procedure, recovery, and contingencies.
Stress surrounding personal affairs can inhibit your ability to prepare your body and mind for surgery and post-operative recovery, so it is best to take care of these things before your surgery date.
Some things you should take care of before degenerative disc disease surgery include:
Making a Will
There are two types of wills – a living will and a testament. A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for end-of-life medical care if you cannot communicate your wishes. On the other hand, a last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how you would like your assets distributed after your death.
It is essential to have both types of wills in place before your surgery, as you never know what might happen during the procedure or in your recovery.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney (HCPOA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions about your medical care if you cannot do so yourself. This could be because you are under anesthesia, in a coma, or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes.
Having an HCPOA in place before your surgery is crucial, as there is always a risk that something could go wrong during the procedure. This will help ensure that your wishes are carried out, even if you cannot communicate them yourself.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney (FPA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. This could be because you are under anesthesia, in a coma, or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes.
Having an FPA in place before your surgery is essential, as there is always a risk that something could go wrong during the procedure. This will help ensure that your financial affairs are taken care of, even if you cannot do so yourself.
Organizing Your Finances
In addition to putting financial power of attorney in place, it is also a good idea to get your finances in order before surgery. This means taking care of any outstanding bills, setting up automatic bill payments, and ensuring you have enough money to cover any unexpected expenses.
Let your bank know about your upcoming surgery, as they may be able to help you with any financial concerns you have.
Telling Your Employer about Your Surgery
You must inform your employer about your upcoming surgery if you are employed. This way, they can make arrangements for you to take time off work and answer any questions you have about your job and your recovery.
Let your co-workers know about your surgery, as they may be able to help you with some of your work duties while you are recovering.
Packing a Bag for the Hospital
When you have degenerative disc disease surgery, you will most likely be able to leave the hospital on the same day. However, having a bag packed and ready for someone to bring in if you need to stay longer can help make the process smoother.
Be sure to pack items such as comfortable clothes, toiletries, insurance information, and any medications you are taking. Also, fill out a book or magazine, as you will likely have some downtime during your recovery.
Preparing Your Body for Surgery
In addition to preparing your home and your finances for surgery, it is also essential to prepare your body. By preparing your body, you can help to ensure that the surgery is successful and that your recovery is as smooth as possible. The goal is to build your strength so your body is ready to handle the surgery and recovery stress.
Some things you can do to prepare your body for surgery include:
Stop Using Tobacco Products
While quitting nicotine may be difficult, it is essential to do so before surgery. Nicotine can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
If you are a smoker or use other nicotine products, you should try to quit at least two weeks before your surgery. If you cannot quit entirely, you should at least cut back as much as possible.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it is especially important if you are about to have surgery. Eating healthy foods will help to improve your overall health and make it easier for your body to recover from surgery.
Try incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. You should also limit your intake of fatty foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol, as these substances can interfere with healing. Alcohol can significantly complicate surgery due to its blood-thinning effects.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is essential for maintaining your overall health, but it is also beneficial in the weeks leading up to surgery. Exercise can help to improve your circulation, increase your strength, and promote healing.
It is important to start slowly and gradually increasing your workouts’ intensity. It would be best if you also avoid any strenuous activities, such as running or lifting heavy weights, in the weeks leading up to surgery.
Talk to Your Doctor about Your Medications
Some medications can interfere with the healing process or increase the risk of complications. If you are taking prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements, you must talk to your doctor about them before surgery.
Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or NSAIDs, in the weeks leading up to surgery.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for your overall health, but it is also crucial in the weeks before surgery. Getting enough sleep will help to improve your immune system and promote healing.
Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night in the weeks leading up to surgery. You should also avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol before bed, as these substances can interfere with sleep.
Choose Your Support System & Making Arrangements for Recovery
After surgery, you will need help with activities of daily living and your recovery. It is essential to choose your support system before surgery to ensure you have the help you need when you come home.
Your support system may include family members, friends, or paid caregivers. It would be best to arrange transportation, child care, and pet care before surgery.
In addition to choosing your support system, you should also take steps to prepare your home for recovery. This may include stocking the pantry with easy-to-prepare meals, arranging transportation, and setting up a comfortable place to rest and recover.
Speak to an Experienced Surgeon at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery in Florida to Educate Yourself on the Procedure
If you are considering surgery, educating yourself on the procedure and what to expect before, during, and after it is important. The best way to do this is to speak to an experienced surgeon who can answer your questions.
At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery in Florida, we offer you an excellent opportunity to learn more about your options and what to expect from surgery. With a combined x years of experience, our team of board-certified surgeons can help you make the best decision for your individual needs. To schedule a consultation, please call us at (855) 853-6542 or send us a message online.