Many patients have questions before undergoing back surgery. As with any medical procedure, gathering the correct information can increase your confidence in your decision to seek treatment. In Central New Jersey, Dr. Sandro LaRocca is a specialist and surgeon at the New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. He is an experienced expert in a wide number of spinal conditions and the procedures to effectively treat them. Here, we outline a few questions that Dr. LaRocca advises asking after back surgery has been recommended.
As you approach your procedure, ask whether you should do anything specific, like fasting before the surgery or stopping a medication in preparation for it. Also, try to understand what to expect after the procedure. How long will you stay in the hospital? What lifestyle changes will be necessary to ensure your full recovery?
If you are still deciding whether to move forward with the procedure, take a moment to understand how it will relate to your condition. Before making a decision, ask why surgery is recommended, how it can help, and how your condition will progress if you are not treated.
Many surgeries can now be performed in a minimally invasive manner. While others cannot, it’s worth asking your doctor whether this is an option for you. Also inquire whether the surgery involves an implant or prosthesis, how long it will take, whether anesthesia will be necessary, and what tools the surgeon plans to use. Familiarity with the surgical process may help you feel more confident in your doctors’ ability.
Just as important as the process itself are the risks it entails. Discuss upcoming procedures with your doctor to familiarize yourself with any potential complications, as well as the likelihood that one should appear. The surgeon can help you weigh the risks and benefits of your procedure, as well as its effectiveness, while you decide on a treatment path. You also may wish to discuss any discomfort following the procedure, how your mobility may be affected, and whether you can speak with someone who has undergone the surgery in the past.
Finally, spend some time informing yourself on what to expect after the surgery. This includes your expected hospital stay, post-procedure treatments, and whether you will need physical therapy after you are discharged. Inquire into how long recovery will take and the steps to expect as your health and strength improve. It’s unlikely that you will return to normal activities immediately, so ask how long it will be before you can return to work or school, drive a car, resume household chores, or exercise.
To get answers to more specific questions about back surgery and find help determining the right course of action for you, contact Dr. Sandro LaRocca at the New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. We’ll be happy to set up a consultation at one of our clinics located in Lawrenceville, Wall Township, North Brunswick, and Mount Laurel, so you can feel confident about your procedure and outlook of your condition.