Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 9, 2019
No matter how small or minimally invasive your upcoming surgery is, it’s completely normal to be anxious or even fearful about how everything may turn out. And while it’s completely normal, we’ve also found that anxiety and nerves can actually inhibit a full and speedy recovery, so we want to do everything in our power to reduce this pre-surgical stress. In today’s blog, we share some tips for getting over the fear of spine surgery.
Getting Over Back Surgery Fear
Again, it’s completely normal to have some concerns about your upcoming surgery, but that doesn’t mean you should just roll with those feelings. At a minimum, dwelling in doubt isn’t a fun headspace to be in, and at worst, it can actually hinder your recovery. So here’s what you should do to help ease these feelings of fear.
- Ask Questions – One of the main reasons people are afraid of their surgery is because they don’t totally understand what’s all going on or what to expect. We’ve found that if patients are asking questions and engaged in their pre-surgical consultation that they generally have less anxiety as the big day arrives. Educate yourself and use your doctor as a source of information, not the internet, because they will be your best resource for your specific case.
- Focus on the Good – Far too often our fear stems from focusing on the worst case scenario. Poor surgical outcomes are rare, and far more often everything goes exactly as planned. Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, focus on what your life may be like assuming everything goes as expected. You may be able to do more activities or just live without pain. Focusing on these aspects of your health can help get your mind in the right place.
- Have a Post-Op Plan – We’ve also found it beneficial for patients to come into their surgery with a post-op plan. Know what to expect for your recovery, commit to your physical therapy and rehab plan, and prep your house before you head in for surgery. Make life as easy as possible for yourself before surgery so that there aren’t any extra pressures post-op. Have some ready to reheat meals, make sure the laundry is done and pick up the house so you don’t have to worry about household duties while you recover. This will help put your mind at ease.
- Find a Surgeon You Trust – Finally, make sure that you have confidence in the surgeon performing your surgery. If they just don’t seem to be attentive during your pre-surgical consultation, or you want to get a second opinion, trust your gut. No worthwhile surgeon is going to get offended by a patient who wants to get a second opinion or who takes time to consider all their options. If you’re feeling pressured into moving forward with your surgery, take a step back and trust your instincts. If you don’t, you’re going to be in a poor headspace before and after the operation.
If you can do these four things, we’re confident that you will have a good mindset prior to your operation, which can help keep your rehab on track. For more information, or to talk to Dr. Sinicropi about your back issues, reach out to his office today.