What To Do If You’re Scared About Your Upcoming Spine Surgery
Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 13, 2016
The prospect of going under the knife for a spinal operation, even if it’s just a “routine” operation, can be scary. Odds are you haven’t undergone an intricate operation on your spine before, which means you may not know what questions to ask or how to manage your expectations, all of which can contribute to stress, anxiety and fear leading up to the operation. Luckily, there are things you can do to help calm those fears before you head in for back surgery. We share some tips to keep in mind in this blog.
Oftentimes our biggest concern isn’t about the operation itself, it is about the uncertainty we have regarding the operation. No doctor can promise that you won’t experience any pain, or guarantee that you’ll have no complications, but if you ask questions about how the surgical team will account for potential issues, or what symptoms you should be wary of once you return home, you’ll find that feeling more prepared for the operation will lead to less fear. There are no stupid questions when it comes to spine surgery, so ask away!
Prepare All Aspects Of Your Life
Take steps before your surgery to ensure you will be as comfortable as possible after surgery. You’ll find that the more you prepare for the operation ahead of time, the less you’ll stress over what life will be like after surgery. Bring work home, schedule rides for the kids, do the laundry, prep some reheatable meals, etc. All these activities will put your mind at ease knowing you’ve done everything you can to ready yourself for life after surgery.
Focus On The Positives
Another thing we always tell our patients is to remind themselves why they are choosing to undergo spine surgery in the first place. Is pain preventing you from riding your bike or playing with your grandchildren? The goal of spine surgery is to improve the patient’s quality of life, so instead of focusing on what could go wrong, think about everything you’ll be able to do should the procedure be successful as expected!
Friends And Family
Most people find it easier to prepare for an upcoming surgery if they involve family and friends in the process. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to come with your to your spinal consultation, even if it’s just to give you a ride to the clinic. They can help take your mind off the operation with friendly conversation, or they can help by taking notes of the answers the surgeon gives while you concentrate on asking any questions you might have.
Find A Surgeon You Trust
All spine surgeons will be certified, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Find a surgeon that is knowledgeable and who has performed the same procedure numerous times with great results. For more information on choosing the right spine surgeon, check out this blog post we wrote on the topic.