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360 Fusion on Monday!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I think I am as ready as I can be. A little nervous, ok a lot nervous and anxious. My fusion, ALIF/PLIF at L4/L5. What am I forgetting to do before Monday? What will I do for the first week? I hope things go well and I can come home the next day. Thanks in advance everyone.


  • Your doctor told you there was a possibility you could go home the day after surgery???????
  • I had the anterior surgery on a Monday, posterior on Wednesday and went home on Friday afternoon - two days before I expected to. Will your surgery be all at once or in 2 separate surgeries?

    For the first week after surgery I think I mostly slept and watched a bit of TV, with a little walking (shuffling around really) around the house. Maybe most people do more but in retrospective I was pretty out of it.

    Good luck on Monday! I hope you get to come home quickly.
  • Does it sound crazy to have both the same time. I saw the vascular surgeon today and he was positive about it. He cuts the anterior horizontally. Then the surgeon inserts the artificial titanium replacement. They flip me over, I hope carefully! Insert my screws,rods etc... My surgeon told me I would be going home the next day unless something unforseen happens. The surgeon I have is co-founder of this website and invented the titanium disc replacement(FDA approved and patented). I feel confident with him as well as his team. I know this sounds much different than what I read here but I guess this is the norm for him.
    Thanks for the well wishes, I will try to calm down and wait for Monday, I have to be there at 5:30 am, surgery 7:30. I will post after surgery if all goes well. Wish me luck and I hope everyone is doing well and keeps improving.
  • You guys might not want to hear this, but often the reason why surgeons separate out the procedure is if they do the anterior and posterior on the same day, the get paid 50-75% less for a "multiple procedure" on the same day, postpone it and they get 100% for both. I would be interested in hearing what some of you had been told as to why you needed to have them done on separate days. For those of you that had them on the same day - thank your doctor for putting you under less anesthesia risk and taking a significant (we're talking 5-15K cut out of his billable charges) pay cut to help you out.
  • Pika, are they doing your surgery minimally invasive? I was in for 5 nights just for PLIF. Wow, can't imagine going home that early. I was on a PCA for 3 days. Good-luck, I am sure you have seen the post-op must-haves list for what you might be forgetting. Take-care, Cali-Sue
  • to do much in the first week or so. Rest, walk, rest, walk. I hope you have someone at home to look after you.
    If you can stay in an extra night and the hospital is OK then take it!
    Wishing you all the best
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Minimally invasive procedures dont do alot of tissue nerve and muscle damage, so its possible to have a same day surgery and leave that day. But only if the individual is physically able to.
  • JGrillot, It's not really easy or common to do a minimally invasive anterior surgery... They need enough room to move the organs and nerves and get to the spine... My anterior incision is 6 inches long, vertically. And the stay wasn't based on pain levels, it was based on the fact that when they shift all of your organs around, your digestive system is really, really, really messed up. I spent 4 days in the hospital after my 360... Clear liquid diet the entire 4 days. Your stomach also fills up with gas and it's VERY hard to get your body to rid itself of it... Unbelievably hard. That almost caused me to stay a 5th day.

    My surgeon and the vascular surgeon did it all in one 6 hour surgery. They said there is more risk to your health to be putting you under anesthesia twice in a short period of time. I would be opposed to having it done two separate surgeries. It was actually my first question after being told my last option was a fusion and she explained what she was going to do... I said, are you going to do it all at once? She said yes, as soon as you wake up it will all be over with all done. Phew. Lol.
  • My fusion is a big one and it will be all in one day. I know it seems unreal to go home the net day but that's what they keep telling me. I will let you know what really happens later. I guess the anterior opening will be horizontal and not vertical to allow for less muscle cutting. The vascular surgeon examined me and showed me approximately where the incision will be give or take an inch. They do this surgery frequently so I have to believe their right. I am also happy the surgeon will do both at once. They never mentioned doing them at different times. I am as ready as I can be, still walking a mile a day until surgery. My 4 dogs like the walk so they keep me going and if I fall down they help me up. They are German Shepherds and protect me:) Thanks for the kind words and I will let you know what happens.
    Good Luck and speedy healing to all fellow surgery patients.
  • If you are having "the big fusion", a 360, the total time on the operating table could be 12 hours or even more. I had mine in two different surgeries, both 6 hours long. I can't imagine going home the next day but your situation is perhaps different with age and your health. Good luck on Monday.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Thanks for the concern but I think some of you wonder if this is true. Yes, anterior with disc replacement. Incision horizontally and to the left of midline as to minimize the disruption of the internal contents. According to the ortho and vascular surgeon it will take an hour or so. Then they flip me over, reposition me and begin the fusion from the back with the hardwear. They say this will expedite my fusion time as well as give me a very stable fusion at the L4/L5 level. I was wondering how long this would take and he said about 3-4 hours. I know that sounds bizarre but I asked the scheduler how long they booked the operating room for my surgery. She replied,"they have it till noon". I go in at 5:30 with surgery at 7:30. The timeline seems to match since they also take lunch before the next scheduled surgery at noon. I don't want to disrespect any other surgeon but maybe they do things differently and it takes longer. My surgeon is fellowship trained and has invented the titanium disc(FDA approved, patented) device used for my anterior disc replacement. It is called ENDOSKELETON, website is Titan-Spine.com. He has been using it for years now with great results. He also is co-founder of this website. I don't know what else to say but I feel so fortunate to have him do this for me all in one day. God Bless him! I asked to video tape this so we'll see.
    Thanks for your support everyone. Pika
  • Just wanted to wish you well with your surgery on Monday! Take care of yourself and post when you can about how it went for you.
  • Thanks Joy, I want it over with. My husband will be with me so I feel better.
  • The waiting can be H###. Try to keep yourself busy, busy, busy! Afterwards, you can rest, rest, rest!
  • As I have said many times before on this board, there is no normal when it comes to "Backs". Thats goes for surgery and recuperation. So, when I write something here I am only talking about "my normal". Sorry if you got the impression that I didn't believe you. Again, good luck on your surgery.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • I believe you Dick, I didn't mean for my comment to sound so disrespectful to you. I am thankful for all of the comments and well wishes from everybody. I have posted in other areas and some comments suggest I am not realizing the extent of a 360 fusion. I do realize it differs from most of the other participants in this forum. The comments help me to formulate questions and ask for answers. I feel fortunate to be having it all done at once and to get home shortly after surgery. If my surgeon can get it done in 3-4 hours all the better for me. I will post my results as soon as I can. Thanks again for the kind words and encouragement on my upcoming surgery.
  • I just posted here last week about THIS SAME SURGEON!!!! I went to him for a third opinion and YES he told me that I would be discharged within 2 days. He told me the exact same things he told you about the length of surgery and also the incisions and how they move the internal organs over to the side inside the intestinal lining to minimize trauma, then have the vascular surgeon work around the vessels. He also told me then that they flip me over to finish. Did he also tell you that a brace would not be necessary? I was also told I need the exact same surgery only mine will be at two levels. Can we talk? I would love to call or e-mail each other because I assume that we have very much the same stories and I would love to hear how you do postop. Thank goodness I found someone who is having the same procedure with the same doc!!! :D
  • Hi emtlady, Hooray for us. It seems we are lucky to have him as our surgeon. Yes, you can call me and use me as a source for information. I hope everything goes well for you too. No brace for me either!!!! Yippee
    Send private message if you want to exchange phone numbers. You can also ad me to your buddy list.
  • >:D< >:D< Here is a couple of hugs for you for your big day tomorrow. Hope to talk to you again when you are feeling up to it. You sound very couragous and I only wish I had a little bit of your bravery! =D>
  • It does not take 12 hours to fuse one level. If you had 10 screws you obviously had multiple levels done and that's why yours took so long. I had a one level 360, and it took 6 hours, and was not minimally invasive.
  • I just cannot imagine how it would be safe to let someone go home the day after a fusion. Seems a bit frivolous of them to me. Better safe than sorry. When your organs are disrupted, and they will be, no matter where they cut you, seeing as how they are all in front of your spine, people should be kept at least 48 to 72 hours for observation... There is a risk of infection, doubled, because there are incisions on both sides, and I can't imagine you'd be able to eat that day or the next day, and they are supposed to make sure your digestive system is fully functioning before you leave.

    But hey, if that's how your doctor works, that's how they work. I just hope, for your sake, that you are safe and things turn out okay.

    Good luck.
  • i have this surgery on Oct 6th and was in the hospital for five days. There was no way i was ready to go home before that. Best of luck.
  • Emtlady, I appreciate the positive words and look forward to talking to you soon. Lo, I thank you for your input and I will tell them to keep me if I do not feel ready to come home. My husband will be with me and believe me he will not allow any doctor to send me home if he doesn't think it's right. Here goes!!!! I am nervous but ready to get on with it. Love to all..
  • I JUST had a 360 fusion done last week (on election day). I arrived at the hospital at 6:00am, went to pre-op at 7:00am (for TED stockings, visits from various doctors and nurses, the anesthesiologist, eventually the entire surgical team and finally the happy juice IV started. (30 seconds after the IV was started, I don't remember a thing until waking up in recovery.) My wife told me they promptly took me to the OR at 8:00am. I was in my room by 1:00PM. This was the ALIF, the PLIF and previous TLIF hardware removal. (my wife thinks I'm strange for wanting to keep the removed hardware). I was released from the hospital at approx. noon last Friday, 11/07. I was on a liquid diet until the evening meal of the 2nd day. I've been having some pain (I'd say discomfort more than pain). I was given hydrocodone for the pain and it seems to be doing the job fairly well along with constipating me. I seem to be sleeping better if I do not take the meds in the evening. The ALIF incision is a bit more bothersome than the PLIF incision. The incisions are vertical and approx. 6" long.

    A few days prior to the surgery I was beginning to feel quite anxious. My primary care physician gave me a prescription for .5 MG of Xanax 2x day 3 days prior to the surgery. My wife told me I was eerly calm through out the whole pre op process. MUCH different than last years TLIF. I think last years fear had a lot to do with having no idea what was about to happen to me.

    Hopefully this bit of info will help ease your fears if even just a little. It IS scarey but can be managed.
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