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Pre and Post Op Must Haves

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
edited 01/25/2016 - 1:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
PRE and POST SURGICAL LIST

** This is a marked up version of the list that saltzworks (Amy) put together

PRIOR TO SURGERY

• Shave, wax, pedicure, manicure, etc. right before surgery. If you have fake nails, think about removing since they may fall off due to anesthesia
• Hair cut
• Dentist
• OB-GYN
• Update prescription glasses, both reading and regular if you wear contacts since you won’t be wearing contacts much in the hospital or after surgery
• Give all doctor names and numbers to caregiver(s) as well as next to your bed
• Put together phone numbers of all concerned family members and friends on one sheet
• Check with your doctor for handicap sticker
• All grooming/personal supplies waist high to avoid reaching/bending
• Organize essential items at home to be within reach, e.g. telephone, shoes, etc.
• Arrange for care - someone to be with you for most of the first week post-discharge
• Make sure you give your surgeon a list of your regular medications including the dosage amount.
• Give blood prior to surgery and/or family members
• Checks made out for bills, stamped envelopes ready or online payments done in advance
• Have some cash handy for family members to run errands.
• Pet care arranged
• Car keys and house keys given to appropriate caregivers


TAKE TO THE HOSPITAL


(check with hospital in case you receive items during stay)
• Button up pajamas
• Back Scratcher, cheap bamboo - invaluable!
• Bathrobe to cover up if use a Johnny
• Hairbrush/Comb
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Mouthwash
• Facial wipes
• Body wipes
• Hand Cream
• Facial Cream
• Lip Balm
• Lavender linen spray or Febreze
• For long hair, elastic bands to tie back
• Loose clothing to come home in o Underwear o Front button top o Socks o Comfortable, safe shoes
• Magazine, crosswords, notepad, pencil
• Glasses
• Laptop, if you want - a lot of hospitals have wireless access in the rooms



WHEN YOU ARE HOME

Food Items
• Soft foods including: Yogurt, frozen yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, jello cups, pre-made puddings & tapioca, protein bars, cereal, microwave oatmeal, bananas, chicken stock, microwave dinners, frozen pasta entrees, pre-made mashed potatoes, cookies, chocolate, lettuce, salad dressing, cheese, lunch meat, hot dogs, bread, bakery items.
o Check for other soft foods that are healthier than this list ☺o People had a difficult time digesting food. Reports include nausea, increased thirst and fatigue so quick meals were essential.
• Drinks – Plenty of bottled water bedside, Gatorade, Powerade, coke, ginger ale, other soft drinks, yogurt drinks, Ensure or Boost protein drinks, milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, other juices, tea, coffee with cream/sugar/sweetener, Black tea with honey/lemon that soothes the stomach.
• Frozen fruit for blending smoothies in a Magic Bullet or blender
• Protein Powder [will assist with bone fusion, particularly if you cannot chew much]
• Bag of ice – small cubes
• Ice chips to help dry or sore throat
• Flexible and long straws
• Paper plates and plastic cups
• Candy, sugarless gum
• Mints
• Vitamins
• Magic Bullet (or similar blender) for individual servings o It is great for individual blending/smoothies, etc. It is carried in most dept stores, kitchen stores, etc. It is great at blending up ice and much more convenient to have the individual serving size than the full size blender. Magic Bullet also has a website.

Shower and Bathroom Items
• Shower stool to Chair to sit in shower with soap/shampoo/shower gel on another chair for easy reach
• Non-slip mat for shower
• Hand shower
• Long-handled Back scrubber
• Nylon bath poof instead of wash cloth; easier to hold
• Exfoliating skin towel. [Body Shop has these and they are great for rubbing off the dead skin and helping you feel fresh, especially if stuck in bed]
• Toilet riser with or without side handles - $15-$25
• Bedpan if necessary
• Walker and/or cane per doctor

Personal Items
• Deodorant body wipes / wet wipes for freshening up (Drug Store has near the Depends. They are a large size.)
• Pre-moistened facial cleansing cloths
• Dry shampoo $5 from specialty beauty store
• Powder – Shower to Shower or other
• Face cream (I would suggest small sizes)
• Hand cream
• Body lotion for itchy skin
• Lip balm, Chapstick
• Mouthwash
• Throat lozenges / Chloraseptic Spray
• Kleenex
• Wound dressings per doctor
• Thermometer to check temp after surgery
• Stool softener / Suppositories for constipation (Some found they couldn’t keep the pills down and/or they got stomach cramps from the pills)
• Prune Juice taken with a dose of Milk of Magnesia for dire cases of constipation - it takes about 2 hours, then you are good to go (pun intended).

Handy Items
•Grabber/picker – preferably 36” long. Perhaps one in bedroom and one in living room. $10-$25
• Long handled shoe horn. $5
• Grabber-like thing to pull on socks with, or think about wearing flip flops or open-backed shoes.
• Pill Organizer or notepad to keep track of what you need to take when and to make notations of when you take your meds.
• Bedtray
• Bell, cell phone or walkie talkies to contact caregivers
• Microwaveable hot packs –great for aching shoulders, etc.
• Satin sheets for easy sliding in and of bed. Or satin PJ's.
• "Turning sheet" strip of heavy fabric that you put under you so that you can have a signficant other pull to turn you over as needed, particularly good for those first few days.
• Cold packs in freezer prior to surgery
• Phone near the bed. Get a wireless or wireless adapter from Radio Shack o Cellphone and charger o Blackberry, Treo and chargers
• IPod, headphones, charger o Update your playlists
• Books, magazines, audio books, crosswords, Sudoku o Booklight
• Extra batteries for remotes
• Remote controls for TV, DVD, etc.
• Plastic containers to hold and organize items you will use while confined to bed. Also to use after mouthwash or for small trash. o Put all the reading materials, crosswords, pencils, etc. in one. Put personal cleansing items in another.
• Small, lightweight pitcher for water next to bed
• Paper towels near bed
• Small wash basin near bed
• Small bucket for nausea next to bed
• Small garbage bags nearby
• Towel that lies flat on the bed beside you. Put items you may use on top then just pull the towel toward you to retrieve items you can’t reach.
• Extra pillows to help with comfortable positions
• Additional sheets, blankets, pillows near recliner, sofa, chair in living room
• Wheelchair, if necessary
• Recliner, if possible. Some find recliners work, others don't - they can be hard to get out of.
• Think about placing every day items at waist height even if it means storing on counters.
• Pedometer for post-op walking program

Clothing
• Slip on shoes o Croc shoes with the open back. They are ugly but they are easy to get on, provide great traction, comfortable to wear and were recommended by the hospital.
• Slippers - not too loose with good soles
• Soft socks – NAP socks from Brookstone are awesome & keep your feet warm at night. $20/3 pairs
• Bathrobe
• Pull on pants – make them a size larger so they don’t bother your incision(s); check elastic so it’s not too tight.
• Front buttoned shirts or zipper tops for trips to PT and doctor
• Jogging suits
• Sweat pants
• Yoga pants
• Front button pajamas – numerous sets
• Camisoles or tee shirts to wear under brace, preferably cotton so it breathes. Ladies -try the ones with the bra built in.

Comfort Items
• Lots of pillows, body, small, wedge, cervical, etc.
• 3" memory foam mattress topper pad $100 approx.
• Pressure mattress or pads
• Have plenty of sheets, pillowcases, blankets, washcloths and towels ready for use. o Have sheets, blankets, pillows near a favorite recliner or sofa
• If you are planning on much reading or computer (laptop) work post-op, consider a stand that adjusts in position and height like a hospital bed tray –Brookstone. $150; There are less expensive ones around $60-70. Make sure they fit under your favorite chair.
• Linen spray to freshen sheets and pillow cases. Use lavender scent to relax and help with sleep.


Boredom Relievers
• Laptop
• Magazines, books
• Audio books
• Crosswords
• Sudoku
• IPod (updated with playlists for recovery)
• Nintendo
• DVDs o Order prior to surgery if belong to Netflix or other service

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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1

Comments

  • WOW. That is insanely long. I think I have maybe 2 or 3 things off that list. Lol. Grabber, pill organizer, and sweats.

    I feel like an outcast in the crowd. Lol. I really didn't use or need anything, really. I only used the grabber because it was a pain in the A to continuously bend at the knees to pick things up off the floor. Only thing different I really did was have my boyfriend carry the laundry up and down the stairs. I think I lucked out quite a bit in the sense that that's the only thing I really needed help with, and nothing in my house was changed. I am pretty impressed at this ridiculously long list that's crazy detailed. Must have taken someone foreverrrrrr. I would never have even thought of most of those things.

    I'm sure it's extremely helpful for most. Pretty good stuff :)
  • Lo- I am with you on this one. I had hardly any of this and didn't need it. Reachers YES I have 2 sets and a raised toilet set but very little else.
    Oh I do have a troley on wheels to keep necessities on like phone, pills, tissues etc and push around with me.

    I know Saltzworks had a bad time so that is probably why the list is so extensive.

    Sara O:)
  • It's good, because there are people who are going to have hard times, too, so it's great for there to be a resource for them like this. It's a great list!
  • My husband will be with me the whole recovery time and will be taking care of all the cooking, cleaning and so forth. Also to help me with my shower and get dressed. Due to this what of all of this should be good for me to get?

    Chrissy
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    The list was put together almost as a totally inclusive list. Having each item may not be required by everyone. As Lo mentioned, she had only a few things. For my surgeries, I think all I had was a little money for Hospital TVs and when I was home, we just adjusted.

    I would suggest going through the list with your husband, take each item and then figure out, OK, my husband is going to help with that, do I need that item?
    Only you two can really make that final decision

    Good luck
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Dilauro I will do just that. My husband and I was going over some of the things on the list. Also we have contacted our cable provider to have cable installed in our bedroom for when I want to lie down and watch tv since our couch isn't as you would say the greatest. :) :)

    Chrissy
  • Pre-surgery:

    A good meal and a beer the night before.


    Post-Surgery:

    Lazy-boy type chair. Heating Pad. Xbox.

    :D
  • has been with me also for recovery.
    The only things I had bought that I would say are a must are:
    Grabber
    satin sheets
    laptop bed table (got mine at Bed/bath/beyond for like $30)

    aside from that, hubby has helped with everything else :)

    I also didn't need anything at the hospital except
    lipbalm & slippers. I was too sick to need anything else.

    I think the list is great for thought prior to going in though. I know there are some that would need more than I have. If you will be on your own during recovery, you will require more thought as to what you may need.
  • The biggest help for me the first couple days was my recliner, but after a week I am sending it back. My laptop and puzzle games off of it to entertain myself. Pudding was all I could eat for the first day and a half. OH and who can forget the nice warm fleece button up the front PJs. But besides that everything at my house is pretty much the same.


    ------------------------------------------------------------
    ACDF: c5-6, c6-7 fusion on January 9th,2009
  • Take a responsible person with you for your stay at the hospital. They can be your lifeline while you are incapacitated. They can make sure your medication needs are being met and can help move your pillows for comfort. I had great nurses who asked all the time if I needed anything but some hospitals are not always staffed as well as we would like them to be. People who have pain med tolerance are a different patient with different and unusual needs. Just my opinion but I made sure I had someone with me until I was comfortable being alone.
  • he is going to stay with me until I am released.Thanks God.,lisa
  • this is such a good list of things to have around. My 2 level fusion is in two weeks. I was going to have my mom stay with me in the hospital, but come to find out, she cant, only if i get a private room. I have my bagged packed already, plus some books and magazines. I hope i have good nurses.
  • For this invaluable information.

    m
  • I like both the list, and Centrelines suggestion! Especially the first part! :))(
  • Every time I've had surgery I have awoken to a sore throat from the tube. It gets worse the second 24 hours. It just so happened I had mints in my purse and after the second mint, I was cured of that terrible throat ache my last time in. It was invaluable! So my addition to the list as a hospital must have are TicTacs! The white peppermint ones. Makes the sore throat disappear.
    Sincerely,
    S.
  • I had ACDF Surgery and this is what really stands out for me that was extremely helpful for me. I learned about the recliner and straws from this site and was so glad to have that ready when I got home.

    1. Recliner chair (slept in that for about 2-3 weeks after surgery) Borrow one if you can. It was a life saver for me.
    2. Bendy straws (must have)
    3. Ice pack
    5. Collar covers (I haven't seen this anywhere on the web, but I was given two really comfortable collar covers that fit over my Aspen cervical collar when I was in the hospital that were kind of like spandex that stretched over the inside chin part of the collar. I could wear one and wash the other one. It kept the collar area closest to my skin clean and was soft on my skin.)
    6. I had a really hard time sleeping after the first few days of surgery. Apparently this is very common, but I had no idea and was so distressed by not being able to sleep. Ask for a sleeping med/script you can take home to have in case this happens to you.


  • Hope you will feel happier after surgery!

    What type of surgery will you be having?
  • What a wonderful list!!!! One thing that I got, and NO not everyone needs, was a rented hospital bed. My bed is very low and I had a 3 level/360 fusion, so a hospital bed helped me bunches! I know that I could have put the raisers on my bed, but the electrical bed helped me get in and out since I was able to put it on a sitting position anytime that I needed to go to the bathroom or somewhere else.

    I placed the hospital bed in my living room that way I was close to the kitchen, bathroom, front door and the patio.
  • I'd just like to mention that recliners may be OK for cervical patients to sleep in after surgery, but they are NOT good for lumbar surgical patients.


  • Does anyone know if you can rent hospital beds in the UK?

    I also wonder which of these items are particularly useful for lumbar spinal fusion.
    Can anyone enlighten me please? (It might be easier to say which ones aren't needed for lumbar surgery.)
  • For my lumbar surgery the grabber, the raised toilet seat, the shower/tub chair, a walker for the 1st few weeks, a cane and the electrical bed were my most have items. I do not know if you can rent a hospital bed in the UK though....

    I also ended up putting everything from my kitchen and bathroom cabinets up, so that way I wouldn't have to bend at all.
  • Make it a habit to bend the knees and go down, keeping the torso straight. Squat, dont bend !

    Lumbar patients may have no problems bending neck to look down, cervical patients may and can take a guided approach to pick some fallen object/toilet cleaner ;)
  • I will also have my husband taking care of me. I will get a grabber! I am set with everything else I will need, I think :? .
    I will need some good pj's to get in, and out of bed though. I remember the first time I went to get into bed after my discetomy. It was horrible!!!! :O

    I was crying, and also felt stuck! My husband has had TLIF, and knows what to do, but it was still hard!!!! Thanks for the list of things :)
  • Ron,

    Awesome list of course! I may have to add some with my revision/added fusion. My house is fairly "ACDF" and back friendly due to my past, but my ROM is going to sooooo suck after this surgery, I am looking over your list, looking over my house and set up, and thinking I may be adding more for those of us with big neck lock downs! (G)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • One of the things I've been doing of late (not sure if this helps?) I put my hard collar back on (snug) to simulate what I will have after my next surgery, and that is actually helping "open" my mind and eyes as to what restrictions I will be facing post op. For you of course, back brace.

    It also gives me a big idea as to whether I need my hubby to stay home for a few days, or get a day "in home" care assistant. I did that with my prior surgeries, but couldn't fully simulate the anticipated restrictions - this time I can. Just a thought.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.


  • Heidi,

    I had a satin sheet which made turning over and getting in and out much easier. Some others have used silk pjs.

    Don't try both though, or you might slip out of bed!! :))(

  • This is a great list, thanks very much.

  • Thanks Ron,

    I am expecting to have a 2 level surgical ACDF sometime in the not too distant future, and so have been thinking of useful items.

    I thought of conditioner for after washing hair to stop tangles so that brushing hair afterwards will as easy as possible to not tug on the head too much.

  • :))) I live alone and surgery is in two weeks (L 4/5 fusion). This list is very helpful. Sure don't think I'll get it all but sure helps in thinking about getting my house ready and some things I hadn't thought of. Thanks for posting!
  • MballardMMballard Posts: 101
    edited 09/23/2012 - 1:41 PM
    I spent several weeks before surgery getting my house ready. I did a pretty thorough cleaning and tried to organize closets and cabinets. I made sure my laundry was all caught up, too. The day before surgery, I spent several hours prepping and freezing crock pot meals. You can find plenty of recipes online - you just toss the ingredients in a gallon zip lock Baggie and toss it in the freezer. Then when you want to cook the meal, you pull it our of the freezer, run it under warm water to thaw it a bit, dump it in the crock pot and turn it on. Eight hours later, you have a healthy, homemade meal. This was a lifesaver for me in the weeks following surgery - my partner does NOT cook. This saved us from having to eat a lot of fast food or take out.
    Michelle
    L5-S1 Fusion, Discectomy on 7/10/12
    Herniated Discs at L3-L4-L5-S1, Spondylosis, Spondylolethesis at L5, DDD, Partial CES, Lumbar Facet Arthropathy
    Chronic back pain since 12/2010 (slip and fall on ice)
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