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Post surgery items really used????

hope4leohhope4leo Posts: 200
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Thanks a million for the post ops must haves- its a GREAT list of items that half of which I didn't even think of.
For all of you post op pros, did you use a cane or a walker after surgery? How about a toilet seat extender? And how about a grabber?? Are all of these items worth the purchase?? I am have LOTS of surgical work done ALIF/PLIF, decompression, removal of serval bone spurs.

Also, the pre-op nurse told me that I will have NG tube(?) for the first 24hrs- does that sound right??

Thanks for your advice and your time!!~



  • HI :)

    The post-op list IS extensive!

    Every person has their favorite items, tips and ideas on how to best handle the post-op care of yourself, I had to include it all because you never know what you will need for sure until afterwards AND it seems to really help for peace of mind pre-op. Keeps ya busy planning ;)

    Anyway, as for me -

    I did not need the following (JUST my personal experience)
    Toilet riser - had it, didn't like it, nurse insisted for safety issues
    Shower seat - had it, it was a nuisance, nurse insisted for safety issues
    Walker - had it, didn't need it, nurse insisted and Dr. hates use of canes for back patients - makes you walk lop-sided.
    Grabber - couldn't find one, did without

    Absolutely ESSENTIAL items - at least for me:
    Prepped food for easy cooking and eating
    Tableside portable organizer for stuff I needed close to me (pens, remotes, Rx's, notepad, book, etc.)
    Garbage bag on car seat for the trip home.
    Slick PJ's (silk or slippery fabric) for easier sliding out of bed - logrolling doesn't always get you where you want to be.
    LOTS of pillows

    ... I know there's more, but these are what immediately come to mind.
  • My three essential were a raised toilet seat (this may depend on your height!!), a grabber (any big box store carries them as well as the pharmacies)and I really liked a satin bottom sheet. You will find it very difficult to reposition yourself when you first get home from the hospital. With a cotton sheet, it feels like you are stuck to the bed with velcro. Some people like satin PJs but I preferred to wear "lounge clothes" rather than PJs. I put a twin bed in the den so I would be in a more central location, and I didn't like being in bed clothes. I wore yoga pants with an elastic waist and big tee shirts...other layers as needed (it was winter in the NORTH) and I was always "dressed" in case someone dropped by and I had to answer the door.

    I also used my shower chair as I was weak and taking a hot shower took a lot out of me. I still use my grabber. It's amazing how many things I drop.

    They may send you home with some of this stuff from the hospital. I think they automatically provide a walker as the PT wants you walking with it in the hospital. I couldn't have walked the first day or two without it. I used it the next week or two at home while going to the bathroom and taking my "walks." I dragged it along to my first doctor's appointment post-surgery, just in the event I was supposed to be using it!! But I never used it otherwise. I bought a cane, but I never really used it more than a couple times.

    I bought some walking poles that I now use if I am going for a long walk or will be on uneven terrain. They provide some upper body work-out and give me a surer footing.

    I personally didn't need a thing at the hospital. I didn't take extra clothes...wore the same thing home that I arrived in. I only had the clothes on a half-hour on the trip to the hospital. As soon as we got there, I changed into their gown and robe and slippers, and that's what I wore the rest of the 3 days I was there.

    I was too medicated to be able to do anything in the hospital. We turned on the TV but I didn't pay much attention. I couldn't read as my eyes didn't focus well on the pain medications. I mostly did PT and napped, ate meals and napped some more. It was uneventful.

    I don't know what a NG tube is, so can't help with that...sorry.

    Good luck. When is your date??
  • I am scheduled for Sept 15th at 11:30AM- I am getting a little ampted up but I know all will be okay...... Maybe I am not calling that tube by the right letters- its a tube that they stick down your nose to your tummy to drain the fluid....

  • I am new to these posts, however I am not new to the the back surgery thing. I had my first surgery a year ago and never got better. I am now 5 weeks out from a 2 level fusion.

    The things I fd to be useful is the walker, there were times even now that I can't make it around the house. The grabber is absolutely something I can not live without. I helps you be a lot more self sufficient. I use a cane some to help me get up off the couch, just for extra support. You will need heating pad and ice packs. As for the toilet seat, I used it but i'm not sure that I used it long enough to make up for the price of it. A small folding table to keep by bed or couch to keep items close at hand is helpful too. And like someone else had said, lots of pillows! You can't have too many.

    Good luck and hope everything goes well!
  • --Wedge Pillow was awesome first few nights - sleeping in La-z-boy was not comfortable.
    --Orthopedic pillow - I alternate between the small memory foam standard pillow and the one that has a built in "S" curve
    --Tylenol (trying tylenol PM tonight) to help wean you off narcotics if possible
    --Watermelon, slurpee's, protien shakes to help soothe the throat
    --Lap Pillow / Table for computer
    --New xBox Game to help break the boredom
    --Ice Packs
    --Silk Pajamas to help with sliding / something comfortable to wear. Didn't expect that to be the case...
    --Gravity chair with a sunshade so I could get out of the house and actually sit down outside in the sun and read
    --books - lots of'em resting on pillow table at head-height

    That is the short list, sure I'm leaving something out but these are what come to mind for me.
  • oh, and DON'T go watching something funny on TV when you get home!

    My son had Wipe-Out on TV during my first days home from the hospital and I just about died from the laughing - it hurt SO bad, but I couldn't stop!

    Yes - the walker and riser were provided for me - through my homecare PT and nurse. The shower chair I had to have my friend go buy at Walmart.

    An alarm - very handy for waking yourself up when you need to take your next dose of pills. Loved it when I didn't need that anymore :)
  • I had cervical surgery, so my list of post op must haves was very different. I didn't need a walker, or the raised toilet seat, and since it was during the summer, my "grabber" was my 9 year old stepson, who LOVED being my "nurse".

    One thing I kept close for the first week was a notebook. After an initial scare and frantic counting of my meds before I got too "looped up", I started writing down the times I took my pain meds. I'm very tolerant of opoids, but what they gave me for the first couple weeks really knocked me for a loop!

    And as far as the "NG" tube, it's a nasogastric tube. (Years of watching ER and a quick google for spelling) It can be used for drainage, or to administer nutrition and/or medications.

    Good luck with your surgery, and keep us posted on how you're doing!
  • Gweenie's list could be mine. Grabber, potty riser, shower stool, walker for the first week, satin bottom sheet (tried the top one too but it kept sliding off the bed),and basically used nothing at the hospital either. The post-op list is great and gets you thinking about things you might need or want along the way.
  • for a couple of years and I absolutely could not have done without it pre-op let alone post-op. I use it for everything from getting things out of the dryer and off top shelves, to picking up little doll shoes my girls leave lying around and everything in between it is invaluable.

    I didn't use a shower chair, toilet seat or walker. But as my back is getting worse every day (long story and i'm sure won't happen to you) I have been using my walking stick.

    But the grabber is essential, I have one with what looks like suction cups on the end.
  • It Is me Tweety, I do know what a ng tube is and yes it does go in your nose to drain fluid out of your stomach. but I am not sure why they are going to use one on you when you are having a back surgery, did they tell you why they were using it, I to have the same list as you, the raised toilet seat, the grabber, walker, did nt use a shower chair. It has been 5 weeks post op and I am still using all of those items as you know I am having alot of trouble, that hopefuly be fixed in the very near future. I am counting the days with you, and I want you to know I will be there with you in spirit, and my angel will be holding your hand for me so you can get back home and write to us again, see ya soon Your spiney pal Linda
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