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Having my first surgery on December 28th

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a new member, and am hoping to learn about other procedures and surgeries. I am having surgery on December 28th. I just found out that I will have surgery on the 28th to remove my disc, insert a new disc, and put in a metal plate. This surgery will be through my abdomen. Then two weeks later I will have another surgery where the surgeon will go in through my back, take marrow from my spine and use it to fuse my spine. I didn't understand alot of the details of the surgery, as I was surprised when he said the word second surgery..... I have been looking online and I can't seem to find any surgical procedures that they go in through your abdomen to get to your spine..... If anyone has any info or advice that would be great!! Thanks! Kellie


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Have you had a second opinion? While I've seen many surgeries where they go in from the front and the back (a 360 fusion) it's not often they are done that far apart from what I've seen.

    What is the reason for the surgery? Is it cervical or lumbar and at what level?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • What level is this at?

    Is it a PLIF (posterior Lumbar interbody fusion)?

    There is an ALIF (Anterior) where they do go in from the front. There are reasons for the method. I'm not an expert but from what I can tell, they will go in from the front if you have no nerve compression to avoid working around the nerve. The drawback there is that they will have to go through significant stomach muscles. I'm only assuming this is lumbar. Unsure if it's in the neck area.

    The PLIF (or TLIF) is from the back and generally that is when you have nerve compression so they can assure that the nerve is relieved.

    Can you give us more details?
    What level is the surgery at?
    When you say replace a disc - do you know with what material?
    Did you get a 2nd opinion? If not, I would recommend this.
    What are your symptoms?

    I am very new to this back surgery thing. Had a Microdiscectomy in August to remove some dis that herniated out and was pushing on my sciactic nerve. Unfortunately I re-herniated the disc and am now facing another surgery. I've gotten 2 options - revisions microdiscectomy or fusion. They are very different .. .minimally invasive vs. very invasive b/c fusing at the L5-S1 level is screws, rods, removal of disc, spacer/synthetic and fusing.
  • Does this surgeon do these procedures separately very often?
    Have you gotten a second opinion?
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    My first thought as I was reading your post was that nobody can simply inform you that you're going to have surgery. YOU are in charge of if and when any surgery is done on you, not the surgeon. The doctor should give you a layman's explanation of what and why he recommends the procedure and you should have time to ask all the questions you need to feel comfortable going ahead with the surgery. Others have already asked if you've had a second opinion. Unless you have a true emergency situation, there's no reason you should be pushed into surgery in a hurry, either.

    Just my 2-cents worth. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Hi Kelle,

    I am having my first surgery on the 28th too so you're not alone. I don't really understand your surgery (I barely understand mine) but I am having a laminectomy with lumbar spinal fusion. I was injured after being thrown from my horse in September and conservative treatments have failed to help with the pain.

    Do you have a pre-operative appointment with a nurse scheduled? I have one on the 22nd and all sorts of questions have come to mind that I plan on asking. I would definitely ask all of your questions. I am only having one surgery (thankfully!) and am terrified about it. My fear is really about the going under general anesthesia part.

    Good luck and keep us posted.Ann
  • Hi Sweetie,

    Guess there's a few of us scheduled for the 28th this month.

    I have a topic called To Fuse and Not To Fuse. And believe me when I say, listen to the advice around here because there are people here who've been through hell and back and those that have benefitted from doing their homework before surgery.

    I personally have not heard of two surgeries so far apart myself. If I had, do you know how fast and far I would have ran? LOL

    Like people said, surgery is YOUR choice, not the doctor's and I would ask for a second opinion. It's what I'm doing and my appointment is today for that second. I'm looking forward to it because this would also be my first surgery and I DON'T plan on having any more after this, if indeed this is the route I take.

    Do research hon, please. And ask even the nurse who is working with the surgeon on your first opinion. I did, before I set out on the second opinion so I had all the information in front of me processing.

    Good luck to you hon.
  • Hi Kellie,

    I definitely agree you should either have a 2nd opinion or call your surgeon's office and meet with a PA or surgical nurse that will give you more information.

    This is big surgery and take it from someone that has had 2 fusions within 10 months, you want to have really great communication with your surgeon and his staff.

    You deserve to get your questions answered and have a full explanation of what they are doing until it makes sense to you. Knowledge is power.

    good luck and keep posting.

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