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What to expect while waiting in pre-op?

babsohiobbabsohio Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all! Yes, I am a new spondy gal here. I am scheduled for PLIF with SpineAssist robotic assistance for screw placement. I am trying to gather information as to what to expect in the pre-op before surgery. Were you awake when transported to the OR room? Were you given a sedative before hand? Any interesting stories to share?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875

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    There are always some basics that all pre-op patients go through. Some hospitals might have some variations on this, but for the most part:

    Before Pre-Op Surgical room
    - Dress in a hospital gown and robe
    - Vital signs taken
    - Verification of name, what surgery, doctor, etc
    Pre-Op Room
    - Again Vital signs taken
    - Again verification of name, surgery, doctor ,etc
    - The surgeon should come to visit prior to surgery
    - You will be hooked to an IV for sedatives.
    Surgical Room
    - Depending on the sedatives given you may or may note be awake here. Some of my surgeries I was awake in the OR and others I do not remember getting into the OR.
    Post OP
    - You will be placed in a recovery room. The time in this room varies on the surgery you had and how you are coming out of it.

    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

  • Welcome to spine Health. :H

    I also had a grade 2 spondylolisthesis but at L4/L5.
    I had a decompression with PLIF on 19th March last year.

    I was expecting to walk from my room to the Pre-op room, but in the end they wheeled me on my bed. (I had to lie on a special sheet that had handles on, obviously for lifting me.) After being very scared for years and avoiding surgery, once I realised that I had to have it, I handed it over to God, and become very calm during the week before surgery. This meant that I didn't need any sedative while I was waiting to go to surgery.

    Both my surgeon and anaesthetist came to see me in my room, and I signed the papers there. The porter and nurse that went with me to the pre-op room were making lots of jokes, and I was laughing all the way. My husband was amazed as he knew how scared I had been for years! Hubby and I said goodbye at the lift, and he said that as they doors closed he could still hear me laughing! It was surreal!!

    In the pre-op the nurse stayed with me and the anaesthetist introduced herself (again)and her assistant to me, asked my name, what I was having done etc. She then put in an IV, which put me to sleep. No idea what happened next!!! I)

    If you want a sedative to help you to relax, I think it is very common.

    Do ask any other questions that you have and you can PM me if you like. :*

  • years have they been doing the robot assistance fusion? Before my fusion I worked with doctors who used it for urology and gynecology.

  • Part of the pre-op is going to depend on your time of surgery. My surgery was scheduled for 11 AM. I got to the hospital around 8AM. By 10 AM I was on a gurney in a waiting area, in my surgery clothes, an IV in my arm and sat waiting. PLIF L5/S1 Fusion

    Unfortunately the morning of my surgery, the first one ran about 2 1/2 hours over schedule, so we sat, and sat and sat. My wife was most patient. I was nervous as all get out. Didn't think to ask for something to help me relax. Bring a book, magazine, iPod or something to help pass the time.

    Finally the anesthesiologist came in and said they'd be about 45 minutes, explained his role, check stuff etc. He told me that they would put some knee pads on me to make sure I was comfortable. More on this later. About 10 minutes later the doctor came in. About 20 minutes later, they wheeled me off to the room. It was ice cold inside. They positioned me next to this contraption, which was not a table, and said that they would put me out before they put me in the contraption. I have no idea what this thing was, but it resembled a rotisserie for humans. There is a medical definition for this table. It helps align the spine and can rotate the body for the 360 surgeries. I kind of chuckled at the thought of this medieval contraption, they put a needle in the IV and I was out.

    All in all, the pre-op is more about waiting and keeping the mind busy. Don't fret what you cannot control (the time delays) or overthink what is going to happen.

    Best wishes. I am now 8 months out and haven't felt better!
  • Mine is scehduled for very first thing in the morning. It is at 7:30am and I have to be there at 5:30am so unless someone is running late, mine should start on time.
    Thanks for all the info everyone! It is all very much appreciated.
  • Hi Babs! My pre op experience was pretty good overall. I was in to have my L5S1 Spondylolistheses fused. In the pre op, my family and I got to sit and visit a bit. They gave me some sort of a pill, a sedative, and we waited around a bit. Presently, they came in and installed an IV and put something through it that made me VERY sleepy! I remember a little about getting wheeled out of the pre op room and just a little bit of the hall way. That was it until I woke up after surgery! Pre op was nice..the people were nice and it seemed all warm, blue colored and my family was around.

    I wish you the best with your surgery!

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