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How long was your surgery and post-op experience?

babsohiobbabsohio Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi again!
I am expanding on my first question I posted a few minutes ago.

First, what type of surgery did you have? How long did the procedure take to complete?

Second, what was your experience in the recovery room immediately after surgery? Do you remember being taken there? Was the pain bad at that time? Did you say or do anything funny or strange? How long were you in recovery before going up to your room? Were you aware of what was going on?

Any information would be much appreciated.

Thanks everyone!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    Of the nine plus surgeries I have had, the time to perform the procedure varied from 2 1/2 hours to 5 hours. I am sure you will hear from others that the time was longer.

    Personally, I do not do all that well in the recovery room. I have a lot of trouble with anesthesia, so I spend a good part of the time in the recovery room throwing up. (which is not fun after surgery)

    I really wasnt in any pain while in the recovery room. You have to imagine the medications given to you during the surgery are still active.

    Talk this over with your surgeon. They should be able to provide you with more details regarding the Pre, During and Post surgical times
    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

  • Nice to meet you! :H

    I had a decompression and PLIF on 19th March last year on L4/L5 for grade 2 spondylolisthesis (also have bulging discs at L3/l4 and L5/S1). The surgery was about 4 hours, which was longer than the 1 1/2 to 2 hours that he had said it would be, due to worse stenosis than he had expected which meant more bone removal.

    I don't remember being taken to the recovery room, but do remember waking and a nurse being right beside me on my right, talking to me. I looked around a bit and think I saw someone else in there recovering with a medical person with them. I didn't feel any pain, and the nurse put the PCA in my hand and told me I could press it for pain relief. I don't know how long I was in there, but it didn't seem like long at all. (I think I fell back to sleep.)

    I don't remember leaving there, but do remember being wheeled the last bit down the corridor and then into my room where my husband and daughter were waiting for me. I had an oxygen mask on my face. I was very smiley and pleased to see them. They were surprised how well I looked and how alert I was. The nurses got me settled with my PCA pump, oxygen, liquids IV and my drain tube and bag and blood transfusion IV. I had some sips of water.

    By this stage, I was well awake and very chatty. Apparently my pupils were like pinpoints which concerned the nurses. They kept coming and checking my blood pressure, temperature, pulse and my eyes and told me to try not to press the PCA so often. After a few hours (about 6), they were concerned that I was reacting to the morphine (I was also losing my swallow reflex) and they took the PCA away telling me I could have it back in a bit. They never gave it back to me, but I managed quite well without it. My pain levels were much better than I had expected!

    My answer is very long, but personally, I like lots of information, so I hope you do too! :D

  • I have not had my surgery yet, its scheduled for 2/15. I am having a 2 level PLIF/PLF with Instrumentation and I was told to expect to be in the operating room around 5 hours.
    Good luck to you!
  • I was in for about 6 1/2 hours and another hour to be mostly awake after that.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • I had a PLIF/ALIF "360 degree fusion" of L4-S1 on Nov 9 which lasted 6 1/2 hours (they thought it would only be four but it was more complicated once they got in there). I have no memory of the recovery room. The first thing I remember is when they were wheeling my bed to my room. Remember not being able to swallow at all and then realized I had a Nasogastric tube. For me the post-op wasn't that bad other than my mouth being so dry and not being able to swallow. Ice chips were my best friend for 2 days!
  • I had a XLIF done on L4/L5.

    Surgery time was +4 hours. When I woke up I couldn't move my legs. It wasn't until day 2 that I was able to use my legs and drag myself around with a walker.


    It looks like they busted the rear portion of vertebrae L4 off and it's been grinding into vertebrae L3. Notice the gouge in vertebrae L3 on the back side? Looks like L4's Spinous Process/Facet was busted off and has been grinding away into the above vertebrae.

    also note the PEEK plastic spacer is not in L4/L5's disc space and is bulging out in front of the vertebrae. Impinging blood/nerves that travel that area.

    Surgery made me worse.
  • Ugh, my surgery and recovery room experiences were not great.

    1st surgery was 7 hours and apparently I had a lot of trouble coming out of anesthesia. I was in a ton of pain, which is common after a thoracotomy. I remember my thoracic surgeon yelling a lot.

    I had another surgery the next day which was less than 2 hours. I came out of anesthesia before they had the breathing tube out, which was scary. In post op, they did manage to get the pain under control.

    I was in SICU for a few days, 2 of them with a really unpleasant nurse.

    That said, I would do it again- but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to someone who wasn't seriously disabled by their back pain!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Times varied from 2 hr to 12 hr (years ago with my L4-S1 fusion which the L5 would not take screws so they had to re-do the plan, get new hardware and go L4-S1 instead of the planned L5-S1).

    I don't do well, in general, in the recover room after spine surgery. I did find after gallbladder surgery and ovary removal, but not spine. The most recent one, last February, I was asking loudly for more pain meds. Had no idea there was a woman in the same little recovery area with me. On the way out I saw her and said "Oh I am so sorry for my ranting and raving". She was out of it as well but said "That's okay, we took turns screaming for pain meds so we're a good team". Now that I vividly remember but much else I don't.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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