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Should I have the ALIF PLIF surgery done in one day or split in two days?

Gwal5GGwal5 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I do have a reactive airway and mild to moderate asthma which acted up during a prior surgery, but luckily it was brought under control. Had a couple of other surgeries without issue. I have been told there is a less chance of infection if the surgery is done in two days ...because if done in 1 day the operating room doors need to open to bring in second surgical table to flip me over.

I have heard differing opinions regarding which is best regarding anesthesia or reactive airway complications. I really want to wake up and have it over with, but if it's safer to have the procedure in two days then thats what I will do. I am a bit worried that if it's a 2 day procedure and I have issues with reactive airway then the fusion will be incomplete and not supported by the posterior hardware.

Maybe I should also get an opinion from an asthma doctor because reactive airway triggers an asthma episode. Thanks.


  • I can see that you are new to Spine Health, so welcome. :H

    None of the members here are medically trained and so we are not in a position to advise you as to the best option for your ALIF and PLIF surgery (This is also called a 360 fusion).

    You really need to talk to your doctor, who has your medical history and know what he intends to do during your surgery and how long he anticipates it will take. I assume you have told him of your 'reactive airway' (don't know what that is) and any other problems you may have.

    I noticed that you hadn't got a reply, so I wanted to give you one so you knew that there are other spineys out here.

    Do ask any other questions you may have, but bear in mind we are not allowed to give any medical advice, just share our experiences.

    I think you will find there are quite a lot of others here who had their 360 fusion done in one surgery, but there are probably others who had a day or two inbetween. I'm sure there are advantages to both ways, but the surgeon probably has a preference, and can give his/her reasons for that.

  • I had anterior ALIF with cages from L-4 to S-1 with a neuro team and a vascular surgeon doing most of the ALIF
    They stitched me up and then flipped me over to do the posterior work with rods, screws etc. Mine could have been done as 2 surgeries but why prolong the double anesthesia and the pain for the extra day. I was thrilled it was done as 1 surgery. First 2 days were brutal pain wise but you don't die from pain and with the pain meds it takes the edge off. I should have been in the host at least 5 days but, I wanted out and insisted I went home because I knew I would recoup better in my rented hospital bed and monitoring the oral pain pills better than the nurses would do. worked out much better for me.
    Hope this helps and PM if you need more answers
    best regards
  • Thank you both for the feedback. I really like to get it over with in 1 day. Reactive air way is basically an asthma flareup sometimes brought on by the tubes in your throat.
  • Hi and welcome to spine-health!

    I just wanted to mention that 4 weeks ago I had a 360 fusion, both ALIF and PLIF done in a little over 5 hours, and my back incision ended up getting infected. I never thought about the fact that they have to open the OR doors and bring in another bed to flip me. I wonder if that's what happened to me.

    I don't mean to scare you about getting an infection. Everyone knows that infection is one of the bigger risks of surgeries. I'm on my second week of antibiotics and it seems the infection is nearly gone!
  • Good to hear they got the infection under control so quickly. What antibiotic are you on? Was it an IV antibiotic or in pill form?
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