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Diskectomy Surgery - Out Patient?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was curious if any one could answer some questions I have.

1. Diskectomy is an Out-Patient Procedure?

2. How long before the pain goes away?


I had diskectomy surgery on Dec. 1,09. Checked in at 11am.
Rolled into Surgery at 12:45pm, Dishcharged at 3PM.

They sent me home under anesthesia & morphine. I awake
5 hours later in excruciating pain. They gave the same
pain meds. I've been on for the last year or so. I called
Called Dr.'s Office they told me to deal with pain and if
I ran out early they may not refill my prescription?

What kind of Doctor does this to a Patient?

I call about legal advice and am told nothing I can do
but suffer. He did nothing wrong per say, just doesn't
care after he's got his money I guess.


  • I'm sorry you're dealing with this...

    Yes discectomy is usually considered "outpatient" but most surgeons will keep their patients in over night as a "23 hour" admission (related to insurance). I myself stayed one night and received 3 doses of IV antibiotics.

    I was taking Vicodin/Lortab before surgery and was given Percocet in the hospital. My surgeon tried to send me home with the Vicodin but I kindly requested a script for the Percocet b/c it worked so well for me. I took it with a muscle relaxer for about 10 days then I transitioned to Vicodin with a muscle relaxer for probably another 2 weeks. Everyone's pain is different. Its a shame your surgeon isn't acknowledging that you have built up a tolerance to your meds and won't address this appropriately. If I were you I would try to see your primary care doc, he may be able to help you out.

    If that doesn't work, call your surgeon and insist on an appointment. Perhaps there is another problem...where is your pain now???

  • sorry your surgeon is not more caring to your pain situation. if you are in pain, then your body is not healing and not on the road to recovery. if your surgeon is not performing for you post op, i would go to the largest and nearest hospital emergency room and tell them your pain story. no one should be in elevated pain that soon after surgery. i wish and pray for your quick resolution to your pain problem. God Bless All, kc
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  • Are there any more surgeons in the same practice as the one you saw? If so, I would place a call into one of them, explain your situation and ask to be treated by another doctor. That is unacceptable! I hope you're feeling better. You might want to look into getting a pain management doctor ASAP as well.
  • Welcome. I'm sorry to hear about your experience.
    I had a microdiscectomy and yes it was out patient. I was told I could be in the hospital from 10-23 hours depending on the surgery time and how I did afterward.

    I had my surgery at 4:30 and woke up from anesthesia at 6:30pm. I had to stay to receive IV antibiotics to ensure I didn't get an infection. By the time I would have finished them it would have been 11:30pm so they told me they'd keep me b/c the doctor or his PA needed to check on me and have a PT person make sure I could walk up stairs (same # in my house). I would have been released around hour 20 but when I got up to take a longer walk and do stairs with PT, I almost passed out due to dehydration and big drop in my Blood pressure . . .I ended up being there about 26 hours.

    It does sound odd that they would release you so quickly. Out patient only means that if all goes well, they release you in 23 hours.

    My doctor told me that if I was the 1st or 2nd surgery of the day (8 or 10am) I would have easily gone home by 6 or 8pm that same night.

    But my understanding (from 3 opinions) is that surgery would be about 90 mins (45 operating time + prep), then I'd be up walking to the bathroom within 2 hours of waking up, then administered antibiotics and monitored for a few hours, meet with physical therapist to make sure I knew how to manage stairs and watch me walk to make sure I was stable, and then physician's assist (or doctor) would check my incision, give me instructions/prescription, and discharge me.

    I am so sorry. I agree if you are with a group, I would call them and ask to speak to another doctor in the group. It's a tough situation but I have to say I'm surprised the actual hospital discharged you b/c typically the doctor signs off but the hospital is also accountable.

    First - call the doctor and demand an appt. If they are still dismissive, I would contact your insurance company and explain the situation and ask them for advice. They may be able to get you in with another surgical group and they may withold funds from this doctor. I would also try the hospital and ask them for how to proceed but mostly, for your immediate situation . . .if your surgeon will not see you, I would go to the ER b/c you need to be sure the pain is not associated with an infection.

    I wish I had more insight. Just sounds like a doctor I would report to your insurance company b/c the more reports of 'poor' treatment, the more likely they will drop him from their plan.
  • Thanks for understanding....

    My Neurosurgeon is handling my pain meds. and won't let my
    Primary Care Physician interfere.

    I was operated on at Jonesboro Surgical Hospital, it is
    a specialty Hospital for Neuro & Orthopedic Surgeons.
    It's part of the NEA System here, Northeast Arkansas Baptist Hospitals & Clinics. They have a Monopoly on the Hospitals & Clinics around here. Almost ALL the Doctors use them and are associated with them in 1 way or another.

    They also control most all of the Pain Clinics around here.
    I've been to 2 Neurosurgeons, the 2nd did my surgery because he was nice & helpful UNTIL after my Surgery.

    I will probably have to "Fire" my Neurosurgeon & find another. Probably have to go to Memphis, TN or Little Rock.
    My regular Doctor is ok, just afraid of the Big Dogs.

    Called Insurance Provider (Self-Insured) for my Employer.
    They said it was all up to the Doctor, they handled on
    case by case basis.

    I don't know what to do at this point. On medical leave
    for another month, and pain is same or worse than before.

    Dickectomy on L4-L5 Protrusion 12-1-09

    L3-L4 Left lateral disc protrusion.
    L4-L5 Central posterior disc protrusion. Annular tear w/moderate disc degenerative signal, bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing.
    L5-S1 Broad Based Disc Bulge
    This MRI result was a year before my surgery.
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  • Thanks for your concern....

    I live in a smaller area of NE Arkansas and I went to the largest Hospital group around here and they treated my like a Number. Have been in the hospital several times in my 47 years on this planet. And this is by far the worst I have EVER been treated.

    Even the VA hospital system was more caring than the EDITED Would NOT recommend either to ANYone.

    Just my opinion based on personal experience.

    Post edited by Authority Member haglandc
  • Thanks,

    I have talked to alot of friends and co-workers, and most have had bad experiences with almost every Neurosurgeon in the Phone Book. Some recomend one then someone else says they suck.

    This one was nice and helpful until he was done operating and I woke up at home 5 hours later. Now it's like get over it we'll see you in 6 weeks.

    I'm looking and hoping I can find a good Neurosurgeon.

    My Doctor is a stand alone, went to a group and had to wait 2-3 hours to see doctor and he didn't really care. Told me he'd operate in a year or 2 when I needed it. Go to PT and my reg. Doc until then.

    Kinda aggravating, will keep looking & hoping..

  • Thanks,

    Live in a sparsely populated area, good old boy network.

    It was a Surgery Hospital for Neuro & Orthopedic Surgeons owned by the Largest Hospital in the Area. They have the most CLinics too and almost all the Doc.'s use them.

    Will probably have to travel to Memphis or Little Rock.
    Have a family member work for 1 of top 3 Insurance carriers in US. He wasn't suprised, say employers that are self-insured decide what I get to have done. More less they cut any and all corners to save money.

    Also Doctor's routinely cover each others back whenever they make a mistake or treat a patient badly. That's one
    of the reasons they left the actual medical field.
  • This is normal to heve this done outpatient.

    Unfortunately there are lots of surgeons out there that do have issues with treating pain after surgery. Some of them are so arrogant that they feel if they did surgery you must be better. Again that is some not all.

    If I were in your shoes I would be looking for a Pain Management doc. I do know that it is hard to find a good one but you likely do not need more surgery so why see another surgeon? If you need to have your pain managed then you most likely need a doc that specializes in Pain Management.

    Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks,

    Also found out they close leave at 4pm, that's why they wanted me out of there. If Doc. had planned to keep my overnight it would have had a totally different outcome.

    Apparently they used the "Twilight" type anesthesia on me so I would remember "Nothing". My girlfriend of 10 years said I was complaining of excruciating pain which I remember once, they gave me a "PILL". She said they gave me 2 or 3 shots of morphine after that before I could get up and use the "Bathroom". Which I understand is required before they can discharge you. I also remember waking up once on the ride home for a minute.

    I woke up 5 hours later screaming in pain. Took meds I had until pain was bearable. Then she told me what had transpired while I was in "Twilight" land.
    I called my Neurosurgeon the next day and they were less than helpful, explained my pain and they told me 2 deal with it and not abuse my pain meds. or NO Refills!

    Kind of hard to do with lortabs I've been taking for over a year now. I can take 2 at a time and my back still hurts most times. Generally I'll take 1 every 2-3 hours plus an Advil. Add a muscle relaxer to sleep for 4 or 5 hours.

    Thought I was suppose to get better..
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