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3 Level Cervical Fusion including Cervical Corpectomy

Deb MohrDDeb Mohr Posts: 34
edited 05/22/2015 - 3:28 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi there,
My name is Deb, I am 51 years old. I recently (sept 2014) had gastric bypass surgery and I have lost 100lbs. I have another 45 I would like to lose. I was hoping my significant weight loss would have helped my spine by taking some of the pressure off.

In 2001 I had my L5/S1 fused. I had a Spondiolothesis and collapsed disc. That surgery was absolutely brutal. They had to go back in 18 months later and remove the hardware and removed some additional bone to relieve pressure off the nerve. I was in terrible pain until 2005 when I had a nuerostimular implanted. That device gave me my life back!

In 2003 I started having terrible neck pain. I had an MRI at that time and I was told I had degenerative disc disease and severe arthritis in my C6/C7. Of course there was no way I was going to do another fusion after my lumbar experience. Instead I went to physical therapy, had epidural injections and trigger point injections to help with the pain. I have been getting severe headaches that creep up the back of my neck and then they trigger a full on migraine. That has been going on for years. Well in the last 12 months the epidurals stopped working completely and PT seemed to aggravate my condition.

After my bypass surgery I became much more active and my neck suffered the consequences. I finally broke down and went to see my surgeon back in February. Because of my neurostimulator I cannot have an MRI so he ordered a ct scan to start. When I got the results I was told I have spinal stenosis, spondylosis, bone spurs. It radiates down my left arm, shoulder and I have weakness.
My surgeon the ordered a Mylogram. I got the results of that test on Monday. We learned that the stenosis is severe in two levels and I also have cord flattening.

They are going to do a 3 level cervical spinal fusion with a Corpectomy in my C5. They will fuse C4 through C7.

To say I am nervous is an understatement.
I am wondering if I need to worry about my gastric bypass having a negative impact on my ability to heal. My diet is high protein low carb and I have been doing exceptionally well. I get the protein required to stay healthy currently but I am curious if anyone else out there has had a similiar procedure after bypass. If so, what advice can you give me.

Also if you have experience with the Corpectomy, please advise. The more I read on this procedure the more nervous I get. I am trying very hard to remain positive because I believe I recover better when I stay positive.

Thanks so much for your help!


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Although I can not relate to the specifics of what you have and what you are going through, I had a couple of thoughts.

    First, congratulations on the weight loss! Not an easy thing to go through...and good job with keeping close eye on your diet!

    It is good you are staying positive about upcoming surgery. I agree about better healing..as you are not wasting time and energy in the negative department.

    I think I would ask doctor for consult with dietician....esp re your bypass..and how to get most healthy and satisfying diet for healing. You can receive consult while in hospital and will probably be given literature to take home and read for most thorough information.

    This site has a wealth of information.
    I have found the ...search....on this site, upper right in page...to be very informative.
    Just type in your questions or concerns, and you may be led to previous posts, articles, videos.

    They are informative and in every person kind of language, so easily understood.
    You may find this helpful.

    I wish you the very best!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I am having 3 level plus corpectomy on June 9. When is your surgery? Healing thoughts and prayers coming your way.

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  • I had a fusion of C3-6 with a corpectomy of C5. It was WAY less painful than I expected. Don't get me wrong, it was painful, but not bad. At my 3 mos check up, the fusion was coming along nicely. I think maybe for us, we take a bit longer to heal because of the gap in the spine, so longer amount of time of no lifting, walking the dog, etc.
    I would think your diet would be fine. I don't believe our bodies were meant to eat a lot of carbs, and protein is pretty important in healing. Do you eat dairy too? I've done south beach which is good carb, and you're encouraged to eat dairy - which will obviously help healing as well.
    Good luck!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • Thanks so much for the responses!

    My surgery is coming up next week, June 3rd. I think the reason I am most fearful is that I had that fusion in my lumbar years ago and it was brutal. My surgeon tells me that having cervical fusion is not has painful. He tends to down play these things.

    It is good to hear it wasn't as painful as you thought it would be. Because my body malabsorbs calcium I am already taking twice the normal amount of calcium everyday. My tummy can only tolerate about 1/2 cup of food and since my bypass I do not tolerate lactose so I do drink a lot of milk but of course it is lactose free.bi also eat a lot of yogurt and definately get my protein in every day.

    I think I will also reach out to my bariatric nutritionist and ask if there is anything I need to do differently as well.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions!

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