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Getting Ready for Spine Surgery

After you've finished registration, you'll be taken to the AM Surgery area. Here, a nurse will make sure you're prepared for spine surgery and answer any questions you may have. Family members or friends will wait in the surgery waiting room during your time in the AM Surgery area and the operating room.

In the AM Surgery area, you'll be asked to remove any of the following items:

  • Dentures and bridges
  • Hearing aids
  • Contact lenses and glasses
  • Jewelry / Body piercings
  • Wigs, hairpins, combs and barrettes

The nurse might ask you to shower with an antibacterial soap, or he/she may wash the area where the surgery will be performed. You'll also be asked to remove your clothes and change into a hospital gown, cap and foot covers. The nurse will place a needle into a vein in your arm or wrist. This needle is attached to a tube that will supply your body with fluids, medication or blood during and after spine surgery. This is called an intravenous (IV) line. You will remain in the AM Surgery area until the Piedmont Spine Center surgical team is ready for you.

Patient safety is our number one priority. The nurse will ask you:

  • What type of spine surgery are you having?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • When was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?
  • Which side of your body is your symptoms on?
  • The nurse may ask you to use a marker to write the word "yes" near the surgical site.
  • When you are completely ready for your spine surgery, an anesthesiologist will see you for your pre-operative consult to review your medical history, your surgery and to answer any questions.
  • After the anesthesiologist has seen you and all other paperwork and examinations are completed, either anesthesia personnel or the AM surgery nurse may give you medication to help you relax.

Going to the Operating Room

When the Piedmont Spine Center surgical team is ready, the operating room nurse will take you via a stretcher to the operating room. Here, the nurse will most likely ask you questions for your safety again, such as:

  • What is the type of spine surgery you are having?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • When was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?
  • Which side of your body is your symptoms on?

Anesthesia personnel will then attach monitors to your chest, arms and other parts of your body before you're asleep. When you're asleep, a catheter may be placed in your bladder to drain urine and elastic wraps may be placed on your legs to prevent blood clots.  The length of time in the operating room will depend on your spine condition and the procedure. Your spine surgeon is the best person to give you an estimated length of surgery.

Source:  Piedmont Spine Surgery Patient Education Guide