After your surgery, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for monitoring until your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure and breathing) have returned to normal and you have awakened from anesthesia.
It is normal to come back from surgery with some equipment still attached to you. You may have a nose cannula or a mask in place delivering oxygen, an IV in your arm delivering fluids and medications as needed, an oxygen sensor/ pulse monitor clipped to your finger, leg wraps that fill with air and massage the calf area called sequential boots, and possibly a drain tube coming from your surgery site to channel away excess fluid.
Your comfort is our priority. Your nursing team will stop by often to ask about your level of comfort and pain as well as to assess how you feel overall. Once you’ve fully awakened from surgery you will be on your way to the next level of care.
Patients who are discharged home the same day as their surgery will be given thorough discharge instructions by a member of the spine surgery team and the hospital’s nursing staff. These instructions will include your activity restrictions, incision care, brace information (if needed), indications as to when you should notify your surgeon of post-surgical changes, as well as medication information.
Staying in the Hospital
Not all patients stay in the hospital following spine surgery but those that do can, on average, expect to stay 1 to 2 days. It is best to confirm your length of stay details with your neurosurgeon at the appointment in which your surgery is scheduled.
If you are staying in the hospital, after you have recovered in the PACU, you will be taken to your private room where your family, and/or support team members can join you.