Every surgical procedure carries some risk, but when it comes to operating on a structure as intricate as your spine, just how safe is surgery? Advancements in both technique and technology have made it such that spine surgery is much safer than it was just decades ago, but it’s still never a sure thing. So how certain can you be that your surgery will go as planned, and what can you do to help ensure the safety of your spinal procedure? We answer those questions and more on today’s blog.
Spine Surgery Safety
The safety and success rate of your spinal procedure depends on a number of different factors, but advancements in the past few decades have made these procedures much safer for patients. For example:
- Advancements in surgical imaging helps us view structures with more clarity and in real time.
- Advancements in surgical techniques have made procedures smaller and less taxing on the patient.
- Our understanding of conditions, procedures and potential risks has only improved as we learn more.
- Improved disinfectant and sterilization processes.
- We have a better understanding of how other health conditions can complicate a procedure (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.)
A lot of those safety measures aren’t something you can control, so many patients oftentimes feel that the success of their surgery and their overall safety isn’t in their hands, but that’s not entirely true. There are a number of things you can do to help improve your likelihood of having a safe and successful surgery. Those things include:
Weight Management – Before your operation, start working towards a healthy weight. Obese and overweight individuals are more likely to have issues with their operation and recovery, so you can make your surgery safer just by losing a little weight.
Surgeon Choice – Don’t just trust your spinal operation to the first doctor that is available in your network. Do some research, check patient reviews and set up a consultation with the doctor to get a feel for their experience treating your specific condition before you book your operation.
Stick To Your Rehab – You may not have a lot of control over the success of your surgery while you’re on the operating table, but full recovery will take some effort on your end. Make sure you follow through with your physical therapy and heed your surgeon’s post-op care instructions to help avoid problems.
Wound Care – The most common reason for hospital re-admittance after a spinal procedure is because an infection developed. Care for your incision site throughout your rehab and change your dressing as recommended. If you can’t easily access the surgical site because it’s located on your back, have someone help with the process so that you can reduce infection likelihood.
If you can do all of the above things, we’re confident that you’ll be putting yourself in a great position to have a safe and successful surgery. For more information about spine care, or to talk to one of the best spine surgeons in the greater Twin Cities area, reach out to Dr. Chang and his team today at (651) 430-3800.