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Specialists in Surgical Spine Care

Preparing for Surgery

Pre-operative testing (i.e. blood work, chest x-rays, EKGs, stress tests, and pulmonary function studies) will be required prior to surgery. All testing must be completed two to four weeks prior to surgery.

Antibacterial Soap – To minimize the incidence of infection, an antibacterial soap will be needed for use at the two showers prior to surgery. This is usually the night before and the morning of the surgery. Cleanse your entire body, paying special attention to the area where your surgery is going to be performed. In the surgical area, use a wash cloth, cleansing for five minutes.

Your level of fitness and nutrition prior to surgery should be maintained to the best of your ability. Continue with any fitness activities that do not cause pain. Maintain a healthy balanced diet.

If you smoke cigarettes, it is strongly advised that you decrease the amount you smoke or stop smoking completely. Research indicates that smoking adversely affects bone healing and will thus delay or impede your full recovery following surgery. Inhalation of smoke irritates the breathing passages and may lead to respiratory problems during and after surgery.

Medications To Discontinue Before Surgery

Please do not take any of the following medications for at least seven (7) days prior to surgery. If you have spinal fusion surgery, you will NOT be able to take NSAIDS or medications containing aspirin for about three months (until your doctor tells you that your fusion appears solid).

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID's)
  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Anaprox
  • Ansaid
  • Arthrotec
  • Bextra
  • Celebrex
  • Daypro
  • Diclofenac
  • Feldene
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indocin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Lodine
  • Mobic
  • Motrin
  • Naprosyn
  • Naproxen
  • Oruvail
  • Toradol
  • Relafen
  • Vicoprofen
  • Voltaren
Medications Containing Aspirin
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Anacin
  • Asprin
  • Bayer Arthritis
  • Bufferin
  • Darvon Compound
  • Ecotrin
  • Excedrin
  • Fiorinal
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Percodan
Estrogen Products
  • All Oral Contraceptives
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
Anticoagulants and Antithrombotics:
You will need to consult your physician regarding plans for stopping these medications
  • Aggrenox
  • Coumadin
  • Ecotrin
  • Fragmin
  • Halfprin
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox
  • Orgaran
  • Persantine
  • Plavix
  • Ticlid
Herbal Medications and Supplements
  • Vitamin E (14 days before)
  • Multivitamins (containing Vit.E)
  • Echinacea
  • Fish Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Kava
  • Lovaza
  • Ma Huang
  • Saw Pilmetto
  • St. John's Wort
  • Valerian

The following medications MAY be taken prior to surgery: (This list of medications to discontinue is not complete. Other medications may contain these products as well. Please check with your physician if you are taking other medications.)

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Darvocet
  • Darvon
  • Dilaudid
  • Duragesic
  • Fioricet
  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • MS Contin
  • MSIR
  • Oxycontin, Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Roxanol
  • Tylenol + Codeine
  • Tylenol
  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone)

Preparations for your Hospital Stay

Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight prior to your surgery. Daily medications should be taken with a small sip of water.

Eat lightly the day before surgery.

If you are having extensive surgery, or if you are already having difficulty, it may be helpful to rent or purchase an elevated toilet seat and a shower chair. During the rehabilitation process, the occupational therapist will help you determine if you need any other adaptive devices or medical equipment before discharge from the hospital.

Suggested Items to Bring to the Hospital
  • Two comfortable loose fitting outfits (i.e. jogging suit, nightshirts, bathrobe etc.).
  • Comfortable shoes and socks and slippers.
  • Comb/brush, and any other personal grooming items that you normally use daily.
  • Personal stereo (MP3 Player) with relaxation tapes, favorite music, books on tape, books and magazines.
  • Please leave valuables at home.
  • If your surgeon needs studies that you have at home (i.e. xrays, cat scans, MRI etc).