The simple truth is that any surgery carries risk. While hospitals and surgeons do everything they can to minimize the risk, every time someone is opened up there is a risk of infection. The good news is that happens in just 3% of operations, making the risk low.
Naturally, the logical approach is to avoid the surgery. But, when you are living in constant pain and the medications, physical therapy, and other solutions provided by the doctors are not working, surgery becomes the only solution.
If this is the case then there are five things you can do to lower the risks associated with spine surgery.
- Get The Best
The first step has to be doing your research to confirm you have the best spine surgeon in your area. All spine surgeons should be qualified and licensed to operate. However, it can help to give you peace of mind if you take a look at the reputation.
The higher the number of successful operations they have performed the more confident you will feel. This is important as confidence and knowledge have been shown to speed up recovery times.
- Lose Excess Weight
The higher your weight the more at risk you will be during surgery. This is because your body has to work harder to look after itself, placing additional strain on your organs during surgery.
In addition, excess weight can make the anaesthesia less effective and it can make it more difficult to insert essential tubes or perform emergency alterations to the surgical procedure.
Being overweight also increases healing time and the possibility of an infected incision as well as the risk of heart attacks and blood clots.
You should set a target weight and adopt a healthy eating plan as this will help you lose weight safely. How much you can lose will depend on how long you have to wait for your spine surgery.
- Monitor Your Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes you are at a much greater risk of developing an infection after surgery. It will reduce your ability to heal and, high blood sugar during surgery can cause an array of other issues, including brain swelling.
The best approach is to monitor your blood sugar and your diet, allowing you to reduce sugar intake and feel healthier for it. At the same time, you’ll be lowering the risk factor during your surgery.
- Give Up The Bad Habits
Bad habits such as smoking and excessive drinking are damaging your body. Any damage done to your body means that it is already fighting to repair itself. That’s resources that can’t be used to help deal with any issues arising from spinal surgery.
Give up smoking and minimize your alcoholic drinks today. It will reduce the risks associated with your surgery and make you feel better while improving your health. There is no downside!
Remember, a smoker is more likely to suffer a heart attack while being operated on as well as a higher risk of infection.
- Reduce Stress
Regulating blood pressure is paramount during surgery. If it surges too high then there is a serious risk of stroke, heart problems, and other issues. There can also be complications if it drops too low.
You’ll want to monitor your blood pressure regularly before surgery and try to avoid stressful situations. This will help you to maintain a healthy blood pressure and get the best possible results from your spine surgery.
It can be difficult to avoid all stressful situations but, by making a daily journal, you’ll be able to identify what triggers elevated stress and deal with it.
After The Operation
All the above things can be done before you have the operation. However, there is one further thing that should be done post-op to reduce risk and speed recovery.
It’s simple, listen to what your surgeon and doctor have to say to you and follow their instructions precisely. That means taking antibiotics as they have told you to, being extremely careful when changing bandages, and any other useful tips they have provided.
These tips are designed to reduce the risk of infections and help you recover as fast as possible. If the surgery is successful then you are likely to experience much less pain and a better range of movement.
It’s worth noting that the above tips can help you to lead a healthy lifestyle which reduces the risk of many age-related illnesses. You may start adopting these steps to help prepare for spine surgery, but, it’s a good idea, to continue them and start to enjoy better health.