Medical and Nursing Care in the Inpatient Care Units
At the ward, the nurses will check your blood pressure and pulse closely for the first 24 hours. In addition, she will also check your incision site for any bleeding.
Relief of Post Surgery Discomfort
Some level of discomfort is to be expected after the surgery. Medication in the form of injection or tablet will be given to you to relieve any pain that you may experience after the surgery.
You are required to lie flat in bed and keep a pillow under your head and both knees. This is to relax your spine. The nurse will assist you to change position until you are able to do it yourself. You will be taught to log roll in bed and turn to the sides. It is important that you do not get up in bed unaided during this time.
An intravenous drip will be inserted into your hand or arm. This will be removed when you are able to take drinks without feeling nausea or vomiting. Subsequently, you may resume your normal diet.
Following your operation, your wound will be covered with a dressing, which will be changed to a lighter and more comfortable one within 48 hours.
You may have a drainage tube connected to your wound to drain out any excess blood. This will help to prevent swelling and bruising around the spine by draining excess fluid away into the bottle that will be hooked to the bed. The tube will be removed when instructed by the surgeon.
For the first few days when you are confined to the bed, washing will take place in bed.
You will be able to have your shower once you are allowed out of bed. The nurse will assist you initially until you are confident to do it yourself. She will also discuss with you on how to wash and get dressed on your own when you return home.
A flat bedpan or urinal will be provided for you to clear your bladder. Please inform your nurse if you may experience any difficulties in passing urine due to pain and positioning.
A combination of changes in your diet, reduced activities and medications may result in a change in your usual bowel habits. You will be given laxatives to soften your stools and stimulate bowel action.
Your physiotherapist will work out a range of light motion exercises for you.
You will be taught how to get out of bed without causing any damage to your wound, and how to maintain your spine in a straight line. You will have to sit on a high-backed chair and may probably require a corset in order to sit up for meals.
Length of Stay
The average length of stay for patients undergoing spine surgery is usually between six and fourteen days. However, the length of stay may vary with each individual.