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Spinal surgery

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane

The largest of Mater Health Services’ private facilities, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane has a total of 323 patient beds, 10 operating theatres (two of which are state-of-theart digital theatres), 24-hour private emergency service, CardioVascular Unit, Intensive Care and Coronary Care Units, Breast Care Unit, Endoscopy Unit and Day Procedure Unit.

For more information about Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, please telephone 07 3163 1111.

Visiting hours: 8 am to 8 pm (rest period 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm).

At Mater Private Hospital, we acknowledge that hospitalisation can be a very stressful experience for you. In keeping with our mission to offer compassionate, quality care that promotes dignity while responding to patients’ needs, this booklet aims to alleviate some of your concerns. It explains the general day-to-day events that may occur during your visit and the things to expect when you are discharged from hospital.

It is however, only a guide, as each person may require different treatments. If you have any questions about your treatment please ask your doctor or nurse.

Our pastoral care team offers a caring support network to all patients. The dedicated members of this team will visit you during your stay and are available at your request to discuss any anxieties or problems that you may have.

Spinal surgery

Expected length of hospital stay:
two to four days

   

Date of admission:

   

Planned discharge date:

 

Time: 10 am

Actual discharge date:

   

Surgeon:

   

Anaesthetist:

   

Physiotherapist:

   

Discharge coordinator:

   

Our expectations

Our expectations for you are that, prior to discharge:

  • you will be able to mobilise independently or at a level required for your discharge
    destination
  • your wound will be healing without complications
  • you will be tolerating your usual diet
  • your pain will be controlled with oral analgesia (pain relief).

Your expectations and goals

What are your expectations of the hospital stay and recovery?

 

 

Admitting nurse to complete and sign (including printed name):

Name:__________________________________

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Day of admission to hospital/operation

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Admission

On arrival to the ward you will be escorted to your room, a medical and nursing assessment form will be completed and your vital signs recorded.

Any medications you have brought into hospital will be collected and stored in a locker by your bed. These will be administered to you by our nursing staff during your stay in hospital and returned to you on discharge.

Discharge planning

You can expect to stay in hospital for two to four days, or until you have met the expected outcomes for your procedure. To prepare for your discharge, any support and potential needs you may have at home will be discussed.

Teaching and emotional support

Please ask your nurse, surgeon, physician or anaesthetist if you have any questions regarding your care. If you would like to be visited by a member of our pastoral care team, the nursing staff will be happy to arrange this for you.

Tests and procedures

Your doctor may request that you have blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ECG) or x-rays.

Consults

Your surgeon and anaesthetist will aim to visit you on the ward before your operation. If this is not possible they will speak with you on arrival to theatre.

Mobility / transfers / positioning

Before the operation you are free to move around the ward; however, please inform a member of staff if you leave the ward. After the operation you will be resting in bed. Deep breathing and leg exercises are encouraged to assist with circulation.

Your bed should remain as flat as possible for lumbar surgery to keep the spine in a good postural position. You may roll onto your side for comfort. Wearing satin (or similar) pyjamas will allow much easier movement in bed.

If your surgery is to your neck, the top of the bed may be elevated slightly for swelling. You may wish to use your favourite pillow from home for comfort. Do not have the bed head tilted high or for long periods as this may contribute to headaches.

Hygiene

You will be required to shower with antiseptic soap prior to surgery. After the operation you will be assisted with your hygiene needs.

Nutrition

Ensure you have had nothing to eat or drink as per the instructions given to you by your doctor. After surgery you will be able to eat a light diet as tolerated.

Continence state

After the surgery you will be assisted with your toileting needs. If you experience difficulty passing urine you may need to have a catheter inserted into your bladder.

Observations

Your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, limb powers and the condition of your dressing will be recorded regularly. You may have a drain coming from your wound that nursing staff will observe closely.

Medication

The nursing staff will give you your usual medications today, unless otherwise indicated. The anaesthetist may discuss the possible need for a pre-med before the operation with you.

After the operation you will have an intravenous (IV) drip in your arm. Relief for pain, nausea and vomiting will be given as ordered by your doctor. Please inform the nursing staff when you experience pain so that medication can be given. Antibiotics may also be given via your IV.

Treatment

Your legs may be measured for therapeutic stockings to wear during your hospital stay.

Phase one post—op

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Discharge planning

Your discharge needs will be reviewed by nursing staff and your physiotherapist.

Teaching and emotional support

A member of our pastoral care team may visit you. A nurse will discuss this booklet with you to ensure you understand the information provided and answer any questions you may have.

Your physiotherapist will teach you how to move safely in bed, position yourself and give functional advice for when you go home.

Tests and procedures

You may have a check x-ray ordered.

Consults

Your surgeon and physiotherapist will visit you.

Mobility / transfers / positioning

You will sit out of bed with assistance for meals. It is important to maintain good posture when sitting. Do not sit out for more than 15 minutes initially and as comfort allows.

Your physiotherapist will teach you how to move safely and some gentle exercises, including breathing, circulatory and spinal exercises. The staff will encourage you to exercise as outlined in the exercise sheet. The physiotherapist and/or staff will assist you to mobilise a short distance.

Hygiene

You will be assisted with your hygiene needs.

Nutrition

You will be given a normal diet as tolerated.

Continence state

You will be assisted with your toileting needs as required. If you have a catheter in your bladder this may be removed and your urine will be measured.

Observations

Nurses will continue to record your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, limb powers and the condition of your dressing regularly.

Medication

You will be given your regular medications, plus any required for pain relief. Please let the nursing staff know when you experience pain. The drip in your arm may be removed if you are tolerating fluids and diet.

Treatment

The drain coming from your wound may be removed and your wound will be checked regularly. If instructed to, you will continue to wear therapeutic stockings.

Phase two—post-op

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Discharge planning

Your discharge needs will be reviewed.

Teaching and emotional support

Your nurse will discuss this patient information booklet with you and answer any questions. A member of the pastoral care team may visit you today.

Consults

Your surgeon will visit you and your physiotherapist will continue to see you.

Mobility / transfers / positioning

You will be encouraged to sit out of bed for meals—sitting limit is 20 minutes for two weeks. You may be encouraged to take four to six walks (i.e. one to two laps of the ward). You may require assistance and will be guided by your physiotherapist.

Hygiene

Your nurse will assist with showering if required.

Nutrition

You may return to your normal diet.

Continence state

Your nurse will assist with your toileting needs as required. You should be going to the toilet normally, with your usual bowel patterns returning. Please notify your nurse if you are having any difficulties as a laxative may need to be given.

Observations

Nurses will continue to record your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, limb powers and the condition of your dressing regularly.

Medications

You will be given your regular medications plus any required for pain relief. Please let the nurses know if you experience any pain. If your IV still remains in place it should be removed.

Treatments

Your dressing will be checked. If you still have a drain in your wound this may be removed. You will continue to wear therapeutic stockings.

Ongoing

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Discharge planning

Your nurse and physiotherapist will continue to talk with you about any special needs you require when discharged.

Teaching and emotional support

Your nurse will discuss with you this patient information booklet and answer any questions.

Consults

Your surgeon will visit you, and your physiotherapist will continue to guide you through your exercises and develop a home program of exercises.

Mobility

You will be able to mobilise independently. When you are in bed your nurse will remind you to do your exercises regularly, as outlined on your exercise sheet.

Hygiene

You can shower independently.

Nutrition

You will be able to continue your normal diet.

Continence state

You should be going to the toilet normally, with your usual bowel patterns returning. Please notify your nurse if you are having any difficulties as a laxative may need to be given.

Observations

Nurses will continue to record your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, limb powers and the condition of your dressing regularly.

Medications

You will be given your regular medications plus any required for pain relief. Please notify your nurse when you experience pain.

Treatments

Your dressing will be checked and replaced if necessary.

Day of discharge

Date: ___ / ___ / ______

Consults

Your surgeon will either visit you before you are discharged or will have made arrangements prior.

Mobility and activities of daily living

You will be independent with your walking and showering. At home, mobilise around the house initially then progress to the yard and steps and go for short walks as outlined in the Spinal care booklet. Aim to gradually increase your activity every day.

Your bowel and bladder functions should continue to return to normal.

Nutrition

You may have foods and fluids as desired.

Observations

Your temperature, pulse, respirations, blood pressure and limb powers will be monitored prior to your discharge. The condition of your wound or dressing will also be noted prior to discharge.

Medications

You will continue to take your regular medications. Medication is available to you if you experience any pain.

Treatments

If your dressing is removed you may leave your wound exposed. If your dressing is intact instructions will be given to you as to when you can remove it. If you still have clips in your wound, arrangements will be made for these to be removed.

Discharge planning

Your nurse will give you a discharge advice form and discuss it with you. Discharge time is 10 am.

Discharge advice

If your dressing is removed you may leave your wound exposed. If your dressing is intact follow the instructions given to you as to when you can remove your dressing.

You may become fatigued easily, try to rest frequently. You should return to a graduated cardiovascular and strengthening program (refer to the Spinal care booklet for progression of exercises).

Do not drive for four weeks following the surgery and only after discussion with your doctor. Limitations on return to function and activities of daily living will be discussed by your physiotherapist during your stay. Detailed instructions may be found in the Spinal care booklet.

Housework and shopping should be avoided for four weeks after your surgery and only undertaken after advice from your doctor.

Sitting is limited to 20 minutes for approximately two weeks. From two to four weeks the limit is 40 minutes at a time.

You should return to a physiotherapist approximately two to three weeks post-op for progression of your exercise program.

Report to your doctor if you experience:

  • redness, swelling or drainage from you wound
  • fever (temperature above 38°)
  • pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia
  • new or worsening numbness or weakness.

Mission

In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Mater Health Services offers compassionate service to the sick and needy, promotes an holistic approach to health care in response to changing community needs and fosters high standards in health-related education and research.

Following the example of Christ the Healer, we commit ourselves to offering these services to all without discrimination.

Values

  • Mercy: responding generously to human need.
  • Dignity: respecting the worth and wishes of each individual.
  • Care: attending to all needs with intelligence and compassion.
  • Commitment: accepting and honouring responsibility.
  • Quality: striving for excellence, distinction and opportunity.
Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-450025
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/1/2014
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Mercy. Dignity. Care. Commitment. Quality

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