Before Your Surgery

Please do not take any of the following medications for at least seven (7) days prior to surgery because of the risk of increased bleeding during surgery.

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID's): (prescription and over the counter) Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), Anaprox, Ansaid, Arthrotec, Bextra, Cataflam, Celebrex, Daypro, Diclofenac, Feldene, Ibuprofen, Indocin, Ketoprofen, Lodine, Mobic, Motrin, Naprosyn, Naproxen, Oruvail, Toradol, Relafen, Vicoprofen, Vioxx, Voltaren
  • Medications containing Aspirin: Alka-Seltzer, Anacin, Asprin, Bayer Arthritis, Bufferin, Darvon Compound, Ecotrin, Excedrin, Fiorinal, Pepto-Bismol, Percodan, BC Powders, Goody's Powders, Stanback Powders, etc.
  • Anticoagulants and Antithrombotics: Aggrenox, Coumadin, Ecotrin, Fragmin, Halfprin, Heparin, Lovenox, Orgaran, Persantine, Plavix, Ticlid. You will need to consult your physician regarding plans for stopping these medications.
  • MAO Inhibitors: Nardil (Phenelzine) Parnate (Tranylcypromine)
  • Herbal Medications and Supplements: Echinacea, Feverfew, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng, Kava, Ma Huang, Saw Palmetto, Valerian, St. John's Wort, Vitamin E- stop 14 days before surgery, Multivitamins (containing Vitamin E).

If you are having a cervical or lumbar spine fusion, you should avoid NSAIDs for at least 3 months after surgery. These medications may interfere with spinal fusion.

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. Smoking may result in delay or failure of spinal fusion. Smoking also irritates the breathing passages and may lead to respiratory problems during and after surgery.

Please do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your surgery unless specifically instructed otherwise.

Making Plans for Home and Work

You should make arrangements ahead of time for someone to care for children and take care of any other necessary activities at home such as getting the mail or newspapers, and preparing meals. You should inform family members about the scheduled surgery in advance, so they can provide help and support before, during, and after surgery. Most patients go home the morning after spine surgery, so you need to arrange transportation. If you are having outpatient surgery, the hospital requires that you have someone drive you home.

If a hospital stay is expected after surgery, you should only pack what is needed. Some essential items include a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb or brush, deodorant, razor, eyeglasses (if applicable), slippers, robe, pajamas, and one change of comfortable clothes to wear when going home. You should also bring a list of family members' names and phone numbers to contact in an emergency.

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