What happens when you see Mr Pal in clinic?
During the consultation, you will have a detailed assessment of your clinical symptoms. Almost 80% of the diagnosis in spinal surgery is made from the history. Following this initial assessment, if you have not had tests including a MRI scan where appropriate, this will be arranged. The scan gives a very clear information about your spine. You will then see Mr Pal back within a week to discuss the results and be advised regarding further management plans.
Majority of spinal conditions respond to conservative management and surgery is not necessary. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for spinal injections to relieve pain. However, in certain circumstances and specifically when conservative management has failed, surgery is offered.
The options of surgical management will be discussed with you and the aim will be to offer the least invasive surgical techniques to relieve symptoms with early mobilisation and minimal hospital stay. If you decide to have surgery, you may wish to speak with other patients operated by Mr Pal who might have had similar procedures.
The pre-assessment clinic
Before surgery it is imperative that you must have all possible tests to make sure you are safe to have an operation. In the pre-assessment clinic, which is generally arranged at least week before the admission date, you will be seen by a specialist senior nurse who will take your medical history and arrange for all relevant tests. If there are any concerns in the results, she will inform myself and the anaesthetist.
On the day of surgery
On the day of surgery, you will arrive to the ward late morning. Surgery usually takes place after midday. You would have been given specific advice when to have the last meal and drinks. In the ward you will be seen by the anaesthetist and Mr Pal who will obtain your informed consent about the surgical procedure. Most of this would have been discussed with you in clinic.
What happens after surgery?
This would depend on the type of surgery you have had. Most procedures would need an overnight stay in hospital. However, if you have had a complex spinal surgery, this may require a stay in hospital of between 3 to 5 days. In the latter case you will be offered enhanced postoperative anaesthetic measures to help you with earlier mobility. Before discharge you will be assessed by our physiotherapists to advise regarding mobility and basic exercises.
You will next be seen in clinic 3 weeks later to make sure you are progressing well and that the wound is healing. This being the case you will now be referred for formal physiotherapy.If you have any queries or concerns before or following surgery, you can contact us anytime.