Spinal Fusion Surgery

by bob

I would like to know more about spinal fusion surgery? What happens step by step before the surgery after the surgery...what happens those 3 or four days after the surgery? I am a very modest guy and a catheter or bathing by a nurse bothers me a lot...would I have to be bathed by a nurse? Do I have to have a catheter in for those 3 or 4 days I'm in the hospital..do I have to have a perineal bath? That would be very uncomfortable for me..how long does the catheter stay in? do I have to have one? Are there any other options for me?

Comments for Spinal Fusion Surgery

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Post Operative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery
by: Elle Bieling, RN, BSN, HHP

Hi Bob,

Your questions are ones that a lot of folks are concerned about.

First of all, ALL surgery patients with an issue such as yours will have a catheter placed, after you are put under anesthesia. You won't be aware of it being done. How long it stays in will be determined by your own abilities.

There is some missing information that might help me answer your questions, because each individual's needs are considered when a treatment plan is put together.

For instance, how mobile are you now? If you are an older gentleman that has difficulty with your activities of daily living, you will have even more difficulty after your surgery. So if you can't bend or lift or have trouble getting into and out of bed before surgery, it will be worse after surgery. This will influence the length of time the catheter is left in place.

After surgery, they will want to make sure that you are alert and can urinate on your own, by using a urinal or getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. The last thing you want is to wet yourself in your bed and potentially contaminate your fresh incision.

When you are alert and moving around, they will most likely take the catheter out. This could be in a few minutes after you wake up, or for several days, depending on you. The best thing would be for you to talk to your surgeon about it and state your concerns.

As for bathing, if the catheter is left in place for several days, the nurse will be required to check it, and ensure that it is clean where it enters your body. So you can expect that at a minimum - a visual inspection of the catheter site with every nursing shift.

However, there is no nurse who wouldn't let a loved one help you to bathe, if that is your preference. Just state that you would like your loved one to help you, or if you are able that you would like to wash yourself as much as you are able. Nurses are busy, and would actually appreciate this help.

So, if you need the catheter for several days, the brief inspection of the catheter site is all that is needed.

Breathe deeply, knowing that most likely other concerns, such as post-op pain and therapy requirements will most likely predominate in your mind!

Say affirmations that all will be well, and mentally prepare yourself for the procedure. Believe that you can have healing!

Nurses are professionals, and the human body is a wonderful thing that we have all seen so many times, that it is just part of our routine.

If there are any other questions you have, you may enjoy this reference that I found for you:

The best of luck to you in your surgery and may you find the healing that you need!

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