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Old 10-13-2004, 10:39 PM   #1
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texasmary HB User
Question Position during back surgery

Okay, this is probably a silly question... but I have been getting such good support and answers to my questions. I think I have asked more than my share of silly questions of my doctor. So... what kind of position do they put you in during lower back surgery? Do they put your head and neck in a special position so that you can breathe better? I can't sleep on my stomach at all because I can't breath in that position. And if I turn my neck sideways for too long, I get a crick. My surgery could be 4 hours or longer. Anybody know what position they were in... or was everybody totally out of it and don't have a clue?

 
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:13 PM   #2
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Re: Position during back surgery

I don't personally know but I would imagine that you lay on your stomach and there is a hole where your face would be, so say if you were awake you would be looking at a floor. A lot of massage places has that, you know what I'm talking about? I could be wrong but that's just what I would think. Take care and good luck with your surgery. Kristy.

 
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:29 AM   #3
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blurredline HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

I've had a couple...they flip you like a pancake and you are placed on a wedge to hike your back and booty up for better exposure. You have to have your head cocked to the side in order to have the tubes inserted to keep you breathing and the like. You are like a human triangle...beauty of it all is that you will not remember a thing except for an odd taste and feeling in your throat from teh tube.

 
Old 10-14-2004, 08:53 AM   #4
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Re: Position during back surgery

They had me in a prone ( on your knee's and somthing under stomach) position with my face in a hole. Let me tell you when I came out of surgery they said my face was blown up. Everyone who came to see me could not believe how swelled my face was. I assume that was from being in the hole for over 4 hours. Thank god I was too drugged to even look in the mirror and by the time I did come around the swelling had come down. Angela

 
Old 10-14-2004, 09:26 AM   #5
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Rhonni HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

You're out of it and don't really care. I was shown a propped up table kinda thing - and you're sorta draped over it. (hard to describe).

After the surgery there will be no stomach sleeping so don't worry about that.
They lay you on your back (imagine) and you can move to your side if you want - propped with pillows.

Funny what we worry about before hand. It all becomes needless worry afterward. Believe me.

 
Old 10-14-2004, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Position during back surgery

Hi!
I remember being wheeled into the OR and looking around before they gave me something to relax me. I was on a strecher and they wheeled it up to another table that had all these cushions on it, and they were draped with blankets or sheets. I assumed I would be on my back, becuase there was a hole towards the top which is where my face would be. I remember them giving me two shots into my IV, and I remember telling the anetelologist (sp?)to make sure he wakes me up becaue I have a daughter that needs me. I do not remember anything after that. When I woke up, I was on my back again, and hardly remember what was going on. I remember bits and peices.
~M~

 
Old 10-14-2004, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: Position during back surgery

I've seen a back surgery operating room table with two levels. The patient is put into a sitting position with their face and torso facing down, bent at the hips and again at the knees. There was a cushioned wedge that was snugged up against the back of the thighs to keep the patient in that position. When she woke up, the patient complained of having sore knees (from being on them for 5 hours) and had red marks all around her face (from her face being in a 'donut'). Don't know if that is only used for one kind of back surgery or not. Aimee

 
Old 10-14-2004, 02:15 PM   #8
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lfoster21 HB User
Wink Re: Position during back surgery

I can't tell you how I was positioned because the last thing I remember was being on the stretcher that they brought me into the O.R. on. But I will tell you that I was very concerned about my position because I have to have my neck in a neutral position or I will get a terrible pain in my neck which leads to a worse headache. I also have terrible sinus problems which make it very hard to breath in certain positions. I was fine after the 4 hr. surgery. Whatever position I was in was o.k.

Good luck,
Lorie
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:47 PM   #9
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TexasWildRose04 HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

[QUOTE=texasmary]Okay, this is probably a silly question... but I have been getting such good support and answers to my questions. I think I have asked more than my share of silly questions of my doctor. So... what kind of position do they put you in during lower back surgery? Do they put your head and neck in a special position so that you can breathe better? I can't sleep on my stomach at all because I can't breath in that position. And if I turn my neck sideways for too long, I get a crick. My surgery could be 4 hours or longer. Anybody know what position they were in... or was everybody totally out of it and don't have a clue? [/QUOTE]


I ask my Neurosurgeon the same question and he told me I would be on my stomach...They put wedges under your body to raise your stomach and make your back straight... and under the front of your lower legs too... and they have your face in a hole at the end of the table..... I only know this because like I said.... I ask my neurosurgeon.... because I dont remember a thing when they put me on the table.... I was completely asleep before they placed me on the operating table... they started my IV and knocked me out first.....I remember being wheeled into the operating room... the nurse put the oxygen mask over my face and said... take some deep breaths... and said the mask is gonna smell like a beach ball... I remember saying it sure does... and I was out... next thing I remember is waking up in recovery... I did end up with a black eye on the right, I suppose from the pressure of my face pushing in that hole... but I was only in surgery for 1 hr 30 min.... but they could have positioned me anyway they wanted to and I wouldnt have had any idea....after the surgery I was flat on my back.... thats how I had to stay except for getting up to go to the restroom and to sit up to eat my meals....other then that... flat on the ole back for me.....Its really not that bad.... Hope everything goes good for ya... Good Luck!! Take Care..............

 
Old 10-14-2004, 03:44 PM   #10
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Spirogyra HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

This has come up before on this list, but anyone with high eye pressure or glaucoma should take special precautions in the face down position of back surgery. Studies have shown that eye pressure goes up significantly in that position. If you even suspect such a problem, be sure the surgeon and anesthesiologist know about it.

Spiro

 
Old 10-14-2004, 04:27 PM   #11
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Rhonni HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

Let me tell you.. the position they have you in during surgery is nothing. If they create a dural tear DURING surgery (of which I had 3) then the position you're in AFTERWARD is a killer. I had to stay completely (and I do mean completely) flat for 5 days!!!!

By day five.. I would have taken surgery position - however they wanted me.\
HA

 
Old 10-14-2004, 11:18 PM   #12
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texasmary HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

Thanks everyone. Now I'll probably worry about my knees, face, eyes, etc. I did find a good website tonight and there was actually a drawing of the table and position. I'm sure it may vary for different hospitals, doctors, types of surgeries, etc. But if anyone else is interested, the site is:
[url]http://www.allaboutbackandneckpain.com/html/spinesub.asp?id=198[/url]
Scroll way down on the page and click on "surgery frame".
Thanks again.

 
Old 10-15-2004, 04:45 AM   #13
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ltedeschi HB User
Re: Position during back surgery

All hospitals and surgeons are different. In my first fusion I remember that I had no table but more like three wide bars that I would be across.I had a cage screwed into the scalp(done while asleep) to stabilize the head.
rest assured the anesthesiologist will ensure that you are breathing steady throughout the operation.
Good luck
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Good Health to all
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