My wife is scheduled for a Prodisc-C implant at the C5-C6 level as Outpatient surgery on May 21, 2009. She has no other known spinal problems. The surgery will be done at Florida Hospital Celebration by Dr. Zahrawi. The disc is pretty much shredded, and the only other choice is fusion. The procedure will be done from the front, moving the esopagus and trachea to the side. Apparently a common side effect of this is difficulty in swallowing. The surgery will be done on a Thursday, so I don't have to deal with an on-call doctor the day after the surgery. I would like anyone's input, particularly first hand experience with the following:
1) Dr. Zahrawi himself professionally. I am pretty comfortable with the hospital itself, but any comments there would help.
2) The Prodisc-C device, good or bad
3) Was your sugery scheduled as outpatient? Was pain control stabilized if you were actually released on the same day? Are you able to swallow pills?
4) If scheduled as outpatient, were you actually admitted in the end? I am very nervous about essentially being forced to be a post-op nurse that soon after what seems to me to be a fairly complicated surgery.
5) What was your recovery like? I plan on being home with her for 5 days. Is that long enough?
6) Anyone's long term experience with this device.
I am more nervous about the outpatient aspect of this than anything else right now. It just seems injudicious to release a patient before they are really stable, and I don't see how they can stabilize the pain meds in that amount of time, especially if she is having problems swallowing. I am sure that this is being rammed down the doctor's throat by the insurance company. I am very knowledgable about medical lingo and procedures and I plan on sticking real close while she is in recovery and if anything isn't pretty much perfect I will raise hell with the hospital until they admit her.
These boards have gotten me good information that has helped me avoid the land mines associated with several medical problems in the past few years. Any relevant input would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by humanriff; 04-24-2009 at 11:30 PM.
Reason: Added Information
I love Celebration, vacationed at the hotel in town square several times.
I don't know anything about this doc or prodisc. I had two acdfs with one overnight stay and one 2 day stay only for pain control. Be prepared for an overnight in case because they will admit her if pain is not controlled! They send you home with good meds that adequately control pain. Yes you can swallow even though it can be difficult for some people the first week. I had my share of choking while eating and pills getting stuck.Give her the pills with pudding or applesauce. Lots of fluids with meals-small bites until she knows how well she can swallow. Some foods like bread, chicken, tuna are the choking culprits. Popsicles help lots.
I was 100 times more comfy at home than in the hospital so don't be afraid if they send her home. Don't wait for her to BE in pain to give the meds at home, give them on the prescribed schedule until you see how she is doing. If she waits to be in pain you are looking at 20 minutes for the pill to fully kick in and that can be a heck of a wait if pain is bad.
Time the ride home to be sure to have meds in system. The car is bumpy right after neck surg and you feel all of them.
She will spend most of day one sleeping. Mobile and able to walk etc.May be a little unsteady. I think I showered day 3 with a little help. Just stay on top of meds and you will find she will make fast improvement. Around day three all the stuff they pump in during surgery wears off and some people get a little setback, just have her follow Dr's orders about rest and how much activity:.
Read the hints at the top of the thread, the surgeries are similar even though she is not having the fusion.
Good luck, we are always here for urgent questions.