View Full Version : How long did you spend in the hospital?

01-20-2012, 09:38 PM
I'm scheduled for surgery on Monday, 1/23. I've been told to check in at the Central Registration desk at 6 a.m. My primary care assumes that means they hope to get started around 8 a.m. My husband is assuming that they'll be finishing up around 5 or 6 p.m.

I know the surgeon told me that it could be 10 to 12 hours. If he can't do everything on Monday, Day 2 is scheduled for Friday, 1/27. How many of you had your surgery split over two days? I know the surgeon doesn't really want to do that, but he told me that if I loose too much blood, he'll have to stop and let me recover before he starts again.

I'm just wondering how long I might actually be in the hospital. Previously the surgeon said maybe a week to 10 days. So far the insurance company has only approved 3 days. My decompression will be from L2 or L3 to L5, and the fusion from T9 to the ilium with pelvic fixation. Those of you who had similar surgeries, how long were you in the hospital?

He told me that there was a possibility I might go to rehab before going home. Have others gone to rehab first?

Thank goodness I've been so busy at work these last few weeks; otherwise I might have had too much time to think about this ahead of time.

I ordered a new bed on Monday. Unfortunately it will be coming while I'm in the hospital as coming ahead of time. That means I won't be able to make it up with the brand new sheets and brand new quilt I just bought before I go in for the surgery. I don't trust my husband to put my sheets on in my absence [we have 2 twins]. I'm wondering what the chances are that I'll have the energy after I'm released from the hospital to tell my husband what to do to get my sheets put on the bed. If I won't be able to supervise him at that time, then maybe it will be best to have them hold the new bed for a while and deliver it later, after I have a bit more strength and can better supervise.

I know I've thrown a number of different questions into this one post, only one of which is related to the subject line; guess I'm just trying to be efficient, rather than posting multiple messages.

-- Mary

01-20-2012, 09:41 PM
I ordered a new bed on Monday. Unfortunately it will be coming while I'm in the hospital as coming ahead of time.

I MEANT to say: "Unfortunately it will be coming while I'm in the hospital INSTEAD OF coming ahead of time."

01-20-2012, 10:54 PM
Hi Mary...

In general, I would say you'll care about everything a lot less in the early recovery period. Even people who are very shy about their bodies end up not caring who sees their butt once they've been through such a big surgery. Things just aren't important. So, my guess is that you probably will not care how the bed is made, as long as it's comfortable.

The average stay for people who have long fusions is about 5-6 days, but the range is huge. I've seen people go home in 3 days, and I've seen people who stay a month or more. A lot depends on how motivated you are. Because of what was thought to be a drug reaction, I was only out of bed once in the first 3 days postop, but I was ready to go home by early on day 5. Some people want to stay in the hospital as long as possible, so that they don't have to worry about being out on their own. My advice would be to not worry about it, because you can't possibly know what will actually happen. By the way, the longer you stay in the hospital, the higher your risk of infection goes. That's what had me motivated.

By the way, you can edit any post you've made. In the bottom right corner of your post is an Edit button.

Best of luck with your surgery.


01-20-2012, 11:00 PM
Hi Mary,

My surgery was T8-sacrum with pelvic fixation, similar to yours. Surgery was around 8 hours, although I don't think I got back to ICU until closer to 7 or 8 pm (and they took me in before 8). I was in the hospital 5 days and although I was still very weak I wanted to go home. I did not go to rehab, although some here have and have liked it (some not so much). It depends on what kind of help you have available at home, and what type of rehab is actually available to you. For me all there was in our area were nursing homes, which didn't seem like a place I wanted to go!

Don't worry about what the insurance co. says about how long you can stay--your medical team will handle that. You will stay as long as you need to, and they will cover it.

Make sure someone has your pain medication prescriptions filled BEFORE you leave the hospital--mine weren't and I went way too long without medication and it was not pleasant. Also, don't forget to start a bowel regimen as soon as possible after surgery, with stool softeners and laxatives or Miralax to minimize painful constipation from the narcotics. It is helpful to have a bottle or two of Magnesium Citrate on hand at home.

I imagine you will not care much how your husband makes up your bed--I am sure he will manage just fine. All you will want to do when you get home is lay down!

Best of luck, and please let us know how you are doing.

01-21-2012, 10:19 AM
Gayle & Linda --

Thanks for your replies. We live less than 3 miles from the hospital -- takes maybe 8 to 12 minutes to get there, depending on traffic, as long as there is no football or basketball game, which there shouldn't be. My husband is on the faculty of the medical school that is associated with this teaching hospital, so he works within walking distance of where I will be (which is why we live so close to it). There are several pharmacies located right there in that area (there are two other hospitals located nearby, along with the university), but also the one I usually use for non mail-order prescriptions is, depending on the roads we take, between the hospital and our house. So access to pain meds should not be an issue.

I had already purchased some Dulcolax previously, but also picked up some Miralax and Magnesium Citrate at that same pharmacy the other day based on some recommendations from other patients here on this forum. However, I know from what my primary care has told me that the hospital has its own bowel regimen that they will be using with me and presumably providing to me when I'm discharged.

-- Thanks,

01-21-2012, 12:38 PM

UCSF Spine also has a regimen for constipation, but they didn't provide anything at discharge (other than the instructions on what to take).


01-22-2012, 09:24 PM
My fusion is also T9 to S1 with pelvic fixation. My surgery was on a Monday and I was discharged from the hospital on that Friday. I was a long way from home so I stayed at a hotel for a week before driving home. It's nice that you will be so close to home.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Before you know it, you'll be heading home to that nice bed you ordered. Kathy

01-23-2012, 07:41 AM
I just saw your post for the first time, so by the time you read this you will be "on the other side." I looked at the clock and you are now in surgery, so I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. Please post when you are able.

01-23-2012, 09:39 AM
Very best wishes to you for a great outcome today. Lots of positive energy being sent your way from the forum. We will be happy to hear from you when you are up to posting. Take care. Janet