View Full Version : Flouroscopy done, tomorrow schedule date for surgery

07-05-2012, 04:33 PM
Went today at 10am and was in the OR at 1pm for about 45 minutes. Nothing to it. I laid on a special table with pillows on my head. The table had 3 curve separate dropped wells of about 6 inches and where padded on each side (hard to describe) First one supported my breast, second my tummy and third the hips. The rest of the body went back onto a padded table of sorts.

Dr Bridwell open my gown and accommodated my back. Boy the man has freezing cold hands and the entire OR floor's a/c was set at freezing degrees. There was a radiologist that moved the camera while bridwell stood beside a machine with a screen giving instructions to the camera radiologist. There were 2 women and one man RNs and one other person. No anesthisiologist team, and no assistant (fellow) present nor any other hands. Apparently this is the core team who are always together in all the operations. Very very nice people. One of the nurse sat next to me and was very comforting. Asked them not to tie me down assuring them I would not fall and that I suffer from claustrophobia and it make me panic. I could move my right hurting shoulders and there was instructions from the radiologist about hold…. breathe!!

Xrays were mounted on the wall quite quickly and Dr B had one guy measuring and marking. I was ready for them to take the knife and began. It gives me so much confidence that Dr Bridwell was so detailed that I know whatever he is doing is well planned in advance. He actually thank me 4 times for coming in.

I am sure that I will be one of his cases in some future publication.

Instead of walking I took the gurney route to the OR. I wanted to re-experience the ride so that when It was for real, I would be OK. I was calm and felt like riding a limo.

Meet tomorrow at 9am and we'll see what happens.


07-05-2012, 09:55 PM
Hi Gardenia...

I'm unclear on what you actually had done. Was it a myelogram or discogram? Surgeons aren't typically in the room for those.


07-06-2012, 01:47 PM
Sounds like you are getting organized on what you are doing to finally take care of your back. Like Linda said, what procedure did you have done?

07-07-2012, 11:52 AM
I have been here for 3 weeks leaving on Wed the 11th. After the flouroscopy with Dr Bridwell and half his team in the OR for 45 minutes, he decided that he needed more stuff and to be discussed the next day in his office. I was in the surgery floor of Barnes-Jewish, huge waiting rooms quite separated for all ages. Got there are 10am and called at noon to the prep area. Up there, nurses got me to change and to take medicine history etc. In the OR which would be the same one where he operates, I got to see the type of table and all instruments.

No dye was used which surprised me. Only very high level xrays machines that prints the charts and stores into a computer for visualization. I was able to lift my head and turn to see some images but it was basically all about the same twisted frame. I believe that he was looking closely into the pedicles and in between....

Next day, office visit with my daughter, a fellow came in to make certain for the 10th time that I was myself by name and dob, this one was nicer than the other one I met 2 months ago. Immediately followed by Dr Bridwell, Bernie his nurse, the fellow and one who is doing the research (azeem who had a beautiful smile).

Well, the bunch of MRIs I had a month ago, and the xrays done in the same building had views not to DR B liking. Asked about the Physical Therapist report on the bike which I volunteered it would be no good as it was done the day of my first visit, with pre and post xrays sessions that had killed my back because of the hard table. He was angry that the PT would schedule that late considering I much pain I was at the end of such active date so now I am scheduled for another.

I complained about my right shoulder which years I had surgery on the rotator cuff. Dr B wants me to go see another surgeon immediately for his opinion because it is is bad, then a fixing of that would take priority to having a spine surgery. He said no reason to fix the back in a 8+ hours session when it will cause your shoulder to hurt more. So, if I need repair again on my shoulder then that comes first.

Also I am to have a http://www.scoliosisassociates.com/subject.php?pn=ct-myelogram-028 on Thursday. Look up cr-myelogram.

I am happy that Dr B is such a detailed person. I know this will cost the insurance and us a bit but when dealing with the spine (pain or paralysis) I want someone who is super well prepared prior to using the knife.

07-07-2012, 01:18 PM
He is correct that spine surgery will make a rotator cuff problem worse. I am having my right rotator cuff surgery on Monday because being fused made my shoulder problem worse.

Good luck to you and I hope all goes well.

07-07-2012, 04:47 PM
In the OR which would be the same one where he operates, I got to see the type of table and all instruments.


You're a very brave woman. I am sure you will do great because of your optimistic attitude.

I think if I saw the OR with the table and all the instruments (without being injected with some happy juice), I'd have had a heart attack right there and then. Is this common to see the OR before the surgery? Did other people go through a similar procedure?

07-07-2012, 07:24 PM

You're a very brave woman. I am sure you will do great because of your optimistic attitude.

I think if I saw the OR with the table and all the instruments (without being injected with some happy juice), I'd have had a heart attack right there and then. Is this common to see the OR before the surgery? Did other people go through a similar procedure?

I have always told my doctor that I do not want to see the OR before surgery. They have always given me something before leaving pre-op. I would just die if I saw the OR. I intend , on Monday, to tell them the same thing.

07-09-2012, 10:46 PM

Why are you having all these tests, images and xrays? Just curious because I saw Dr. Bridwell once for a surgical consult, and he did none of these.

Also, what was it Dr. B didn't like in your images?

I'm glad you're getting your shoulder taken care of.

Best wishes,

07-10-2012, 05:36 AM
i do not understand what procedure was done...?
the docs i see on east coast all have fluroscopes in their offices...
they do procedures like injections while patient is under fluroscope, but
do not have need for OR...
not clear on what procedure you had done in operating room....?


07-10-2012, 03:48 PM
Well, the flouroscopy was done at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Dr Bridwell did it himself and also wanted to see how I would fit on the table (more like a hammock where I was face down).

After meeting with him on Friday he wanted several things done.
1. repeat of my treadmill and bike test with his Physical Therapist (because I talk so much) I mentioned it must have been a lousy result. He asked why? I said it was done at 3pm on a Friday after seeing him for the first time, and 2 separate sessions of xrays. I spent almost an hour on the xray table the second time and it left me with lots of pain that lasted for several days. He asked why did I do it that day? because his PT was going on vacation out of the country and it was the best she could do as they only use her (in a separate private office not under WashU CAM (Center for Advance Med)). He said: do it again!

2. He criticized the MRI films that I had done in April/May that they were not showing something - talking to the films and his staff taking notes.

3. He noticed that I was squirming on the OR and asked what was that about. I had a rotator cuff surgery about 10-12 years ago. Beginning of this year, both my right shoulder and my left hip were in terrible pain making it impossible to sleep on my side. I have never been able to sleep on my back all my life but this year I was forced to thus the level of pain increased 2-3 times than normal. This is what prompted me to get a consult or two.

My primary care had given me a cortisone shot on my left shoulder as I was getting restricted movement mostly caused by the right shoulder and arm joint. That got fixed quickly. I got a cortisone shot on my right shoulder but only did the second shot as good. It has lasted for 2-3 months (right) and now slowly creeping back. Thus, my consultation with Dr Yamaguchi tomorrow.

The CT myelogram is back at the hospital Barnes-Jewish but with dye. I read that they will remove a little amount of spinal fluid and insert same amount of die to then take the CT scan. I can't drive myself home.

Dr. Bridwell is so picky which is good. However, I've been here 3 weeks and had to cancel my flight home. United Airlines now charges $150 for rescheduling but if I submit later a letter by Dr Bridwell that I had to cancel due to more tests required, UAL will refund me $100.

So now, I am here in St Louis (spending money instead of hotel, fixing things at my daughter's condo). Friday night, the a/c broke down and we had to spend a hot night with 100 degrees inside all night. It finally got fixed (I hope) but we did move to my niece's home for the weekend.

I still don't know what will happen tomorrow with the shoulder guy. My guess is more xrays and hopefully not another surgery. Getting records from California 10+ years ago from the hospital is quite an adventure as my surgeon moved to Seattle 4 years ago and now left into 'no one knows'.

Monday with Dr Bridwell will be hopefully the day, unless of course he needs more details. I am fine as I am retired, staying with daughter while husband is down in Baja California, Mexico taking care of my 16 lb. 7 year old black cat that misses me like crazy.

I am usually so pessimistic and never think things will go perfectly right because if it does not, then I am not disappointed but one thing I do is my homework. I research every little thing to make sure I understand completely what is going on. I think that part of fear is the unknown. The brain needs to know in order to prepare the body for whatever is coming. staying in control makes life easier without it then I become anxious, forgetful, cannot understand instructions, and what not.

I am not that brave however I have always been very independent and having to rely on anyone else for anything specially a 23 year old daughter starting her PhD in medical research with lots of lab schedule and studies makes it not easy for me to let her take the responsibility of taking care of me. If I had known that this would happen, I would have not moved from the San Francisco Bay Area 4 years ago to Baja where the location is great and 2 hours from the California border. However, the medical attention there is far from that of a major city.

Here in St Louis with all these medical staff etc, I feel safe. And, picky Dr B assures me that he is not rushing in with a saw to open my back to increase his practice income. To him, it is not about money but self improvement for the sake of the next patient.

Hope this long story helps one or many. Gardenia

07-10-2012, 04:29 PM
most definitely do not drive...
just a reminder...to avoid the dreaded possible headache after myleogram, remember
to lay still as long as they tell you to...i think i lay still for at leat 3 hours at
hospital radiology dept after procedure, and then went home (by cab) and lay in bed some more...
i knowci was so scared of notorious headaches that i was in bed the rest of the day, just
out of fear...i was totally fine, never got any headache, was back to normal
next day....
best of luck...