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View Full Version : Should I hurry to get out of the hospital ?



gardenia
10-24-2012, 06:06 PM
My surgery will be on Nov 27th at Barnes Jewish Hospital. I have read from here as well as other blogs that one should leave the hospital as soon as possible. Apparently, both the doctors and/or insurances encourage less hospital for various reasons. #1 - avoid getting a disease or infection from other patients. #2 - insurances wants to save money.

I did not stay overnight at neither of my daughter's birth. I was fine and went home. However, looking back, it was a bit exhausting.

With the Spinal surgery, I want to make sure that I can have all the physical and occupational therapy I need to be independent and not hurry it until I am comfortable doing the functions with adequate help.

During my consultation with another great surgeon in San Diego, I was told that 7-10 days at the hospital then 1-3 weeks at a rehab center. So imagine my surprise when Dr Bridwell's staff said much less and rarely need rehab.

Any opinion and experience, advise?

My husband is renting an apt at the Metro Loft across the street for 3 weeks. He can work and I can have more space to wander in the middle of the night. If necessary, I could walk the hallways via elevators and work as security.

Thanks,

Gardenia

loves to skate
10-24-2012, 08:18 PM
Gardenia,
Stop worrying young lady. Your Doctor will let you know when it is time for you to leave the hospital. If you are worried about germs, make sure your nurses and aides wash or sanitize their hands before they touch you. Barnes Jewish Hospital in an excellent hospital where my brother's life was saved many years ago after a heart attack and he was there many days. You are in good hands; excellent Doctor and excellent Hospital. I will pray for you to have peace about this surgery.
Sally

jane d
10-24-2012, 09:50 PM
Hi Gardenia,
I had surgery with Dr. Lenke July 23, 2012 and stayed in Barnes Jewish Hospital for one week after surgery and then in the adjoining hotel for 4 more days and then flew home to South Carolina. My experience was a good one. I used to be a nurse and had some concerns about infection but all went very well. No, I do not think you should be in a hurry to get out of the hospital. I will be 67 next week and was in good physical condition before surgery (had been doing strength training for 3 1/2 years prior to surgery) but I felt I did need a full week in the hospital.
Jane

Confusedmom
10-24-2012, 10:15 PM
Gardenia,

I really don't think this decision will be up to you. Dr. Lenke or Bridwell will tell you when it's time for you to go. Seems like most of their fusion patients on this forum stay one week and few go to rehab. The PT and OT at the hospital will be working with you beginning the day after surgery.

Evelyn

LindaRacine
10-24-2012, 11:25 PM
I don't know about Barnes, but it's fairly rare that a patient wants to get out of the hospital before the insurance company wants the patient ousted. I would never recommend that you go against your doctor's advice, but getting out of the hospital as soon as possible is a good thing. No question that it reduces your chances of infection.

gardenia
10-25-2012, 12:29 AM
I thought I was totally immune to being worried about this surgery because I trust Dr Bridwell and I am most likely getting preocupied with things that under normal circumstances would not worry me. It is like I am out there looking to find things that might go wrong.

Thank you to all. I promise not to worry and let others do their jobs. It is my turn to depend and let the family take charge without micromanaging.

Gardenia

Irina
10-25-2012, 11:39 AM
I don't know about Barnes, but it's fairly rare that a patient wants to get out of the hospital before the insurance company wants the patient ousted. I would never recommend that you go against your doctor's advice, but getting out of the hospital as soon as possible is a good thing. No question that it reduces your chances of infection.

Is there a chance of getting infection at home? What should patients do to minimize a chance of infection at home other than keeping the scar clean? Do you need a separate bed? Should sheets be changed every day?

susancook
10-26-2012, 01:12 AM
There is a greater chance of getting an infection when you hang around people that have infections!...like hospitals!
Susan

mariaf
10-28-2012, 12:28 AM
I agree with Linda and Susan that (so long as it is not against your doctors advice), getting out of the hospital as soon as you can safely do so is a good thing.

I recall a few years ago when my dad was admitted for a few days for some tests (he has several health issues), his doctor couldn't get him out fast enough as soon as the tests came back OK. He basically said he didn't want to risk an infection since my dad's health wasn't/isn't the greatest.

Gardenia - Best of luck to you next month. Sounds like you are in great hands and I'm sure you'll come out on the other side with flying colors!

susancook
10-28-2012, 02:42 AM
Is there a chance of getting infection at home? What should patients do to minimize a chance of infection at home other than keeping the scar clean? Do you need a separate bed? Should sheets be changed every day?

IRINA, There is always a chance of getting an infection at home, but the most concern re: wound infection is in the hospital, esp in the operating room when your back is open. Get instructions from your MD re: whatever she wants you to do about back care at home. Anyone that does any back care should wear gloves.

Don't let people visit that has a cold [upper respiratory infection] as your immunity will be down slightly from the stress of surgery and you don't need the bother of a cold.

I wouldn't worry about changing your sheets daily, but that might feel good since you might spend some time initially at least in bed.

I'm sure that Dr. Hu and UCSF have great going home/postop instructions for you and your husband.

Take care, sounds like you are in great hands,
BULA from Fiji, Susan

Wish2bstraight
10-28-2012, 08:38 AM
I have not had my surgery yet, but Dr. Glazer did mention about a 10 day stay in the hospital. I also questioned rehab, and he informed me that not everyone needs rehab.

Best of luck,

Libby

nanlo
10-28-2012, 09:40 AM
Hi Gardenia,
I'm excited for your surgery. I had surgery at Barnes Jewish w/ Dr Lenke in 2010. I was in the hospital for 5 nights, and stayed at the adjoining hotel for another 6 nights till I felt ready to fly back to Michigan. In most cases, I think they just discharge you as soon as you are able to meet a number of physical and OT criteria - walk to the bathroom, put on your socks, manage some stairs... I don't know if staying longer is even an option if they decide you are able to function outside the hospital. I think your set up of staying in an apartment is PERFECT!!! We needed those extra days, but it was really cramped and hard to manage meals in the hotel. You should be in a great situation - I wish we'd thought of that! I would encourage you that you are in good hands, and try not to worry (haha).
Good luck,
Nancy

LindaRacine
10-28-2012, 11:08 AM
Is there a chance of getting infection at home? What should patients do to minimize a chance of infection at home other than keeping the scar clean? Do you need a separate bed? Should sheets be changed every day?

Unless one gets diagnosed with an infection while in the hospital, it's impossible to know what is to blame. The biggest risk factors for infection include excessive blood loss, preop morbid obesity, compromised nutritional status, prior infection, and length of stay. You must remember, however, that even when everything is done perfectly, you might still end up with an infection. . Actually, I suspect that "keeping the scar clean" might actually be a risk factor. I think it's best to leave the incision alone as much as possible. I can't imagine that sleeping in a separate bad or changing the sheets every day would make much of a difference.

--Linda

mariaf
10-31-2012, 06:08 AM
Actually, I suspect that "keeping the scar clean" might actually be a risk factor. I think it's best to leave the incision alone as much as possible.

--Linda

That actually makes perfect sense to me (with any wound). Once it is bandaged, germs shouldn't be able to get in - or are at least 'less likely' to get in - if the dressing isn't being removed all the time.