View Full Version : I decided on surgery

03-01-2007, 06:02 PM
Hi all,

After a 15 year struggle to avoid scoliosis surgery, it is time. Although my surgery date hasn't been set in stone yet, it will likely be June 5th or 6th. My curve has progressed (as expected) over the last year, but it is still flexible, so Dr. Tribus wants to do a posterior surgery on me (L3 to T4 or T5).

He also said that I should donate 3 pints of blood one month before surgery. Does that sound like too much in such a short amount of time?

Well, I'm sure I will have a lot more questions, but I'm not emotionally ready to start organizing everything for surgery. I still have a few months, but next week I have to get tests done on my heart because I have a mitrol valve prolapse. That shouldn't be much to worry about, I suppose.

This forum has been a HUGE help in making me feel better about my decision. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you are my scolio heroes!


03-01-2007, 06:06 PM
Hi Anya...

Congratulations on making the decision. I know how hard that can be.

Three units in a month should not be a problem for you unless you have other medical issues. I did 7 units in 7 weeks.


03-01-2007, 06:52 PM
Hi Anya,

Well done on finally making your choice on having surgery. It looks like we will be recovering at the same time as my op is on 28th May. Where your going to be fused is nearly like where im getting fused too. But im having both Anterior and Posterior. Im not sure on the giving blood cos here in Aus my surgeon said we don't need to donate anymore as our blood banks do not like us doing it.... it does sound a little weird but then again a lot of the time its not needed, they are going to take a little bit from me the night before my op.
Did they say how long your surgery will take?
May i ask what a Mitrol Valve prolapse is?

Luv Lee :)

03-01-2007, 07:12 PM
Hi Anya,

Decided on surgery? Welcome to the madhouse! hahahahahaha (maniacal laughter....)

Waiting for surgery is quite the head trip, I've found..... :eek:

03-01-2007, 08:04 PM
Dear Anya,

Congratulations on your decision! My surgeries are scheduled for May 15 (anterior) and May 18 (posterior.) My doctor will be fusing T10 to L5. Yes, it's scary. But I have a feeling we'll be glad some day that we made this decision. It's great to have so much company, with all the Forum folks who will be having surgery within the next 3 or 4 months!

Take care,

03-01-2007, 08:46 PM
Hi Anya,

Congratulations on making a very difficult decision. I recently had to make the same decision so I know just how difficult it is. Preparing for surgery is really a mental battle and I'm glad to hear that you aren't feeling any emotional effects yet.

Donating 3 units of blood doesn't seem too much, because I was told that I would have to donate 2 - 3 units of blood too, and I think it's the typical amount of blood people donate for this type of surgery. On the sheet that I was given to read about the blood donation, it says that the only restriction is that you can only donate one unit of blood per week and it must be at least 6 weeks before surgery.

I'm having posterior surgery as well on June 18, so I will be recovering around the same time as you as well.

I wish you all the best :)

Good luck to everyone else having surgery in the coming months as well!!

03-01-2007, 09:01 PM
Thanks for all your replies so quickly. Yes, it seems like end of May/beginning of June will be a busy time for us scolio folks.

To answer Lee's question - a mitrol valve prolapse is a heart condition where once in a while the valve doesn't operate properly and the blood flows backwards so you can feel your heart skip, but it is nothing serious. They just want to check up on it since I haven't had an EKG in a while.

It is not that I'm not feeling any emotional effects right now. A year ago when my surgeon first told me I'd probably need surgery, I think I cried almost everyday for a good 2 months or so, but that is when I found this forum and now feel like I have a good understanding of this surgery. Currently I'm feeling a mixture of fear, relief, hope, courage, sadness, etc. Actually, mostly I'm feeling tired right now. I think a good night sleep will help me start putting myself and my emotions in order tomorrow.

Sleep tight,

03-01-2007, 09:39 PM
I know exactly what you mean because that's just how I felt when I found out that I would need surgery. I was distraught and cried my eyes out. But joining this forum and talking to others who know exactly how I feel and can relate to me and those who have gone through all of this already has realy helped and has seriously improved my outlook on having to have surgery. This forum has really been a God send to me, and I'm sure to most if not all of the people on here. This is why I know that even after my surgery is over I will stay here so that I can give people what this forum and all of you great people have given me -- hope and the ability to smile through it all :)

03-02-2007, 09:16 AM
Anya, sounds like you made the right decision for you. Three pints doesn't sound excessive to me. I donated 2 w/i a month's time. On the bright side of things, the weather will be nice when you are recovering which is a plus.

Take some well deserved time to just let it all sink in. I know it took a little while for me to accept the fact that I was going to have surgery. But, I did eventually make my peace with it. I see you as very upbeat and positive and you've been around here long enough to know how important that is. Just know that you are never alone and that you will always have the support of those of us on this forum.

Take care,

03-02-2007, 09:26 AM
...there are so many of you having surgery right around the same time. At least you'll all be in good company! Best wishes to you all.

03-02-2007, 09:27 AM

You will do well with your surgery. You are young and will only require posterior. And as you can see from many others in your age range in this forum, they bounce back pretty quickly. I only wish my scolisis could have been successfully treated years ago.

When I saw Dr. Michael Schafer in Chicago in January, I asked him if he knew Dr. Tribus because I have family in Madison who have asked me if there's any way I could have surgery there. He does not know Dr. Tribus but stressed how important in my case that I be treated by someone who is well experienced in very complex adult spinal deformity.

After a lot of soul-searching and talking to lots of women around my age who have had extensive surgeries, I have decided to forego this undertaking. I do not have a strong support system and after hearing from those who "have been there and done that" tell me that I am at a HUGE disadvantage, it's obvious that surgery is just out of the question for me. In addition, the women I have spoken to either don't work or are retired. And they have emphasized to me just how long and difficult a surgery of the magnitude I would require can be. I spoke to a retired school teacher who underwent 30 hours of surgery by Dr. Schafer at age 60 and she told me she would never be able to go back to teaching. That is another factor in my decision. I have to work.

God bless you.


03-02-2007, 09:56 AM
Hi Anya,
Congrats on making your decision to go ahead with the surgery. I know all to well, it is a very hard decision.
Also to Lee,Chris,Nadia & Brynn,& Anya: Believe me, if I can do it , you can! I'm a big wimp but did just fine! I'll be there supporting you all! :)

03-02-2007, 01:45 PM

Don't lie -- you are most definitely NOT a wimp!! :D

03-02-2007, 03:16 PM
Thanks to Lynne, Brandi et al. It's so great knowing that you are supporting our decision to have surgery. It means a lot to me to have the support of so many Forum folks! And so many of you have already come through this "experience" and still believe you made the right decision. That's certainly important to me.


03-03-2007, 09:30 AM
You are all so wonderful! Thank you. I honestly haven't let it sink in yet. I find that my colleagues don't really want to talk about the surgery (they obviously don't understand and perhaps they are scared), so I appreciate all the support from all of you! Also my father refuses to talk about it. When I told him, he said, "Hmm, well it seems like you've got it under control. I'll talk to you later."

Yes, May and June will be an eventful time for many of us. Please keep in touch!


03-03-2007, 02:22 PM
anya- you will find that different people/family members handle it in different ways as best they can....My 80 yr old mother who I thought was with me all along on my surgery decision, pretty much begged me to reconsider with 4 weeks to go! It is extremely hard on your loved ones but they will come thru for you...mine did! I, of course, heard how crazy they all were months after my recovery...my husband told me later on...evidently on surgery day, my mom washed her kitchen floor several times & cleaned all day to ease her nerves..must have been a really clean house & floor since I was under for 10 hrs...Ly :)

03-03-2007, 04:22 PM
Yeah, what Lynne said. When I was preparing for surgery, I felt the need to talk about it and vent my fears and concerns to my family and friends. I didn't always get the reaction or type of support I needed from them. I later discovered that it wasn't that they didn't care or weren't interested, it was just hard for them to have that conversation with me. They wanted to enjoy their time with me before my surgery and not fill every moment with talk of hospitals, doctors and the like. They worried about me, but felt the need to be strong and not let their anxiety show for my sake. I think this is true for so many of us. I found it extremely helpful to limit my scoli related rants and concerns to this forum and my blog.