View Full Version : Double surgery

09-01-2008, 06:00 AM
Hello all, I am kinda discombobulated with the news I recieved. I am not only facing an anterior spinal fusion but also have to get a corneal transplant for my left eye in 3 months. Very frustrating news.
My spinal surgeon recommended that I try all exercise and pain management before going ahead with the spinal fusion, but I have already done all that. He seems like a really good doctor though. He said that he may do a 2-3 level lumbar fusion with keyhole surgery, but explained that he cannot garantee that it will do anything for the pain. Kinda damned if I do damned if I don't. Finding it very difficult to manage at the moment. Anyways, just needed to vent to people who would understand my predicament. :)

09-01-2008, 08:36 AM
I'm sorry you need 2 surgeries. That would be a double whammy. Which one would you do first? Also, I'm not familiar with the 'keyhole' surgery that you mentioned.

Good luck,

loves to skate
09-01-2008, 10:19 AM
Hi Jimbo,

I'm not familiar with keyhole surgery either. Find out from your Dr. if he plans to separate the vertebrae before he fuses them, or do a laminectomy, a facetectomy or whatever is necessary to relieve the pinched nerves. It might be wise for you to consult with another Dr. to get a second or a third opinion. It may be that your Doctor is being very honest with you because not everyone is pain free after the surgery, but some are. I still have pain 9 months after my surgery, but it is no where near as bad as the pain I suffered pre op. My Dr. tells me that the pain I have now is the nerves regenerating. I don't know if the pain will ever go away, but I take Gabapentin for it and it does help. I am very happy that I had the surgery, because without it, there is no chance of improvement. Especially since you have tried exercise and pain management.

About the corneal transplant. My husband's cousin's husband had very successful corneal transplant surgery. He was legally blind before the surgery and now can see well without glasses.

My thought are with you. Let us know what you decide to do. We are rooting for you.


09-01-2008, 10:41 AM
I'll echo that too... I'll be thinking of you with the two surgeries. My mother had corneal transplants awhile ago and did just fine. I know that sometimes things seem so huge and overwhelming, but when you feel prepared somewhat, they are easier to deal with. Read up on both and that may help. Just try to take things step by step, rather than thinking you have Mt. Everest to climb. I think you will do fine.

We are always here to listen when you need to share your concerns and/or vent your frustrations. It's very easy to feel that way, isn't it?!!! Keep us posted.

09-01-2008, 05:27 PM
Hi Jimbo....

The alternative would be no surgeries, right? So, while it's a lot to go through, think about the difference between those alternatives: 1) no treatment, and 2) what it will be like once you've recovered. Unfortunately, there are never guarantees, but surgeons don't generally like to perform surgery unless there is a very good chance of improvement.

As Sally suggested, it's a good idea to get a second opinion (which is good advice for both surgeries).

Best of luck,

Diane BCSW
09-01-2008, 07:03 PM
Jimbo, I know it can seem overwhelming at times. I had the cataract removal surgery in spring a year ago and each time received an artificial lens (sorry, my brain's not working well... I know there's a more technical name). There's really nothing to it. You are put "out" for only 1 or 2 minutes while they deaden your eyes... you won't feel a thing. When the operation starts, you'll hear a crunching sound. That's the old lens being broke up. You are wide awake for the surgery and have to be very still but the doctor will talk to you occasionally. Everything will go black, one eye after the other, but then you'll see the most wonderful light... that's when the new lens has been put in. It's a weird feeling to have no control over your eyes while they have been deadened. The whole surgery takes about 15 minutes.

I'm not going to comment on the spine surgery. You're getting such wonderful advice from the other members here. Even with all my problems, I'm glad I did it and would do it again.

09-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Thankyou all, your words give me some comfort :) Diane, the surgery I am getting requires the removal of my cornea and replacing it with a dead persons, yikes! The surgery itself is not that bad, but the recovery time is. Anywhere between 6 months and 2 years. Had to move back home to and my dad doesn't really like me much, so the quicker I get outta here the better. Anyways thankyou all again, you really do help :)