View Full Version : A/P surgery--all at once or in 2 stages?

11-07-2008, 02:26 AM
I'm curious if others have had A/P fusion all in one surgery as mine will be. I seem to be reading a lot about people who had one and then, soon after, the other. Isn't it hard on the body to go through 2 surgeries? Or is it harder to do one long one?:confused:

11-07-2008, 07:18 AM
I had two four-hour surgeries back-to-back (ha-ha) with a one-hour "coffee break" inbetween, as Dr. Boachie joked. The total surgery time was 9 hours. I was in ICU and on a respirator for about 12 hours post-op, and dangling my feet over the side of the bed shortly after that. I was glad to have gotten it all over with at once -- I can't imagine having to partially recover from one stage only to face another soon after.

It all depends on the complexity of the correction and how long you're projected to be under anaesthesia. They don't like to keep you under TOO long.

Nancy Joy
11-07-2008, 04:55 PM
In my case it would have been too much at one time. My first surgery was 10 hours. I haven't even asked how long the one Monday will be. I am so sad- believe it or not, I have had 2 uncles die now with a funeral on each of my surgery days. What would be the odds- 1 in a million? I know both of them would say- "honey, you have suffered so long, you get the surgeries done" but this is just killing me!!!!

11-07-2008, 11:22 PM
Hi Lisa...

I had the two surgeries performed in one day, with a total of about 11-1/2 hours of surgery. I had a rough time of it, and was on a respirator for more than 4 days. I did it all on one day because I feared that I would chicken out of having the second surgery. I think if I had to do it over again, I would opt for the surgeries on separate days.

Best of luck with your surgeries.


11-08-2008, 09:31 AM
Hi Lisa

My first surgery (anterior) was on June 26, 2007 and it was 8 hours. My second surgery (posterior) was on June 27th and it was 10 hours BUT I was bleeding too much so the dr couldn't finish the procedure. Therefore, with only some screws and being stapled, he had to operate a third time July 3rd, which was another 10 hours.

From the 27th to the 3rd were the longest days of my life just thinking that I have to go through this and HOPING I don't bleed too much.

The dr didn't want me to be under anaesthesia for more than 10 hrs so he did it in 3 stages. I guess if the procedures can be done within 10 hours (depending on the complexity of the correction) why not have in one stage.

Best of luck to you

loves to skate
11-08-2008, 06:15 PM
Hi Lisa,
My surgery #1 (posterior) was 12 hours and 15 days later surgery #2 (anterior) was 7 hours. My Doctor said that the amount of bleeding has a lot to do with it and all of the monitoring they do helps them determine how much the individual can tolerate. I wasn't the least bit fearful before surgery #2 as I felt very safe and knew I was in the best of hands. I did freak out a little bit when one of the Doctors at the rehab hospital where I was recovering from surgery #1 asked me if I was having three operations. I said I wasn't informed of that and hoped it wasn't going to happen that way. Thankfully it didn't. Sally

11-09-2008, 03:50 AM
Nancy Joy, I'm so sorry to hear about your Uncles. Apart from anythnig else, you have enough to deal with. Good luck with your surgery on Monday, I will be thinking of you and waiting to hear about your recovery, which hopefully, will be as strong as your first. *hugs*

My goodness Maria, you've been in the wars. What long surgeries you've had. Can I ask what you had done? And how were your recoveries?

My surgeon predicted 5 hours for me and I'm being fused T5 - S1. Does this sound a bit optomistic?

11-09-2008, 08:18 AM
In my case it would have been too much at one time. My first surgery was 10 hours. I haven't even asked how long the one Monday will be. I am so sad- believe it or not, I have had 2 uncles die now with a funeral on each of my surgery days. What would be the odds- 1 in a million? I know both of them would say- "honey, you have suffered so long, you get the surgeries done" but this is just killing me!!!!

Nancy Joy,

I am so sorry to hear about both your uncles passing so close to your surgeries. Good luck to you on Monday, you will be in my thoughts.

loves to skate
11-09-2008, 11:57 AM
I don't think 5 hours is too optomistic unless you have severe stenosis in some of your vertebrae spaces. It is the separation of the vertebrae, grinding away bone that is impinging on nerves and untangling and releasing the nerves without damaging them that takes so much time and becomes such a blood surgery.
Nancy Joy,
I will be praying for you tonight and tomorrow as you have your second surgery. The recovery from that should not be as difficult as the recovery from the posterior surgery. I am also sorry about your uncles. We were in Seattle this summer for my husbands 50th class reunion when he developed a torn retina. We had to return home to get it repaired before we were able to see his Uncle in Olympia,WA who was dying of Multiple Myeloma, so we understand how you feel. Stay strong for yourself right now. Sally

11-09-2008, 04:06 PM
Thanks for that information, Sally. :)

11-09-2008, 04:20 PM
Nancy Joy,

My sympathy for losing your uncles, especially at such a personally difficult time. I just know you will do great with this surgery and recovery - but goodluck all the same!

Another one thinking of you :) Take care.

11-09-2008, 08:09 PM
My A/P surgery was done in one day. The anterior part took 6 hours, and then the posterior was 2 hours. I think it depends on the age, and how the patient handles the first part of the surgery. I was told that the intention was to have mine done all in one day, but was told there was no guarantee. I was relieved to have had it done all in one shot b/c the recovery is better as opposed to the body going through two separate surgeries and then having to recover.

11-10-2008, 02:18 AM
Thanks to everyone who replied. My surgeon is estimating 8 to 10 hours for the whole thing, and I don't have any stenosis and my spine is quite flexible since I've done yoga for years (not anymore, after the surgery:(). So maybe it will not take so long.

Nancy Joy, I'm so sorry to hear about your uncles. That must have been very hard. I will be thinking about you all day tomorrow, praying for the best.

11-10-2008, 11:43 AM
My posterior surgery lasted 12 hours. That included osteotemies and a laminectomy. My 80 degree curve was corrected to about 35 degrees and Iím happy with that. Originally, my surgeon recommended A/P and then he changed his mind to posterior because he felt he could accomplish what he wanted to with just posterior. In hindsight, Iím glad he did. Admittedly, this surgery was very rough on me and Iím not sure I could have handled two major surgeries within one week. The younger you are, the easier it is on you and the surgeon.


11-10-2008, 12:41 PM

I had two surgeries, one was 9 hours, the other 8 hours. They were a week apart.

Nancy Joy,

I'm very sorry to hear about your uncles. :(

11-15-2008, 08:44 AM
So glad you are doing well. How long were you in the hospital after your surgery? My doc said about 7 days for me....depending on how well Im doing. That sounds like an aweful long time...ughhhh. I will have to invest in a laptop or something, I bored easily! Or maybe I will be so out of it, I wont even notice Im bored!? :)

11-16-2008, 09:48 PM
Hi Lisa. I see your scheduled for tomorrow.....I hope ur in bed resting or trying to get some sleep. I will pray for you tonite, that all goes well. I too am scheduled for a "buy one, get one free" (a & p) surgery in Jan. I will be curious to see how you are doing and how everything went for you. Again, best wishes for a safe & hopefully not too painful recovery!