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Thread: How Long Does Surgery Last

  1. #1
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    How Long Does Surgery Last

    I know that times can be very different on this but about how long does the actual spinal fusion surgery take? I have been told anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. So I am just curious about everyone elses.

  2. #2
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    Depends on the number of levels fused, inter alia.

    My kid was fused from T4 to L1 and was done in 4.5 hours. They told us to expect 5 hours.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

  3. #3
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    My son was fused T2 to L4. They rolled him into the OR from the holding area at 8:15am. They called us at 9:30am to tell us the first incision had been made. The surgeon came out to tell us the outcome and show us the first x-rays at 5:30pm. We did not see our son until he was rolled out of recovery at 6:00pm, and then it was another 45 minutes (6:45pm) before he was settled in the PICU and we could see him there.

    So although the actual surgery took 8 hours, the prep and recovery times added at least an hour on either end. I'm sure this, too, depends on how many levels are fused.

    No matter what, it's a long day.

  4. #4
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    Patrick was fused from T4 to L1 and he was in surgery for 8 hours. He was put in traction so the time for setting that up would have to be taken off the actual "surgery" time. So under anesthetic for 8 hours anyways, and we first saw him about two hours after the surgery was done.

    Ramona
    mom of Patrick, age 15 at time of surgery
    diagnosed July 2006 curves T58 L 38

    Nov. 2006 curves T72 L38
    also lordoscoliosis

    feb.2007 curves T79 L43

    Surgery May 16 2007
    fused T4 to L1

  5. #5
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    video of pediatric posterior fusion

    http://www.or-live.com/distributors/NLM/rnh.cfm?id=321

    This is also the video where one of those guys can be clearly heard saying kids go back to school a week after surgery (or something close to that).

    They may say how often these surgeries last and what controls the length of time. They say plenty of other things.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  6. #6
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    Transcript of video

    http://www.or-live.com/transcripts/2...k_1563_321.pdf

    Page 10.

    The surgeon says most kids are out of school 2-3 weeks but some can get back to school in a week or so.

    Then he loses his train of thought. I think his brain was trying desperately to signal his mind that those comments don't comport with the bulk of kids' recoveries out there.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your response everyone. I guess you just never know about the time since they don't exactly know what is going to be done until they actually see it. I know it is going to feel like forever. That is what really scares me right now. I really don't like to think about it.

    Pooka

    I am going to look at that site when I get a chance. I can't imagine being recovered enough for school in only a week (no matter how small). He probably did realize how stupid that sounded. I am not really worried about the school thing. I started homeschooling my kids this year. We have really enjoyed it and I am so glad that we don't have to deal with the school system this year. We had to deal with all of that when she had her tethered cord surgery and it was a nightmare. It will be nice just to catch up on our own time.

    smileyskl

  8. #8
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    My daughter is fused from T3-L2. She was taken into the OR at 7:45 a.m. and went into recovery at 5:00 p.m. so over 9 hours in the OR. I wasn't able to see her until 6:00 p.m. in recovery.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  9. #9
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    Mary Lou,

    Yikes! I just can't even think about all of that time. I think I need to block that for now. How did you handle it?? Pray the whole time?? When Katelyn had her tethered cord surgery, it seemed like forever. It was actually only two hours.

  10. #10
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    smileyskl,

    Yikes is right! We were the first people in the waiting room and the last people to leave. It was a loooong day. How did I handle it? I survived. My husband does NOT do well with waiting so he went to work, with the understanding that he would come if I felt I needed him. He called me hourly which helped. My mom was with me the entire time. My sister-in-law stopped by unannounced and I think that was the best part of the wait. She simply hugged me and sat with me for a long time. My mom was a great help, but sometimes she annoyed me. She was nervous of course and she talked non-stop! Sometimes I needed to just be quiet. Talking to others in the waiting room helped. But I think the part that made it bearable, was a nurse came to the waiting room every two hours to update all of us who were waiting. And best of all, Jamie's surgeon was awesome! He had his nurse call from the OR everytime he did something--called when he made his first incision (re-assured me that Jamie was very calm through everything), called when they placed the first rod, etc. and always asked if I had any questions and also asked how I was doing.

    As hard as it is to imagine, you can do it. The waiting is always the hardest part. Remember to drink plenty of water and don't forget to eat. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your Katelyn. She needs you.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  11. #11
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    Mary Lou,

    THANKS for reminding me that its not about me. I know she does need me, and thats why I know I will get through it. I will be so glad when I can look back on all this. Maybe I can help someone else then, instead of being the whiner.

    Sharon

  12. #12
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    Sharon,

    You are NOT a whiner! And I did NOT mean to imply that it is about your daughter and not you. I always remind moms that they need to take care of themselves because we all know we put ourselves on the backburner whenever necessary.

    Before you know it, you'll be on the "other side" of surgery and offering comfort and support to others. Jamie is 4 years post-op, but I still come here regularly because it feels good to pay it forward. I don't know how I would have gotten through Jamie's surgery without the love and support of this forum.

    It sound like you need something to make you smile. I hope this does. After a very long day of waiting, I finally got to see Jamie in recovery. Guess what her first words to me were? "Hi Mom, your hair is a mess!" Yep, I knew right then and there that I was blessed and had my Jamie back.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    http://www.or-live.com/distributors/NLM/rnh.cfm?id=321

    This is also the video where one of those guys can be clearly heard saying kids go back to school a week after surgery (or something close to that).

    They may say how often these surgeries last and what controls the length of time. They say plenty of other things.
    I didn't view the video yet (I have *very* slow dial-up), but the first surgeon we saw said my dd could return to school after 3 weeks.

    Needless to say, we moved on from him.

    Marian

  14. #14
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    Marian,

    It is not unrealistic for kids to return to school in 3 weeks. My daughter's surgeon gave her permission to return at about 3 weeks post-op and she was ready. However, because it was Christmas break, she didn't return until she was about 4 weeks post-op. She was back in school full-time by 6 weeks.

    By the way, this doctor was our FIFTH opinion.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  15. #15
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    Our surgeon did not tell us when my daughter could or could not go back to school. He just leaves it up to the kids I guess.

    If I recall the written material he gave us, it said most kids return by three or four weeks but I don't know if that is full or part time.

    Our first post-surgical appointment was at six weeks. He didn't ask about it before I mentioned when my daughter returned. He might have if I didn't... don't know.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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