View Full Version : Surgery set for April 1st

02-24-2010, 07:13 PM
Well I had a very good visit with Dr. Cronen today, I could not be happier with anyone else being my surgeon, he not only has a very polite manner, he is very efficient, and is an expert with scoliois and spinal deformities. He was very patient with all my questions, and answered all of them for me :). I was there for nearly four hours today.

Here is my questions and answers:

1) Any deaths during his scoliosis surgeries? No.
2) Can I listen to my hypnosis? Yes - once I'm under anaesthesia, and the machines are operating sending electrical impulses etc., he has to remove the headphones, but will replace them back on me when I'm ready to come out of anaesthesia.
3) Levels of fusion? Due to the fact that not only do I have scoliosis, I also found out today that I have kyphosis in my upper thoracic area, so I will have to have surgery from T2 to the sacrum.
4) Length of surgery? Approx. 8 to 12 hours or until he has completed what he needs to do - he said he doesn't finish till he's finished everything he needs to do.
5) Correction on my spine? He hopes to get my thoracic from 45 degrees to approx. 35 degrees, and my lumbar from 85 degrees to 35 degrees, so not bad.
6) How long will I be in the hospital? About five days, and then he recommends I go straight into the rehab center which is part of the hospital for approx. a week and a half afterward.
7) Will I need a filter through my groin to my heart to stop blood clotting? If I keep taking my birth control pill yes, if I stop the pill then no. So I'm going to stop my pill so that I don't have to undergo yet another procedure.
8) Diet and exercise prior to surgery? He recommends eating a healthy diet and swimming as my main exercise which I love to do.
9) Does he have a spinal cord monitor? Yes the person is an expert in that field and is the same person throughout all his scoliosis surgeries.
10) Do I have to donate blood prior? No, he doesn't like people to do that, because he feels it weakens the person before surgery and he said it's more than likely though I'll need a blood transfusion during surgery.
11) Will I need a thoracoplasty? No.
12) Is he going to put a spacer at the base of my sacrum? Yes.
13) How necessary is it for me to have this surgery? If I don't, my ribs have twisted so much that eventually it pushes my abdominal organs up which squishes my lungs and heart, and also with my kyphosis I will end up looking very deformed (not an option for me).
14) Will I have more pain afterward than I do now? He said in his experience, people who have little or no pain prior to surgery, once you're recovered from the surgery and initial pain, then there should also be no pain afterward. People who do have pain prior to surgery, usually have a little pain afterward but a vast improvement to the pain they had prior.
15) Does he work with specific age group? He works with both children and adults equally, his specialty is spinal deformities - however he does do other surgeries also.
16)Does he use pedicle screws or hooks? Pedicle screws.
17) Will I see him in hospital after the surgery? Yes he said every day in the hospital after surgery.
18) Will someone inform my family of my condition after my surgery? Yes, someone will either call whoever is waiting in the waiting room, or my family at home.
19) Will I go to ICU after surgery? Yes.
20) Will I be on respirator after surgery? Yes for just that night, then when the staff come in the following morning and are fresh at the start of their day, they will remove my respirator.
21) Will I have a chest tube? No.
22) Will I have to wear a brace? No.
23) Will there be a possibility of getting an MRSA Staph Infection during surgery or at the hospital? Not likely - he said there is always a possibility in any hospital - however they do not have a high rate of that happening at the hospital where I'll be going. (UCH).
24) Can I have digital copy of my xrays? Yes, they gave me a disc today so I will try to upload it later when my boys are in bed.

Just wanted to get on here and give you my news - I'll write more later, gotta get my boys bathed and stories read now :)



loves to skate
02-24-2010, 07:32 PM
Hi Lynette,
I am so happy for you that you like the Doctor and he spent so much time with you to answer all your questions. Also, how wonderful that you are on the schedule already. Things are falling into place for you which should help to ease some of the stress in your life. You will get through this and you know you will get lots of support from this forum. Just think good thoughts now and imagine yourself straight with a bright future ahead for yourself and some wonderful times with your boys.
Take care, Sally

02-24-2010, 07:47 PM
sounds like great news all round. Personally, i think any surgeon that can commit four hours to his patients and answer all their questions, is truly a professional. My surgeon called me about 3 or 4 times pre-op, to see how i was coping. My friends thought he was a very caring professional.

02-24-2010, 07:58 PM
That's wonderful you got a surgery date so quickly--less time to think about it! I had to deal with 6 months--way too long. This guy sounds great if he would devote that much time to you. Seems like you made the best decisions all the way around! Janet

02-24-2010, 11:06 PM
Sally - thank you for your words of encouragement, yes I thank God for this forum, everyone is fantastic on here, and so many questions I've had have been answered, and people have supported and encouraged me so much in the short time I've been on this forum.

Vali - Wow your surgeon was wonderful to check-in on you several times before your operation. It's great when your surgeon is so personable and nice and understanding.

Janet - Exactly - that's why when I met him today I just knew instantly that this was the right man to work on me. I actually felt very serene and calm the whole time I was there, and I felt like my dad who is in heaven was watching over me, and God also. Everything felt like it was all just falling into place perfectly, and absolutely every single person I met there today from x-ray, nurses, receptionists, admin, secretary, surgeon's assistant, and doctor were all wonderful caring nice people. I made the decision that this is it, onward and upward, I want to get this done, get passed it, and move on with my life. The sad part was I found out that I can no longer work as a licensed massage therapist, Dr. Cronen said that with my kyphosis, even though he will have steel rods to straighten that out for me, it could make it worse if I'm bending over slightly massaging people over a period of time, so I've got to try and get involved with another career, probably hypnosis.

David - yes you were right he was very personable indeed. I'm going to be rushing round trying to organize everything now. I will need to load up my freezer and fridge with food for my mum and kids, and so many appointments are being set up for me right now. Tasha who is Dr. Cronen's secretary, is setting up an appointment with my family practitioner to get EKG, chest x-ray, and blood work to make sure that I'm suitable for surgery. She is also making appointments for cat scan, MRI, bone density, and then a week prior to surgery, I will be going up to the hospital to meet with the anaesthesiologist, do pre-registration paperwork, bloodwork etc. So yep - it's all happening. However, I'm the kind of person that once I know I have to do something, I don't like to put it off - especially this kind of thing, otherwise I'd probably be a nervous wreck. Right now I feel strangely calm, and just so ready to get this done. I'm glad I won't have too much time to sit and worry about it.

Has anyone ever had Valium for their MRI? I'm claustrophic (badly), and Dr. Cronen called in Valium for me at my pharmacy so that I will feel relaxed when I have my MRI. Anyone had this experience? Hope the Valium works, I hate that panicky feeling of being enclosed in, deep breaths - deep breaths :) :) :)

02-24-2010, 11:52 PM
The sad part was I found out that I can no longer work as a licensed massage therapist, Dr. Cronen said that with my kyphosis, even though he will have steel rods to straighten that out for me, it could make it worse if I'm bending over slightly massaging people over a period of time, so I've got to try and get involved with another career, probably hypnosis.

Lynette, how does he KNOW that? Has he operated on other MT's? Does he know how proper body mechanics factor in?

I know MT's with Harringtons (and subsequent flatback) who do well by using their legs - as we all should.

Don't let your surgeon dictate what you can do after surgery, BEFORE surgery.


02-24-2010, 11:58 PM
Thanks Pam - Yes I was taught very well by some excellent teachers on how to use proper body mechanics etc., which I do. However, after doing a few one after another, you find - at least I found, that I would notice myself losing my posture and leaning forward a little bit as I got more tired. However, he didn't say the words you cannot do massage therapy, he just said over a period of time that it could cause problems with the kyphosis, and quite honestly, I'm not prepared to aggravate anything done in my surgery. I already thought though that I will probably be very involved as a hypnotherapist since I've been board certified by two different teachers, and include a little massage therapy in my practice also. That way it's not all just massage, it will be "Hypnomassage" :) :).

Thanks for your input Pam.

02-25-2010, 02:54 AM
Sounds like your appointment went extremely well Lynette! I'm glad you don't have too long to wait now, and having all your questions answered will help you get through these next few weeks.

02-25-2010, 09:18 PM
Lynette - I'm the day before you...3/31! We will have to compare notes! Good luck to you!


02-25-2010, 10:40 PM
It helps so much to have someone with you - like Radiogirl! I can speak from personal experience - that gal is a wonderful person!!! She was here with me during my preop, we went together, often times chasing each other to our appts. Had our picture taken just outside the lab when we got our poke for blood, chest x-ray and EKG. My hubby will post those pictures when we get home. I have to say if you have Radiogirl behind you - you're going to do just fine!!! She and I are Scoli Sisters!!!!! :)

02-26-2010, 12:31 AM
Laura - sounds great - I'm really happy that we can compare notes together - we will do fantastic - a whole new wonderful way of life lies ahead of us :)

Rita - sounds like you're doing fabulous, and so glad that you had Laura as your scoli sister. I feel like I've adopted a whole big family of new scoli sisters and brothes on this wonderful forum.

02-26-2010, 06:44 AM
Yes, Lynnette, me too. We are all conjoined at the hip because of this forum, which helps me immensely! At first that was one of the things I feared the most was feeling alone throughout this whole ordeal. Even though I have the world's best hubby and family all around me it helps to talk to someone who has been there done that - sorta feeling the same things you're feeling. It really makes you feel somewhat relieved to hear you have someone else feeling the same symptoms. This forum has been THE BEST!!!!