View Full Version : Surgery tomorrow

01-27-2011, 11:34 PM
Hi everyone! Tomorrow, my friend SusanS, whom I met through this forum, is having her surgery up at OHSU. She is having a pretty intense surgery-anterior and posterior. Her brother will keep me posted and I will let you know how it goes. She loves this site and so many of you have helped her. She has an 8-10 hour scheduled, so I will maybe hear around 5 or 6 pacific time.

01-28-2011, 03:51 AM
Best wishes for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery, Susan! It won't be long before you're back here telling us all about it. Thanks Jenee'.

01-28-2011, 09:17 AM

Your right, today is her day. She called me and mentioned that they would make that anterior call when she went in...I don’t know exactly how they do that, pos, ant, post could be a 3 stage.

Hey, if you are from Bend, are you a Bendite, or a Bendie? If you are fused in Bend, are you a no Bendie? Just wondering....


01-28-2011, 09:44 AM
All the best to you, Susan...

You have a team of well-wishers- the best team in the world.

Thanks, Jenee' for posting. Thanks, Ed for the Bend thing.

Looking forward to hearing from J'...

01-28-2011, 10:09 AM
May you have nerves of steel and your surgeon, a steady hand and magnificent skill.

Best of luck and a smooth recovery Susan!

01-28-2011, 01:45 PM
Wishing the best for Susan's successful surgery.

01-28-2011, 02:18 PM
Best wishes to my fellow Oregonian :)

01-28-2011, 02:21 PM
Tell Susan we are all rooting for her! My surgery was over 10 hours-the good news is you're unaware of the time. Best of luck to Susan.

01-28-2011, 04:34 PM
Here is the update on Sue so far from her brother. This will give you a smile-she is an awesome lady!!

"Sue's day began early, arriving at OHSU at 6am, where we were met by her good friend Debra. Sue was in good spirits as they prepped her for surgery and she met several members of the surgical team and received a thorough briefing on what would occur. We said our good-byes about 7:30. We got a call from the OR nurse about 9am that surgery had just begun. Sue had jokingly requested "classic rock" music in the OR that morning, and the nurse reported that her request had been honored, and she was singing to the music as she went under the anasthetic. So, off to a good start! As of 1 pm, all reports are good, vitals are all stable, and the work on the hardware (screws and rods to straighten the spine) is proceeding well. She has been given a couple units of blood, which is expected. No estimate on finishing up, but will probably be about 5 or 6 pm. May remain in ICU overnight, but if all is well could be in a room later on tonight.

Will keep you all posted later tonight or early tomorrow. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes, they have meant a lot to her."

01-28-2011, 06:36 PM
Hang in there. Sounds like she has a great attitude. I didn't think to ask for my favorite music. But maybe I would ask for the surgeon's favorite. That might be safer! Best wishes for a great result and recovery! Janet

01-28-2011, 08:52 PM
That's great that she was in such good spirits when she went in. Thanks for the update Jenee'. Looking forward to more.

01-29-2011, 12:19 PM
Sounds like Sue is doing great, but will need her anterior surgery, unfortunately. She is one tough cookie, and very positive. And funny!

"Sue's back is now straight! And she is taller (I think, it is hard to tell with her lying down).
She was out of surgery about 5:30, after almost nine hours in the OR. Debra and I received several updates and her vitals were very stable during the entire operation. Hours were spent placing the screws and rods that will support the spine during the 3-6 months that the bone fuse. The surgical team had some residents rotate in so they could take some breaks during the long day. Perhaps Sue received the liposuction and tummy tuck she had requested during those breaks...we don't know.

At the end of the Day, Dr. Hart said he was happy with how things had gone with correcting her curves. He said it all went quite well and there were no surprises. He had anticipated a 10% chance she would need a second surgery, and unfortunately it will be necessary. It is more minor, needed to remove pieces of discs from the front of the spine. Minor compared to this surgery, but invasive because it will be done from the front, rather than the back as all the work was today. It will be done 4-15 days from now, depending on her recovery. He had found that there were areas of nerve and bone almost grown together where the nerves had been stretched over the spinal curves. He said she must have been in a lot of pain for a long time. From his comment I gathered that it was more acute than he typically sees. Sue has been bearing more pain than we probably guessed for a long time. He thought when she recovers from the pain of the surgery, it would be a marked relief for her.

Sue will be in the ICU overnight, kept under anesthesia, and will probably wake up tomorrow morning. Her vital signs are all excellent and very stable. The ICU nurse was really confident and pleased with what he was seeing.

I will update you all tomorrow. Sue would like to hear from you soon, and I will email you all as soon as she ready for calls. In the meantime, the hospital requests that you do not call, thanks for your understanding."

I think this is true for so many of us. We so many times bear our pain in silence, taking care of business and doing what we have to do. We scoli kids are such a strong group. Maybe we need to be more honest about how we are feeling-we can do it matter-of -fact without sounding like we are whining. That was my problem-I never wanted to be perceived as weak or a baby. So it is always a surprise when others hear from our surgeons about how bad we actually are and how much pain we have suffered. Only WE can understand each other! Thanks again, everyone for being there for each other and for just being understanding....We truly are a lifeline to each other. Jenee'

01-29-2011, 01:03 PM
Thanks so much for the update, Jenee. Sounds like she's doing well and will make it through the next surgery just fine.

You know, I'd never considered that a surgeon could estimate the amount of pain by going in and looking at the nerve fibers. It makes sense - I just never thought about it before.

01-29-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm so glad Susan is going well. Sorry she needs another surgery, but it sounds like Susan's life is going to be much nicer in the near future, than it was.

02-07-2011, 08:20 PM

Any word on Susan? Its been 10 days....


02-07-2011, 08:46 PM
Hey Ed,

I haven't gotten an update, but expected one today or tomorrow. She was supposed to have her second surgery today. She has been doing well, after a few rough days to start. She spent several days in ICU, but has been walking and terrorizing the hallways with her walker since then. Her pain was finally under control. I think maybe she was organizing wheel chair races... Just my opinion. I will let you guys know as soon as her brother lets me know.

I just returned to me email and there is was! Here ya go-

"Sue went in for surgery today at 2, though it was originally scheduled for about noon. Her surgeon, Dr. Hart had been to the Superbowl and was due to return about noon. The hospital wisely waited until his return to prep her for surgery. She was strong, just a little nervous, prior to surgery. We walked about for about 10 minutes, she is recovering well and felt ready for this last hurdle.
Dr. Hart called at 5:30 and said it all went well. They went in between two ribs and moved organs aside to open the way to her back, and removed discs from between the 3 lowest vertebra and inserted cadaver bone. He said there were no complications and very little blood loss. He said they would remove her breathing tube before she went to the recovery room, but that she would have a stomach tube to prevent problems, will probably stay in 24 hours. Sounds like the biggest difficulty in recovering from this is the digestive system is very upset from the intrusion and takes awhile to get things humming again. I will hopefully be at her side when she wakes up and will update you all tomorrow night. "

02-07-2011, 09:47 PM

That timing was interesting....I just knew something was up....

They will use an NG tube, and watch for Ileus.

Glad to hear this is all behind her with no problems....

Thanks for the update Jenee

02-28-2011, 12:17 PM
Here is an update on SueS from her brother. YAY! She gets to come home soon!! Her surgery was January 25th, so she has been away from home a long time... I'm glad I am off pain meds so I can go and visit her.

"Hello all, thanks again for all your good wishes to Sue. She is improving daily and getting good physical therapy/occupational therapy at The Pearl. Most persistent problem is still the pain in both quadriceps which is likely due to deep bruising and could still be weeks out to heal. Lately, more pain in her right hip as well. She has an appt. on Tuesday and will have X-ray and CAT scan and her doctor will give her more information on the healing and what may be causing the hip pain.
The big news is that she is on track to go home on Friday, March 4. I will take her back to Redmond and stay with her at home a few days until our sister Sharon arrives on 3/9 to stay with her for a week, so she will have good support for the next step. That said, we would definitely appreciate visits and any help would be welcome, if only to give her a break from me! After Sharon leaves on 3/15, I know Sue would welcome help with errands and other things. She won't be driving for a couple months yet."

02-28-2011, 01:47 PM
That's great news, Jenee. I'd been wondering how she was doing. Thanks for the update.

03-02-2011, 01:15 AM

Thx for the report. Poor Susan had a tough one...

You know that song “Achy breaky heart?” Someone down in Nashville needs to write a song for those with pelvic screws... “Achy breaky hips”. Them suckers can hurt!

Here is a video I want to post. You will like this one.


03-02-2011, 01:17 PM
Omg- I LOOOOVE this!!!! Especially Mary. That will be me someday, if all goes as planned... I think I'm gonna have to break down and buy new skis. My skinny sticks just don't cut it in the powder.... But boy do they fly!!!

03-04-2011, 05:54 PM
Well, it looks like Sue has to have a 3rd surgery ....

Her doc says that a screw is impinging a nerve in L5, causing her hip and thigh pain, and has to be removed. That poor lady has had her share of ups and downs! She is due to finally come home this weekend, too. She doesn't think her insurance will allow her to stay up there at the rehab hospital until her surgery. We are 2-3 hours from the hospital from here, without snow on the pass. She would like to have the revision done here so she wouldn't have to drive back up, but we don't think anyone would want to touch that, with the original surgery of January 25th being so recent....
She is understandably frustrated, but keeping positive about the end result-someday down the road.

Keep her in your prayers and/or thoughts!

03-16-2011, 10:58 PM
Good news,
I just got off the phone with Susan. She had her revision on Monday.

They went in posterior and did some rearranging of her hardware down in her L5 area.

She sounds pretty good and is positive with all she has been through....she feels that things are right even though its so strange getting used to the changes.

There are times that we have to hang tough, till things are right. She is doing exactly that. So, back to rehab for a bit and it looks like she will hopefully be going home soon.