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When will I go into hospital for my operation?
  • Usually, patients are admitted one or two days before surgery.
  • Some patients may be admitted on the day of surgery.
  • The admission office or secretary will inform you of the exact time to arrive at the hospital for your operation, whom to meet, and when to stop eating and drinking.
  • Dr Balamurali, Spine & Neuro specialist in Chennai, India, will normally tell you the date and time of admission during your consultation.
How long will I be in hospital for my surgery?
  • For minimally invasive or keyhole spine surgery, patients can go home within 2-3 days after the operation.
  • Elderly patients/ patients with severe symptoms/ with spinal cord or nerve root compression may remain in the hospital for 3 to 5 days.
  • Patients undergoing spine fusion operations may have to stay in the hospital for up to 7 days.
  • While there is a trend for early discharge from hospital to relieve you from the stress of staying in hospital beds, in most cases following spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery, it is important to rest for the first one to two weeks after surgery.
  • The exact timing of discharge is determined by each patient’s individual circumstances. This is best discussed with Dr G Balamurali directly during your consultation before surgery and 24-48 hours after surgery.
How long should the wound remain covered after surgery?
  • For 10-14 days after surgery, dressings should be changed every 24-48 hours.
  • Your family member or a nurse can change your dressing.
  • Normally, you should not wet the wound for 10-14 days after surgery.
  • You can take a sponge bath or wipe your body.
  • You can take a bath if it does not wet your operated area.
  • It is important not to leave a dressing that is wet on the wound.
  • The wound should be allowed to dry before a clean, dry dressing is applied.
How can I return home after surgery?
  • If you are from within a few hours distance from the hospital, you can go in a car.
  • If you stay away, you can take a train. A comfortable car is also ok. Discuss with the doctor about this.
  • It is better to avoid public transport for your first return.
  • If you are travelling for a long distance, an Ambulance, Train or Flight is preferred depending on your affordability and distance.
  • You just have to ensure that you select a good road, a patient driver and DO NOT RUSH.
  • Take a slow and careful trip.
  • Most importantly, do not sleep in your vehicle's back seat when you are travelling, as this can be dangerous if an accident occurs.
  • You can recline your seat and sit with a seat belt on. Safety first.
    It will be painful after your travel and reach home. Hence, remember to ask for painkillers before you start your trip, or you can even take a pain injection.
When can I drive after surgery?
It is advisable to avoid driving for four weeks after your operation.
When will I be seen for follow up?
  • All patients are generally seen for follow up 4 – 6 weeks after surgery.
  • Patients with instrumentation or spine fusions should have an x-ray in hand when they arrive.
What exercises should I do in the first six weeks?
  • You do not have to stay in bed all the time.
  • Generally, walking, in increasing increments, to reach a goal distance of half a kilometre per day is all that is required for the first six weeks.
  • Stationary cycling and walking on a treadmill is fine from two to six weeks after surgery.
  • You should not recommence doing anything unusual without discussing it with Dr G Balamurali.
  • Specific exercises programs will be taught after 6 weeks of follow up.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise such as swimming, weight training, cycling and running until you visit Dr Balamurali.
Do I need to wear brace or collar after surgery?
  • No. It is unusual to require collars or other prosthetic supports following surgery in MY PRACTICE.
  • If you were previously wearing one, you do not have to wear it again.
  • I prefer you to be slightly mobile and not tied down.
  • Very rarely, I might give you a collar or lumbar belt/brace if I have concerns about your healing pattern.
What should I do if I have a fluid leak, discharge from wound or if the wound is not healing?
  • If there is a clear leak of fluid, this may be VERY SERIOUS, and you are expected to seek medical help immediately or come to the hospital.
  • This can be fluid from inside your spinal cord called CSF (Cerebrospinal Fluid). I
  • If there is a wound infection or wound opening, you must see a local doctor if you are far away or come to the hospital.
  • Any doubts, please call Dr Balamurali’s team immediately on +044 40006000 (24 hrs).
Will I need to take analgesic medication?
  • A small amount of local wound pain is normal after surgery.
  • You will have the pain for a few weeks, and until then, you can take the pain killers prescribed to you by the doctors.
  • When you feel that your pain is under control, you can stop the medication or ring the helpline +91 8754456711(9.00 am – 6.00 pm) .
  • Your pain should decrease over time, but if it increases, you must seek the help of a hospital or call us on +91 7823977055 (9.00 am – 6.00 pm).
  • If you are worried, just come to the hospital.
Dr. G. Balamurali
Dr. G. Balamurali is one of the leading spine surgeons in Chennai, India. He is internationally trained in all niche aspects of Spine Surgery. He has over 26 years of surgical experience in this field.
Kauvery Hospital
No 199, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004
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