Before proceeding with the surgery, the doctors have to make sure that the patient is fit for the procedure. The patient has to undertake certain tests and screening process for the evaluation purpose. The doctor may prescribe certain medications to the patient, a week or two before the surgery, to avoid any sort of infection during or after the surgery.
A patient will receive general anaesthesia before moving to the operation theatre and will sleep through the surgical procedure.
- Step 1: The doctor will make a small incision near the affected area, either in the neck or back (over the spine), either side of your spine, lower abdomen, or throat.
- Step 2: The doctor gain access to the vertebrae being fused and use bone grafts to fuse two vertebrae surgically. The bone graft can be harvested from the patient’s pelvis or may come from a bone bank.
If the patient is the donor himself/herself, then the doctor collects it surgically by making an incision above the pelvic bone, removes a small portion of it and then closes the incision. The other option to get the bone graft is from the bone bank or another donor.
- Step 3: The doctor then fuses the two vertebrae permanently using the bone graft material. The bone graft is placed surgically with the help of metal plates, screws, or rods.
- Step 4: The doctor closes the incisions with sutures and covers them with surgical tape.
After the operation, the patient has to get admitted in the recovery room for monitoring purposes, from where the doctor transfers him/her to the ICU. The patient has to stay in an ICU for a day or two after and is then asked to shift to a normal ward, where he/she has to stay until he/she gets fit for discharge.