After a Microscopic Discectomy
Ultimately, a person should expect that the surgery that has been recommended by their doctor will help cure them to the degree that they can return to normal activity. However, surgery is a journey and the patient needs to be aware of the risks and complications as well as how they need to take care of themselves during their recovery period.
Microscopic procedures are almost always performed in an outpatient setting. Their hospital stay would be a matter of hours until the patient is stabilized post-surgery and alert enough to be discharged. However, this does depend on the type of surgery. A microscopic discectomy is considered a very elective type of outpatient surgery as such, a patient can expect to be quickly discharged after a microscopic discectomy.
Length of Hospital Stay
Hospital stays are not likely to occur after microscopic discectomy. Higher level surgeries, where surgeons might have to intervene and perform a fusion type of operation, may carry a hospital stay of anywhere between one to three days. If the patient develops an infection it will oftentimes require a hospital stay, as well.
The complexity of the surgery can increase the length of a hospital stay. If there is a revision type surgery, that would be something filed under a complex type of surgery, meaning the patient has already had some kind of surgical intervention in that area of the pathology, so from time to time, there may be things we have to undo. For example, if a patient had instrumentation and a fusion type operation, doctors might have to disassemble the mechanical pieces of the fusion and replace them.
For comorbidities or other ailments that the patient may have, there are all kinds of care that has to be put into making sure that the patient is healthy enough to have surgery. Sometimes a longer stay would be required if they have certain other health issues.
There should not be too many surprises in the postoperative care of a microscopic discectomy, because if the physician has done a good job in educating the patient, the question should have been answered at that point.
Some people think that it is a simple procedure in comparison to others. While it is relatively simple, it is still a very invasive treatment. Therefore, there can be quite a bit of postoperative pain and the patient will be tender for the time period following the surgery.
Pain Level Differences
Postoperatively, the person can expect the pain to be different. Usually, the patient will be able to differentiate between pain caused by a disc problem. The disc pain tends to manifest in numbness and tingling down the certain path of the nerves, such as in a low back.
People often complain about things like sciatica or a pain that originates in the low back and travels down to the buttocks into the legs and groin area. It could even go to the rear part of the leg and neck and a feeling of numbness and tingling going down the arms into the hands. So, that is the type of pain that the patient is accustomed to dealing with prior to surgery.
Postoperatively, the pain should be different. That nerve pain is much harder to mask the symptoms with medications, which is why the patient ends up choosing surgery as a treatment option. Usually failed restrictive measures, such as oral medication, conservative therapy, and injection therapy did not help. The pain that they would experience postoperatively will most often be centered on localized pain from the incision and from the surgery.
The changes in pain level affect postoperative care because the patient has to be out of pain to commence therapy activities such as physical therapy.