6 Things You Should Not Do When Traveling After a Spine Surgery
Spine surgery is considered a major surgery. It can take weeks to heal to get your full mobility back. The surgeon will prepare you for your rehab and how you need to care for your spine but what about your trip home? This is something surgeons might not always think about so here are 6 tips for you to consider prior to your travel home.
Avoid traveling too soon – Your doctor will tell you when its safe to drive or fly home after your surgery. If you don’t feel like you are well enough to leave when you’ve been released, then trust your own body and stay an extra day. It will be worth it in the end if you feel healthier during your travels.
Make your trip comfortable – Flying can present some issues after a surgery. Any flight over 4 hours can increase your risk for a DVT. The best way to avoid this is to be sure and get up and move as much as you can, which can be hard right after knee surgery. You can also ask your doctor for TED hose, which will help with circulation. Be sure to have your pain medication, bottled water and a blanket or pillow to make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Never take your trip alone – One requirement in traveling for surgery is to take a travel companion. None of the facilities within the US and Canada will allow someone to have surgery if they do not have a trusted adult staying with them for the first 24 hours after surgery. Taking an Uber back to your hotel by yourself is not acceptable and not in your best interest should you need immediate care while you are resting in your hotel. It is also helpful to have someone else there to assist you as you are recuperating in the hotel and on your travels back to help with luggage and getting to and from the gate.
Pack essentials – Packing things ‘just in case’ is always smart. These should be kept on your person or carry on bag for easy access. Things like pain medications, blankets, pillows, comfy clothes, headphones and extra bandages are examples of items you might consider taking.
Ask for anti-nausea medication – Anesthesia can make people very nauseous post surgery. Motion sickness is also very common. If you have ever experienced either of these in the past, ask your doctor to write you a prescription for an anti-nausea medication and keep it with you in the event you have an episode. Be sure to pack some crackers, ginger ale or other things that are light on your stomach. Try not to skip meals as having some food in your stomach will help. Taking some medications on an empty stomach can also cause nausea or upset stomach problems.
Take it easy – Be sure to take things slowly. You will have days where you feel great but always follow your doctors recommendations on your limitations so you do not over do or undo what was just fixed. Surgery creates a lot of swelling and this can take weeks to subside. Pushing yourself too hard too early can sometimes reverse what was just done. Give your body the time it needs to heal.
If you are considering a private surgery, give Health Vantis a call. We have experience in making your journey a safe and successful one.