What to Expect

Many patients have questions about their procedure and anesthesia. This guide provides you and your family with information about your procedure and our facility. It will give you an idea of what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Please remember that surgical treatments and procedures are different for each person. Although you may be having the same procedure as someone else, the way you will need to prepare and the things that are done before, during and after your surgery may be special to you.

Before the Day of Your Procedure

Your doctor or one of his staff will give you a list of information on preparing for your specific situation. Procedures vary, but some main items to remember are:

  • Stop any anti-inflammatory medicine, or medications containing aspirin 5 to 7 days before your procedure.
  • You will need to arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home.
  • Stop smoking at least 24 hours before your procedure (preferably longer).
  • Bring a list with you of your medications, including the dosage, and what time of the day you take them.
  • For most situations, you should stop eating and drinking at around midnight the day before your procedure.
  • Talk to your doctor for additional instructions if you are taking blood thinning medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid or Lovenox.

What to Expect on the Day of Your Procedure

  • Please arrive at least one half hour before your procedure’s scheduled time.
  • A staff member will check you in. You will then be taken to a room to prepare you for your procedure.
  • A pre-operative nurse will begin routine pre-procedure questions and preparation such as vital signs and starting your IV (if needed).
  • You will be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses, dentures and any other loose objects.

Recovery and Going Home

  • After your procedure you will be taken to the recovery room. There you will be monitored and given time to recover. It is normal to be in the recovery room for 1-3 hours before you are discharged. The length of time will depend upon the type of procedure you had.
  • When it is time to leave, a staff member will make sure you and the person driving you home do not have additional questions about care after you return home.
  • When we feel you have recovered enough to go home, a staff member will help you to your car.
  • Patients returning home following their procedure must be driven home by a responsible adult.

The Next Few Days after Your Procedure

  • You should take it easy the next few days after the procedure.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery the day after the procedure or longer if instructed by your doctor.
  • You may be tired and feel discomfort. This is to be expected. Your provider will give you something to ease the pain or discomfort. It is a good idea to have these prescriptions filled and ready for when you get home.
  • If you are in intense pain, develop a fever, any sign of infection such as a drainage or notice increased bleeding at the site where you had the procedure, call your doctor right away.
  • If you have urgent concerns, call 911 or have someone drive you to the closest emergency room.
  • Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments that you have with your provider.

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At Northwest Spine and Laser Surgery Center (NWSL), our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff. We are committed to providing the safest environment possible for the patients who receive our services and the staff members providing those services. 

We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and County Health Departments. 

As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge evolves with time and recommendations are changing rapidly. NWSL is committed to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, treating only the most urgent surgical needs in the interim.

At this time, NWSL will continue to provide services with temporary enhanced eligibility criteria for elective procedures.  Additionally, NWSL will continue preventative measures already part of our standard practice which include frequent hand washing and facility sanitation methods using hospital grade disinfectants.  Staff will continue to be required to comply with our established illness policy.

To protect the health of our patients, visitors, and staff, NWSL will also begin a temporary visitor restriction limiting visitors to 1 healthy adult age 16 or over.  This is to allow for adequate distancing of individuals while inside our facility. Visitors will be encouraged but not required to wait in their cars until the patient is ready for discharge.  Moreover, patients and visitors will be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness and fever upon arrival prior to remaining in the clinic.  

As with any infectious disease, if patients, visitors, or staff experience symptoms of illness they should remain at home and are encouraged to seek guidance from their healthcare provider. 

The CDC recommends taking the following precautions to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you’re sick to avoid infecting others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For additional information please visit the Oregon Health Authority website: www.oregon.gov/oha/pages/index.aspx and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov.