Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Should I put lotion or oils on my incision to aid in healing?
Do not use lotions, powders or oils on your incision during the healing process. (6 weeks)
The Steri-strips are starting to come loose. Should I pull them off?
The Steri-strips will start to curl up, but allow them to come off by themselves. Do not pull them off. There is the chance of opening up your incision.
How soon after my surgery can I restart my aspirin?
It depends on the type of surgery. For spine surgery, you may restart your aspirin in 3 days. For brain surgery, please ask your doctor.
How soon after my surgery can I restart my Coumadin?
Your surgeon will tell you when you can restart your Coumadin.
Can I remove my soft collar long enough to sit in a barber’s chair for a haircut?
No.
Can I be tested for MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) prior to my surgery?
As part of your pre-operative clearance, your Primary Care Physician can collect a nasal swab by rotating a bacterial swab inside of each nostril. If the test result is positive, then you are a Carrier. You will be referred to the Infectious Disease Department at the hospital.
I would like to request a private room while I am in the hospital. How do I go about getting one?
You can call Danbury Hospital 797-7000, ask to speak with the Admitting Office & put in your request. They will be able to help you.
I fly frequently & the metal plating that will be inserted in my back may set off the security alarm at the airport. Is there something you can give me to notify the airport prior to my security screening?
Notify your surgical coordinator if this is the case & she will provide you with an identification card to show the airport security screener notifying him/her of your metallic implant.
How long should I expect to be in the hospital after my surgery?
The actual length of the hospital stay may vary. For lumbar microdiscectomies, cervical laminoforaminotomy, the usual length of stay is one night. One may stay longer with more extensive surgery such as a fusion.
What if I need to go to a rehab center after my surgery?
In some situations, you may need to go to a rehab center after your surgery. It is recommended that you look at the rehab centers before your surgery. Often times these facilities require an application to be filed before you are admitted to the hospital for your surgery. This will help to ensure that you go to the facility of your choice.
When should I take my dressing off?
You should remove your dressing 5 days after surgery. You can expose the wound to water or liquids 5 days after the operation. If you want to shower prior to this, you should cover the wound with a waterproof dressing.
When do I start physical therapy?
Most people start physical therapy 2-5 weeks after their operation. We will discuss physical therapy when you come in for your first follow-up visit.
If I had surgery on my back, when can I bend?
You should not bend at the waist. Bending at the knees is ok, however.
Do I need antibiotics if I am going to have dental work if I have hardware in my body?
No. You do not need antibiotics when having dental work.
I have staples. When do they need to be removed?
10-14 days after surgery.
Can I sleep on my stomach?
Sleeping on your stomach is not good for your back or neck – especially after surgery. Sleeping on your side with a body pillow is best, or on your back with your knees and hips flexed.
The pain medication is making me constipated. What should I do?
Taking medications such as Colace or Senokot will help. They can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy.
I was given a cervical collar after my surgery. How long do I need to wear it?
You should wear the collar at least until your first follow-up visit unless otherwise directed by your physician.

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