The first place you will go the day you are admitted is to Patient Access, located on the first floor. This is where you will check into the hospital.
Once you have checked in, you will be sent to the laboratory for blood and urine tests. This does involve a needle prick, but it only hurts a little and is over quickly. The information we get tells us how your body is working on the inside. You will also be given a small container and asked to give a urine sample. This tells us how your kidneys are working.
Next, you will go to the Radiology Department, also located on the first floor. Here you will have X-rays taken. X- rays are special photos taken of your body. X- rays do not hurt!
You will then go up to the second floor where you will be given your room assignment. You will be assigned to a room. This is your "home away from home" for the next few days. You will be introduced to your nurse and will have the opportunity to ask him/her any questions you may have at that time. You may change into a hospital gown or stay in your clothing, whichever you prefer. Your family can stay with you until you fall asleep for the night. Your room includes a "sleeper chair" so that a member of your family can spend the night with you. You may ask your nurse for extra pillows and blankets.
Remember: NO FOOD OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT!
The Day of Your Surgery
On the morning of surgery a technician will come and tape electrodes on your legs. These electrodes are just stickers that have a plastic wire glued to them and will be used during surgery to measure the small electricity signals that our body makes to communicate with the brain. This does not hurt! The stickers peel off easily and will be all gone by the time you wake up.
The nerve pathways that are normal for you are recorded as wavy lines on a piece of paper. During your surgery, these pathways will be monitored to detect any changes.
Before you leave for the operating room, you will be given a medicine that will make you a little sleepy and a lot less nervous! This is not the medicine that helps you to fall asleep for your surgery.
You may bring something comforting to the operating room with you such as a stuffed animal, music, photo or other familiar item.
Once you are in the operating room, you will be given special medicine through a mask. This medicine is called anesthesia. The anesthesia mask will be placed over your nose and mouth. You will need to take a couple of deep breaths and you will be asleep in no time! All IVs and cathethers are put in after you’re asleep, so you wont feel a thing!
When your surgery is finished, you will be taken to the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit). You will still be sleeping. In this area, we will take an x-ray of your spine and obtain labs after surgery. You will also be monitored by a nurse who will determine when you are awake enough to return to your room. Your parents will be allowed to come and see you briefly. When you wake up in your room you will be connected to a vital sign monitor, IVs for fluids and pain medication and have a plastic drain to collect fluid from the incision.