The Most Important Controllable Factor Before Spine Surgery

If you are slated for spine surgery or expect to need a procedure in the future, you may feel like the success of your operation is out of your hands. While the skill of the surgeon plays a big role in your recovery, it’s far from the only factor. In fact, there is one big thing you can do prior to your procedure that can help increase your likelihood of a successful surgery and recovery. We explain why managing your weight and working towards a healthy BMI is so important before your spinal operation.

Work Towards A Healthy Weight Before Spine Surgery

Maintaining an ideal weight at any point in your life can help you stay healthy, but it’s particularly important before you head in for spine surgery. Here’s why:

1. Stress Off Your Spine – Your spine is going to be in a weakened state after surgery, so the less stress it has to handle, the better. The more you weigh, the more pressure that will have to be dispersed by your spine. Even losing just a little weight can take a large amount of stress off your spine, which can help keep your rehab on track and prevent stress-related injuries during recovery.

2. Fewer Complications – Research has shown that overweight and obese individuals have a slightly higher risk of surgical complications. It’s not a huge difference, but considering the stakes, anything you can do to reduce your risk of complications can help. Losing weight can help to prevent certain risks like bleeding or blood pressure problems.

3. Anesthesia Administration – The risks associated with anesthesia also go up if you are overweight, especially if your size contributes to sleep apnea. Working towards a healthier weight can mitigate some of the potential risks associated with anesthesia used during the operation.

4. Infection Prevention – One study found that overweight patients were twice as likely to develop a surgical site infection than normal weight patients. Dropping a few pounds can help to reduce your infection potential after surgery.

5. Surgical Failure – Finally, everybody hopes that their surgical operation takes care of their issue the first time, but that’s less likely for overweight individuals. Heavy individuals are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital because they need a secondary operation as a result of a failed spine surgery. To help ensure surgery takes care of the problem the first time, work towards a healthy weight.

For more information about preparing for spine surgery or how you can get your weight under control prior to a back operation, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.

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