Should I change anything about my lifestyle before intervertebral disc excision?

Some lifestyle changes are necessary before the intervention in order to enhance its outcome and avoid complications.

Intervertebral disc excision or discectomy is one of the most common spinal surgeries and is typically performed to treat herniated or ruptured discs of the spine.

The portion of the disc causing the pressure on your nerve root is removed, or the entire disc, in some cases. The procedure can be performed through a minimally invasive technique called microdiscectomy.

A herniated disc may be caused by:

  • incorrect lifting
  • suddenly twisting the spine
  • excess weight
  • degeneration due to advanced disease or age

Nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • pain relievers: anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, electrical stimulation, or heat/ice therapy
  • exercise or physical therapy: stretching and strengthening the right muscles to help the back heal
  • rest

When these methods prove ineffective, and you experience increasing pain affecting your quality of life, neurosurgery may be your best option.

Suggestions for a good preoperative preparation

  • changes to improve your physical health: manage your weight by adopting a well-balanced diet. Try to be as active as possible. Continue your regular daily activities with the necessary changes. Exercise regularly to keep your heart and lungs healthy before surgery. Quit smoking; it delays healing and slows your recovery. Stop alcohol consumption as it can be a major risk factor during and after your surgery
  • changes at home and the workplace: respect the doctors’ recommendations regarding what you do on a daily basis before and after surgery. Set up a safe environment at home and at your workplace
  • medications: consult with your doctor, especially about medication that may increase your bleeding time. If you take blood thinners or anti-inflammatory drugs, you should stop the intake 1-2 weeks before the surgery. Your doctor will tell you what type of medicines or supplements are safe to take before the surgery
  • emotional preparation: is essential before any surgical procedure. It is often difficult to deal with pain, anxiety, frustration while waiting for surgery. It is important to learn how to manage these feelings or get help to deal with your situation. Be well informed about your surgery - it can decrease your level of stress and anxiety

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/