How to Manage Pre-Surgery Jitters

Having spinal surgery is no small matter. Most people, regardless of the skill their surgeon holds and their understanding that surgery is necessary, feel nervous or scared before having a procedure. In addition to providing our patients with the very best care possible, we also want to do what we can to help quell their fear. Being in a good headspace before surgery can do wonders to set the tone for recovery. Here, we’ll discuss some of the common reasons for pre-surgery jitters and what you can do to feel calmer before your spine procedure

Common Factors of Surgical Anxiety.

It is completely reasonable to have reservations about a surgical procedure of any kind. If at all possible, though, we’d like to overcome fear. Some of the primary reasons that this emotion may arise include the following:

  • Fear of a surgical complication. Nothing in life is guaranteed, so it is logical to consider that something could go wrong during spine surgery. What we want patients to know is that the techniques used for spinal procedures have improved a great deal over time. Many procedures are now performed using minimally-invasive techniques that didn’t exist a few decades ago. The less invasive a technique is, the lower its risks for complications. That said, we encourage patients to ask all of their questions, even if they need a few appointments to receive the answers they need. 
  • Fear of pain. Very few people can handle pain without batting an eye, so the matter of pain control during and after surgery is an important topic of conversation. Dr. Albert is well-versed in a wide variety of minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques aimed at limiting temporary tissue trauma. We also work with patients to achieve the best post-operative pain management program for their needs. 
  • Fear of the unknown. The vast majority of us have a distaste for the unknown. Necessary surgery is one of those things that brings up questions like how well the procedure will go or how effective it will be. We’ve found that fear of the unknown may be best met with a focus on what the patient has to gain after their procedure. They may be more active and feel more engaged in life. Focus on improvement may override some of the fear of an “unknown” future. 

The first step in managing fear about a spinal condition and its potential treatment is to talk with an experienced spinal specialist. Dr. Albert is now offering virtual visits. Contact us at 212-606-1004 to schedule your consultation. 

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