12 critical questions about surgery and to ask your surgeon!
1. Who is doing the surgery?
Dr. Finch personally performs the entire procedure. Many cases require an assistant; however, the assistant’s role is primarily for helping in patient positioning, retracting, and for some aspects of incision closure. For most procedures a fully accredited Assistant helps him. As an accredited surgeon at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital Buderim and Member of the Australian Orthopaedic Association registrars or fellows who are in training may also assist him.
2. Where is the surgery done?
Dr. Finch works at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital Buderim, which is the established premier private hospital in the Sunshine coast region.
3. What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Spine surgery requires general anesthesia. (ie you will be asleep during the operation)
4. Who does the post-op care?
5. Are you available if I have questions before or after the procedure?
It is important that you feel comfortable and confident about having a surgical procedure. Dr. Finch is available in his office for pre OP appointments, and via email to answer any questions that you may have about the surgical procedure you are having. He will also address any questions or concerns that may arise after the surgery.
6. How much will it hurt?
Any surgical procedure will result in discomfort after the procedure. How much pain you experience will of course depend on the nature of the procedure. You may be given a prescription for narcotic medication for a short period of time. We have a specialist team dedicated to keeping you as comfortable as possible. Often when spinal nerve pain is relieved by surgery your pain will be LESS post op.
7. How long will I be off work?
That, of course, will depend a lot on the nature of your occupation. For most spine procedures you will be able to return to a sedentary job and work comfortably at your desk and computer within 4- 6 weeks. Manual labour will be delayed longer than this and will depend a lot on your exact work requirements.
8. What are the possible complications?
Postoperative infection is always a concern after a surgical procedure. Fortunately, these events are quite rare, especially for minimally invasive spine procedures. Postoperative bleeding, nerve injury, and blood clots are also possible but exceedingly rare, especiall. Careful attention to postoperative recommendations and diligence with postoperative physical therapy will minimize this risk.
9. Will I have big scars?
Many procedures are done through very small incisions. Staples are never used and ugly crosshatched skin sutures are almost never used. We aim to keep the scar as thin and as cosmetically acceptable as possible.
10. How many of these procedures have you done?
Dr. Finch has been in practice for 15 years and has done over 5000 spine procedures, on the cervical and lumbar spine. He also has extensive experience in minimally invasive surgery on the spine, disc replacement surgery, and salvage or revision surgery.
11. Are there alternatives to surgery?
Nonsurgical treatment is often the first line of treatment for many conditions and can be successful if done with diligence and consistency. While often referred to as “conservative treatment”, there are many situations where nonsurgical treatment has little chance of providing significant benefit and it is the surgical approach that is truly “conservative” in these cases. Our goal is always to get you back to your full activities with an approach that is both minimally invasive yet predictably effective. When appropriate, Dr. Finch can make a referral for a variety of nonsurgical treatments including physical therapy, personal training, dietician advice, deep soft tissue massage, and pilates.
12. Do I have to stay in the hospital?
For minor spine surgery you will require an overnight stay. For more extensive procedures, 2-4 days’ stay is usual.