What to Expect After XLIF Surgery
After surgery you will wake up in the recovery room where your vital signs will be monitored and your immediate postoperative condition will be carefully watched. Most patients stay in the recovery room between one and three hours after surgery. Once the anesthesiologist feels that you are doing well, you will be returned to your room in the hospital.
It is normal for your incision wounds to be sore immediately after surgery. The nursing staff will be checking to make sure that your vital signs are stable and that these is no problem with either the wound or nerve function in your legs.
Because this procedure is less disruptive than conventional posterior or anterior surgery, most patients are able to get up and walk around the evening after surgery.
Most XLIF patients are discharged from the hospital the next day, but your physician and health care team will determine the best postoperative course for you, depending on your comfort and any other health problems you might have. Your physician will discuss with you any appropriate pain medications as well as prescribed program of activities. In general, the XLIF surgery results in quick recovery and return to normal activities.
Generally, fusion patients are seen again in the physician's office about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If during that first week after surgery you have any questions or problems, you should call him/her at the office immediately. You will then return for follow-up appointments at various intervals up to 2 years or more to assess fusion progress.