Robotic-assisted surgery is a revolutionary medical/technological advance that may transform the way many back and spine procedures are performed. Incisions and implants can be performed with much higher degrees of accuracy and much less disruption to the body, resulting in less pain and faster recovery times for the patient. But what is the recovery process like after robotic spine surgery? If you have a robotic-assisted procedure, what can you expect afterward?
The short answer: You can expect a similar recovery path to traditional minimally invasive procedures, but you may be able to resume many of your normal routines sooner. Here are a few specifics you need to know.
You will most likely avoid a hospital stay.
Most of our robotic-assisted procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, so barring complications or previous ill health, you go home the same day of your procedure. Your surgeon will monitor your condition after the procedure and release you as soon as he is confident you are able to leave.
You’ll still take it easy for the first few days.
With any surgical procedure, you may experience some discomfort for a few days after. Give yourself time to rest, avoid strenuous activities and take any medications your doctor recommends as needed. Most patients are able to resume many normal activities within a few days.
You’ll still need to watch for infection.
Any time we make an incision, no matter how small, there is at least a slight risk of infection. Make sure you clean the incision area and change your dressings regularly as your doctor recommends. If you experience more significant pain or inflammation, have it checked by your doctor.
You still need to give your body time to heal.
With minimally invasive robotic spine surgery, you’ll likely be able to resume many normal activities sooner. With traditional minimally invasive procedures, for example, most spine patients can return to work within a couple of weeks, and are nearly back to normal within 6 weeks on average. You may feel better sooner with robotic surgery, and you may even return to work sooner. However, don’t be fooled into overexerting yourself and aggravating your original injury. Robotic surgery allows for faster recovery times from the surgery itself, but your body’s own healing processes may still take time. For example, if we performed a spinal fusion, it will still take the same amount of time for your vertebrae to fuse together as it does with a traditional procedure. Follow your surgeon’s advice and avoid certain back-straining activities until he clears you.
Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery is the first spine clinic in Atlanta to offer robotic spine surgery. To learn more about what to expect with a robotic-assisted procedure, call us at 404-256-2633.