In intensive care (PICU)
You will wake up in intensive care (PICU) or post operative care recovery.
When you wake up, you may notice a few tubes and lines have been put in while you were asleep. These are only in place a short time. They help us monitor you and to give you medicine.
Initially after surgery, your family may notice that your face is puffy. This is a result of being positioned on your front for so long during the operation and will soon disappear.
You may have to lie flat for around 12 hours after surgery, to help let your wound settle. Once you are fully awake you can start to eat and drink again.
You may feel a bit sick after the operation, but we can give you medicine to help.
You may worried that you will be in pain after the operation. However, although you may feel achy and groggy for a few days you shouldn't be in pain as we will give you regular pain medication.
If you are in pain please tell your parent(s)/carers and your nurses and we will try and help you.
Back on Savannah Ward
You will usually come back to Savannah Ward on the evening of your surgery or the next day.
Usually by the afternoon of the first day after your surgery, or the second day, you can start to get out of bed. The physiotherapists will help you with this, and give you exercises to do to help you recover.
By the second and third day, most of your tubes and lines will have been removed. You can have a wash and wear your own clothes. Loose and cool clothes like t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms will be the most comfortable and easiest to get on and off.
We will also change your wound dressing around this time, replacing the pressure dressing with a smaller, lighter dressing which looks like a large plaster.
Over the next few days, we will continue to monitor you and help you build up your strength. By the fourth or fifth day we will take some more x-rays of your back. This is exciting as you can see what your back looked like before and after your operation.
If you need a back brace, you'll be measured for this before you go home, and booked into the orthotic clinic to get it fitted (one to two weeks after your operation).
More information about having a back brace is in our patient information leaflets.