As opposed to traditional spine surgery, Awake Spinal Fusion surgery is not performed under general anesthesia. Rather, it involved the use of monitored anesthesia care, otherwise known as “conscious sedation” or “twilight sleep.” This is administered through an IV to keep patients calm during the procedure.
As the term suggests, patients are typically still conscious and responsive during an awake surgery. They can even follow commands and answer questions during the procedure. During this innovative operation, a small incision is made in the skin, allowing access to the spine but resulting in minimal scarring. Awake surgeries are much shorter than their traditional counterparts; whereas a conventional spine surgery can take four to six hours, awake spine surgeries at our NJ clinics usually take one to three hours.
There are several advantages of awake spine surgeries performed by the team at NJ Spine and Wellness, including:
- Shorter surgery time
- No general anesthesia
- Postoperative narcotics are typically not used
- Patients can generally walk the very same day of their surgery
- Faster recovery times, allowing for patients to return to normal activity sooner