Recovering from Neck Surgery: What to Expect

Neck surgery probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s wish list, but there are times when it’s the best solution for resolving your pain. What to expect during recovery often depends on the condition being treated, how active you were before the procedure, and whether underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, may play a role in healing.

Dr. Patrick Doherty is a highly regarded, board-certified neurosurgeon who leads our team here at Yale Neurosurgery New London in New London, Connecticut. He has significant expertise in many types of neck surgery and is well-known for providing outstanding supportive care throughout the recovery process.

Find out what Dr. Doherty has to say in general about recovering from neck surgery and the role you play in ensuring a successful outcome.

Usually, the less invasive the surgery the quicker your recovery

We don’t often use words like “always” in medicine because there are, well, always exceptions. Whenever possible, however, minimally invasive procedures are the preferred option for neck surgery.

Smaller incisions and less trauma to muscles and other surrounding tissue during minimally invasive surgery typically can speed your recovery.

The robotic surgery offered at Yale Neurosurgery uses the ExcelsiusGPS® platform. It’s a minimally invasive procedure, and the technology increases precision during the surgery, which can help speed your return to routine activities.

Recovery starts before your neck surgery begins

Your surgeon’s skill and expertise are, of course, vital to the success of your surgery. However, because every case is different, many factors can influence the recovery process after neck surgery.

At Yale Neurosurgery, you can expect a detailed discussion regarding what we expect before, during, and after your surgery before we even schedule the procedure. We cover everything from what to do in the days before surgery to how to care for your incision sites once you arrive home and what you can expect during rehab.

We welcome questions during these discussions and give you ample opportunity to talk about what’s on your mind. You can help set yourself up for a successful recovery by following instructions carefully and asking for clarification of anything you don’t understand.

Why rehab matters

At Yale Neurosurgery New London, the rehabilitation process we implement following your neck surgery is carefully designed to enhance your recovery by reducing your pain and restoring the fullest mobility possible.

Customized to suit your needs, your rehab program may be relatively short. Or, you could require several weeks of formal physical therapy and home exercise activities to strengthen and restore flexibility to muscles and other tissues affected by your previous neck condition.

Regardless of the expected length of your rehab program, however, it’s imperative that you participate in the process and follow instructions carefully.

Skipping home exercises, for instance, can significantly delay your recovery and increase your postoperative stiffness and discomfort. On the other hand, trying to do more than advised in hopes of returning to routine activities more quickly can stall your recovery and increase your risk of reinjury.

At Yale Neurosurgery, we consider you the most important member of your care management team.

For an evaluation regarding neck surgery or other services available at Yale Neurosurgery New London, schedule a visit today. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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