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Interventional Pain Procedures Frequently Asked Questions

Someone from the surgery center or hospital will call you to discuss pre-procedural/operative instructions. They usually include the following: Clears (i.e. black coffee, apple juice) can be consumed up to 2 hours prior to your procedure and a light meal can be consumed 6 hours prior. Take your usual medications the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water with the exception of insulin or diabetic medications if you are a diabetic. Stop taking all blood thinners (i.e. Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin) for at least 7 days prior to your procedure. Do not smoke for 24 hours prior to your procedure. Notify Dr. Sanjay Sharma if there is any change in your physical condition, such as a cold, fever or flu symptom. If there is a chance you are pregnant, please notify Dr. Sanjay Sharma immediately.

Arrive promptly at the time specified by the surgery scheduler. If you are having a procedure at an outpatient surgery center, you will usually be asked to arrive one hour before your scheduled procedure. Times may differ if you will be admitted to the hospital prior to your procedure. Most pre-operative blood, lab or paper work is preformed prior to the day of your procedure.

Bathe or shower the morning of surgery but do not apply any makeup. Wear low heeled, comfortable shoes and loose, comfortable clothing such as t-shirts, button-down shirts, sweat pants or baggy shorts that will fit over bandages or dressings following surgery. Do not wear contact lenses or jewelry.

The length of interventional pain procedures vary. Simple epidurals take 5-10 minutes while more complicated procedures can take up to several hours.

Most interventional pain procedures can be performed with a very light form of intravenous sedation known as moderate sedation administered by Dr. Sanjay Sharma. This requires placement of an intravenous line. Some patients choose to have no intravenous sedation and therefore do not require an intravenous line. Dr. Sanjay Sharma usually discusses sedation options with patients in the office prior to their procedure.

The time you spend in the hospital or surgery center will vary depending upon the type of procedrue performed, the type of anesthesia that was given, and your individual needs. Most patients are discharged within one hour of their procedure.

Most patients will not encounter problems after interventional pain procedures. As with any procedure, however, there are potential risks, including, but not limited to: reaction to anesthesia, infection, swelling, nerve damage, paralysis, headache, temporary nerve irritation, bleeding, epidural hematoma, epidural abscess, and procedure failure.

ALL aspirin based products (i.e. aspirin, Excedrin), Coumadin, Ticlid, Plavix, and other anti-coagulants should be discontinued one week prior to your procedure to reduce the risk of complications from bleeding. Ibuprofen based products can be taken up to 3 days prior to your procedure.

You will be taken to the recovery room and monitored for a period of time before being discharged to home. If your procedure was done in a hospital and you are being admitted you will be taken to a patient room after your recovery room stay. If your procedure was performed in a surgery center, a nurse will review post-operative instructions with you, as well as explain any special instructions provided by Dr. Sanjay Sharma regarding diet, rest, medications, when to follow up with your doctor, and how to use any durable medical equipment such as a neck or back brace which may have been ordered. Additionally, you will be given any post procedural prescriptions that Dr. Sanjay Sharma may have written. When you follow up with Dr. Sanjay Sharma in the office he will discuss additional post-procedural/operative instructions.


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