Frequently Asked Questions (PROCEDURES)

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Preoperative / Pre-procedural Instructions

Postoperative Instructions

1. When do I do have to show up prior to my scheduled appointment for procedures? How long will the procedure take?

  • Please show up 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • The procedure itself will take between 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
  • However, the total time that you may be at the office for your procedure may be between 1 and 1.5 hours.
    • This time includes pre-procedural evaluation (to have paperwork, consents and healthcare status updated), IV placement (if indicated) and evaluation by the anesthesia provider.
    • Time for the procedure itself.
    • Time for recovery and reassessment (to ensure safe departure).

2. IV sedation and Eating:  If I'm going to get IV sedation for my procedure, when do I have to stop eating?

Please STOP eating food SIX (6) hours prior to your scheduled procedure.  

You can drink small amounts of water or clear fluids (without pulp or creamer) up to 2 hours prior to the procedure.

You can take your regular medications with a sip of water the morning of the procedure. For patients who are taking blood thinners, please read question 4 below.

3. IV sedation & Transportation:  Can I drive home after my procedure if I receive IV sedation?

For your safety and the safety of those in our community, we require that you have a licensed driver take you home after the procedure.  

Your driver MUST stay at the procedure facility throughout the duration of your procedure.

If you are taking a taxi or other commercial transportation home, please have an adult friend or family member accompany you to the procedure center and ride home with you afterwards.

4. I take blood thinner medications, do I need to stop them prior to my procedure?

In general, patients are often on blood thinners to prevent strokes or heart attacks. For your safety, blood thinners are commonly stopped prior to completing some pain procedures.  

You may continue NSAIDS and aspirin for most procedures. NSAID’s include ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, naproxen, Mobic, diclofenac, meloxicam, Indocin, Celebrex. Except for kyphoplasty procedures and spinal cord stimulator trials.

You can and should continue blood thinners (unless otherwise directed) for the following procedures:  sacroiliac joint, hip, shoulder, bursa and knee joint injections. Except if you are on Lovenox injections, Heparin injections, Abcixmab (Reopro), Eptifibatide (Integrillin), or Trofiban (Aggrastat).

Prior to stopping your blood thinner, please speak with your prescribing physician and obtain clearance to STOP the medication for the duration listed below. You are required to STOP the blood thinners listed below for: medical branch blocks, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablations, epidural steroid injections, spinal cord stimulators, sympathetic blocks, and kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty procedures. If the blood thinner you are on is not listed below, please speak with your physician/provider at NovaSpine Pain Institute for further information.

Blood Thinners:

  • Arixtra (Fondaparinux): 4 days
  • Brilinta (Ticagrelor): 5 days
  • Coumadin (Warfarin): 5 days*
  • Effient (Prasurel): 10 days
  • Eliquis (Apixaban): 5 days
  • Lovenox (Enoxaparin) at prevention dose: 12 hours
  • Lovenox (Enoxaparin) at treatment dose: 24 hours
  • Plavix (Clopidogrel): 7 days
  • Pradaxa (Dabigatran): 5 days
  • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban): 3 days
  • Pletal (Cilostazol): 2 days (stop for SCS trials and kyphoplasties only)

*INR check required prior to procedure. Patient is responsible for bringing in INR result on day of procedure.

5. What are the risks of the procedure?

There are risks associated with any procedure.  Our number one priority is your safety. Both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tom have years of training, experience and expertise - both of our doctors specialize minimally invasive spine and arthritis procedures.  

The most common risks described with minimally invasive procedures are bleeding, infection and nerve damage.  Complications are rare.  It is important to consider the potential benefits and the potential risks associated with any procedure prior to signing your consent form and undergoing the procedure.  Please ask your doctor or a clinical staff member if you have any specific concerns or questions.

Please download and read the procedure consent form carefully prior to completing the procedure. 

6. What do I do if I am having increased pain after my procedure?

This is not uncommon, but keep in mind it is temporary. Please refer to the discharge instructions given to you by during your procedure visit. If you have leg or arm weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or begin to run a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, please go to the emergency room or call 911 for evaluation.

7. How much x-ray exposure am I going to get during a procedure?

The amount of radiation that a patient is exposed to during a single procedure is minimal.  It has been suggested that a person receives the same amount of radiation during a procedure as you would on a airplane flight from Phoenix to New York City.

8. Pregnancy and X-ray exposure? 

We consistently ask and test women patients of child-bearing age to determine whether or not they are pregnant.  For the safely of pregnant patients and their future babies, we do not perform x-ray procedures on pregnant patients.

9. Can I get more information about my upcoming procedure?

Please read the description and "what to expect" in the PAIN PROCEDURE section.

If you would like further information,

- please call 623-777-4747 for the Sun City and Sun City West location.

- please call 480-771-4400 for the Gilbert location.