Here we go...I have a surgery date!

I am seeing Dr. Cognetti on May the 3rd with Surgery on the 4th if all goes well. It is only a month away and I am very nervous. I think I have already driven my husband and mother crazy talking about it. My main concerns are that it won’t help anything or something will go wrong. I am a singer and am afraid to do anything that will possibly damage my ability to sing.(I however cannot sing now due to pain) I also can’t believe I have a diagnosis. I have gone 3 years like this and I was getting to the point that I thought I would just have to accept being this way. I am relieved, scared, shocked, and a whole lot more all at the same time. I have a few questions if anyone knows the answers,

  1. What is good to take vitamin/mineral wise to help heal muscles and nerves-besides magnesium and B12?
  2. I am overly sensitive to medicine. The last time I had surgery they gave me Vicodin and it made me puke, so I had to take ibuprophen. Can I request no heavy pain killers? Will that be enough to help the pain? I don’t want to get sick.
  3. I know all dr offices are different and insurance is but do they make you pay your deductible upfront? Maybe someone who has gone to Dr Cognetti knows this??
  4. I have decided to drive instead of fly. I get horribly airsick. It is a 15 hour trip, my husband will be driving not me. Does anyone think this is a bad idea, should I fly instead?

I probably have a thousand more questions if my head, but thanks for reading. Here is to hope.

Hello - I’m new here and recently sent my scans to Dr. Cognetti. I am very happy for you! Do you happen to know how much the surgery and appointments cost at Jefferson? I can’t wait to hear how things go. This is the absolute worst. Good luck!

Sorry I am not sure on the costs yet. I have high deductible insurance so I have to pay that before my insurance kicks in. I can let you know when I find out.

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You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel scared about the surgery, all of us do! Certainly from my point of view, it was noting like as bad as I was expecting, & I worried over nothing… I hope the fact that alot of us have gone on to have the second side done is a testament to that, & that the surgery is generally sucessful, especially if done with an experienced surgeon, which yours will be.
There’s lots of info all about ES surgery & what to expect in the Newbies Guide section, plus lots have posted their post-op surgery stories so have a search using the magnifying glass icon top right of the page. Here’s one to get you started: Are there any saxophonist or wind musicians out there?
As for the pain relief, talk that through with Dr Cognetti, as there are other options which might not affect you. Once I was home (the next day) I found paracetemol was enough, but obviously this varies, maybe extra-strength tylenol will be enough for you, although you don’t want to be in pain for the journey home.
I know alot of members have flown & had long journeys home, travelling for that long is not ideal, but that’s the downside of seeing an experienced surgeon… Being airsick would definitely be bad! If you can have some pillows to keep you comfy, break the journey up- your hubby will need rest breaks anyway presumably etc. One thing which might be difficult is eating, often people find chewing or opeining their mouth difficult, so have smoothies ready for the journey as you might not be able to get that when you stop? (I’m UK so I know you can easily buy ready made bottles & protein/ milk shake drinks, don’t know about US?)
As for supplements, I took a B group vitamin supplement for nerve repair, don’t know if it helped or not!
I can’t help with the insurance issue, but hopefully someone else will be able to.
Feel free to ask as many questions as you need to, & don’t hesitate to bring your worries here, we all understand!
Best wishes!

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In response to your questions:

  1. A good quality multi-vitamin that covers what magnesium & B12 leave out would be helpful.
  2. You will need to let Dr. Cognetti & the staff at the surgery center or hospital know that you don’t tolerate Vicodin well. I was given Percocet & had no problem w/ that, but it’s possible you just don’t tolerate opioids. Ibuprofen is a blood thinner so you won’t be able to take it for a few days after your surgery. You might be able to take Acetaminophen, but it doesn’t have the anit-inflammatory properties of Ibuprophen. Opioids aren’t anti-inflammatory either so some surgeons also prescribe prednisone to help w/ post op swelling. Getting several gel ice packs w/ covers (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target all sell them) & icing your surgical site (assuming you have external surgery) 15 min on & at least 45 min. off, 3-5x/day over the first week will also help w/ pain & inflammation.
  3. I can’t speak for Dr. Cognetti, but since he’s affiliated w/ a hospital, I’m pretty sure you won’t have to pay anything until after they bill your insurance. The surgical cost is high enough you’ll probably meet your deductible & then some.
  4. There is nothing wrong w/ driving, but you won’t be very comfy on your trip home as you’ll be stuck in a car seat for a couple of days of driving while not feeling great. That might be perfect for you though as I spent a lot of time in our recliner at home for the first week post op.
  5. I’m going to add that you should buy yourself a wedge pillow (Bed Bath & Beyond) to take w/ you as sleeping w/ your head elevated to 30º (more or less) for several weeks post op also helps reduce swelling in your neck & throat.

Surgery should go far toward reducing your pain so you can sing again. I believe most of the musicians on this site have regained their abilities once they were healed from surgery.

Keep those questions coming! There are lots of experienced post op members on this forum who are here to help ease your concerns.

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