Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before scoliosis surgery. This includes water, coffee, gum, or mints. If you do, it may cancel your surgery. After midnight the night before your surgery, do not smoke or use chewing tobacco.

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It is important to prepare for your surgery and the staff at the Southwest Scoliosis Institute is ready to help and answer any and all questions

Preparation for Surgery

Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. In cases where non-surgical treatments have been unsuccessful, scoliosis surgery may be recommended to correct the curvature and alleviate associated symptoms. If you’re scheduled for scoliosis surgery, proper preparation is essential to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. This article aims to guide patients on what to do before scoliosis surgery, helping them feel informed, confident, and prepared for the upcoming procedure.

Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute’s board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians Richard Hostin, MD, Devesh Ramnath, MD, Ishaq Syed, MD, Shyam Kishan, MD, and Kathryn Wiesman, MD have years of experience treating thousands of patients with complex spine conditions.  We want to make sure we have everything in order for your upcoming surgery, so we devised a listing of possible testing and appointments that may be required. Furthermore, our staff will help you through the pre-surgery process.

Questions and Answers

How should I prepare physically for scoliosis surgery?

Physical preparation for scoliosis surgery involves maintaining overall fitness and strengthening core muscles. Follow a balanced diet to promote healing and consult with a physical therapist specializing in scoliosis exercises to optimize your physical condition.

What should I expect during the recovery period after scoliosis surgery?

The recovery period after scoliosis surgery can vary from person to person. Generally, you can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days following the procedure. During this time, you will be closely monitored by the medical team. Pain management will be provided, and you may be required to wear a brace or cast for a period of time. Physical therapy will play a crucial role in helping you regain strength and mobility. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding activity limitations, medication usage, and post-operative care to promote healing and achieve the best possible outcome.

Medical Clearance Before Scoliosis Surgery

Prior to the date of your procedure, doctors will examine you to ensure that spine surgery will not cause a problem to your overall health. Our care staff can help you make arrangements for your testing, which may include:

  • Chest X-ray, EKG, and bloodwork (mandatory)
  • Cardiac stress test or pulmonary function test
  • Imaging tests (MRI, CT scan, etc.)
  • Bloodwork and urine sample

However, for patients with significant medical issues, we will seek medical clearance prior to being given a surgery date.  In other words, this allows patients to make changes to their medical treatment that may be needed to ensure they can undergo major surgery.  For your information, medical clearance involves an exam by an internal medicine physician and possibly a cardiologist, hematologist, and pulmonologist if necessary.  Also, the doctor may schedule a pain management consultant to help patients manage medicine before and after surgery.  Please bring a list of all your medicines to all appointments.

In addition, we will seek cardiac clearance before Scoliosis Surgery for patients who:

  • See a cardiologist
  • Maintain a history of cardiac issues
  • Experience heart disease

Please provide our staff with contact info for your cardiologist so that we can request copies of any exams or tests you took this past year.


Health InsuranceWe will obtain pre-approval from your health insurance company prior to surgery.  It’s possible that you may receive a confirmation letter from them.  Finally, we will obtain health insurance approval from your insurance company for a stay of one or two days in the hospital.  If your doctor wants you to stay another day in the hospital, a member of our staff will update your status and extend the insurance approval.  Upon moving to a rehab center, we will obtain the required insurance approvals for the move.


Before having your surgery, you should pay attention to the following:

Educate Yourself:

Before undergoing scoliosis surgery, it is crucial to educate yourself about the procedure, potential risks, benefits, and recovery process. Consult your orthopedic surgeon and ask any questions or concerns you may have. Gain a clear understanding of the surgical approach, expected outcomes, and potential complications to make an informed decision.

Seek a Second Opinion:

Obtaining a second opinion is often recommended, especially if you have doubts or concerns about the proposed surgical treatment. Another perspective from a trusted orthopedic specialist can provide you with additional information, alternative treatment options, or peace of mind.

Physical Preparation:

Maintaining overall physical health is important before surgery. Follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and strengthen your core muscles, as they play a crucial role in post-operative recovery. If needed, consult with a physical therapist who specializes in scoliosis exercises to optimize your physical condition before the surgery.

Psychological Preparation:

Scoliosis surgery can be emotionally challenging. Address any fears, anxiety, or concerns you may have by seeking support from your healthcare provider, friends, and family. Consider joining support groups or connecting with individuals who have undergone similar procedures to gain insights, reassurance, and coping strategies.

Medication and Supplements:

Inform your surgeon about any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are currently taking. Some medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped before surgery to minimize the risk of complications. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding medication management before the procedure.

Smoking and Alcohol:

If you smoke, it’s important to quit smoking before surgery, as smoking can impair the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Similarly, avoid consuming alcohol for a specified period before your surgery, as it can interfere with anesthesia and medications.

Preparing your Home:

Before your surgery, make necessary arrangements at home to ensure a smooth transition post-surgery. Set up a comfortable recovery area on the main level of your house, preferably near a bathroom, with easy access to necessary items. Arrange for assistance with household chores, meal preparation, and transportation, as you may have limitations during your recovery period.

Support Network:

Reach out to your support network, including family and friends, and discuss your upcoming surgery. Inform them about your needs during the recovery period and ask for their assistance and emotional support. Having a strong support system in place can make a significant difference in your overall well-being and recovery.

Follow Pre-operative Instructions:

Finally, follow all pre-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. This may include fasting before the surgery, avoiding certain medications, showering with a special soap, or specific clothing instructions. Adhering to these guidelines is crucial to ensure your safety and the success of the procedure.


Preparing for scoliosis surgery involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses physical, emotional, and logistical aspects. By educating yourself, seeking a second opinion, and preparing your body and mind, you can optimize your chances of a successful surgery and smooth recovery. Remember to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely and communicate openly about any concerns or questions you may have. With proper preparation and a strong support network, you can confidently navigate the journey toward a healthier, straighter spine.

Finally, doctors will tell those who ask about their training and certification that it is demanding and rigorous, but it ensures that surgeons have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform complex spine surgeries safely and effectively. It’s important to check the credentials and experience of your surgeon before you decide to have complex spine surgery. Please note that the surgeons at the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute with offices in Dallas, Plano, and Frisco, Texas are all fellowship-trained and Board Certified.


If you or a loved one suffers from spinal pain, you owe it to yourself to call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment.