HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
You will receive instructions from staff at the interventional radiologist's office at least a day before the procedure. Make sure to let the staff know if you have any allergies to medications or to contrast material which may be used during this procedure. If you are on any blood thinners such as aspirin, Coumadin, Lovenox, Heparin, or Plavix please let the staff know. You may have blood drawn for pre-procedure testing at either the hospital or a local clinic. Staff will advise you if changes in your regular medication schedule are necessary. Make sure someone will be available to drive you home afterwards.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PREFORMED?
Kyphoplasty is a procedure that involves inserting a small balloon at the point where the vertebrae has collapsed. The balloon is inflated to raise the bone and then cement is injected into the space. A surgical bone cement is injected into the bone to stabilize it. More than one vertebrae can be treated at a time. Surgery is not required as the doctor is able to guide the needle/balloon to the right spot using special x-ray guidance. People who have suffered recent compression fractures which cause them moderate to severe back pain are best candidates for kyphoplasty.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Kyphoplasty takes one to two hours depending on how many vertebrae need to be treated. The procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Most patients will be required to be admitted to the hospital.