Spine Program
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Surgery Information

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has TWO active hospital site campuses for spine surgery.

  1. Bayview Campus – Map & Directions
  2. Holland Centre – Map & Directions

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Where is spine surgery performed?

Spine surgery is performed at both the Bayview Campus and the Holland Centre.

Where am I cared for following surgery?

1.  Day Surgery
Surgery may be performed as ‘day surgery’ (also called 'out patient surgery') where patients recover in the out-patient department following surgery and are discharged home the same day of surgery (for example, patients requiring a lumbar microdiscectomy, spinal decompression).

2.  Patients that need to stay in hospital for one or more nights following surgery
For patients requiring overnight stay in hospital, there are several care pathways that are individualized depending on your particular surgical and medical care needs.

  1. Patients requiring one overnight stay in hospital are cared for following surgery in the Short Stay Unit (SSU) at the Bayview Campus or on one of the inpatient units if surgery is at the Holland Centre.
  2. Patients that may require a hospital stay of more than one night following surgery (for example, lumbar spinal fusion) recover at the Bayview campus following surgery in the designated Short Stay Unit (for the first 24 hours) followed by hospital transfer to the Holland Campus for additional physiotherapy and post-surgical recovery.  A typical hospital stay following a lumbar fusion or a multi-level lumbar spinal decompression / laminectomies varies from 3-5 days depending on your condition.  Your surgeon / surgeon office will have discussed with you in advance if this pathway is appropriate for your particular medical condition.
  3. Some patients that require hospital stay of more than one night may require stay at the Sunnybrook Campus (D5 ward or alternate Sunnybrook campus ward) dependent on particular surgical and medical care needs.  Your surgeon / surgeon office will have discussed with you in advance if this pathway is appropriate for your particular medical condition.

Please be sure to bring into hospital ALL medications that you usually take (prescription bottles, prescription information).  The hospital pharmacy may not always have a ready supply of a particular medication.  As such you may be asked to take your own usual medication.

Your care following surgery is coordinated by a multi-disciplinary team of health care providers (doctors, specialists, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and other experts as required).  We are all here to help you with your post-surgical recovery.  There may be many new faces you will meet during your care.  There is a discharge planning team that also consists of nurses, physiotherapists, social worker, and doctors that will help facilitate your post-surgical recovery and plan for your discharge from hospital.  There is a coordinated rehabilitation team that will also help facilitate your recovery following surgery as well as provide education regarding healthy back care. 

Following discharge from hospital, please contact your surgeon’s office for an appointment in approximately 6 weeks (unless otherwise specified).  It is recommended that you see your family doctor at about two weeks following surgery.  Some patients may have sutures / staples that require removal at two weeks and other patients may have dissolvable sutures depending on your condition. If there are any questions regarding your care following discharge from hospital, please contact your surgeon’s office.

Read more about what to expect after spinal surgery »