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Brighton Hospital

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Switchboard 01273 624488
General enquiries 01273 627 007
Inpatient appointments 01273 627000
To book an appointment (outpatients) 01273 627008
Patient Ward 01273 681798

Why choose Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital for your spinal decompression surgery?

At Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital, our leading edge spinal service is here to help you overcome your sciatica and spinal problems. Our experienced spinal surgeons practice in a range of lower back treatments, they can offer a quick diagnosis and compile a comprehensive treatment plan personalised to you and your condition.

If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you may want to consider an alternative to laminectomy surgery to treat your condition. Our expert spine consultants regularly perform spinal decompression, which takes less time in theatre and is relatively less invasive. The spinal consultants at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital are fully supported by our attentive matron-led nursing team who are dedicated to your care and comfort during your short stay.

We believe the recovery after your laminectomy is just as important as the surgery itself, thats why any additional aftercare required is completely covered by our Nuffield Health Promise to you.

What is spinal stenosis? 

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal contains the nerves that leave the spinal cord. A combination of arthritis in the spine or bulging (herniation) of the discs or (in rarer cases) spondylolisthesis (where a vertebra slips forward or backward) or spinal tumours can cause this narrowing. Decompression is performed to release nerves trapped by this narrowing.

Initially your consultant may recommend anti-inflammatory medication for pain. If you have pain down your leg that is caused by pressure on the nerve in your lower back (sciatica), your surgeon may recommend a steroid injection in your spine.

What happens during lumbar spinal decompression at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital?

You will probably have an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis and help your surgeon plan your operation.

Decompression is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in your lower back. They will remove enough bone and tissue to free the trapped nerves. They will close the incision with stitches and dress the wound.

After your spinal decompression

Immediately after your surgery you will be taken to the recovery area. Staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. If you are in any pain be sure and tell the recovery room staff. When you are stable a nurse will take you to your room.

Back in your private room

  • Once you are back in your room, our nursing team will continue to check on you to make sure you are recovering well. After you’ve recovered from any effects of the anaesthetic, you can have something to eat and drink
  • Some patients have difficulty passing urine after decompression surgery. If you are in any discomfort please tell a member of our Healthcare Team
  • You will be encouraged to get up and move around as soon as possible - usually within 24 hours of your operation
  • A physiotherapist will visit you to advise you on any restrictions and give you exercises to help you regain mobility. You may be advised to avoid bending, twisting or lifting anything heavy for the first six weeks following surgery.

Going home after spinal decompression surgery in Brighton

  • The length of your stay in hospital will depend on the degree of decompression performed. Be sure and discuss this with your surgeon
  • Any stitches or staples will be removed 10 - 14 days after your operation
  • You will not be able to drive or return to work until you are released to do so at your follow-up appointment with your consultant. Please arrange for someone to take you home on the day of your discharge
  • You may feel very tired and sore for the first few weeks. It is important to rest and allow your body to heal
  • You will be encouraged to walk during your recovery. Start with short distances and build up slowly. Avoid sitting for long periods. Keeping mobile will help you to avoid DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following spinal decompression. As with any surgery there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (incision)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots (DVT - deep vein thrombosis)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Chest infection.

Specific complications of spinal decompression:

  • Bleeding in the spinal column
  • Continued pain or numbness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Infection in the spine
  • Nerve damage
  • Leaking of spinal fluid.
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