I've seen 2 very reputable surgeon here in the DC area. Both want to do an Alif for S1-L5, and a lateral for L3/4. One does the whole surgery all at once, including rods and screws (6 hrs?) The other surgeon wants to also include a plate in the S1/L5 Alif, go in laterally for L3/4 and then wait 2 days in hospital before inserting rods and screws using small posterior cuts. Both sound very scary to me. 1) Anyone here know what the advantage of adding a plate is? 2) And going in thru the back using small cuts for the rods and screws actually makes me wonder how does one sleep if you've been incised everywhere. 3) And lastly, has anyone had a surgery that has been 6hrs plus?I looked at the different types of fusions on this site; they're great but i can't find any info in regard to my questions. Sorry this is so long but Im feeling terrified.