Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Survivors Guide to VNS: Part 6 – Day of Surgery

Your surgeon will call the VNS surgery: “out patient surgery”. In this case, what out-patient means is that your hospital will be your own bed at your own house and that your nurse will be a family member or friend who is willing to take care of you for a couple of days.

My surgeon offered local anesthesia or general anesthesia for the surgery. General has more risk as they put your body completely to sleep. I opted for this method as I really did not want to be awake as they were cutting into my chest & neck.

You will probably get some sheet with a list of instructions on what to do and not to do with regards to your surgery, here are a few tips they may have left out or did not emphasize enough:

Driving Home
You won’t be able to drive home after surgery… in fact, if you got the general anesthesia, you will be lucky to get in the vehicle without help, so make sure you have someone to cart you back to your domicile and feed you some well earned pain medications.

Remember that Phenegran that I recommended getting? Take that when you get home along with some of that “sick food” crackers & sprite. The general anesthesia and any other meds you took may cause you to get nauseaus… best to stop it before it starts.

Pain Meds
Hopefully you got your pain meds the day before like I suggested, because you are going to need them. Take them as prescribed and you will probably end up sleeping most of the day… and through the night.

Seizure Meds
Still got to take those too. So make sure that someone is around to keep track of all the pills you will be taking.

Don’t plan on doing anything but laying in bed the day of your surgery. Pile those pillows up and try not to move your neck too much.


andy said...

Hey, Its great to find such an extensive blog about the VNS, my son Thomas has had his VNS for exactly 1 year today !!

He is getting on really well with it, although it has taken a bit of time to get the settings right.

I blogged about it on my blog, with some nice pictures of the device and of Thomas on the day of surgery..

Have a look i hope you like my post as much as i liked yours.

All the best Andy & Tom.

copperpaws said...

Thanks for this "play by play" - it's really given me more of a feel for what to expect - I will have to have mine done under local anesthesia because of my tendency to "code" under general anesthesia. But I've had some pretty intensive eye surgeries where I was awake for it, and I can't imagine this being any worse, so I guess if they just make me loopy enough I really won't care!