Preparing for surgery

Have a child with SM/Chiari? Share issues unique to children and their caregivers.

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Preparing for surgery

Postby sheila » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:32 pm

My daughter who is almost 19 has had 86 neuro surgeries, 70 have been VP Shunt revisions or shunt related as she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 6 months old. She was recently diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and as the symptons have become more apparent and the MRI has indicated change we are preparing for surgery next week at UCLA. She has been a patient of UCLA, Dr Jorge Lazareff for the last 17 years and Dr Warwick Peacock prior to that both of which have been life saving and maintain hearts of gold. We are still not all that familiar with the diagnosis and uncertain as to what to expect. We will be meeting with her doctor prior to surgery so that he can answer our questions. Can someone please provide me with a little in sight as to how long the surgery usually lasts? how many days in hospital? recovery? Thanks for any feed back as it is greatly appreciated.
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Postby youngwife » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:45 pm

My daughter, whom is thirteen, had surgery for her chiari last October. She is now a new person.

First, I would recommend doing lots of research on the topic. It sounds like you have good docs, but you still need to be very informed.

Second, Rachael's surgery was about 2-2.5 hours long. She was in the hospital for four days. The surgery was very difficult, and the recovery was slow. But, oh so worth it. :)

If you have any other questions, I will try my best to help.

Homeschooling mom to 6 wonderful blessings from the Lord. ~ "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." - Ephesians 4:29
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Postby Sara » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:38 am

Hello and welcome
I am sorry to hear of your daughters difficulties with shunts. My daughter is also shunt dependent so I know how frustrating it is.

Dr Lazareth is well known and respected. A decompression is very different from both a shunt placment and shunt revision. Because they go through neck muscles, the recovery is likely going to be longer and more difficult. Holly was away from me for 9 hours, but of course that included anesthesia prep and recovery. She spent one day in ICU and 4 days in the regular room. The first couple days were the hardest, after which she gradually recovered and regained her strength. Physical therapy came and worked with her and she continued to do neck excercises post discharge for a about 2 months until she had full range of motion. She went back to school 4 weeks post op.

If you have any q let us know
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