how to prepare for shunt surgery

The best way to prepare for shunt surgery is by thinking about what questions you want to ask your healthcare professional team, and by being prepared to answer any questions they may have for you. There are several people you will meet before surgery.

The neurosurgeon.

The neurosurgeon is the doctor who will perform your shunt surgery. When you meet with your neurosurgeon before the surgery, you may want to ask about how long the surgery will take, the risks involved, and whether you should get your hair cut before surgery. You may also want to ask about how long you will have to be in the hospital, and how soon you can return to your normal activities.

The hospital office staff. When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery, you will meet with a member of the hospital office staff who will make sure all your paperwork is in order. He or she will ask you to sign a surgical consent form, which states that you give your permission for the surgery to be performed. If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian will need to sign the surgical consent form for you.

The nursing staff.

A member of the nursing staff will review your medical history and ask about any allergies you may have and any medicines you may be taking. It may be helpful to make a list of your allergies and medications before you leave for the hospital. so you don’t forget. This is especially important for people with hydrocephalus, because a disease associated with hydrocephalus, called myelomeningoceles, can cause some people to develop a potentially life-threatening allergy to latex. The nurse will also make sure that you are healthy enough to have surgery by checking your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing rate.

The anesthetist.

The anesthetist is the healthcare professional whose job it is to make sure you do not feel any pain during your surgery. You will actually be sleeping throughout the procedure and wake up after it’s over. Your anesthetist may be a doctor (called an anesthesiologist) or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (or CRNA). This person will ask you about your height, weight and age, as well as about any other surgeries you have had and whether you have ever had a problem with anesthesia.

The anesthetist may also ask you about any allergies you have and any medications you are taking, even though you may have already discussed this with the nurse. He or she may also ask you other questions about your health and physical condition. Be prepared to answer these questions to the best of your ability, and prepare some questions of your own. You may want to ask about the type of anesthesia you will have, how it will be given to you, and whether there are any alternative therapies.

Click to learn about the shunt surgery procedure

Click to learn about what to expect after shunt surgery

Click to learn more about outcomes of shunt surgery

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Did You Know?

a surgeon who specializes in performing surgery on the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord