It’s important for you and your family to feel prepared for SDR surgery. SDR surgery reduces muscle spasticity permanently. As a result, your child must learn new patterns of walking and moving. Because the first weeks after surgery are critical for establishing those new patterns, Gillette provides intensive inpatient rehabilitation care following every SDR surgery.
Here are a few resources to help you get ready:
Overall health can affect how well and how quickly your child recovers from SDR surgery.
When scheduling surgery, we ask about the medicines your child takes. Before SDR surgery, your child might need to gradually stop taking some medicines, such as:
Time needed to wean off a medicine can vary. Your child might need to start the process one week before surgery, several months in advance, or somewhere in between. Talk with the health care provider who prescribes the medicine about this process.
Gillette is a latex-free facility, but it’s still important to tell us if your child has a latex allergy or has ever had a severe reaction to latex.
Sometimes fears, behavior or expectations related to the upcoming surgery cause stress for families. Contact your child’s primary health care provider or Child and Family Services for assistance.
Gillette can help with resources that might help reduce anxiety for all of your family members. Our child life specialists can provide emotional support and distractions (such as toys and movies we can bring to the preoperative waiting area before surgery begins). Child life specialists also can meet with your child’s siblings to address their feelings and concerns.
You’ll hear from us several weeks before surgery to schedule several preoperative appointments, which usually occur the day before surgery. Appointments typically include:
It’s important to plan well in advance for discharge from the hospital to address needs that might arise during—and after—the trip home. We’ll work with you to help make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible.
Your child will use a wheelchair for a while after leaving the hospital. We recommend making some arrangements before the surgery to ensure one is available when it's needed. Sometimes, it takes a while to obtain a child-size wheelchair.
If you don’t own a wheelchair, the rhizotomy team can help arrange to rent one from a local medical equipment vendor. Some insurance policies might require you to rent from a vendor closer to home if you don't live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Community physical therapists might also be able to recommend resources nearby.
Your child might also need a walker at home. The rhizotomy team can help arrange to obtain one before leaving the hospital.
If your family is flying to the Twin Cities for SDR surgery and a hospital stay—you should buy plane tickets with some flexibility for the return flight date, if possible. We’ll give you an estimated length of stay before you arrive at the hospital, although sometimes this estimate is adjusted after we start working with your child.
After leaving the hospital, your child will need physical therapy close to home. Appointments will be five days a week at first, then less frequent as progress continues in the months that follow. You’re encouraged to explore options for physical therapy services in your local community before surgery. Check with your health insurance provider to make sure services at specific locations are covered under your plan.