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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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Essential Tremor and Deep Brain Stimulation

When Will I Be Able to Go Home After Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery?

The average hospital stay for deep brain stimulation surgery is two to three days.

How Should I Care for the Surgical Area Once I Am Home?

  • Your stitches or staples will be removed seven to 10 days after surgery.
  • Each of the four pin sites should be kept covered with band-aids until they are dry. These should be changed every day as necessary.
  • You will be able to wash your head with a damp cloth, avoiding the surgical area.
  • You may shampoo your hair the day after your stitches or staples are removed, but only very gently.
  • You should not scratch or irritate the wound areas.

Will I Have to Limit Activity Following Deep Brain Stimulation?

  • You should not engage in light activities for two weeks after deep brain stimulation surgery. This includes housework and sexual activity.
  • You should not engage in heavy activities for four to six weeks after surgery. This includes jogging, swimming, or any other aerobic activity.
  • You should not lift more than five pounds for at least two weeks.
  • Depending on the type of work you do, you may return to work within four to six weeks.

Warning About Deep Brain Stimulation

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after deep brain stimulation surgery:

  • Severe and persistent headaches
  • Bleeding from your incision
  • Increased redness or swelling in the area of the incision
  • Loss of vision
  • A sudden change in vision
  • A persistent temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

Can I Use Electrical Devices After Deep Brain Stimulation?

While you should be able to use most electronic devices after DBS surgery, you should be aware that:

  • Some devices, such as theft detectors and screening devices, like those found in airports, department stores, and public libraries, may be triggered by your device. It may take extra time to go through airport security. Always carry the identification card given to you. With this, you may request assistance to bypass those devices.
  • You will be able to use home appliances, computers, and cellular phones. They do not usually interfere with your implanted stimulator.
  • You will be provided with a magnet to activate and deactivate your stimulator. This magnet may damage televisions, credit cards, and computer discs. Always keep it at least one foot away from these items.


 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on November 16, 2015
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