I just wanted to write a quick blog post about Seth and his recent surgeries. In November we had scheduled his leg surgery for Jan 17th. In early December we met with our neurologist and asked her what she thought about the VNS and she thought we should do it because Seth will always have epilepsy so if we get the VNS and he can actually get off some medicine that could be really good for him. So Mike and I talked about it and we thought well if we could just do both surgeries at the same time that would be ideal because in the past when he goes under anesthesia he tends to have more seizures and so we thought one less time under would be better. So we contacted his neurosurgeon that would be placing the VNS and asked if they could both be done at the same time. We got word in January that both surgeons agreed to do them at the same time.
The surgeries that he got done were:
1. gastrocnemius recession. Seth's brain tells him it is normal to point his toes. He has been doing this since he was born and over time it has shortened his leg muscles to the point where it is extremely difficult for him to get to 90 degrees. So for the surgery they made an incision in the back of his leg by his calf and went in and lengthened the gastrocnemius muscle so that he can get his foot to 90 degrees. This will make it easier for him to get into his AFO's and hopefully standing. He will be in casts for 4 to 5 weeks.
2. Vagus Nerve Stimulator. They basically inserted a device (like a pacemaker for the brain) on the left side of his chest right below his collarbone. It is set to send mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain every 5 minutes for 30 seconds. This is the lowest setting. When we see his neurologist in early Feb she will set it a little stronger. They will work up to the amp and duration that they think is needed for him. Click here for more information.
He was scheduled for the leg surgery first at 10 but it was moved back to 10:30 and then the Neurosurgeon was next with the VNS. He was in surgery for a little over 3 hours and then we got to go and see him in recovery. We were told we were for sure staying the night but both doctors said that he was okay to go home that day. It took him a really long time to come out of the anesthesia, I mean a really long time. He was still completely out of it driving home.
Both Surgeries went the best they could and we will go back to see the Neurosurgeon for a check up in Feb and we will see his orthopedic in 4 to 5 weeks to get the casts off. Here are a few pictures from friday.