In preparation for the surgery, we recommend that you focus on eating well and exercising regularly.
If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood glucose under control in the weeks surrounding the surgery. Similarly, if you have high blood pressure, it is important to take your medications regularly and monitor your blood pressure frequently. These steps will help reduce the risks of complications at and around the time of surgery. If you have a specific medical problem, we may recommend that you obtain clearance or recommendations from your physician before the surgery.
If you use a blood thinner (aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis, etc.) the medication will need to be stopped prior to the surgery. Your physician and Dr. Langevin will determine the specific timing for stopping the medication as it will vary based on the specific blood thinner received and the condition which is treated by the blood thinner. If you consume alcohol regularly, it is also recommended to stop a few weeks before the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding and facilitate the post-operative recovery.
On the day of the surgery, we recommend that you hold your Parkinson’s disease or tremor medication. The presence of symptoms can help us test the position of the electrode intra-operatively. However, blood pressure medications should generally be taken with a sip of water.
Recovering from the surgery
The hospitalization after DBS placement is typically brief and most patients can return home the day after surgery. Once at home, it is important to continue taking your medications for Parkinson’s disease and tremor. The DBS is not ON after the surgery and the generator (battery) is implanted one week after the electrodes are inserted. The battery insertion is done under general anesthesia and does not require a hospital stay. We also recommend to continue following a healthy diet and gentle exercise, especially frequent walks. More strenuous activity or lifting more than 10 lbs is not recommend during the first month after surgery since the incisions are still healing and your energy level is likely not back to its baseline. After the first month, most activities can be resumed gradually.