Drs: Deep Brain Stimulation + Questions To Ask Before Surgery

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The Drs: Suffering From Dystonia


The Doctors shared that Bianca had debilitating, uncontrollable muscle spasms, but now a breakthrough treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is giving her hope. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that most often appears in early childhood. It can affect many parts of the body, causing muscles to twist, jerk, or spasm momentarily. Researchers believe the disorder is brought on by damage to the part of the brain that causes motor function technique.

Bianca Celis shared that she had dystonia, starting when she was 9 years old. She even had to start using a wheelchair because she couldn’t walk. Bianca actually found out about the deep brain stimulation that Children’s Hospital was doing, and sent an email to the hospital saying she wanted it.

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The Drs: Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

Drs: Deep Brain Stimulation + Questions To Ask Before Surgery

The Doctors shared what five questions you should ask before surgery. (armymedicine / flickr)

They first tried to improve the function of her wrist without making her walking worse. Dr Terence Sanger explained that deep brain stimulation was originally developed for tremors and Parkinson’s disease in adults. It’s basically a pacemaker for the brain because wires are inserted deeply into the brain, and then the wire is tunneled out of the brain to a pacemaker in the chest. Electrical pulses are sent through the wires at a high speed, even faster than the neurons in the brain can keep up, which blocks abnormal activity.

Although you can still see that the dystonia is there, Bianca is doing much better. Her walking and hand function is much better. If your child was suffering from such a debilitating condition, would you consider using cutting-edge technology like this or is it still too new to trust? What do you think?

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The Drs: What To Ask Your Surgeon

The Doctors then shared that an estimated 300,000 patients will die an accidental death in hospitals this year, and many of those are unnecessary procedures. They were joined by Dr Paul Ruggieri, who recently wrote a book called The Cost of Cutting.

The Doctors want to make sure that if you’re recommended a procedure or surgery, you know what questions to ask. Dr Ruggieri said you should first know why you’re there. “If you know what the problem is going in, you’ll know what the answers are going out,” he said.

The Drs: Questions To Ask Before Surgery

You should also find out if surgery is the absolute answer for your problem. Also ask the surgeon about their experience with the procedure and how often they perform it. High volume surgeons are much better than low volume surgeons, so be wary if they tell you they only perform this once a month or even less.

Dr Ruggieri also said you want to know what the possible complications are, whether they have happened to that surgeon, and how he deals or would deal with them. Lastly, you should ask if the surgeon will see you every day after the surgery, because sometimes surgeons perform the surgery and then never see the patient again.

Are there any questions you would ask that they didn’t mention? Do you feel more prepared for a surgery now that you know what to ask before?

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