How long is the hospital stay after hemispherectomy?
After epilepsy surgery, children will spend 2-3 days in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for close monitoring of their neurological status. Antiepileptic medications are continued at previous doses. Antiepileptic drug levels in the blood for some anti-epileptics, like carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, are monitored during this period because of the drug interaction with anesthesia. An MRI is performed on the first postoperative morning to assess the brain after resection. Once the surgical drains are removed, the patient will be transferred to a regular pediatric nursing floor. PT, OT and speech therapy will be consulted based on the child’s needs. An average hospital stay slightly varies between patient to patient and usually ranges from 5 to 7 days. Length of stay decisions are made by the surgical team and are based on the child’s condition and recovery.
What happens after being discharged from hemispherectomy?
Upon discharge, rehabilitation services are often required to enhance recovery from a hemispherectomy. If medically indicated, the child may be transferred to a rehab facility for intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy. This is usually followed by home or outpatient services. If inpatient rehabilitation is not required, home or outpatient therapy visits are often indicated. Outpatient therapy can be provided through hospitals and free-standing facilities and schools. Parents should check with individual school systems to see if this is a service provided.