Most children do very well after surgery. Your child will have pain medicine to keep them comfortable. We will watch your child in the intensive care unit for 1 to 2 days until we are sure they are doing well. Then your child will stay in a regular hospital room 2 to 3 days. Most children can go home 4 to 5 days after surgery.
Before your child goes home, your child’s team will explain any special care or precautions needed after surgery. Here are some typical things you can expect for your child:
- Return to regular activities at home and school within 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
- Avoid strenuous activities for 3 months and then slowly increase their activity over the next few months.
- Wear a helmet during activities like biking, skateboarding or inline skating.
- Avoid activities that involve head contact until your child’s doctor says it’s OK.
After pial synangiosis, new arteries start growing into the brain. This continues for at least a year. During this time, your child may have headaches or TIAs. Over time, this should improve. We ask you to keep track of your child’s symptoms so we can talk about them at follow-up visits and give your child any tests or treatments they need.
We tailor the follow-up schedule to your child’s needs. Here is what usually happens:
- About 2 weeks after surgery, the neurosurgery team will see your child for a follow-up visit. We check your child’s healing and remove their stitches.
- In about 3 months, a neurosurgeon and a neurologist will see your child for a follow-up visit. Your child will have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan and a cerebral angiogram. These tests check blood flow in the affected areas of your child’s brain.
- Each year, your child will have a brain scan.