Vagal Nerve Stimulator Discharge Instructions

number 1 icon

About the Surgery

What is a Vagal Nerve Stimulator?

graphic illustration

Is an adjunctive treatment for epilepsy. An incision is made in the left side of the neck to expose the left vagal nerve. The VNS electrodes are wrapped around the nerve. A second incision is made in the chest wall, allowing the generator to be placed.

number 2 icon

Day of the Surgery

graphic illustration
  • Your surgical team will be with you every step of the way
  • You will be in the ICU after your surgery
number 3 icon

After the Surgery

Home Care

graphic illustration

Incision Care

  • Dressing is removed on post-operative day 2
  • Sutures are not typically used, you will see Dermabond (dissolvable glue) over incisions
  • Wash incision daily with mild shampoo/soap and water then pat dry (application of antibiotic ointment not necessary unless instructed by Neurosurgery team)
  • You may scrub incision lightly to help prevent scab formation
  • Do not use oils, lotions, or creams on incision
  • Do not scratch incision
  • No beach/pool ( 1st month after surgery) or  until cleared by provider
  • Avoid direct sunlight on incision


  • May not return to school  until cleared by neurosurgery
  • Keep activity level  back to normal or light until you are seen in clinic  

Pain control

  • You may alternate the following over the counter medications, which include:
    • Acetaminophen every 4 hours
    • Ibuprofen every 6 hours as needed (for infants over 6 months)

Follow-up Office Visit

  • You will be seen in Neurosurgery office approximately 14 days after leaving the hospital for physical evaluation and wound check
  • Follow up with neurology for management of VNS as indicated
number 4 icon

When to call the office

graphic illustration
  • Fever greater than 101.5°F oral or axillary (up to 1 month post-surgery)
  • Increased swelling, redness, and/or drainage around incision sites
number 5 icon


graphic illustration

Questions or Concerns?
Call us @ 305-662-8386

This page was last updated on: June 30, 2022 04:37 PM