Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
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Find out how to get to and around our nine locations — floor plans, parking, public transit, accessibility services, and shuttle information.
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You have your
pre-admission clinic appointment a few days or weeks before your surgery. This visit takes about
3 to 4 hours in order to obtain
blood work, an
x-ray and have a consultation with an anesthetist. The pre-admit nurse will review instructions on how to prepare for the surgery.
Please bring the following with you:
If there are any changes in the booking of your surgery, you will be called by the pre-admission department.
If you cannot go to your surgery, call the doctor's office as soon as you know. If you are unable to reach the doctor, then leave a message at the surgeon's office.
Part of planning for your surgery is making arrangements for someone to:
Day before your surgery
Day of surgery
When you arrive at the Pre-Operative Care Unit (POCU) in the Fell Pavilion (2nd floor) at 6:00 am, check in at the reception desk. Please have the following ready:
After check in, the nurse will admit you and help you get ready for surgery. They will check your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and breathing. They will also put an intravenous (IV) in your arm and help you change into a hospital gown.
We put a special frame on your head. This frame has 2 pins at the front and 2 at the back to keep your head still during surgery. We give you a medication (local anesthetic) with a small needle to numb the areas where the pins are put in.
You will have pictures taken of your brain. You will have a brain
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or
CT (Computed Tomography) scan. These tests create detailed images of your brain that help your neurosurgeon position the DBS electrodes. Please try to stay as still as possible. This helps the technician get the clearest pictures of your brain.
After the tests, you will go to the holding area. A nurse will check that everything is ready for your surgery. You will see the anesthetist, who will give your anesthetic and monitor your during your surgery.
When everything is ready, you go to the operating room. The surgical team helps you move onto the operating table and get comfortable. The table is angled so your back is raised, but not all the way. Your head frame is attached to the table to keep your head still.
Step 1: Placing the Electrodes
You may be given a sedative to make you relaxed but awake enough to answer questions about how and what you feel when the electrodes are stimulated. Your answers help the neurosurgeon confirm the right placement of the electrodes.
The neurosurgeon will:
Step 2: Placing the Extension Wires and IPG
The anesthetist will give you medication (general anesthetic) so you will be asleep during this part of the surgery.
The surgeon will:
Step 1 takes 4 to 6 hours, depending on the number of electrodes needed and complexity of the surgery. Some patients have step 1 and 2 done together. Others have Step 1 and 2 done separately, two or three days apart. If you are having Step 2 later, the end of your electrodes will be left outside of your head and covered by a bandage.
Step 2 takes about 45 minutes.
When the surgery is finished, you will go to the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) for 1 to 3 hours to recover.
When you are ready, you will go to your room on the
Neurosurgery Unit 5A or
The day after your surgery, we may invite you to take part in research studies to help us learn more about how the brain works. You can decide whether or not you wish to take part. Your decision will not affect your care in any way.
You can expect to go home 1 or 2 days after the IPG is placed in your chest.
Before you leave the hospital, we will:
On the day you go home, please arrange to be picked up before 11:00 am.