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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

3 Helpful Post-Surgery Tips For Parents With Babies Undergoing Surgery For Craniosynostosis

by Francisco Arnold

Craniosynostosis is a serious problem that can happen in some babies in which sutures can close too early. This causes problems with brain and skull growth. If your baby is diagnosed with this condition, surgery may be required. If it is, these post-surgery tips are important to know about. 

Understand What's Normal  

Before your baby has this procedure performed, it's a good idea as the parent to understand what is normal after the surgery is performed. Knowing this information helps you identify potential problems quickly.

After a craniosynostosis surgery, there will be stitches on the top of their head. They will travel from ear to ear. Your baby's face will be pretty swollen, sometimes to the point where their eyes don't open. These physical effects are perfectly normal. If your baby displays side-effects other than the ones just mentioned, it's a good idea to schedule a consultation with your doctor just as a precaution. 

Keep Suture Line Clean 

As mentioned above, your baby will have sutures on the top of their head. It's important to keep these sutures clean so that an infection doesn't spread and cause your baby to get sick. 

Cleaning these sutures isn't that difficult, fortunately. You'll just need to rinse with baby shampoo and warm water each day. Also, you'll need to use the ointment that the doctor gives you. Place it directly on the suture line so that your baby's incision can heal like it's supposed to.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Even if your baby's incision seems to be healing normally after the procedure, it's still important to schedule follow-ups with your baby's primary physician. They can carefully check the suture line, making sure the incision is healing like it's supposed to. 

They'll also inspect your baby's head and facial structure to make sure everything is going smoothly. If they notice any potential problems, they'll recommend corrective surgeries to ensure your baby has a normal head size. This isn't just important for aesthetic reasons either. It ensures there's enough space between the brain and skull, preventing there from being excess pressure.

If your baby is diagnosed with craniosynostosis, you may be extremely worried. You don't want anything happening to your baby. The best way to respond to this medical condition is to talk to a doctor about surgery. If the surgery is recommended, it's your job to know what post-surgery requires. Then, you'll be prepared for everything.