Pre-Surgical Monitoring

Any time a boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy needs or is considering surgery, there are several important steps that healthcare providers should take.

  • Choose a safer anesthetic agent, including nitrous oxide, propofol, opiates, barbiturates, ketamine, and non-depolarizing muscle relaxants.
  • When planning the surgery, take into account the tendency for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to bleed more than usual.
  • Evaluate lung function and consider the effects of lung function on surgery outcome. Talk with the family about ventilation plans for after the surgery is complete.
  • Evaluate heart function, generally by using echocardiogram, and consider the effects of heart function on the surgery outcome.
  • Consider nutritional status. If the person is underweight, healthcare providers need to determine how to increase calorie intake before surgery.

To learn more:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Cardiovascular health supervision for individuals affected by Duchenne or Becker Muscular Dystrophy. Pediatrics 2005 116: 1569-1573.
  • Vroom, Margaret. Anesthesia in Children with Muscular Dystrophy: Important Information for Your Son's Doctor. From Parent Project Newsletter 4/97