What to Expect After the Wada Test

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If you have any questions, please contact Karen Secore, Nurse Navigator for the Cottage Epilepsy Center at: 805-832-3633

Because of the sedative nature of the medication used and because the puncture of the groin blood vessel has a higher risk of bleeding, you will be asked to stay 4-6 hours in the recovery area. Please have someone drive you home after you are discharged.

  • For several hours you will be asked to keep your leg straight and will remain flat in bed.
  • A nurse will check the groin site and your vital signs frequently for several hours.
  • You may eat whenever you feel ready to.
  • You will be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to flush the contrast medium and medication out of your kidneys.
  • You will be given instructions for checking the groin site after you are discharged.

Risks of Wada Testing

As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks to Wada testing. While these risks are rare, most patients do not experience any complications. The possible risks include:

  • Sensitivity to the contrast medium: Reactions could include nausea, hives and itching. In rare instances, patients may experience difficulty breathing. Please know that our specially educated and trained team is aware of these potential risks and will always be present to support your needs and concerns. Let your physician know if you have any allergies to dyes or have diabetes or asthma.
  • Bleeding or hematoma: Insertion of the catheter requires a puncture of a blood vessel. If blood should leak around the catheter into the tissue, a hematoma (swollen area filled with blood) may result. It may become black and blue but will resolve in time as the blood is reabsorbed into the body.
  • Sensitivity to the sodium amytal: Sodium amytal is a strong sedative. Rarely does it cause difficulty breathing and low blood pressure. All necessary equipment is available if needed.
  • Blood Clots: While extremely rare, clotting could occur in the leg or brain. If a clot were to be dislodged, a stroke could result. The chance of this happening is less than 1% (or 1 in 1,000).

Cottage Locations

Support Group

Doctor speaking with a patient

Cottage Epilepsy Center offers a support group for patients and their families to discuss issues related to the condition and the effect that it has on the patient and family. For more information call, 805-832-3633.

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