Typically, patients are awake during halo removal, which takes place in a clinic. First, the doctor loosens the nuts on the vest and removes the uprights. Then, the nuts on the halo ring are loosened and a screwdriver is used to loosen the pins while someone is holding the ring. Once all the pins are loosened, the ring is lifted from the head. Long hair may complicate halo removal.
There will be small wounds left from the pins. Sometimes they will have a slight amount of bloody fluid, which can be remedied by bandages. All the pin sites will scab over within 24 to 48 hours. Caring for these pin-site openings is easy because you no longer need to clean the pins. Scars will remain but should fade considerably.
Once the halo is removed, your child may need to wear a collar for some time, as recommended by the surgeon. While your child may be completely healed at this time, the collar offers additional protection from overusing the neck and serves as a transition to normal use. With a collar, as with the halo, checking for skin breakdown should remain part of the daily routine. The collar shouldn’t rub, burn or hurt.