Any surgery requires intensive care and rehabilitation afterward. But for surgeries that involve tumors of the brain, post-surgery care is extra important to follow. A patient’s recovery will depend on the type and extent of the surgery, but know that recovering from a tumor will take some time. Your doctor might advise you to stay in the hospital anywhere up to ten days after the procedure. Your stay might also take longer, depending on how well you progress and if any complications arise.
After surgery, you can expect any number of side effects that may include dizziness, temporary confusion and some behavioral changes. You can expect doctors and nurses to check on you frequently to make sure there are no concerns or excessive swelling. While in the hospital, the neurosurgery intensive care ward will be quiet and subdued; don’t expect lots of noise and visitors will be limited in number and certain hours. Of course you will feel discomfort, but that is to be expected after any major surgery. Don’t be alarmed if you feel weak or have trouble organizing your thoughts or speaking; part of this may be due to surgery and the other part may be due to exhaustion.
Rehabilitative and Physical Therapies
You have just had brain surgery. And just like you would with any other procedure, you will need rehabilitative therapies. In the case of tumor removals, a rehabilitative therapist will help you re-learn or re-master basic skills through occupational and speech therapy; these therapies may start as soon as while you are still in the hospital. An occupational or physical therapist will work with you to ensure you know how to safely exit a bed, climb steps, and get into and out of a car. You will learn exercises to help you improve your strength and regain coordination and balance. Expect these therapies to continue for a while, long after you have left the hospital and have returned home.
Going Home and When to Call Your Doctor
Your doctor will brief you and your family on what to do once you go home. This includes ensuring proper aftercare as well as any other maintenance measures you need to observe. Specifically, if you notice any symptoms that are of concern or potentially life threatening, waste no time calling your doctor and seeking emergency medical care. These symptoms may include –
- Trouble breathing
- Sudden or increasing seizures
- Escalating confusion/forgetfulness or hallucinations
- Concerning changes in behavior
- Increasing fatigue
- Weakness and trouble walking
- Intense headaches or numbness
- Speech problems
Your doctor may suggest other therapy options depending on your needs. Aside from supplementary therapies, it’s also recommended that you observe a healthier lifestyle to avoid any risk of complications. That means refraining from smoking, reducing or eliminating alcohol intake, exercising, and eating healthy. When in doubt, always check with your doctor about the activities that you can or cannot do.
Tumor Surgery in Colorado
If you live in or around Colorado Springs and are seeking world-class neurosurgical care, look no further than Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, where board-certified neurosurgeons Dr. Michael Rauzzino and Dr. Kevin L Boyer have used their expertise to ensure comprehensive, patient-centered care designed to achieve the best possible outcomes. If you have experienced an injury, have a nerve and spine or cranial condition; or have questions about how our services can help you or someone you love, please call Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery today at (303) 790-1800 or use our online form to request an appointment. With three locations to best serve you, your health is our priority, and we are looking forward to serving you.