As the brain surgery is a big operation, it usually takes 4 to 8 weeks to recover from brain surgery. Somehow, the incisions could be sore for about five days after surgery.
What happens when the patient wakes up after surgery?
In most cases, patients wake up on their own after the surgery. Sometimes, the surgeon may prefer to keep the patient asleep by giving sedatives for better recovery. Also, the patient is on a ventilator, to breathe.
In certain cases, the patient must discuss with their specialist about what is likely to happen post-operative treatment so that the patient and family can make arrangements accordingly.
The patient is likely to feel sleepy and drowsy after wake up which is normal because of anesthesia and painkillers.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Management of Brain Tumors
The patient is kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit (HDU) for a day or so, depending on the overall condition. In the ICU or HDU, the patient is given thorough nursing care. The patient is sent to the ICU to check over the progress done after the surgery.
Post Surgery Care and Recovery | Treatment for Brain Surgery
As brain surgery is a major operation, the doctor has to observe after every 15 minutes. The doctor does regular neurological observations to check how the patient progresses. The nurse may try to ask a few questions while checking your eyes to see if the pupils react. The nurse will also keep a regular check on blood pressure, pulse rating and heart monitoring.
Also, there is a dressing over your wound which is usually kept for five days. Your surgeon will remove the stitches between five to 14 days after surgery. Sometimes, the surgeon uses stitches that dissolve by themselves and don’t need the removal process.
Does the patient have to shave their head before the surgery?
Well, it totally depends on which part of the brain is getting treated. Sometimes, the doctor prefers to shave a particular area and not the whole of it. At first, it may be a shock to the patient. However, the hair will eventually grow up. The shaven head may be itchy at first and the patient has to avoid scratching near the wound.
Surgical Drain Care | Brain Surgery
As brain surgery is a complicated process and the patient has several tubes post-operative treatment. This can be a bit disturbing at first; however, not everyone has all these tubes. These tubes may include:
Oxygen: It is quite common and given to the patient over the mouth and nose for extra oxygen.
Drips: The patient can’t have the usual drinks and meals immediately after the surgery. Therefore, several drips are given for medicines, fluids, and blood transfusion. These drips are either attached to a cannula - a small tube in the hand, arm or a long line in the neck called central line.
Urinary catheter: It is attached to check the amount of urine the patient is making. This ensures the patient is getting enough fluids.
Nasogastric Tube: The tube is taped to the nose and cheek which helps with sickness.
Drains: Depending on the condition of the wound, the patient might have one or more tubes coming out of the wound which are connected to bags or bottles. This drains extra fluid coming out of the brain and prevents the fluid building up.
A tube into an artery: The doctor may insert a tube in the artery to take blood samples and measure the blood pressure.
An intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor: This tube is connected from the head to monitor the pressure inside the head. This tube is usually removed after a day or so.
As brain surgery is a crucial surgery, it must be considered by a team of skilled and experienced surgeons. India is a go-to destination for medical treatment due to the availability of qualified neurosurgeons, well-equipped hospitals, medical visa, health insurance and yes, the ‘cost’ factor. The brain tumor surgery cost in India ranges between USD 5500 to USD 7500 depending on the size, location and type of tumor, type of surgery, total stay in India, tests required, etc.
Brain Scans after Surgery | Brain Tumor Treatment
The patient might have an MRI scan or CT scan two to three days after surgery. This scan shows if there is any tumor left or the degree of swelling in the operated area.
The patient has to intake the proper amount of fluids to avoid dehydration. Also, the patient must have prescribed painkillers and steroids to avoid further problems. If the patient follows the surgeon’s instructions properly, then the wound will be recovered within the required timeframe.