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Post Op Brain Surgery

Post Op in the Hospital

Intensive Care Unit bed (usually first 1-3 days)

  • Neurological exam is closely monitored

  • Post Op CT imaging and blood tests are routine

  • Breathing tube will be removed when safe

  • Compression stockings used to prevent blood clots

  • Urine (Foley) catheter used to monitor urine output

  • Mobilize out of bed to chair as soon as feasible

  • Gradually start meals the morning after surgery

  • Incision will have staples and antibiotic ointment covering (usually will not be covered by a head bandage)

  • Pain medicine and other Rx via I.V. (intravenous route)

Surgery Floor bed (after ICU stay; lasting 1-3 days)

  • Out of bed to chair and walking with physical therapy

  • Compression stockings used while in bed

  • Start Subcutaneous Heparin (for blood clot prevention)

  • Foley catheter is removed 

  • Advance to regular diet

  • May shower 48 hrs after surgery

  • Pain medicine and other Rx transition to oral route

  • Physical Therapy (PT) and Social Work (SW) evaluation for needs after discharge

  • Discharge may be to rehab, nursing care facility, home with home health, or home without special needs

  • You will be discharged from the hospital once you are deemed safe by PT

Recovery at Home:

First 7 to10 days:

  • Resume your pre-op Medications 

  • Restart Anti-Coagulant and Anti-Platelet medicine as directed

  • Take any new medications as directed

  • Shower every day, using only regular shampoo to gently clean the surgery site

  • Leave the surgery site/staples open to air

  • Swelling around the incision/face is expected to peak around 3-4 days after surgery and then slowly get better in 1-2 weeks

  • Limit exertion to less than 15 pounds of lifting

  • Start walking every day, up to 30 minutes a day, if able to do so safely

  • Staples removed around 7-10 days after surgery (in the neurosurgery office or by a physician in rehab, if still in rehabilitation facility)

1 to 2 months post op:

  • Continue to increase activities as tolerated

  • Post op pain is still expected, but it should slowly decrease by the end of this time

3 Months post op:

  • Follow up in Neurosurgery Office 3 moths after surgery for follow up

  • Post Op imaging (MRI) is usually done just prior to the 3 month office visit

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