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Brain tumor surgery is performed to remove a brain tumor.
Craniotomy is the most common method used to remove a brain tumor.
During surgery, the maximum number of tumors are removed. Most primary brain tumors are surgically removed, however there are some tumors that may not be removed completely. In these cases, the tumor may only be debulked in which the tumor’s size is reduced. This is helpful in relieving some symptoms.
The patient may need to undergo chemotherapy along with surgery.
How is a Brain Tumor Surgery Performed?
The patient is given anesthesia. The patient’s scalp is shaved. Then an incision is made in the scalp, after which a piece of the skull is cut out with a special saw. The whole tumor or part of it is removed. After the tumor is removed, the piece of bone is put back in the skull and the incision is closed with clips or staples and covered with dressing and bandage.
How to Prepare for the Surgery?
Duration of procedure/surgery:
- The patient is examined by the doctor and the overall health of the patient is reviewed.
- The patient should inform the doctor about any allergies to medication.
- Certain medication that the patient is taking may be stopped some days before the surgery.
- The patient should avoid eating solid or liquid food about 8 hours prior to the surgery.
- The patient should avoid smoking some weeks before the surgery.
- The patient’s colon may be required to be cleansed and emptied.
The surgery will take several hours depending on the size and position of the tumors that need to be removed. Certain technical factors may also affect the duration of the surgery.
Approximately 2 weeks
- After the surgery the patient is taken to the recovery room.
- The patient is shifted to the neurosurgery ward once the patient regains consciousness.
- The patient is then closely monitored in the ICU. The patient’s pupil reactions are tested and limb movements are evaluated.
- The patient may experience nausea and headache.
- The eyes may also swell and be bruised due to the surgery.
- The wound will feel uncomfortable for many weeks.
- Pain medication may be prescribed by the doctor.
- The scar will heal slowly and become less noticeable in 6 to 12 months.
- Partial recovery is possible in 1 to 4 weeks. The patient may be able to fully recover in 8 weeks after the surgery.
The risks associated with a brain tumor surgery may include the following:
- Blood clots
- Injury to normal nerve tissues
- Damage to a normal brain tissue leading to loss of specific brain functions and impairments
- Sensory impairments
- The bandages on the surgical wounds need to be removed and replaced regularly.
- The scalp should be kept dry when the staples are not removed.
- The patient may be required to take up certain therapies to improve strength and coordination.
- Scalp hair may be washed in about 2 weeks after surgery.
- Hair dyes and any hair cosmetics should be avoided.
- The patient may be advised to avoid taking flights for about a month after the surgery as the cabin pressure may cause some problems to the patient’s brain.
- The doctor should be consulted about the nature of the work if the patient is resuming job.
- Sports such as boxing and rugby should be avoided for a minimum of 12 months after the surgery.
- The patient should avoid drinking alcohol in large amounts as this may lead to seizures.
Learn more about Brain Tumor