What Are The Postoperative Steps After Brain Tumor Surgery?

February 2, 2024 0

In 2023, an estimated 24,810 adults (14,280 men and 10,530 women) in the United States were diagnosed with primary cancerous tumors of the brain. Brain tumors account for 85% to 90% of all primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. 

Worldwide, an estimated 308,102 people were diagnosed with a primary brain or spinal cord tumor in 2020. For brain tumors, surgery plays a crucial role in treating primary brain tumors, offering a chance for diagnosis, tumor removal, and improved quality of life for individuals facing this challenging condition.

However, after undergoing brain tumor surgery, the recovery phase is critical for a patient’s overall health and healing. This phase involves steps to ensure a smooth transition from the operation room to postoperative care. 

Dr. Vikas excels in post-surgery care for brain tumor patients. His expertise involves overseeing recovery after brain tumor removal, ensuring patients receive proper attention and support. With a compassionate approach, he monitors progress, manages complications, and guides patients through rehabilitation. Dr. Vikas focuses on aiding patients to regain their health and normalcy after brain tumor surgery, ensuring a smoother recovery journey. Here’s a comprehensive insight into what happens during the immediate post-surgery and the initial days afterward.

What Does The Immediate Post-Surgery Period Include?

Transition to the Recovery Room

Following brain tumor surgery, patients are transferred to the recovery room. Here, they receive vigilant monitoring by nursing staff to ensure a stable recovery before moving back to the ward. Depending on the operation’s nature, some individuals might initially require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit (HDU).

After brain tumor surgery, Dr. Vikas emphasizes personalized care for recovery. He has overseen many successful post-surgery cases, ensuring each patient receives tailored attention.

What Happens During The Initial Recovery Phase?

Emergence from Anesthesia

Most patients regain consciousness within a few hours post-surgery. In some cases, surgeons may opt to keep patients sedated for a few days to aid in their recovery process, using sedatives for this purpose.

Monitoring and Observations

Upon awakening, patients are closely monitored, undergoing frequent checks to assess their neurological status. These checks include vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, along with neurological assessments to gauge alertness and responses.

Managing Swelling and Discomfort

Patients might experience postoperative discomfort, with noticeable swelling and bruising in the head or face. This swelling diminishes gradually over time, while any stitches or clips used during surgery are typically removed within 5 to 14 days. Patients are reassured that their hair will grow back if shaved and are advised not to scratch the area near the wound.

What Care Is Taken In ICU Or HDU?

Specialized Care and Monitoring

For some, a temporary stay in the ICU or HDU is necessary after the recovery room. In these units, patients receive intensive, personalized nursing care and close medical supervision to monitor their progress and health. Frequent neurological observations and checks ensure meticulous care tailored to each individual’s needs.

Tubes, Drains, and Monitoring Devices

Patients may notice several tubes and monitoring devices in place, serving various purposes, such as supplying oxygen, administering fluids, draining fluids from the surgery site, and measuring urinary output. Tubes for nasal gastric and intracranial pressure monitoring may also be present.

What Are Post-Op Recovery Measures?

Pain Control

  • Medications for pain management will be provided upon discharge. Avoid ibuprofen for two weeks and aspirin for four weeks post-surgery.
  • Be mindful of the acetaminophen (Tylenol) content in prescription pain meds (e.g., Vicodin, Percocet) and limit additional Tylenol intake to 4000 mg in 24 hours.

Incision Care

  • Staples or sutures on your head will be removed during a follow-up visit (7 to 10 days post-surgery). Mild shampoo use starts 48 hours after surgery.
  • Wash hair after four weeks post-discharge, avoiding incision touch.

Activity and Recovery

  • Limit lifting, pushing, or pulling to under 10 pounds for four weeks.
  • Early movement post-surgery is vital; begin walking with support and get plenty of rest. Avoid strenuous activity for four weeks and slowly reintroduce exercise at four weeks post-surgery.
  • Refrain from high-risk activities causing head trauma (e.g., contact sports, skiing) for eight weeks.
  • Plan for a recovery period of 4 to 6 weeks away from work.


  • You may resume driving a week post-surgery if not using narcotic pain meds and without neurological impairments affecting driving. If seizures occur, refrain from driving for 90 days post-surgery.

Adhering to these guidelines supports a steady recovery after brain surgery, aiding in healing and minimizing potential complications.

“Dr. Vikas Gupta’s exceptional care after my brain surgery was remarkable. His guidance ensured my smooth recovery. I’m grateful for his expertise and support during this crucial phase.” – Ananya Mishra.

“After brain surgery, Dr. Vikas provided excellent postoperative care. His attention to detail and compassionate approach significantly impacted my recovery. Thank you, Dr. Vikas!” – Rohan Patel.

What Is the Cost of Brain Tumor Surgery in India?

The expense of brain tumor operation in India fluctuates between INR 1,90,000 and INR 4,50,000 (USD 5500 and USD 7500). The cost could change by several other factors, such as the complexity of the operation, the type of operation done, the hospital chosen, physician’s fees, diagnostic processes, and much more.


The postoperative care for brain tumor patients involves a detailed monitoring process, vigilant care, and management of potential complications. Understanding and recognizing the importance of each stage in the recovery journey assists patients and their families navigate this challenging phase. Close collaboration with healthcare providers, adherence to prescribed medications, and gradual resumption of daily activities ensure each patient’s smooth and successful recovery.


  1. When can I resume my regular exercise routine?

Gradually reintroduce exercise after four weeks, ensuring not to engage in strenuous activities for the first four weeks.

  1. Can I color my hair soon after surgery?

Avoid hair coloring for four weeks post-surgery to allow for proper healing.

  1. How long should I avoid high-risk activities like contact sports?

Refrain from high-risk activities that may cause head trauma, such as contact sports or skiing, for eight weeks.

  1. When is it safe to return to work after brain tumor surgery?

Plan for a recovery period of 4 to 6 weeks away from work to aid in healing and prevent overexertion.

  1. Can I resume heavy lifting after brain surgery?

To prevent strain or complications, avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling more than 10 pounds for four weeks post-surgery.

Read More : What Are the Benefits and Risks of Brain Tumor Surgery?

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