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Recovery from a craniotomy.
What is normal during the recovery period,and how long does it last? My mum had a craniotomy 3 months ago but is no better but was told 3-6 months recovery but is having an awful lot of swelling in her face up and down from day to day and still has black eyes. She has alot of sensitivity to lights of all kinds and we've been given no information whatsoever and would just like to know what should be happening and what shouldn't. Any information would be recieved gratefully thx.
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Hi,
How is your mom feeling now?
Craniotomy is a major surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia. Immediately after surgery, the patient's pupil reactions are tested, mental status is assessed after anesthesia, and movement of the limbs (arms/legs) is evaluated.
Shortly after surgery, breathing exercises are started to clear the lungs. Typically, after surgery patients are given medications to control pain, swelling, and seizures. Codeine may be prescribed to relive headache.
Special leg stockings are used to prevent blood clot formation after surgery. Patients can usually get out of bed in about a day after surgery and usually are hospitalized for five to 14 days after surgery. The bandages on the skull are be removed and replaced regularly.
The sutures closing the scalp are removed by the surgeon, but the soft wires used to reattach the portion of the skull that was removed are permanent and require no further attention. Patients should keep the scalp dry until the sutures are removed. If required (depending on area of brain involved), occupational therapists and physical therapist assess the patient's status postoperatively and help the patient improve strength, daily living skills and capabilities, and speech.
Full recovery may take up to two months, since it is common for patients to feel fatigued for up to eight weeks after surgery.
Neurosurgical procedures may result in bleeding, blood clots, retention of fluid causing swelling (edema), or unintended injury to normal nerve tissues. Some patients may develop infections. Damage to normal brain tissue may cause damage to an area and subsequent loss of brain function. Loss of function in specific areas can cause memory impairment. Some other examples of potential damage that may result from this procedure include deafness, double vision, numbness, paralysis, blindness, or loss of the sense of smell.
After brain surgery there is a small risk of developing fits (epileptic seizures).To prevents this, anti-epilepsy medication is sometimes prescribed for some months following the operation.
Recovery time depends on the underlying condition and on whether there were any complications during or after the operation. Normally, you can expect to stay in hospital for five to 10 days and rest at home for a further six to 12 weeks. For people who have problems related to their underlying condition, there may be a need for a longer hospital stay and further care in a rehabilitation unit.
Hope this helps.
Bye.
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