A craniotomy is a type of neurological surgery that involves opening up a person's skull so a neurosurgeon can operate on his or her brain. This procedure can be performed for a number of reasons, such as if a person has a blood vessel bleeding in the brain that needs to be repaired or a brain tumor that needs to be removed. Craniotomies are common neurological surgery procedures, but recovering from a craniotomy does take some time. If you have had a craniotomy, it is important to know how to take care of yourself after you are released from the hospital. Use the following tips to help you recover from a craniotomy:
Make Rest a Priority
Many people feel a lot more tired than usual after undergoing a craniotomy. This is totally normal, so if you feel tired, make sure that you get ample rest. You may feel fatigued during the day-- if this occurs, take naps. Getting enough rest plays a vital role in your recovery after a craniotomy, so do not try to push yourself and plan on sleeping more than normal. In the beginning stages of your recovery, you may need to sleep for a good portion of a day.
Avoid Lying Flat
After a craniotomy, you will need to pay close attention to the position of your head when lying down or sleeping. You should avoid lying down flat until you are completely recovered from your craniotomy. Use a firm wedge pillow or prop up your head with several pillows when lying down. Some people also opt to prop up their mattress so it is at an incline to ensure that they do not lay flat. When you wake up or get out of bed, move your head very slowly and carefully-- doing so can help prevent feeling dizzy or developing headaches.
Take Medication as Prescribed
After a craniotomy, your surgeon may prescribe medication. It is extremely important to take the medications exactly as prescribed. An antibiotic may be prescribed to help prevent infections-- make sure that you complete to entire course of antibiotics, even if you feel fine.You may be prescribed pain medication to help keep you comfortable during your recovery. When you have finished the prescription pain medication, talk to your surgeon about over the counter pain relievers if you are still experiencing headaches or discomfort. Do not take any over the counter medications without talking to your surgeon first.