Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Discharge Instructions

  • Neurosurgery 

    Discharge Instructions

    Craniotomy

    What to Expect

    Almost all people who have had brain surgery will require several weeks to fully recover. You may feel easily tired and you should avoid strenuous activity until you have had a follow-up appointment with your doctor and have discussed increasing the level of your activity. It is important, however, to avoid prolonged bed rest, which can lead to lung problems and blood clots in the legs. Going for walks, either inside or outside, and then resting when you are tired is a good way to get the exercise you need.

    Dos and Don'ts

    • You can wear caps, hats or scarves on your head after your head bandage is removed.

    • Do not apply creams, lotions, etc. to your incision. Keeping the incision clean and dry will enable it to heal quickly. Most stitches or staples in the scalp are removed after 7 - 10 days.

    • Ask your physician when you can shower and wash your hair after surgery.

    • You may have headache or some pain after the operation. You may be given a pain medication prescription to take home with you. If your pain is mild and you would prefer to take an over-the-counter medication you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol) according to the package directions. Take all medications prescribed for you and do not stop taking them abruptly.

    Contact us immediately if:

    • You develop a rash, upset stomach or other problems that may be related to medication.

    • You develop redness, draining pus or fluid, or sudden swelling around your scalp incision.

    • You develop neurological problems such as slurred speech, double vision, weakness of your face or any arm or leg, or have a seizure (convulsion).

    • You notice swelling, redness or pain in your foot or leg. This could indicate a blood clot in the leg, a serious problem that may occur after surgery. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, severe chest pain or coughing up blood could be a sign of a blood clot moving to the lung or another serious medical problem. If you have any of these symptoms you should come to the emergency room or contact us immediately.

    These symptoms are some of the most serious post-operative problems. When in doubt, it is best to call and ask.

    Contact information and follow ups

    During business hours you should call your attending physician's office with any questions. For emergencies after business hours call 401-444-5611 and ask for the neurosurgical resident on call.

    Call your attending physician's office after you are discharged from the hospital to arrange for stitch/staple removal and necessary follow up appointments.

    You should also schedule a follow up appointment with your primary care physician. If you do not have a general doctor, you can call the Lifespan Heath Connection at 401-444-4800 for a referral.