Getting Back to Life After Your Brain Tumor Surgery

Brain tumor surgery temporarily alters the course of a person’s life. Not only is it necessary to plan for the time spent at the hospital, but it’s also a good idea to plan for the time spent recovering as you start the journey to resume a normal life. Life after brain tumor surgery is different for each person.

How Long Will It Take to Recover?

There are numerous factors that can affect recovery time after brain surgery, such as the invasiveness of the surgery and your overall physical health. In general, though, a fair estimate is 3 to 10 days recovering in the hospital and between 6 and 8 weeks recovering at home.

What Short-Term Symptoms Can Be Expected?

Depending on the surgical procedure being performed, typical short-term symptoms can include:

  • General weakness
  • Poor balance or impaired coordination
  • Changes to personality or behavior
  • Minor problems with speech or swallowing

It is important to note that while these symptoms can be present, they are usually strongest immediately after the surgery and tend to subside in a few days or weeks as recovery progresses.

What Kind of Care is Needed Post-Surgery?

Taking into consideration your surgical procedure and your unique needs, your neurosurgeon will prescribe for you your post-surgery care plan. It may include:

  • Physical Therapy. A physical therapist will develop a specific set of exercises, stretches, and movements that can help you regain strength more quickly.
  • Speech and Language Therapy. A speech and language pathologist will assess and treat a variety of speech and language challenges that may be experienced post-surgery. These may include speaking, swallowing, language, cognitive-communication or social communication difficulties.
  • Occupational Therapy. An occupational therapist helps you to regain skills and confidence in performing everyday tasks. You may be trained to use certain aids such as a walker or other devices that can be installed in your house, such as grab bars in the shower or additional railings for stairways.

When Can I Return to Work?

It is best to discuss your progress with your neurosurgeon before returning to work.  Post-surgery symptoms may make it difficult for you to perform the tasks of your job. This can be especially true with tasks that are mentally demanding, or which require operating heavy machinery. You may be able to discuss with a manager or HR representative if alternative work arrangements can be made while you recover.

If you are looking for a neurosurgeon in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, get the personalized care you desire from the board-certified neurosurgeons at Hudson Valley Brain & Spine Surgery.