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Brain/Cranial Surgery Discharge Instructions

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  1. Lie only on a bed. Head elevated on at least 2 pillows. No sofas or recliners. Sit ONLY in a straight back chair (such as a dining room or kitchen chair.)

  2. NO BENDING, STOOPING, PUSHING, LIFTING or STRAINING. LIFT ONLY WITH ONE ARM at a time & ONLY a weight that you can easily manage. Get up from a lying down position by turning first on one side or the other. DO NOT PUSH BACKWARDS WITH YOUR HEAD & NECK to adjust your position in bed. Turn on your side to do this.

  3. For MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY you may shower the 2nd morning after surgery. For ALL OTHERS, you may shower 5 days post-operatively. The first day is the day AFTER surgery. Wash your hair and the incision area gently using "Baby Shampoo". DO NOT use a hair dryer after washing your hair and do not brush your hair away from the incision since this will put strain on the suture line.

  4. Begin walking in the house and progress to outdoors. Take someone with you the first few times until you are quite confident of your abilities. Slowly increase the distance each day so that you will be walking 1 mile/day by your 2nd post-operative week, 2 miles/day at 2 weeks post-operative. These are GUIDELINES, NOT RULES.

  5. After leaving the hospital you will be allowed in the car TWICE, ONCE TO GO HOME, THE SECOND TO COME BACK TO THE OFFICE. You will get your next set of instructions upon your return. For patients from out of state or country, there will be specific instructions.

  6. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES post-operatively. You may be given Anticonvulsant medication to reduce the risk of seizures (epilepsy.) Make certain that you understand the medication instructions that you are given and follow those instructions faithfully.

  7. CALL THE OFFICE if you develop a fever of over 101 orally or if there is excessive wound redness, swelling, drainage or infection. If you develop a low grade fever, keep a chart of your temperature pattern at 8 AM, 12 noon, 4 & 8 PM. Bring the chart to the office at your next visit.

  8. If you question whether or not you can do something beyond the instructions given, it is safe to assume that the answer will be NO.

  9. Return to the office for your first visit approximately 10 days after surgery. Call my office for an appointment (972.566.6444) or if you have questions or concerns. For GENERAL MEDICAL PROBLEMS CONTACT your personal physician.

  10. PAIN management is usually not a problem for most patients. Avoid taking pain relieving medication in anticipation that something you will do is going to cause pain. For pain management, try Extra Strength Tylenol (Acetaminophen). You may be given a prescription for a drug like Vicodin (hydrocodone) or Darvocet N100. DO NOT USE ANY ASPIRIN (or ASPIRIN containing medication) or ADVIL (Ibuprophen) since these medications interfere with the clotting mechanism.

  11. For patients with skin staples and/or sutures, you will be given a staple and/or suture removal kit to take home and then bring back to the office. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE STAPLES OR SUTURES. We will accomplish this for you at the appropriate time (depending on the area of the incision and the type of closure that was required in your case.)

  12. "LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Rest as you need it. Eat a balanced diet. Avoid high temperatures. Discourage any visitors with coughs or "colds".

This page last edited on 2/22

All content ©2014 by Neurosurgical Consultants, P.A.
Author, Martin L. Lazar, MD, FACS
All Rights Reserved. See Usage Notices.