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What should you expect after brain surgery?

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Hospital stay length and recovery time following brain surgery vary based on the type of procedure, areas of the brain affected and other factors, but brain tumor removal patients typically remain in the hospital for two to five days, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. Rehabilitation therapy is necessary for some patients.

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Rehabilitation therapy helps brain surgery patients recover from certain problems they may experience, such as difficulties performing daily tasks, speech or language problems, balance issues and cognitive difficulties, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Patients may meet with rehabilitation specialists during their hospital stays, and they may also receive rehabilitation services after leaving the hospital. Physical therapists are rehabilitation specialists who can assess whether patients are able to perform tasks such as walking or climbing stairs safely. Occupational therapists perform tests to determine if a patient is ready to return to work or engage in challenging tasks, such as driving a vehicle.

A craniotomy is a type of brain surgery that involves the removal of a portion of the skull so the surgeon can access the underlying brain tissue, notes Mayfield Clinic. Following this form of brain surgery, patients are typically prescribed narcotic painkillers to manage head pain. In most cases, patients can shower three to four days following the procedure and gradually resume their regular activities.

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