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A craniotomy is surgery to open your skull to fix a problem in your brain. It can be done for many reasons. For example, you may need a this surgery if your brain or blood vessels are damaged or if you have a tumour or an infection in your brain.
You will probably feel very tired for several weeks after surgery. You may also have headaches or problems concentrating. It can take 4 to 8 weeks to recover from surgery.
Your cuts (incisions) may be sore for about 5 days after surgery. Your scalp may swell with fluid. You may also have numbness and shooting pains near your wound. And you may have swelling and bruising around your eyes. As your wound starts to heal, it may begin to itch. Medicines and ice packs can help with headaches, pain, swelling, and itching.
The stitches that hold your incisions together may go away on their own or will be removed in 7 to 10 days. This depends on the type of stitches the doctor uses.
Some kinds of plates stay attached to hold the skull flap to your head. If your head was shaved, you may want to wear hats or scarves on your head until your hair grows back. Or it may not bother you.
You may need to go to a short-term rehabilitation centre after you leave the hospital. This can help you learn to do the tasks you need to do after you go home.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: November 4, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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