Brain Tumors: How to prepare for brain surgery?

18 May

Brain surgeries are one of the main treatments for brain tumours. The multidisciplinary team consisting of neurosurgeons and other medical professionals decide upon the surgical treatment of brain tumours after analyzing the type, spread, location of the tumour, and the general fitness levels of the patients. The surgery might involve removing the tumour as a whole or only a part of the tumour depending upon its growth. Certain brain surgeries may also include draining away the fluid buildup inside the brain. Whatever the case may, getting ready for an operation can be extremely distressing for the patients. This article will take you through the various pre-assessment stages and different tests that you might encounter before brain surgery.

Preparing for brain tumour surgery

A pre-assessment consultation at the hospital prepares you initially for brain tumour surgery. During this appointment, you will undergo fitness checks for the operation and meet up the members of your treatment team. The tests ensure that you are fit for anaesthesia and you have an excellent recovery potential after surgery. Keep on reading to understand about the tests you should go through.

Tests that one needs to undergo

Few of the following tests would be done at the time of your diagnosis. Following are the tests are done during your pre-assessment appointments:

  • An electrocardiogram to test your heart condition
  • Blood tests to test your general well-being and kidney conditions
  • Breathing tests and chest X-rays to understand your lung functions
  • Scans like MRI or CT scans
  • Blood tests to check the hormone levels especially for a pituitary gland tumour
  • An electroencephalogram to test the brain activity if you had seizures or fits earlier
  • Neuropsychology tests especially for the patients having a tumour in the area affecting your thinking and memory
  • Brain angiogram- an X-ray that shows blood vessel tumours
  • Neurological tests to analyze your Glasgow coma scale score

Meeting up with the treatment team

The pre-assessment appointment is the day you will be introduced to treatment team members. The doctors and assisting nurses will explain to you the procedures you are likely to undergo during the operation. The team would suggest a detailed instruction about the diet and the medicine intake. Do not skip your regular medicines unless your doctors say so.

If you are anxious about your surgery, take this opportunity to clear all your doubts with your doctor. The doctors will explain to you about the procedures, benefits, risks, and the recovery information after the surgery. 

Medications before surgery 

According to a top neurosurgeon in Chennai, brain surgery can cause swelling inside your brain. To avoid this symptom, the doctors will prescribe you with steroids before the operation. Steroids can reduce the swelling and the pressure around your brain. The dosage of steroid will be gradually reduced during the recovery stages.

Exercises to help with the surgery

Your treatment team might suggest various leg and breathing exercises before the surgery. Breathing exercises are to prevent chest infections, and leg exercises help to stop clotting of blood in the legs.

Talk about your fears and anxieties regarding the surgeries with your treatment team and family. Sharing concerns can comfort you to a great extent.

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