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It takes some time for a patient to return to normal life after a brain surgery. The patient must take extra rest for the healing to occur. The time for the recovery after brain surgery differs from one individual to another and mainly depends on the location of the surgery in the brain, the procedure used, overall health of the patient and areas of the brain affected by the surgery. The length of the stay in the hospital also depends on factors such as type of surgery performed, and if the patient requires any further treatment.
Care after Brain Surgery
The brain surgery is carried out by a neurosurgeon who is specially trained in critical care. Here comprehensive care is provided to the patients. After the surgery, it is only after the assessment by the doctors that the patient can see his or her family members. Care of the patient after brain surgery is done in the neurosurgery nursing unit. There are chances of occurrence of some problems with regards to the thoughts, behavior and feelings of the patient after the surgery. For this reason it is important to provide assistance to the patients for recovering. They are given rehabilitation therapy for the same.
Treatment Provided by Rehabilitation Specialist
The rehabilitation specialists mainly include the speech language pathologist, occupational therapist and the physical therapist. The main role of the occupational therapists is to assess the ability of the patient in performing day to day activities such as using the toilet, getting dressed and having a bath. The therapists also check the thinking skills and vision of the patient to determine whether the patient can return to work again and be able to perform other challenging tasks.
In most cases, a brain surgery affects speech and the problem can be evaluated by the speech language pathologists. It can also affect the thinking power and language. The pathologists even evaluate the patient for disorders in swallowing food.
The right-after care is necessary for brain surgery and a lot of fluids and nutrition are provided through intravenous infusions to the body. It is important for patients to sleep with their head raised to restrict the brain swelling. The patient should avoid coughing hard as such actions can lead to intracerebral pressure. It is essential to take proper rest. It is also important to try to move at frequent intervals for smooth circulation of blood and avoid stiffening of limbs.
It is important for patients to stay away from rigorous activities. They should resume any sports activity only after proper recovery. It is recommended not to go for swimming for at least one year mainly because of the risk of seizures. After the invasive procedures it is advisable not to return to full time work or to start working fewer hours.
Living with epilepsy can be highly challenging. This is a medical condition that can be controlled with medications in most cases, but it might not be useful for all patients due to severe side effects. It is estimated that up to 30% people who have epilepsy face this issue, and in such cases, surgery might be considered as an option.
This condition typically results in seizures which is a result of sudden electrical activity in the brain. So, certain complicated epilepsy operations on the brain can help patients with their seizures and contain their symptoms.
The goal of epilepsy surgeries involves removing part of the brain that causes these seizures and disrupting parts of the nervous system in the brain that contribute to the same. The procedure also involves the installation of a device that helps control the side effects of epilepsy.
When is surgery not an option for epilepsy?
Doctors would accurately identify the part of the brain that is causing seizures as the first step. These parts are known in medical terms as the ‘seizure’ focus. This area should not be related critical functions of the brain like movement, sensation, and language involved – else surgery would not be possible.
Surgery is not viable when seizures are severe and impair bodily movement or if the patient has serious medical conditions (like cancer or heart diseases).
Common Surgery Options Available
- Lesionectomy: This is one of the most commonly used procedures. This form of surgery involves the surgeon removing brain lesions from the brain or areas of injury due to malformed blood vessels or tumors. These injuries can often cause seizures and epilepsy and can be treated effectively with lesionectomy.
- Lobe resection: This is another form of treatment which is possible only if the epilepsy is located in one of the four parts of the brain – the temporal lobe. It is quite common in younger people and can easily be treated by expert neurosurgeons by removing the brain tissues that are causing epilepsy.
- Multiple Subpial Transections: While the above methods involve cutting out brain tissues, sometimes such surgeries just might not be possible due to other complications. If the parts of the brain cannot be cut out, surgeons tend to adopt Multiple Subpial Transections. This procedure can help control seizures without requiring cutting out parts of the brain. Small intersections are made in the brain to disrupt the impulses from affected brain cells that cause seizures, and they do not affect normal brain activity. It helps leave all abilities intact in patients and aids in treatment very effectively.
Having a backache is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors. Pain anywhere on the back from below the neck to just above the buttocks is termed as back pain. A backache can be caused by a number of factors. The seriousness of back pain depends on the factors triggering this pain.
Back pain can affect people of all ages but is more commonly experienced by those between the ages of 35 and 55 years. A sedentary lifestyle, stress, anxiety, obesity and pregnancy are some conditions that can increase the risk of suffering from back pain. Some of the common causes of back pain are:
- Strain: Strained muscles or ligaments are the most common triggers for a back ache. This is a common occurrence that happens while trying to lift a heavy weight improperly or as a result of an abrupt movement. A muscle spasm can also cause a back ache.
- Structural problems: Backaches can also be caused by structural problems with the spinal column and musculoskeletal system. The rupturing or inflammation of spinal discs that cushion each vertebra of the spinal column are common structural problems that cause back pain. Back pain known as sciatica pain is also caused by structural problems like an inflamed or herniated disc that presses on a nerve.
- Musculoskeletal conditions: Osteoporosis and arthritis are other musculoskeletal conditions that may cause back pain.
A thorough physical examination is the first step to diagnosing the cause of back pain. If the pain persists for a long duration, tests such as MRI or CT scans, X-rays, EMGs or bone scans may be advised. This will help the doctor understand the cause of the back pain and treat it accordingly.
Treatment for a back ache depends on the factors triggering it, how long the pain persists and the intensity of the pain. Rest is usually advised along with posture exercises, heat therapy and other simple exercises to improve flexibility and tone the back muscles. Over the counter painkillers can provide temporary relief for intense back pain.
In some cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be needed. Surgery is usually the last resort for back pain and is considered only in cases where severe structural problems that do not respond to medications are the cause of the pain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.