There are various conditions that can be treated with brain surgery, namely tumors and vascular malformations. No matter what your diagnosis is, if your doctor has advised brain surgery as a treatment option, you are surely wondering, “How much time will it take to recover after brain surgery?”
Treatment options differ and thus, recovery times differ as well.
- Traditional brain surgery needs a hospital stay of around 3 days, followed by 4-6 weeks of activity as well as work restrictions
- Gamma Knife Radiosurgery do not need a hospital stay, and many of the patients return to normal activity levels within a day or two.
To assist you in understanding what to expect after your surgery, below is the detailed information regarding both traditional brain surgery as well as Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.
- Traditional Brain Surgery
Traditional brain surgery is carried out in the hospital setting while you are sleeping under general anesthesia. The treatment goal will depend on your individual state, but every brain surgery also has commonalities. Normally, your neurosurgeon will make an incision and probably remove a section of bone in order to access the treatment site. According to the procedure, the incision will be clogged with the help of sutures or staples, and your recovery period will commence.
Whereas your recovery time for brain surgery will depend on personal factors like your specific condition and individual health history. It can be useful to have general information of a typical recovery period. Nevertheless, you will need to follow up with your own doctor to talk about what to expect during your individual recovery.
At the time of recovery at home following your traditional brain surgery, you will be set activity restrictions to let your body heal. Your doctor will slowly allow you to raise up your activity levels, depending on an examination at your follow-up visits. Many patients have activity restrictions, including work, for duration of 6-12 weeks following brain surgery.
- Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
Another form of brain surgery, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, is not really a surgery but is kind of a specialized form of radiation therapy. Nevertheless, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery can be used to cure many brain conditions in place of traditional brain surgery, including brain tumors and vascular malformations. The process uses nearly 200 individual beams of low-dose rays to treat a highly focused area of interest, sparing nearby healthy structures with no incisions or surgery.
Whereas compared to traditional brain surgery, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery takes place in an outpatient setting and does not need a hospital stay. This means the patient will be discharged to recover at home after a few hours of the procedure completion. There are no incisions, and the patient is conscious throughout the whole procedure. Most of the patients only need a single treatment session whereas some patients might require up to five treatment sessions. Recovery time for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is drastically shorter as compared to traditional brain surgery, as it is minimally invasive in nature. Many of the patients are able to return to normal activity levels and work within a day or two of treatment.
The patient has to keep in mind that the doctor will make treatment plan for them depending on their individual condition and health history, including any complicating conditions they might have.