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Brain tumor surgery is a procedure to remove brain tumors and it is only performed if the tumor is situated in a place that is accessible with an operation. The procedure is the first treatment for a brain tumor and is usually the only treatment required for a low-grade brain tumor.
During brain tumor surgery, you may be asleep (under general anesthetic) or awake (your scalp will be numbed so you do not feel anything when the tumor is removed). Awake brain tumor surgery is performed when the tumor is located near the brain’s speech center to make sure the area of the brain that affects language, speech, and motor skills are not affected. The surgery starts by removing part of the skull to access the brain, then your surgeon removes the tumor. Once finished, the opening in the skull will be covered using your own bone.
You should expect to stay in the hospital for three to five days. After you are discharged, you may not be able to leave Philippines right away as you will need to allow some time for your body to heal and attend follow-up checkups so your doctor can monitor your condition. Stay at least 10 to 14 more days after your surgery or until your surgeon says it is okay for you to travel.
The recovery period is different for each person, depending on the location of the tumor, areas of the brain affected by surgery, your age, and your general health. You may be able to return to work within four to six weeks if your job is not physically demanding and it may take around three months until you can resume your normal activities, including exercises and heavy lifting.
Brain tumor surgery can cause problems with feelings, behaviors, and thoughts, you may need rehabilitation surgery to help you recover. You may need to see three rehabilitation specialists: physical therapist (to assess your ability to walk and improve your strength and balance), occupational therapist (to help you gain back your ability to perform daily activities, such as showering, getting dressed, and using the toilet), and speech-language pathologist (to evaluate your speech, language, and thinking). You may also want to schedule appointments with your local doctor to check your condition.
Brain tumor surgery is generally safe and effective. However, the success rate depends highly on several factors, including your age, the type of tumor, the stage of the tumor, and your overall health. The surgery carries some side effects and risks, including infection and bleeding. Also, depending on which part of your brain where the tumor is located, it has the risk of vision loss, difficulty with speech, loss of memory, stroke, weak muscles, seizure, and impaired balance and coordination.
The alternatives to brain tumor surgery depend on your specific condition. These alternatives are radiation therapy, radiosurgery, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy.
Before brain tumor surgery, you may experience neurological symptoms and you are at risk of complications. After the surgery, the neurological symptoms should be relieved, the risk of complications is reduced, and other treatments will be more effective for you.
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