Recovering from brain surgery

After brain surgery, it is not uncommon to have dizzy spells or to get confused about where you are and what is happening to you from time to time. These episodes can come and go. They can be upsetting for your relatives and also for you. Your nurse and doctor will explain that this is normal and part of the recovery period.

The operation itself can often make your symptoms worse at first. Or you may notice symptoms that you didn’t have before. The swelling can cause

  • Weakness
  • Poor balance or lack of coordination
  • Personality changes
  • Speech problems
  • Fits
This time can be particularly difficult for your loved ones. They may worry that your operation has not worked. But the symptoms will usually lessen and disappear as you recover. This may take only days. But it can take weeks or sometimes months.

Your surgeon will have given you some idea of what to expect in the way of recovery. For some people, recovery will be complete. You may be able to get back to the same fitness level you had before your tumor. And may be able to return to all your usual activities before long, including your job if you have one.

If you have long term problems

Because of the position of their tumour, some people have long-term problems with speech or with weakness of an arm or leg. This can take a long time to recover from. It may be hard for you to keep your spirits up through this time. But with effort and help from physiotherapists, speech therapists and other rehabilitation specialists, you will get a lot better.

Your rehabilitation will start as soon as you can get out of bed. You will gradually be able to do more and more for yourself. You may never quite recover to the same level of fitness as before your treatment. But your condition can and will improve to some extent. Your confidence will increase as you learn to manage with whatever level of disability you have to cope with. There is more about recovering after a brain tumor in the Living with a brain tumor section.