Preparing for a brain tumor operation is similar to preparing for other types of craniotomies. The first thing patients can do to prepare themselves and their loved ones for this type of surgery is to have all their questions answered by their medical team. The medical team may then perform a series of tests to make sure that the patient is fit for surgery. Afterwards, patients may need to make a number of adjustments to their normal routine that will make undergoing the surgery safer. The night before the surgery, patients should stop eating and drinking.
The process of getting ready for a brain tumor operation often begins with a number of consultations with the patient’s medical team. This team is there to answer all the patient’s questions and to help the patient feel emotionally ready for the surgery. Understanding the specifics of the surgery and the risks can go a long way toward making the patient and the patient’s family feel ready for the procedure.
If there is time to wait before the patient’s brain tumor operation, the medical team may perform a series of tests on the patient. These tests will help the doctors determine whether the patient is fit for surgery. If the surgery might be risky for the patient, certain medications may be stopped or started that will help get the patient’s body into shape.
All patients will need to stop eating and drinking the night before the surgery. This reduces the risk that a patient will vomit during the operation, leading to aspiration pneumonia. In some cases, a patient who is preparing for a brain tumor operation may be asked to switch to a special liquid diet a few days before the surgery. This will clear out the intestines.
Part of preparing for a brain tumor operation involves preparing for the often lengthy recovery that accompanies such a surgery. Patients will need to make sure there is someone to take them home after the surgery is completed and to provide additional assistance at home for a number of days, weeks, or months, depending on the extent of the surgery. While most surgeries are successful, there is always a chance that the patient will not recover. Patients should prepare for this possibility beforehand by making sure their wills are up to date and that their desires, such as whether they wish to remain on life support, are in writing.