Post-op Cranial Surgery Instructions

Whilst in Hospital

Day 0 – Surgery

  • You will be admitted to the intensive care unit for monitoring
  • You can lie in any position, as tolerated unless instructed otherwise
  • You will have a collection of tubes attached including a urinary catheter, intravenous drips and drainage tubes. 
  • You will have TEDs Stockings on and Calf Compressors.
  • Medications including antibiotics and steroids may be given.

Day 1-Post Surgery

  • A brain CT scan will be performed to assess for any issues at the operative site
  • Most of the attached tubes will be removed including drains, catheter and intravenous lines. Occasionally some will stay a little longer
  • You will be able to mobilise with assistance and have physio twice a day
  • Oral analgesia as required
  • DVT prophylaxis Heparin 5000 Units injections twice a day, commence on the evening of Day 1
  • Daily shower
  • Regular bowel medications

Day 2 Post Surgery till Discharge

  • Daily shower with antiseptic hair wash
  • Wound left uncovered with simple ointment applied twice a day
  • Oral analgesia as required
  • Steroid medications will be weaned slowly
  • Self-mobilise as tolerated and with physio twice a day
  • Regular bowel medications

If Rehabilitation is required, request for bed availability needs to be made as soon as possible. There is usually a waitlist for transfer to Rehab Hospital (Hill Private, Westmead Private Rehab, Minchinbury Private, Mount Wilga, Lady Davidson, Royal Ryde Rehab)

Following discharge

  • Pain from the incision site can last for up to 4 weeks, simple analgesia is usually sufficient.
  • The wound is usually closed with surgical clips or non-absorbable stitches. These are removed on day 7 either whilst still in hospital or by arrangement in the office with our Practice nurse.
  • You may feel some hypersensitivity and numbness around incision. Do not be alarmed, this is common during the healing period.
  • Daily hair washes, full showers and personal hygiene should be attended to. There is no issues with the wound or the dressing getting wet.
  • If you have developed an increasing area of redness, swelling, or have developed a discharge from your wound, please contact the practice for advice and instructions. You may be required to attend our practice or your GP for additional treatment.

If you have developed a new or worsening neurological condition, contact the practice IMMEDIATELY. You may need to have a scan prior to our assessment.

  • Westmead Private Hospital
  • Neuro Surgical Society
  • the University of Sydney