Craniotomy Postoperative Instructions

Incision Care
  • If you have a dressing at the time of discharge, you may remove it the following day and leave it off, unless otherwise directed
  • If you have staples or external sutures, please call the office for an appointment to have them removed, generally in 7-12 days after surgery.
  • Do not use ointments, creams or lotions on incision.
  • You may wear a lightweight hat, scarf, or bandana.
  • DON’T wear a wig or tightly fitting hat.
  • Starting the second day after your surgery, you can shower and get the incision wet.
  • Wash around the incision gently and pat the incision dry with a towel; do not rub.
  • DON’T use perfumed or medicated shampoos or hair care products.
  • DON’T use bathtubs, swimming pools, lakes or hot tubs for two to three weeks; or until there is no scab on the incision.
  • You can be as active as you can tolerate, with frequent rest periods. Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Sexual activity that is comfortable for you is okay.
  • No driving until after your appointment with your physician.
  • Try to keep your head above the level of your heart.
  • We will discuss advancing your activity at your follow up appointment.
Symptoms to Report to the Office
  • Worsening headaches.
  • Seizures.
  • Changes in neurological function, such as increased weakness in your face, arms, or legs, visual changes or confusion.
  • Fevers greater than 101.0 F.
  • Drainage of any kind from your incision.
  • Use an over the counter stool softener as directed on label while you are taking narcotics.
  • Do not use anti-inflammatory medication unless discussed with your physician.
  • Be sure you have pain medicine or prescriptions before leaving the hospital.
Follow up
  • If you don’t already have a follow-up visit, please call the office when you get home and schedule an appointment.