It can be difficult to know exactly what to expect from brain cancer surgery. Every person is unique and his or her outcome can depend on many different factors. This includes the location of the tumor, the specific procedure that is performed, the skill of the surgeon and the patient’s overall health.
With that said, if you’re preparing for brain cancer surgery, it can be helpful to learn more about other patients’ experiences. It can also be helpful to ask your surgeon any questions that you have about your upcoming procedure, since he or she is the only one who can provide you with individualized information.
Preparing for surgical treatment
Your surgeon can help you learn what to expect when it comes to:
- The specific goal of your surgery – Sometimes, the goal of brain cancer surgery is to remove all of the cancer from the body. Other times, the goal is to remove some of the tumor before chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In other situations, the ultimate goal is symptom relief.
- How to prepare – In the days leading up to your operation, you may need to follow specific instructions, like discontinuing any medications you are currently taking. Your surgeon can provide you with specific instructions based on your unique situation.
- What your recovery might be like – Some procedures have shorter recovery times than others. For instance, a patient’s hospital stay is usually shorter after minimally invasive surgery than it is after traditional surgery. Your surgeon can help you determine what your recovery timeline might look like based on your exact treatment plan.
- What sort of side effects you might experience – Like any type of brain cancer treatment, surgery can have specific side effects that become apparent in the days or weeks after your operation. Your surgeon can explain what side effects you might experience, what complications you should immediately report to a medical professional and what you can do to counteract any discomfort you might experience.
- What your outcome might be – Not everyone wants to know what their prognosis is. However, you might want to ask your surgeon what sort of impact the operation might have on your survival outcome and quality of life.
Consult with an experienced surgical oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center’s Neuro-Oncology Program is home to a number of experienced specialists who can answer your questions about brain cancer surgery. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. No referral is required.