Recovery can be divided into three stages:
1. Acute recovery (i.e. in the hospital)
- This is generally 2-4 nights, with the first night routinely in the ICU for brain surgery
- At the time of discharge, you should expect to be walking, eating and drinking normally, and able to care for yourself without assistance. You should expect to fatigue easily, however.
2. Immediate post-operative recovery (after discharge from the hospital but before sutures are removed)
- During this time patients should not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk
- Its OK to wash your hair/ wound with soap or shampoo as soon as you are discharged from the hospital
- don’t scrub or pick at the wound or any scabs
- Non-resistance exercise is encouraged, especially walking
3. At home
- Once sutures have been removed, its OK to gradually increase your activity including lifting heavier objects and doing more resistance exercise or training
- For most procedures, you may return to work around four to six weeks after surgery
If you are from out of town, the time between discharge from the hospital and the final wound check and suture removal is a great time to see some of the sites in LA!