How Long Will It Take To Recover From Pediatric Brain Tumors & How Long Do The Symptoms Last?

Brain tumor treatment comes with a variety of side effects, it will take time for the patient to return to his/her usual level post-surgery.1

In some cases, people may entirely recover in a few weeks or months, however, patients with other conditions will have to learn to adapt to long-lasting alterations in their life. 2

The life expectancy of patients with a brain tumor is typically defined as the survival rate of five years since the time of diagnosis.3,4

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Pediatric Brain Tumors?

Your doctor may recommend surgery if your blood vessels are damaged or when you have a tumor or abnormal mass in your brain. The patients experience short-term memory problems and difficulties in multi-tasking.

The recovery takes about 4-8 weeks after surgery and your incision would take 5 days to heal. The patients can expect swelling in the brain after the operation and you may start feeling better once the tumor is completely removed.1

During the recovery period, you may feel dizzy and confused about what’s happening. These episodes can get repeated and perhaps a part of recovery. The skull takes typically between 1-4 weeks to recover depending on the underlying disease and your overall health condition. But complete recovery is generally 8 weeks.

The stitches that hold your openings together may go away on their own or will be removed in 7 to 10 days. This depends on the kind of sutures the surgeon uses. Your surgeon may recommend going to a short-term rehabilitation center after you leave the hospital. 2

How Long Do The Symptoms Of Pediatric Brain Tumors Last?

Brain tumors are of many types, some are cancerous while most of them are benign(non-cancerous). Symptoms vary based on the type, location, and size of the tumor. Some of the general symptoms of a pediatric brain tumor include:

  • Headache when the tumor puts pressure on sensitive nerves and blood vessels.
  • Seizures when brain tumors interfere with electrical signals.
  • When a certain part of the brain is affected, it can disrupt brain functions and result in personality changes and mood swings.
  • Tumor when present in the temporal or frontal lobe, memory loss and confusion even on simple matters happen. Memory loss is also a side effect of chemotherapy.
  • Fatigue and Depression

However, post-surgery the symptoms vary. Most people have sleepless nights and remain awake after brain surgery. In some instances, your doctor may decide to put you in an induced coma a few days after surgery to help you recover. You will be put on a ventilator during your sleep.

Eye/facial swelling is common after surgery and takes a few days before you look normal. Your doctor will recommend you keep your head raised or sleep with two pillows under your head to reduce facial swelling.34

Pediatric brain tumors are the second common type of cancer in children. Since the brain control most of the sensory functions (such as hearing, visual, smell, touch, and smell), organs, and blood vessels, the signs and symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the disease.

Surgery is the typical treatment method for managing cancer, however, when there is brain surgery, the body has a lot to handle and you are likely to experience side-effects that tend to vary based on the patient’s health condition.

References:

  1. “Brain Tumors (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Rupal Christine Gupta, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, July 2016, kidshealth.org/en/parents/brn-tumors.html
  2. Pollack, Ian F, et al. “Childhood Brain Tumors: Current Management, Biological Insights, and Future Directions.” Journal of Neurosurgery. Pediatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Mar. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823600/
  3. “Early Symptoms of a Brain Tumor: Mental and Physical Signs.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, Brain Tumor Warning Signs and Symptoms You Should Know www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326225
  4. “Articles.” Cedars, End-of-Life Care for Brain Tumor Patients  www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/b/brain-tumors-and-brain-cancer.html

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