This treatment guide serves to aid patients in determining what to expect before, during and after brain tumor treatment in the Stephen E. & Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology.

Before your first visit

Please bring all imaging, reports, medication and allergy list, list of any medical problems and past surgeries to your visit.

Types of surgeries for brain tumors

Your neurosurgeon will help you decide which surgery is right for you. You may have:
Biopsy: Removes tissue to make a diagnosis
Craniotomy: Removes part or the entire tumor. Also removes tissue to make a diagnosis.

Care team

A team of experts from the following fields are here to help you at any time: neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, radiation oncology, nursing, social work, case management, chaplaincy, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

Before surgery

  • Our office will make all pre-operative appointments for you
  • You will meet with an anesthesiologist, have a physical exam, EKG, chest x-ray and blood work
  • Bring a list of all medications with dosages and allergies to this appointment
  • You may need additional imaging shortly before surgery
  • Stop any medications that thin the blood (Coumadin, Advil or Ibuprofen) before surgery Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery

Day of surgery

Go to Wang Ambulatory Care Center, Third Floor, Room 309. Bring a book to read and leave all valuables at home.

During surgery

Surgery can last from a couple of hours to most of the day. Family can wait in the Gray Family Waiting Room for updates.

After surgery

  • After a biopsy, you will stay on a general care floor for one to two nights
  • After a craniotomy, you will spend the night in the ICU
  • You cannot have overnight visitors in the ICU
  • The next day, you will get out of bed, begin to eat food and be moved to the general care floor
  • Most patients are in the hospital for three to five days

Pain management

Before leaving the hospital, you will start taking several medications to help relieve pain. Keep in mind that the pain may still linger, but it will be much more subdued because of the medication.