After Your Surgery
Thank you for choosing the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center for your neurological care. Following a neurosurgical procedure, you may have questions about your recovery. The information listed below will help answer your questions and provide you with instructions for follow-up care.
Your neurosurgeon will want to see you 11 to 15 days after surgery. During this visit, he or she will check your recovery, remove all sutures and plan future treatments or follow-ups. Our office keeps track of patients and will contact you to set up your post-op appointments, but you can also call the office to set this up directly.
If you are having any problems at home, call the office. If the physician’s Medical Assistant (MA) is not available, our clinic has an answering service for your convenience.
If you have an urgent need, or you feel there is a real concern, you can always come to the Emergency Center at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and identify yourself as a Mischer Neuroscience Associates patient. This will expedite your visit, and our team will do an evaluation.
- There is generally no need to place any kind of ointment on the wound.
- Do not scratch at the incision or remove any of the scabs during the first week.
- A small collection of fluid or swelling can develop under the skin or around the incision. This is normal and it is part of the healing process. The fluid will reabsorb over time. During the first week, you will notice a decrease in the swelling and over the next month it will resolve almost completely.
- Watch for signs of infection: increasing redness around the incision on the normal skin (a condition called erythema), any drainage from the wound or a fever of 101.5 F or higher. If you have any of these signs, please call the office or come to the Emergency Center.
- Sutures are usually removed 11 to 15 days after a surgery unless there are special circumstances. If your suture/staples/stitches remain in place longer than this, you should contact the office to let us know. Some wounds need extra healing time, but it is always good to be sure this is true in your case. Once the sutures/staples are removed, and you can clean the incision, you will feel better.
You can and should shower or bathe, especially just before the post-op appointment when the stitches are going to be removed. You can also wash your hair, being careful not to wet the incision. Do not submerge the wound under water.
Be sure to have all your prescriptions filled on your way home, and start taking your medication as directed. Make sure you understand when and how to take your medications before leaving. Your nurses will help you with this as part of the discharge process. If you have questions about your medications after your discharge, you can contact the clinic for information at (713) 704-7100.
It is normal to continue to experience some pain after you leave the hospital. Pain medication can be taken as directed. All narcotics can cause constipation as they decrease bowel mobility. To help prevent this, you will be prescribed a stool softener such as Colace® (docusate). This does not always work, and you may need to take a laxative, such as magnesium citrate in liquid form. If you have a preferred medication for constipation, it is OK to use it as you normally would...
You can walk and slowly increase your daily activity; this is good for your recovery and not a risk. Don’t do strenuous exercise or lift heavy weights until after your first post-op visit. Try to increase your walking to 30 or 45 minutes twice a day.
You may only be able to do five to ten minutes the first time, but increase this amount daily. Just listen to your body as you heal.
Should you need a letter for your return to work, please ask at your first post-op office visit. You should avoid alcohol and cigarettes during the immediate postoperative period. You can discuss further instructions with your neurosurgeon during your first post-op office visit.
Mischer Neuroscience Associates: (713) 704-7100
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center: (713) 704-4000