Recovery From Surgery for Arachnoid Cysts of the Head and Spine in Children

Postoperative Orders 

  • ICU vs. standard care unit: Many hospitals traditionally have all craniotomy patients recover in the intensive care unit. However, this is not always necessary for an otherwise healthy child.
  • Medications and dosages including PRN drugs: Antibiotics are typically given for 24 hours after surgery, although the evidence supporting this practice is sparse. Dexamethasone may be considered for 24 hours if there is significant mass effect preoperatively and/or cerebral retraction intraoperatively. Standard pain medicine for craniotomy should be provided.
  • Imaging optional: Imaging is not typically indicated in the uneventful surgical case.
  • Physical therapy and orthotics: Rehabilitation may be needed in some cases to help with motor functioning.

Postoperative Morbidity

  • Postoperative pain: Headache/incision pain may be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Headaches due to brain shift may improve with a short course of steroids.