Going Home after Bleeding in or on Your Brain
The amount of bleeding and how severe the bleeding is in or on your brain can vary significantly
from person to person. Bleeding in your brain might be referred to as a contusion (bruising for the
most part) or s an intracerebral or intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Bleeding inside your brain can be
from trauma or from weakened blood vessels that rupture. . Sometimes high blood pressure causes
the weakened blood vessels to bleed, and sometimes they bleed because of an underlying problem.
Bleeding from weak blood vessels is called a “hemorrhagic stroke”. Sometimes, the blood travels
into the ventricles (where the cerebrospinal fluid is made and stored), this is called an intraventricular
The bleeding can also be on the outside of the brain, in between one of the linings of the brain, under
the bone. This bleeding can cause pressure on the brain requiring it to be drained. It does not always
have to be drained. If it does need to be drained, there are different types of surgery, depending on
the amount and severity of the blood clot.
Questions about my bleeding
When to call 911
ξ Sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm or leg. This is often on one side of the
ξ Sudden trouble seeing. This could occur in one or both eyes or involve double vision.
ξ Sudden confusion or trouble speaking clearly or understanding simple statements.
ξ Sudden trouble walking. This can include dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
ξ Sudden severe headache with no known cause. “The worst headache of your life.”
When to Call Your Doctor
It is a good idea to go over this list with loved ones who are living with you in case they notice any of
ξ Changes in behavior or changes in mood
ξ Continued nausea or vomiting.
Showering and Bathing
If you have had surgery, please refer to the
Craniotomy Health Facts for You. Initially,
you should shower with someone there to
help. Please follow the advice of the
Occupational Therapist. It may be better to
shower sitting down.
Driving and Travel
Do not drive until you have the OK from your
doctor. Do not drive if you are taking
prescription pain pills. Talk with your doctor
about when it would be safe to start driving
again. Avoid flying for 2-4 weeks. The
pressure caused by flying can damage the
areas of your brain that are healing from the
bleed, causing more bleeding. If you plan air
travel within 6 weeks, you should discuss it
with your doctor first.
You and your doctor will discuss when you
are ready to return to work. Return to work is
variable, and is based on how you are feeling
and the type of job you do.
Activities and Hobbies
How much you do depends on your level of
comfort and fatigue. Guide your actions by
how your body feels. Take breaks when
needed. Be aware of the risks that headaches,
fatigue, and memory loss can have on certain
In general, limit your activity to walking for
the first 6 weeks. This is the best way to gain
your strength back, while keeping your head
safe. If you have questions about when it is
safe to start an exercise routine, ask your
Until seen by your doctor at your clinic visit,
you should avoid heavy lifting and bending at
the waist. Keep in mind you should not lift
over 10 pounds. If you have young children,
you may need to gently remind them that it is
not safe for you to pick them up for a few
Also, try to avoid bending at the waist to pick
something up. Instead, bend your knees before
lifting. This helps to protect your brain at the
site of the bleeding by decreasing the pressure
inside your head. These tips should also help
to reduce headaches, which are common.
Do not use heavy or high speed machinery,
such as lawn mowers and snow blowers until
cleared by your doctor.
You can go back to the diet you were on
before you were hospitalized, unless your
doctor has told you to change your diet.
To help prevent and treat constipation that can
be caused by medicines given to treat pain and
prevent seizures, make sure to eat foods high
in fiber. Fiber is found in many fruits,
vegetables, and whole grains. It is a good idea
to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
and a total of 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Drinking plenty of fluids, unless your doctor
has told you not to, can also help prevent
Your headache should improve gradually.
Your headache will trend toward improved.
As your pain improves, you will need to
decrease the amount of narcotic pain
medicines you take. This will help with
Please call the Neurosurgery Clinic at
(608) 263-7502, Monday – Friday 8:00 am to
5:00 pm, with any question. After hours, the
answering service will help you. If you live
out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6197.