Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How much longer will they wait to do surgery?"


About 3 weeks ago my boyfriend had a concussion, it wasn't bad at first but then he found out he had fluid buildup. The doctor said they may have to do surgery if the fluid didn't go down. A few nights later he was taken to the hospital when they found out he had swelling. The swelling had gotten worse so they put him in a medically induced coma. I was wondering how much longer they will wait to do the surgery with the swelling.


Thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear about your boyfriend. Swelling on the brain can be a very serious condition that can require prolonged treatment in a very closely monitored situation to make sure that the outcomes are as good as they possibly can be. Even in the best of circumstances, sometimes the swelling can cause long term changes and problems.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Physiatrists near you

Speaking with the medical team taking care of him will help you to get the answers that you need. As for the timing of surgery, that is a very individualized question. Obviously, opening the skull is not a decision that is made lightly due to the many potential complications and long term difficulties that this can potentially cause. Your doctor will thus want to make sure that there is a clear reason for doing surgery, and that the potential gain will outweigh the risks. For that reason, I am unable to suggest a potential timeline. By speaking with your boyfriend's doctors, you should be able to get some ideas about what the goals of therapy are at this time, and what they are waiting for before they do surgery. Please speak with the doctors.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.