My grandad is currently in hospital with a tumour in his head. He has been going downhill since christmas, getting slower with his walking and thinking and more recently struggling with swallowing and talking and becoming incontinent. He got a slight infection last week and ended up in hospital with dehydration where he finally got a brain scan and they found the tumour. The surgeon has looked at it but its quite big and not possible to remove (especially in an 82 year old). At the moment its pressing on the area of the brain which controls swallowing and talking.
We have been told that any care is palliative however, we have a decision to make. The surgeon has suggested it would be a good idea to insert a drain into his brain to take away excess fluid and divert it into his abdomen, thus reducing pressure in the brain and hopefully extending his life and (temporarily) improving his quality of life too.
Our local GP also rang tonight and warned us against this, he thinks thathat such a procedure could lead to my grandad being in a lot of pain and discomfort for the rest of his life.
So we have two doctors telling us two different things. My grandad isn't able to make this decision himself so the onus lies on my grandmother who has power of attorney (and somewhat myself too as his main carer and the person my grandmother discusses these things with).
So what we would like to ask is does anyone have any experience with this kind of operation and the side effects from it? We are planning another meeting to discuss it further with the surgeon but any first hand experience to help us make this impossible decision would be much appreciated.