Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Headaches and incision pain

I have more of a question than a discussion. How long does it take for the head aches to stop and incision pain to go away. I wake up with a headache and go to sleep with one. The medication does ease it but don’t completely get rid of it. I had a aneurysm clipped on March 23. Sometime after that I apparently had a bleed. For a few days my speech would some time slur and the wrong words would come out then my arm and leg got numb. I went to the er and they sent me to the hospital I had the surgery at. After that I had vasospasm. I was in the hospital another week. My incision is really sore and sort of swollen. Can anyone tell me if the terrible headache, swelling and incision tenderness is normal?

Chasity, I was coiled so no incision. I ruptured and had vasospasms from the day I had surgery to the day before I was released. I had severe headaches for about a year, learned what made them worse and what helped. I did get a SPG block which did wonders. I also use sunglasses, drink Gatorade and water which help me keep my words and improves my new speech pattern. I no longer speak as well as I can write. And of course protein and following my Drs recommendations all help to subside the headaches. Have you called the nurse?

Dear Chasity,

After my surgery there were times my incision hurt, but I was always told it was just nerve endings, even by my wife who was a nurse. Following surgery I also had a CSF leak, which delayed my recovery, and caused me to limp badly. My head was also swollen. This was not corrected until a second surgery was done to patch up the leak. Altogether I spent five weeks in the hospital. Following the second surgery, recovery was fast. Throughout the ordeal I did not have much pain. The pain came weeks later, as the skull was healing.

David Andrus, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Chastity, Similar circumstance for me, although vasospasms were during my initial hospitalization for burst aneursym where 2 were clipped (6 years ago). They ended up doing a shunt (which I still have) to stop the speech/behavior issues. That worked and I went home shortly after that - at one month. Once home, headaches were a big problem and meds didn't seem to help. I was determined to not live with headaches and tried aromatherapy and that worked for me (I know I really, really wanted it to work).

I had mine clipped Jan 8. I also have a titanium plate. I feel it every day. It is sensitive, sore and frequently stings. I also have headaches. My surgeon doesn’t seem to think it’s much of a problem. I am sorry you are in pain. I was surprised to hear you had a bleed after clipping. Is that rare?

Hello Chasity, I too had terrible pain at incision site after clipping of aneurysm. In my case it was actually the titanium stars used to hold bone flap in place,they were rubbing from the inside.And severe headaches first year to year and a half.They had me on enough medication to put a moose to sleep. I tried every alternative medicine out there magnets,aroma therapy,hypnosis,reiki massage,you name it.In the middle of all this I started a yoga class as time went by and I learned to better control my breathing and how to allow myself the relaxation that yoga brings. This helped me quite a bit.Still had headaches but found at times I could breath through them and the incapacitating sharpness would become bearable.(with a lighter dose of medication).First surgery was the big one for me.Second was a repair operation,(after stars worked their way through scalp and were exposed) They worked in there just enough to make me zig when I should zag again. Stayed with yoga and could not believe the help this was for my balance as well.All of this brings us to now,Oct 20th will be 2 years post 2nd surgery.And the quality of my life is good.Still have pressure headaches and now and them A real slammer. But strength of medication is way down to control them.It really does get better with time and as we adjust to our new selves.If your incision is swollen you should see your surgeon! Keep the faith. We get through it, not over it

Chasity, my husband had a clipping with 2 clips almost 3 years ago this June. His incision still has tender spots. Its tender to the touch sometimes and weather plays a big part in it too. Weather is a huge part of his headaches also. The year and a half after his surgery his headaches could get pretty bad, he tried alot of things with trying to help with them. Meds, tried dif ones.......but weather and the cold hurt his head alot. He went to Cleveland Clinic and the doctor their said he was getting cluster headaches and that there were meds he could try or just plain oxygen when he got them. With time things will get better, and its hard to say that cause it seems so far off, but gotta keep pushing forward. It will get better promise!!! As for swelling, my husband has an area in the temple area that swells up from the surgery called adema, which can happen with any surgery anywhere on your body. Just his luck he got it there, and he can feel pressure sometimes but not bad. Everyone is dif and time will help with things. God bless you on your healing journey!!

I had a coiling on Dec 17 and my headaches are just starting to subside now. I have been taking Tylenol everyday, but on the good days I only have to take it once or twice. Up until April though I was taking them every 4 hours. I find lying down for 2o mins or so helps a lot. I was amazed that none of the medical staff hadn’t warned me that this could go on for quite some time. Be patient, be kind to yourself and do whatever it takes to ease the pain and you’ll get there. It does get better.



hugs

Lisa

My experience was that it took about six months for the pain and redness to subside and enough hair to grow back to cover the incision site. The headaches also slowly subside over time. Don't worry, it will get better.

Melissa

I had an aneurysm clipped in April 2011. Had stitches out and saw neuro surgeon at 4 weeks and all was okay. during week 5 I had chills, low grade fever, and felt overall blah. Called surgeons office and was told to go to emergency room…I had a staph infection at incision site…a second surgery and infected bone flap was thrown out. Required 6 weeks home IV after the one week hospital stay. Six months later a third surgery to replace bone flap with one created through a 3D MRI. I would talk with your neuro surgeon to see if a visit is warranted to rule out infection where incision is swollen…as they say, better safe than sorry!

Hello, I've had headaches and incision pain for the most part of 10 years now. Allergy meds help me with a lot of it a lot. Also, I use steam and a long bean bag type of thing (I've also put lavendar oil on it) heated in the microwave on my shoulders which helps me tremendously. Both the heat and aroma Tx work for me. I've found that a lot of simple home remedy type things really do help. And a good topical cream or ointment might help ? I hope you experience resolve with it all and find what helps the most. In my thoughts and prayers. God Bless !

Hi - assuming your doctor/surgeon feel that everything is ok with you now, and that your pains are “recovery pains” I would say this: 6 months later you’ll probably feel a lot better; a year later even better. I am two years away from my rupture and I feel pretty good most days! Everyone is different. Be patient.

Hello Chasity I had my 2 clipping 3 and 4 years ago and I still get tender spots on both sides of my head and I still cannot feel every spot on top of my head. My problem is I get muscle spasms around my left side incision it just jerks and pulls but doesn't really hurt much unlike right after surgery...I went for acupuncture treatments for pain about 6 months post surgery and that really helped me....it does get better hang in there.