Imminent Craniotomy

Craniotomy for middle right groxanaxwing rapidly aneurism …Scheduled Jan 23 2017. I am 56 today female of decent heath…only drugs I take are Prozac in the morning and Xanax as needed. Scared as hell

Hi Lucidlemon, glad you found this site, but sorry you had to. Yes, it is terrifying, my husband had a craniotomy almost two years ago. Your advantage is that your aneurysm is being clipped before rupture. All surgery, from tonsils to cataracts has risks, so this is not a unique circumstance in that respect. You have every right to insist your doctor answer ALL your questions before surgery. Write down your questions. If you can have someone with you, they can remember what you may not, because of your natural anxiety. There are many, many people on this site who have gone through what you are about to. You are not alone. We are here to offer support and answer questions from the point of view of patients and family members. You can ask anything aneurysm related here. Wishing you a successful surgery.


lucidlemon, welcome to the BAFsupport community. People here get it, including the fear and anxiety.

I don’t have an annie (I am a volunteer who works on the larger Ben’s Friends network) but I have a close friend who had hers repaired last year. Was it a picnic? No. Is she glad she had it done? Very. Hers was deep in the brain, behind her eye, and she had a coiling done. Her pain was minimal, and she worked quite hard at her recovery, but was almost normal after about two months. Her hair “do” was a concern (I know, it seems silly in the face of such major and scary surgery) but she found a hairdresser that managed to style her hair in an asymmetric bob that was just too cute for words. She had it styled before the surgery (the side they were going to operate on was styled very short) and afterwards, it all grew in quickly and “cutely”.

Now, a year later, she is feeling very normal and well. And the cloud that was hanging over her head is now gone: she knows the aneurysm is “done” and she can carry on with life.

I don’t think there is anyone here who wasn’t scared of the surgery. We get it, so hang in there and hang out with us!

Seenie from Moderator Support

I guess I’ll just test this, I sent a long heartfelt reply to Modsupport and had it returned saying I originally contacted from another email address. If this doesn’t work it’s just too much. I would love so much to talk to others affected but my fear and short patience are getting the better of me. I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart though for taking the time to respond and connect with me… Patti

I guess I’ll just test this, I sent a long heartfelt reply to Modsupport and had it returned saying I originally contacted from another email address. If this doesn’t work it’s just too much. I would love so much to talk to others affected but my fear and short patience are getting the better of me. I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart though for taking the time to respond and connect with me… Patti

Thank you so much. You have no idea what your words meant to me. My upright family is for the most part viewing this as a tooth extraction and I don’t want to be a “drama queen” so am smiling alongside their “everything will be fine” remarks. As the date for surgery nears I am even surprised at myself…thought I had it all under control…but I really am scared. I am so glad I found this community. For better or worse the outcome I welcome the support. I guess it’s not uncommon though to worry that I may not be aware enough after for it to matter. Mine is deep central, growing fast and by all accounts will involve a craniotomy. I just turned 56 and my health is otherwise pretty good but I hate the odds of “deficits” after the operation. I have no choice though so lets roll the dice and hope for the best

Hi LucidLemon, I got your email and my reply to you was rejected. Email me at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■.

Hello, lucidelemon (love the screen name :wink:)
I’m sorry that you had trouble with email. You can mail me directly at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

LucidLemon, Take a deep breath and realize you are in a good place. You’ve had yours discovered before it ruptured! That means a hospital stay won’t be near as long and recovery is really good!

Just get some lists together of what needs done. Make sure someone will be there to care for your animals and yourself for a few days. Get some easy to fix meals. You may be very tired and a little confused. I think this is due in big part to the anesthesia. Even when I had follow up angiograms following my rupture, I’d get set back and have to work to where I was prior to the procedure. My doc said it was caused from the anesthesia.

We recently discovered that I have a reaction to the Prednisone I take for the dye. LOL who knew? But I just have to take stuff for that and wait for my body to get rid of the Prednisone.

You will do fine! Believe in yourself and your doctor, it really helps. Come on as often as you need. There’s a lot of great people that are here.

Just typed out half a novel to Judy_In_Ontario and was just checking for spelling etc. and boom off the whole thing went into the nether world of “stuff” deleted by accident. I swore to myself and was about to just shut the computer when I saw there was another reply on this site and after a brief moment of embarrassment seeing how I had posted the same thing twice impatiently and childishly complained how “this isn’t working!!!”…read the words “Take a deep breathe…” Thank you Moltroub I needed that! I do know I am one of the lucky ones who had this discovered by accident while there was still a chance of a good outcome and have access to great healthcare.

My main dilemma which I was telling Judy_In_Ontario about before I clumsily deleted the whole thing is logistics. Canadian and American, my husbands family in Boston, two children in the US and my mother and two children in Canada as well as a brother in China and my husband and I not quite halfway through a work assignment in Italy. Flying from Italy to Cincinnati on Jan, 14 where I’ll be staying in a hotel and if the craniotomy takes place on the 23rd most likely will not be able to fly back for six weeks after operation. Everyone’s jobs and or schooling is important including my husbands so am left wondering what to do with myself for the six weeks and hoping I’ll be deficit free asap. Have made a list of questions to ask the doc but other than that there’s just not that much I have control over.
I can keep breathing though :slight_smile: and take it one step at a time. Thank you all for the support, caring and words of wisdom. Patti xo

Hi Patti, Based on your comments, it looks like you do not want to be a burden to your family. But, it is time to be selfish as brain surgery is not like a tooth extraction. As Judy in Ontario mentioned, it is much worse if the aneurysm ruptures like in my case. But, brain surgery is still brain surgery. The good thing is that it looks like you had time and selected a good brain surgeon. So, hopefully, it will reduce the feeling of “rolling the dice” so he can heal you. if untreated, the chances of fatality and permanent disabilities is really high. So, I recommend the documentary on Netflix called “My Beautiful Broken Brain” so they can understand and have context of the effects of aneurysm or AVM. For those six weeks, please take it easy. Consult with your physician on recovery time so do not go back to work too soon. Some craniotomy survivors had additional plastic surgery after their procedures. I hope the best for you and this support group will be vigilant that you have a successful operation and have the best 6 week vacation afterwards with no deficits.

I am just about to watch “My Beautiful Broken Brain” as I couldn’t live with Netflix in Italy as I only speak English and broken French :slight_smile: Thank you for suggesting as I hadn’t noticed it before, typically going for thrillers and escape fiction.
You mentioned that yours had already ruptured and from reading some of your posts it seems you have fared very well considering. That is so good to hear. I am really starting to get the message that everyone is different and all we can do is make informed decisions and then take every day at a time. Worrying won’t get me anywhere except maybe closer to a rupture :slight_smile: I know it’s easier said than done but I will do my level best to “chill” . Thank you for the advice and information, it all helps so much. Patti


Yes, I did fare well after my rupture but still recovering every day and getting better. Mine occurred in the vertebral/PICA located in the brainstem/cerebellum area of the brain. I used to tell my Late Father who was a physician that I had a really stiff neck like it was rod of steel. He told me that I should see a Neurologist if it persists. But, I was so busy with work that I never followed up. I went to see a chiropractor who adjusted my neck. I had headaches for 4 days after the adjustment. On the fifth day, I had a rupture. So, consider that the unruptured aneurysm discovery a blessing. It looks like you did your homework and found an excellent NeuroSurgeon. I hope that you take your current business trip and consider it as a vacation. Enjoy yourself with the best Italian cuisine and take that positive energy back to the States. I hope that you have a successful operation.


Hope this finds you well. I am amazed at how much time has passed since I last came to this site. Just thought I’d let you know that the craniotomy was a success and am very lucky. Wide neck, so coiling was not an option. Upon operating, surgeon found three berry heads so it was growing fast. I recovered quite well according to my doc. Was terrified when confronted with retrograde amnesia, but felt better after it was explained to me. I do feel different though. It’s hard to describe and it involves emotions as well as intellectual differences. I don’t know if these differences were brought on by the physical trauma to my brain and body or the psychological trauma involved. It’s been over 9 months now since the craniotomy, so I guess I want to go on record with sharing that I still have after effects, although am so very lucky. I wish I could explain better but Im about to have a little cry :slight_smile:

I am glad that you had a great outcome. For other survivors, those berry heads are deadly as you can have a bleed that you do not notice then a devastating stroke as a consequence. And, you will be surprised how many people with post surgery issues even with unruptured aneurysm with similar issues of not feeling right. So, I recommend giving it some time. My Neuro-Surgeon recommended “rigorous physical exercise” as one of the best brain recovery exercises. I also encourage you to attend an Aneurysm Awareness Walk where you can meet other survivors, Neurosurgeons, and Neurologists to share your story. In the Bay Area, TAAF has a Aneurysm Awareness Walk Benefit where we walk underneath the Golden Gate Bridge every Spring. I hope the best in your recovery.