Surgery away from home? Please share how you did it


Hello friends. I will be having a bypass surgery for an aneurysm on my Middle Cerebral Artery (right side).

I will be traveling from Denver to Phoenix for surgery. How long should I plan on staying in Phoenix for recovery before going home? Right now I’m planning on staying there for about a week post surgery.

Should I have my mom come stay with me after 2 weeks (in addition to husband?)

Will I have restrictions?

Will i need physical therapy?

What other things should I know and can expect?

Doctor said I’ll be back to normal in 4 weeks, nurses said 8. What is recover timeline?


Hi Trekhard. Congratulations on finding your Annie before it ruptures. You will find a lot of information available online about what to expect. The challenge of brain surgery is that everyone is different. This is not as straight forward as having a heart bypass where they can tell you beforehand what you will be doing on day 2 and day 3 post-op. Your condition will determine your care and your healing. Fatigue is something that everyone deals with post-op. Take it as it comes. Your brain is healing while you sleep so don’t fight it. Your brain is rewiring and building new connections and that is all good. So let your need for rest be the determinant. 4weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks. Don’t stress how long it takes. Wishing you a successful surgery and recovery.


Thanks Judy. Do you have any input on the travel aspects?


Trekhard, if you are having your surgery in Phoenix, I assume that you are having your Surgery at Barrows Neurological Institute which is one of the best places to go. Please consult with your Neurosurgeon’s office opinion on the length of hospital stay. They should be providing you the guidelines including restrictions, medication and recovery time. Keep a journal. Make sure that you request all medical records including Neuro-Surgeon notes which will indicate the size, location and method to address the aneurysm. Hopefully, it will be completely successful with any complications. But, if neurological issues can develop later, those records will help in any follow ups. You are in good hands and good luck.


Thank you. I know I will be in ICU 2-3 days, then discharged. I’m going to stay extra time in Phoenix in case any complications arise (I’m thinking a week). Trying to find out what most people do who travel.


Sounds like a good plan. Please make sure to rest. It is still major surgery. Who is your Neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Lawton?


Yes. I have not had an appointment with him, have just gone through the 2nd opinion program.


I wish you luck and a quick recovery. Everyone ssay be patient. I say find some haling distractions. much love&


Thank you Glenda.


Hi just had a pipeline installed on 2 aneurysms. Surgery went very well. It’s been 18 days and I am still dealing with a nasty headache inside my brain and at the base of my neck. We traveled 6 hours by car to OHSU. I was in ICU for one night and left the hospital the next day around 11:00. Very exhausting day. My husband stayed with me the next day, worked on Friday and then was home for most of the weekend. Honestly the first week I mostly just slept, took medicine and tried to eat something. I was fine by myself during the day and he only works 15 minutes away.
This is my second pipeline. First one was done in 2011. Recovery from that one was way easier than this time. Was off work for 3 weeks then back to teaching second graders.
My current recovery not only includes the killer headache, but also total loss of taste, weird wrist pain and a few other weird things.
So I think every time is different. I don’t know about air travel. I would ask my doctor about that.
This procedure was not planned and I had scheduled a trip to New Orleans next week. I had to cancel that. Really not up to the energy involved in travel, the social scene and totally not past this headache yet
I wish you the best of luck.


Thank you that is helpful.


Hey Trek- Short term memory issues. Couldn’t remember the rest of your name. I have not had any physical therapy for any of my pipeline stents. I have a total of 4 aneurysms. 3 are corrected by pipeline stents. I have 1 more to fix. I am struggling this time with decision making, and dealing with any real kind of stress or pressure. And of course headaches. And Emotional. For me it is a slow process this time but pretty much moving closer to recovery. The pipeline process is a trama to the brain and how your brain reacts to that varies I think every time. You and I are lucky we got an intervention before a rupture occurred. My brother had a rupture in 2003 and had significant damage. It helps me to keep in mind that it could be a LOT worse. Again good luck and gods speed in your journey.


Thank you so much. I am going to have a bypass surgery. It’s hard to know what to expect because it seems the doctor’s minimize it. Thank you for your wishes, good luck to both you and your brother, and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.


Yes I believe doctors do minimize recovery time and level of discomfort. Hang in there.