Temporal pain, swelling and pressure

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with temporal swelling and pain years after craniotomy. My craniotomy was 4 years ago. Right carotid aneurysm clipping. All typical no real issues in recovery.

I started to complain about pain above my cheek where it appears the muscle was cut from surgery. About six months ago it appears my temple was becoming a bit concave, and my husband indicated my cheek bone looked like it was protruding out.

I find now above my cheek bone, I have what feels like a knot, have swelling, pressure and pain. by end of day I just want to close my eyes and lay down. There is pressure under my right eye,
And swelling fans out above my ear, all along the temporal muscle.
Normal or no?

Hey Moira,

I’m not a Dr, but I wouldn’t think that was normal BUT as you’ve listed “…it appears the muscle was cut from surgery…” in which case I’d recommend obtaining a referral back to the surgeon. Initially, post craniotomy, I was told it was all recovery pain. But years later, all of that ‘recovery’ has finished, so any concerns need to be reinvestigated.

I too have some awful issues with facial pressure. It has now been established why and although they have attempted to remedy the problem, some days the pressure behind my eyes is HUGE, like my eyeballs are going to pop from my skull, but, for now, I’ve been told this is about as good as it gets. Further surgery may not resolve it, in fact I’ve been told further surgery my exacerbate symptoms.

My advice:- Get an independent assessment/opinion. They may come back with exactly the same view as your present medical team, but this just confirms your present diagnosis. But if there is another view then you have every right to investigate your options. I’ve lost count of how many 2nd, 3rd, 4th… opinions I’ve obtained. I want to know ALL of my options.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

Hoping people with craniotomy experience share their experience. In the meantime, reach out to your doctor, even your PCP, maybe they will order an MRI to see what’s going on with the muscles. Please keep us posted

I’m 15yrs out from craniotomy. Right temporal lobe. Muscle was cut, I was told it could not be repaired. I do have discomfort/pain from time to time. I also have skull pain where plate was removed & replaced. I’ve never really question it figured it’s just a post-o- thing. Mostly feel it when weather is bad.


I am 12 years post craniotomy. I do have similar issues as well. 2 years after craniotomy i had fat injections at my temple to help with the nerve pain. It keeps the skin from rubbing on the nerves. It worked for a time but still have pain. I moved to west virginia from Wyoming 6 years ago and had minimal issues until then. Neurolagist has told me that the pressure changes here can cause these issues/pain. I do keep a migraine tracker and include these pains to look at patterns and what might help. I have found sinus headache meds seem to help best on these days. I am not a dr. But just sharing what has worked for me. I wish i had something better for you. It is definitely not something you prepare for . I call them days that feel like my face is melting off. The past two days have been the melting face days. …just have to stay positive…rest…drink lots of water. Keep smiling and know we are here beside you

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Hi, I had a cranial above my right side upper above eye, the cut was from my right ear all around to my left eye., had 3 benign tumors removed Dec 2021, I couldn’t open and still can’t all the way my mouth. The muscle there was cut. Sometimes raising my right eye up I feel my face- stretching somewhat. I have a spot where the plate was reattached and it’s sunken in somewhat. I don’t think you should have a lot of swelling still nor that much pain- you definitely should call your doctor and talk to the nurse to be sure!!

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I felt that my right face, eyes are swollen, both my knee, feet

The only one I could do by taking herbs anti inflammatory, it will help

It will not work magically but it is lowering down the pain

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Hello, nearly eight years after clip of Annie in right circle of Willis. I often have swelling in my right temporal area where the scar is most visible. It seems to occur most often when I am overly tired. It feels as if it is throbbing. Swelling appears to reduce after rest. The doctor has not been concerned and my MRI’s check out okay. I hope this helps. Take care and May God bless you. Jj

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I don’t have swelling but I do get intense pains around my eye/cheek and right temple. I am 5 years post clipping on right side. The surgeons did not respond about the pain. My regular doctor (he is very young) is theorizing that the Vagus nerve (behind ear) is causing the issues, due to surgery. I have had a few scans done and nothing was found. but the fact you are having swelling tells me you definitely need to get checked out.

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