Vago spasm

My sister survived an aneurysm back in Feb. She has been passing out frequently, and every time we see the Dr. there's a different explanation. Today they said they think she is having Vago Spasms, and she could continue to have these for the rest of her life. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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I wish I could be of help...and I have seen other's who have experienced vaso spasm's here at BAF...What are the Doctors doing for your sister, medication, etc., ?... I am going to share this with the members group and see if we can get some more input...~ Colleen

I had vasospasms but they occurred while I was in the hospital shortly after my rupture. Don't really remember anything about that period but my sister who is a nurse said they are very bad and I think if that is what your sister is experiencing the doctors would do something about them? I'm thinking maybe they indicated something other than vasospasms?

I suffered from vasospasms after my craniotomy. After many different medicines, the neurosurgeon started me on nortryptaline about three months ago. Just 20 mgs at night but it seems to have lessened the symptoms, I also take a blood vessel relaxant that helped with my blood pressure. I never passed out though, that sounds like it could be something more serious. As explained to me, vasospasms are our brain having the equivalent of muscle spasms, I do not think that would cause fainting. I would keep asking, the doctors sometimes dismiss what they can't explain. Wish I could help more. Good luck.

I have vasospasms a lot. They can sometimes give you the same symptoms as a stroke. Depending where they occur, they can be quite painful. I know of 3 types of vasospasms. Phenomenon, Corenary artery vasopspams and some type of cerebral vasospasm syndrome. They are very common following brain aneurysms though and should definitely be monitored. However, I am not a doctor so please do not take what I am say as me giving any kind of certainty. I just know this as I have a vassomotor dysfunction and have these spasms in all 3 places.

I hope the info helps

Hi there,

Not sure if this is helpful at all but….my sister experienced a ruptured aneurysm 10 years ago and had surgery. The one thing the nurses kept telling us is to ensure she drinks tons of water. I know it sounds so simple, but it was very very important. My sister suffered a few minor vaso spasms but there was no lasting effects, no passing out or fainting, no stroke or mini strokes. I do not know for sure if the amount of water she drank helped or not, but just what I remember the nurses telling us, over and over again, after her surgery. Also am not sure it would help after 6 months, but just wanted to share what I experienced.

Thank you
Karen Greiter

I never had a vasospasm after mine ruptured but I was on medication to prevent them. Try a calcium channel blocker such as verapamil or a nitrate. My prayers are with your sister!

Thank you for your response. My sister had Vasospasms before she had the craniotomy, they treated them with angioplasty and medication. She hasn't had a problem with them since then, the Drs. called it a Vago spasm. After some research and getting the official diagnosis they called it Vasovagal syncopal episode, which is just a fancy term for unknown reason for passing out. You're very right about the Drs's dismissing things. That, and having to know what questions to ask in order to get the right info has been the most frustrating part. She hasn't had the bone replaced yet from craniotomy because she developed a staph infection that took forever to heal. I'm hoping and praying after she has that net surgery she will be able to get up and move around more, and the passing out will stop.

15%-20% of people with ruptured aneurysms will experience Vasospasm. This is a constricting of the arteries in the brain which supply needed blood to the various parts of the brain. this is considered a type of stroke. I had Vasospasm eight days after my surgery. It affected the area of my brain that controls speech. I still work on my speech, its not bad, but under stressful circumstances its noticeable. Vasospasm, if it occurs will happen eight to fifteen days after surgery. Its treated in one of three ways. The most invasive way is to use stints to open up the arteries. They can artifically increase your blood pressure to open up the arteries {which they did to me and it worked. Took seven days but is the most common method to open the arteries}. There is some medicine that can be used on a daily basis, but I have little knowledge of this. Vasospasm is very very serious. In severe cases it causes death. I would find another doctor, this condition is treatable. Good luck

After I posted this I learned the exact diagnosis of Vasovagal Synoptic episode. Basically it's a guessing game, they have not given us an exact reason as to why this is happening. They did say if it is the vaso synapse there's nothing they can do for her.

Hello there. I suffered a vasospasm that caused me to have a hemorrhagic stroke. Docs suspected the vaso spasm to be from RCVS and put me on a calcium channel blocker called nimotop(not sure of the spelling) and keppra to keep me from having a seizure. vaso spasm free now for 9 months. Keppra was awful with side effects.

Hope this helps!


You're correct, they are very serious, and she had them for about three weeks after the rupture. They were finally able to control them with angioplasty and medications. I found out it's officially called vasovagal synoptic episode. not sure why they told my Brother in law Vago spasm, it just confused everyone. Thank you for your input, it's greatly appreciated.

I had vasospasms after my surgery. However, they just went in and did a angioplasty and I have had no issues since. When I did have the vasospams I was extremely mean from what I have been told. Hope your sister gets some relief. How scary.....I know even every little headache scares me :(


Hi: I think there is some confusion in terms. There are two terms that are close in spelling, but not in meaning: vasospasm (the artery involved closes up for a brief period of time after an aneurysm occurs) and vasovagal syncope (fainting in a variety of situations, like pain, stress. dehydration, and loss of sleep, which is not necessarily related to an aneurysm).

I would want to know how carefully they eliminated the other causes of her passing out. Did they do an EEG? Did they witness an episode of fainting? There are other causes of problems that appear to be similar to fainting, like epilepsy, which can occur after (or before) a brain injury.

At the very least, I would have a second consultation, since the current doctors have sort of dismissed it as permanent. If you can get to a major teaching hospital and make an appointment with a neurologist there, you might get a more thorough workup and they might find a treatable cause.

There's something else you can do. If you can find out the trigger of her fainting, if it is vasovagal syncope, it might help avoid it. Keep a diary of things that happen in the hour/day before the event. You might see a common theme that could help her avoid it.

Your sister is lucky to have such a concerned family member! I had the cranioplasty (to fix the bone damaged by the craniotomy). It went very well and had a much shorter recovery. Good luck to both of you.

I always seem to say the same thing but…get a second opinion ASAP. I was on Keppra for a long time with no side effects. There are other things. Is she in LA? UCLA and Cedars Sinai are the best for neuro so find someone there.

I agree with you. I misunderstood what was being asked until reading through the thread completely. I had unexplained syncope for a while and was finally diagnosed with Narcolepsy/Cataplexy and Petite Mal Seizures, int the reverse order. I still have many periods through out the day that I don't remember things but the falling is less frequent. However, my aneurysms were not in my brain so I cannot relate my symptoms to post rupture. There has been a link to post operative patients and Narcolepsy and Epilepsy.

I first thought there might be a misprint, but I think Sigmund properly explained the confusion. I know nothing about vasovagal syncope, but vasospasms were explained to us at Swedish in Denver.

We were told that it was common to experience vasospasms four to fourteen days after the coiling, and it happened exactly as they said. It was treated with angioplasties virtually daily, sometimes the balloon alone, sometimes medicine alone, and sometimes the two together.

Their explanation was something like this: The aneurysm is fixed, but the brain is still concerned with the blood that has spilled onto it. So the brain constricts the blood vessels to lessen or stop the perceived bleed, not realizing that the fix has been successful. Blood is actually much needed then to heal and restore. So the vessels must be opened up to allow flow. After a period of time the brain becomes accustomed to the new situation and ceases its efforts to constrict.

But apparently the vasovagal syncope is something quite different, and that is likely the discussion here. Hopefully your sister's doctors can explain it for your benefit. I did a brief internet search and found a number of fairly technical articles, nothing I can quickly summarize here. It seems like it could be a heart and brain issue.

I hope there is help for your sister. Sorry that we cannot be more helpful here. I will pray for her.

oops I think I goofed for you...sorry...I wrote vasospasm's...sorry...

At discharge brain aneurysm patients are usually given a script for vasospasms/ I still have 5 boes from 05; some pharmacy's don't carry t5he meds. I did fine, I was put on them just for a short amount of time, no Vasospasms.

I have to have the aneurysm checked every 6 mo. since 05 had more coils and a stent/ soon if I live check up angiograms once a year

I have had issues where I am walking and my right foot will forget to replace itself on the ground. I will teeter and stumble. I have also had serve dizzy spells with no explanation.