Work and Annie

They are looking at whether to coil or clip this little monster in my head. My question is how much time did you have to take off from work? If you had it coiled how long were you off work? If you had it clipped how long were you off work?
Thank you :blush:

When will you know which procedure they will do? I ruptured so not much help on when I could return to work, I couldn’t. Though someone at the office said I could return to work in two weeks, I was still in NSICU🤣

From what I’ve read here, most people are taking 2-3 weeks off for a coiling and maybe about the same time period or longer for a craniotomy. I know many have said they wish they’d taken a bit longer than what the surgeon said. I hope many members will share their experience!

I have heard that most people take about four weeks off after craniotomy. The coiling is dependent upon the person. It sounds like it’s more if the area of about two weeks. Of course literature will tell you one week. But I am not sure how confident I would feel about going back to work one week after they had sneaked into my brain and put quail in there. They’re having a meeting on Tuesday to discuss it. It’s such a rock and a hard place, isn’t it? I don’t want the damn thing in my head but I also don’t want them drilling into my head. I’m not sure which is the better or worse option


Hi @Abbycat70

I had my arteriovenous malformation blocked off with glue (no coils, but similar to a coiling). I took two weeks off sick from work and then decided to take an extra week as leave, so 2-3 weeks sounds sensible to me.

I think the question is for the doctors to discuss which will suit you best and then explain their thoughts to you. You can come out of either really very well or it can cause trouble, so it is very difficult (without the appropriate information and skills) to know how yours is likely to run.

Do let us know the explanation (because we are all interested in these kinds of decisions) and when you get a date, let us know and we’ll cheer you on from the sidelines.

Best wishes,


The options of craniotomy vs coiling seem to lie more with location and what the surgeon feels most comfortable with it seems. Everything I’ve ever read has said endovascular methods of treatment (coiling, stents, glue in @DickD’s case) is less invasive than a craniotomy. However, it is not without its own set of risks. I kept having faith in Dr, Quintero-Wolfe’s abilities as a surgeon and relied on her to make those decisions based on her vast knowledge and experience. She would often warn me about placing faith in her. I would just explain that when it’s my time to go, I will go and nothing in the world will stop me…I won’t hold it against her :joy:.

Have you written a pro and con list? For me, when I’m in a quandary, it’s what I’ve always done. You already know you prefer to have it fixed than to live with it. When Dr. Q-W told us that she may have to do a craniotomy, we started the pro and con list with her and then continued it when we got home. I like to think it helped the three of us make a decision on which was the best course of action for me. But it was all based on what she found during the angiogram. It also helped me prepare for the possibility of a craniotomy. I had my hair cut short so it wouldn’t look so lopsided. We updated our wills, cleaned the house, did all the yard work I could think of…things like that. It was a friend that suggested I get my House and house in order. So use friends and family to help make the list.

Hey Abbeycat,

For my initial surgery I took 3 weeks off, wish I’d taken 5. That little bit more would have been beneficial, I got back to work but after a days work even just driving home was a challenge and by the time I got home all I wanted was a bed. The exhaustion was extreme.

The next surgery was the craniotomy. Post craniotomy, my then girlfriend (now wife) put her foot down and wouldn’t let me return until 6weeks and even then I was on restricted duties. The recovery from the craniotomy, for me, took much longer, even after 6weeks I was on a seesaw of symptoms. The bad days just started stretching out further apart. I had headaches but they were manageable with medications and rest. I reported my symptoms to the medicos, but was told all was OK (according to the scans) … …only it wasn’t and a month later I was back on the operating table.

By no means am I saying my journey was ‘normal’ but I have now had a few neurosurgeries and none of the recoveries have been the same, neither in time nor side effects. I myself would have difficulty trying to compare one surgery to another or one recovery to another. One thing I have learnt however is that recovery takes as long as it takes. The medicos like to give ‘timelines’ for recovery ie 6-8weeks and if everything goes perfectly and your recovery is a breeze, that 6-8weeks can work. But one little bump in your recovery road, even something minimal or insignificant, can blow that timeline out by weeks, even months. Don’t try to rush your recovery. You really can set yourself back by pushing yourself.

I say this because I did the exact opposite. I was told 6-8weeks and pushed to meet that timeline, but I pushed too hard too soon, doing myself a greater injury. My body was giving me little signs, I didn’t listen and kept pushing. Something went POP and I was back in hospital, ahhh, Don’t be doing that. If your body starts telling you, giving you signs, you must listen.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

I had a coiling and to go back and get another coiling and a stent put in because the coiling gets soft. I would ask you doc about it.

Mine was fairly large, so they did the clip and I had to take 2 months off from work. It also could have been my age because I was in my late 60s. I chose the clip because my doctor assured me that it would not move, but I have it checked every couple of years with an MRI. I hope this helps.

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Hi @Abbycat70 - i had clipping in 2019. Because of the location, coiling wasn’t an option and they could tell it was going to burst soon so I had to do the craniotomy rather quickly. My doctor gave me approval for 8 weeks off. By week 2 I felt good and honestly probably could have returned—but you will be tired and in my case I had a shaved head with an enormous scar ear to ear so I was happy to have a little more time for hair growth! It was really nice to have that time. If you can afford it, take it! You owe it to yourself. This is a big deal! Good luck!

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I had a web put in in January and took a week off and was fine. Then I had to return for coil and stent in May. I took 1 week off after that, but probably should have had 2. I wasn’t prepared for the post-surgery head pain (1x), vision issues, anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD ( because they are all awake procedures even with the drugs) In total, I’ve had 5 angio-type procedures/surgeries this year and have never had a catheter. 4 out of 5 times they were able to go radial artery. Perhaps the aneurysm location affects the post-surgery side-effects, I’m not sure. Getting back to work and keeping busy did help me to get past everything for the most part. But listen to your body and your head and take it easy. You will be more tired and I also can’t look at screens too long before I need a break or to get off completely.

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