Author Topic: How long does the pain around the incision area last?  (Read 6304 times)

mk

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How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« on: June 01, 2011, 07:36:14 am »
I am now a bit more than 4 weeks post-op - I had the retrosigmoid surgery. During the last week I have been noticing that the craniotomy area is very painful. It is not a headache, but located in the bone area and I feel it mostly when lying down. I had this pain right after surgery while I was in hospital, but now it has appeared again. Previously the area was totally numb, but recently I have started to get some feeling back - I wonder if it is just the nerves that are regenerating. Ibuprofen, or even the Tylenol/codeine prescription that I have don't work. So it is really hard to find a good position to sleep. Has anyone experienced something similar? I remember reading some posts about special pillows etc., any suggestions are welcome.

Marianna
GK on April 23rd 2008 for 2.9 cm AN at Toronto Western Hospital. Subsequent MRIs showed darkening initially, then growth. Retrosigmoid surgery on April 26th, 2011 with Drs. Akagami and Westerberg at Vancouver General Hospital. Graduallly lost hearing after GK and now SSD but no other issues.

CHD63

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 10:47:53 am »
Hi Marianna .....

It is three weeks post-op today for me, but I had translab this time.  It is still very numb and aches, but no pain really ..... so I'm not much help.  I do remember after the retrosigmoid three years ago, the incision area was very sore and tender for a long time.  Not sure what, if any, difference there should be.  I would think a craniotomy is a craniotomy from either approach.

Since this is new in the last week for you, can you call or email Dr. Akagami?  Just to check and make sure he considers this a normal part of the recovery.  Never hurts to ask.

Quite a while ago, Brenda suggested getting a snoogle (long snake-like pillow) for back problems so I got one that I used for a long time.  Not sure it would be very helpful in this situation.  I'm still basically only sleeping on my non-AN side with a regular pillow ..... just more comfortable.

Hopefully someone will have some other suggestions.

Clarice
Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

Jim Scott

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 02:36:58 pm »
Marianna ~

I had a similar problem post-op.  The incision area healed just fine but I could not lie my head on that side for close to a year.  It wasn't painful, but it felt sore.   That resolved (on it's own ) within a year.  The 'numbness' went away at approximately the same time.  Although the incision area never regained 100% sensation it isn't really noticeable to me.  I can feel my scalp so I'm good with that.  Because I normally sleep on the opposite side of my incision area, I never needed any special aids so I'm afraid I can't be of any help, there.  However, based on my experience, the discomfort is not permanent so there is 'light at the end of the tunnel', as it were.   

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

leapyrtwins

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 05:40:46 pm »
Marianna -

sorry to hear about your pain  :(

I had retrosigmoid and fortunately the only pain I had post op was a stiff neck.  Then again, my left ear and the surgical site were so numb I probably wouldn't have felt pain even if I had it  :P  My numbness lasted a long, long time.  When I had my BAHA implant, 9 months later, I still had numbness.

I hope this pain is one of the few side-effects you are experiencing from your surgery.  And I also hope that it passes swiftly.

Best,

Jan
Retrosigmoid 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
AN 3.0 cm left side (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD.  BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

yardtick

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 12:37:31 pm »
Marianna,

No to be "Negative Nelly" here, but I still have pain around my incision especially when I'm laying on it.  It's almost 5 years since the surgery and 3 years since I had a scar revision.  I think I'm an unusual case  ::)

Anne Marie   
Sept 8/06 Translab
Post surgical headaches, hemifacial spasms and a scar neuroma. 
Our we having fun YET!!! 
Watch & Wait for more fun & games

MNTim

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 09:00:05 pm »
I am just over a year from my second retrosigmoid surgery and I still have pain at the incision.  In fact I think it is more painful than the area near my translab incision from 5 months ago.

Tim
8/31/09 hydrocephulus-emergent drain
9/2/09 5 cm AN debulked, Retro Sig Abbott NW
5/18/10 Second debulk, Retro Sig Abbott NW
1/31/11 Translab, 7/12 Graft Mayo Rochester, MN
2/12/11 Lumbar drain
3/14/11 Eustacian tube packing procedure for CSF leak
2/28/13 Platinum weight & Tarsorrhaphy

tenai98

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 05:53:14 am »
So sorry to hear of your pain...I had translab and NO pain.  As Clarice suggested, try and contact Dr Akagami??
JO
14mmX11mmX11mm left ear
TRANSLAB 04/07/09 2cms at time of surgery
Dr. Benoit and Schramm, Ottawa Civic Campus
SSD ,some facial numbness
Baha surgery sept 22/09
residual tumor 13mmX7mmX8mm

RichB57

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 10:28:21 am »
Hi Marianna,

I'm now 6 weeks post-op and have had similar pain.  I found that with my right side facial paralysis (AN was on right), if I slept on my left side, my sinuses on the right complete collapsed, and if my left sinuses were congested, I couldn't breathe.  So I was sleeping on my right and my incision would be very painful all the next morning, with waves of severe pain.  Now I use "breathe right" strips to open my right sinuses, so I can sleep on my left side.  Being SSD on the right side makes it very quiet when sleeping on my left.  ;D Every cloud has a silver lining. 
Diagnosed 12/1/2010, 12.3 mm x 15.2 mm x 15.2 mm, retrosigmoid removal by Drs. Barker & Lee at MGH on April 20, 2011. Lost blood supply to auditory nerve, so SSD. Facial paralysis.

ilsemor

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 09:53:31 am »
I went to acupuncture for 9 months and everytime I went I felt great, it even helped healing my ingrown hairs.  Unfortunately, it is been almost 2 years and the area is still sore.  Try to apply sabiila gel or oloe vera, I used to cut the plant, make an incision in the middle to expose the gel and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds, then apply it to the area, it used to give me the greatest relief. 
Good luck!

mk

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 01:48:15 pm »
I did contact Dr. Akagami. He explained that the nerves in the incision area have been cut and are now regenerating (I suppose the occipital nerve?). He expects that this will cause all sorts of strange sensations, tingling and perhaps pain. He suggested to stick with the medications I currently use (alternating Aleve, Tylenol 3 and ibuprofen) and wait it out.
Meanwhile, I searched extensively older threads on the forum on the subject, trying to find some alternative ways (other than medication). I found out from one of Captain Deb's posts that cold packs can help with the nerve pain, and indeed they have helped a lot. I am also found a suggestion for a good anatomic pillow that provides neck and shoulder support - off this afternoon to buy it.

And yes, Rich I have also found that being SSD is very convenient when trying to take a nap in a house with noisy kids like mine.  ;D

Marianna
GK on April 23rd 2008 for 2.9 cm AN at Toronto Western Hospital. Subsequent MRIs showed darkening initially, then growth. Retrosigmoid surgery on April 26th, 2011 with Drs. Akagami and Westerberg at Vancouver General Hospital. Graduallly lost hearing after GK and now SSD but no other issues.

ilsemor

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 03:57:40 pm »
Yes, I used ice packs too for myheadaches and it worked really well, I never thought it could have worked for the incision area too.  We never stop learning..  :)

Mark241

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 05:12:06 am »
I have had my incision site "revised"  three times over the past 5 years. My latest surgery, and with hope, the last, in Feb. The site finally stopped being painful about 4 weeks ago, I still have slight "Tingles" though, and some tenderness. In my experience, I would put a heating pad on the area a few times a day. Heat therapy seemed to speed up the nerve healing, at least for me. Good Luck! 
4cm C1  16hrs                 Barrows, Jan 06      NF2
3.5 cm  Right AN retro       Barrows, Oct 06   
Cranial Plate removal           UNM Nov 07
LP                                   Barrows  Jan,2011
Wound revision                 Barrows Feb, 2011
5mm left middle Fossa,  (2) 2mm spine w&w

opp2

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 08:17:43 am »
I did contact Dr. Akagami. He explained that the nerves in the incision area have been cut and are now regenerating (I suppose the occipital nerve?). He expects that this will cause all sorts of strange sensations, tingling and perhaps pain. He suggested to stick with the medications I currently use (alternating Aleve, Tylenol 3 and ibuprofen) and wait it out.
Meanwhile, I searched extensively older threads on the forum on the subject, trying to find some alternative ways (other than medication). I found out from one of Captain Deb's posts that cold packs can help with the nerve pain, and indeed they have helped a lot. I am also found a suggestion for a good anatomic pillow that provides neck and shoulder support - off this afternoon to buy it.

And yes, Rich I have also found that being SSD is very convenient when trying to take a nap in a house with noisy kids like mine.  ;D

Marianna

I never even thought to tell you about the pillow. I bought mine right after surgery too, but to help with the my neck and shoulder pain that I've had for years. I have a contoured memory foam pillow, and I have had no neck or shoulder pain since buying mine. Actually I was away on a course last week, and my neck and shoulder were on fire by Friday...shoulda taken my pillow with me.

I hope it works out for you.

Nikki
Diagn Apr 14 2009 with 2.5 cm lt AN. - numbness in the face and sudden onset headaches accompanied by balance issues. Consults with Drs in S Ontario, California (House) and Vancouver. Picked Dr. Akagami in BC.
Retrosigmoid July 6, 2010, 3.0cm by then. SSD left, no other significant side effects.

yardtick

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Re: How long does the pain around the incision area last?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 04:41:57 pm »
Memory foam pillows are the way to go.  I have several pillows that I bounce around all night long, but my memory foam is my favourite.  

Anne Marie

PS If my hubby even places a finger on my pillow after I have plumped it and gotten comfortable, look out the mean old witch rears her ugly head  >:D
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 04:45:08 pm by yardtick »
Sept 8/06 Translab
Post surgical headaches, hemifacial spasms and a scar neuroma. 
Our we having fun YET!!! 
Watch & Wait for more fun & games

 


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