Author Topic: Positioning of body during treatment......  (Read 4809 times)


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Positioning of body during treatment......
« on: November 20, 2006, 08:15:27 pm »
After reading a few recent posts, that topic is one of the questions I was asking myself.

For starters, I am thinking that whatever position one ends up in for treatment ( and I mean the physical positioning of the body), I am thinking it's most likely the best that the docs have for their job, whether it's open surgery or some form of radiation....

Then, I think, ok, yes, but open surgery can mean hours for the patient. (as radiation is so much less in time of course).

It would appear to me that some Aners have some symptoms that are newly experienced post treatment and  that they perhaps have a direct bearing on the position (plus subesquent mobility/pain) that their body was positioned during their op.

I'm all for helpful things for them while lying there for so long.

I think the question is (for me) what is the best lying down position anyway for a long (maybe 5-8-15 hr) operation? (apart from specific angles depending on whether it's trans lab or mid fossa or etc.......)...

can't help it.... I get curious about things  :)

am all for good post treatment experiences.....



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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 09:36:23 pm »
I had a long term physical therapy in 1998 to overcome a frozen shoulder joint on my left side. I was concerned about more neck pain from brain surgery. Also, I had a poor history with steriod injections.

I knew I would lay on my left side for translab.  I requested in the pre-op room that a clamp not be used on my head. (My friend who had translab 6 months previously had sore spots on both sides of her head post op.  She said it was from a clamp that the doctor used.)  I had no sore spots, only a few headaches. 

My elbow on the non AN side was very painful for a few weeks post op.  I later heard it was a side effect of steriod injections in that side where the IV was located.  Who knows maybe I laid on my elbow for 9 hours of surgery.  I had to prop that elbow on a soft pillow when I slept for the first two weeks.  So sleeping on my back was the only way to go.  I have no residual elbow pains, nor head pains now.  My ear was very sensitive for about 6 months post op.  I doubt I could have avoided the ear sensitivity.

I had a very dull aching sensation in my temple and ear lobe for about 24 hours 10 days post op.  This sensation preceded the late onset facial issues that I developed.   I doubt I could have avoided this problem as my tumor was very sticky.  Some tumors are not sticky.  Some tumors slide off the nerve.  Too bad the nerves get so compressed. 

Altogether, I'd say requesting that we not use a head clamp was the best thing I learned.  My friend was complaining about her head sore spots for three months post op.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 06:37:02 pm by Boppie »


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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 08:29:45 am »
For my translab, I was under anesthesia for 11.5 hours.  My understanding is that I was on my back with my head turned all the way to the right (to expose the left-side AN).  This did result in a sore neck/shoulder on the left side for a few days post-op, but it wasn't a big deal.  (Maybe b/c of all those drugs I was on!  LOL!)


I did end up with a deep pressure bruise on my left elbow (my right arm had all the IVs) right in the "funny bone" space.  This resulted in severe swelling around the ulnar nerve that runs through there, and I now have nerve damage in the pinky and ring finger on my left hand (classic "carpital tunnel syndrom", apparently - not the same as carpel tunnel syndrome!).  No one yet knows if the damage is permanent - it's too soon to tell.  I absolutely do remember the nurses padding under that elbow just before I went out, and my neurosurgeon commented that they spent a good 20 mins positioning my arm.  So it's very disappointing that this still happened.  I often wonder if I could've requested that the nurses move my (non-IV) limbs around once an hour or something.  Hindsight is a kicker, right?

diagnosed June 2005
2.3cmx1.6cmx1.4cm left AN
translab Sept 13, 2006; Drs. McKenna and Barker in MA (MEEI/MGH)


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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 08:41:15 am »
  I had no post-op pains from any "positional" issues from surgery.  I'm only mentioning it to let you know that not everyone has these pains post-op.  My guess is that along with the position the surgeons put you in, that your overall physical conditioning and pre-existing joint problems also play a roll.
1.5 X 1.0 cm AN- left side
Retrosigmoid 2/9/06
Duke Univ. Hospital

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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2006, 02:50:25 pm »
Hi - I did have a problem with a severe "Charlie Horse" of my quad after 9-hr surgery in August.   I have to say it was probably the worst pain I have ever had and was a major factor in recovery.  I would suggest at least addressing the issue with your surgeon before the fact, although I wonder whether it can be avoided in all situations.  And of course, getting the tumor out is more important!!  My understanding is that they did put me on a "beanbag" type thing, but I may not have gotten moved very often. 

Best of luck!!!!!

Jim Scott

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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2006, 03:58:50 pm »

Like 'HeadCase2, I had no noticable aches or pains following my 9-hour (retrosigmoid) AN removal surgery.  I'm 63 and while in basically good physical condition and not overweight, I haven't seen the inside of a gym since high school.  I had no back problems, pre-op.  Still don't.  Maybe I was just fortunate, but then, everyone is unique and I'm sure that every neurosurgeon has their own method of positioning patients they operate on for many hours - and that could also be a factor.   

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.


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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 04:44:58 pm »
My only issue seemed to be a patch of hair on the non-an side that disappeared.  They said they didn't shave it, that it must have just been from it's position on the table for 6 1/2 hours.  It was about the size of a 50 cent piece.  I did not have a head frame used either.  I remember lying down on my back on the surgical table, and remember nothing else till they were wheeling me into ICU and trying to wake me up.  I have no idea how I was positioned. 
3.1cm x 2.0cm x 2.1cm rt AN Translab 7/5/06
CSF leak 7/17/06 fixed by 8 day lumbar drain
Dr. Backous, Virgina Mason Seattle
12/26/07 started wearing TransEar


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Re: Positioning of body during treatment......
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2006, 10:32:12 am »
Thank you so much for all your replies!

It's a blessing to be able to come here and have my questions answered like that by all of you who have your own personal experience and so happily share it here.

I look back at my decision making time last year when I was running around to appointments and talks with various specialists and i know that my reading here and on a couple of other boards made a big difference in how I handled my thinking and decision. It's quite emotionally isolating in a way to hear that one has a brain tumour, very much so in the first days and weeks.  Being able to see that plenty of others have had one too, makes a huge difference, and adds that measure of confidence and positive thinking about proceding with any of the treatment choices.

I am quite content with my choice of fsr. Time will tell if my "lump" has been stopped for good. I am  thinking piositively about that.... yet, if i should ever need re-treatment of any kind, it's reasuring to know I can come to a board like this and read others experiences.

Thanks again  :)