How long to take off from work after MVD & what unexpected sound affects?

I must say that I am beside myself with excitement. A lot has happened since my last post. I was finally referred to 2 neurosurgeons for my glossopharygeal related pain. After almost 2 years of maxing out the list of medicines everyone else is taking and 2 glossopharyngeal nerve blocks, I had exhausted all the pain management techniques that were available.

I saw both neurosurgeons recommended and one of them was a specialist in TN. He told me what I knew, that my symptomology didn't match and that I was less likely to have relief than someone with the classic symptoms. He wanted to do 1-more MRI (this would be my third in 18-months). The previous two had come back negative, so I expected the same here. Much to my surprise the results came back with "possible signs of a compressive artery." I know only those on this channel could understand why I would so excited. There is finally a chance that all my pain can be explained.

I have eagerly agreed to sign up for MVD (5th, 7th & 9th nerve) after the first of the year. My question to this group is how long I should take off from work and what unexpected side effects you experienced after surgery. I work in an office, but it's a demanding job and I regularly work 50 hours/week. I'm a bit worried that in the day and age of 'outpatient surgery' where everyone rushes back to work that I won't ask for enough time off.

Also, I noticed that some people spoke about hoarseness and difficulty talking. Is this a common after-effect?

I didn’t get the hoarseness or any effect to my voice ,I felt kind of a nausea feeling for 8 days after I’m going back to work 4 weeks from surgery date,but surprisingly my surgeon said 10 days after surgery when they did there post op check up and removed stitches that I can go back to regularly activity even weight lifting he said take it slow but I’m giving it atleast 3 weeks I’m 32 years old congratulations on the Mvd surgery

Deleone,

Thanks for your reply. My doctor said something generally about 2 -3 weeks and that just seems too short based on what I hear around here. With my job they will expect me to be 'ready to go' when I get back, so I want to choice the amount of time wisely.

-Jessica

I guess each of our conditions/recoveries vary uniquely. I am five weeks postop and haven't even driven yet. I fatigue easily and my hands are quite shaky. I think I will be ready to drive soon, though. These conditions are due to the side effect of my paralyzed vocal cord, I am thinking. I have an appt. with the ENT on Friday. Also, shakiness possibly due to the weaning off completely of meds from the past 7 years. I didn't rush to drive with the NY holiday road madness and I really didn't need to. As far as going back to work, my livelihood depends on my ability to speak. Thinking at least anther two weeks. Better to ask for more time then try to extend. Congrats on your MRI results. I know what joy it brings to finally have an explanation for the intense pain. You have several nerves involved. I can't imagine what it must feel like. You will need your rest and some assistance. Peace and hope.

I understand these side effects including difficulty swallowing are common. I think 6 weeks to 2 months off is not unrealistic. Best of luck...

I agree with the others in that it is very individual. I took 6 weeks off and went back to my practice part time for two weeks after that. I was able to perform my first surgery on a patient at three months post-op…the patient is still living…lol.

Funny above post! I stayed out almost 7 weeks. I wouldn’t suggest going back for 4-6 weeks. I had some swallowing issues early on, some exhaustion, fevers, chills after coming home. Also had some trouble bending my head down…felt awful…all was resolved when I returned to work…oh ya…also had headaches…all my issues were mild once the first week was over. Nothing was as bad as the 12 years of pain I lived through. I have not had one hint of that pain since surgery. It was the best thing that I did. Good luck to you!

I forgot to mention the head stuffiness and difficulty hearing on my left side for some time. This was the worst side effect and is expected. It felt like my head was in a fish tank. Took about 3 weeks to go away. It was just annoying.

Just make sure when you go to have your surgery you insist tapering off your medications. I had a horrible experience in the hospital. I was there for 4 days. I came home with excruciating headaches not relieved with any medications and later diagnosed with constant migraines from the trauma of surgery and the GPN itself. I went to a headache specialist, pt, and medication to control headaches and are less frequent. I tried to go back to work in 6 weeks but my headaches, fatigue, and voice was to hoarse went to throat doctor and scoped my throat and my left vocal cord is paralyzed, I can’t work until I can talk so I had the collagen injection today. So we will see how that helps. The GPN pain is gone but sometimes my migraines can mimic those symptoms. I feel good right now, but you have to do your homework because neurosurgeon was done with me after no complications on his surgical standpoint. If you have any questions you can email me at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. Just remember everyone is different and each brain heals differently. Hope this helps.

Hi Laura -

Thanks for the feedback - that is what I was thinking was 4-6 weeks so I think I will set that expectation with my co-workers/boss. I know they actively monitor my hearing during the surgery - but that is probably what I am most nervous about, since they are working so closely to the acoustic nerve. It's reassuring to hear that you had some diminished hearing but that it did resolve over time.

-Jessica

Laura said:

Funny above post! I stayed out almost 7 weeks. I wouldn't suggest going back for 4-6 weeks. I had some swallowing issues early on, some exhaustion, fevers, chills after coming home. Also had some trouble bending my head down...felt awful....all was resolved when I returned to work...oh ya...also had headaches...all my issues were mild once the first week was over. Nothing was as bad as the 12 years of pain I lived through. I have not had one hint of that pain since surgery. It was the best thing that I did. Good luck to you!

Hi Tina -

Thank you for the suggestions. Good point that the neurosurgeon will be 'done' with me once he ticks the box that the surgery was complete and sutures removes. I do have a regular neurologist and he said that once I have my surgery date to go ahead and make an appt with him for 4-6 weeks after. I'm glad he is vested in my after-care long term.

I had a nerve block recently so I have already completed the withdrawal from the medicines and I am trying to stay off meds until surgery (taking a little bit of Trileptal - but nothing compared to the cocktail I was taking before the second nerve block.) One of my (unusual) symptoms is migraine - style headaches with the nerve pain. Hopefully they will go away with the surgery - but we will see.

-Jessica

tinabh said:

Just make sure when you go to have your surgery you insist tapering off your medications. I had a horrible experience in the hospital. I was there for 4 days. I came home with excruciating headaches not relieved with any medications and later diagnosed with constant migraines from the trauma of surgery and the GPN itself. I went to a headache specialist, pt, and medication to control headaches and are less frequent. I tried to go back to work in 6 weeks but my headaches, fatigue, and voice was to hoarse went to throat doctor and scoped my throat and my left vocal cord is paralyzed, I can't work until I can talk so I had the collagen injection today. So we will see how that helps. The GPN pain is gone but sometimes my migraines can mimic those symptoms. I feel good right now, but you have to do your homework because neurosurgeon was done with me after no complications on his surgical standpoint. If you have any questions you can email me at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. Just remember everyone is different and each brain heals differently. Hope this helps.

Tina -

BTW - I would really like to hear how your injections went for you vocal cords. Are you expected to get immediate relief? I really hope this helps.

-Jessica

tinabh said:

Just make sure when you go to have your surgery you insist tapering off your medications. I had a horrible experience in the hospital. I was there for 4 days. I came home with excruciating headaches not relieved with any medications and later diagnosed with constant migraines from the trauma of surgery and the GPN itself. I went to a headache specialist, pt, and medication to control headaches and are less frequent. I tried to go back to work in 6 weeks but my headaches, fatigue, and voice was to hoarse went to throat doctor and scoped my throat and my left vocal cord is paralyzed, I can't work until I can talk so I had the collagen injection today. So we will see how that helps. The GPN pain is gone but sometimes my migraines can mimic those symptoms. I feel good right now, but you have to do your homework because neurosurgeon was done with me after no complications on his surgical standpoint. If you have any questions you can email me at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. Just remember everyone is different and each brain heals differently. Hope this helps.

I am so glad you asked this question. I am having MVD on January 14th and wanted to know about recovery and I open up the website and you have already asked the question and there are a whole slew of answers. Good luck with your surgery.



rmc said:

I agree with the others in that it is very individual. I took 6 weeks off and went back to my practice part time for two weeks after that. I was able to perform my first surgery on a patient at three months post-op....the patient is still living...lol.

RMC - I believe you referred me to Dr. McLaughlin and I am scheduled for the MVD surgery on January 14th. On my MRI scans he does not see the "artery" he is looking for?? but we are going ahead with the surgery. He says it doesn't always show up on the MRI. I have so much confidence in him and a lot has to do with your referral. I hope he has as much success with me as he did with you. Thanks for the referral.



Holly said:



rmc said:

I agree with the others in that it is very individual. I took 6 weeks off and went back to my practice part time for two weeks after that. I was able to perform my first surgery on a patient at three months post-op....the patient is still living...lol.

Wow ! I am so glad that I was of any help in your path to recovery. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Dr. Marc is a special dude. He will do ll he can to help you. Did you let him know I sent you. Tell him it was Rob the Podiatrist.



Holly said:

I am so glad you asked this question. I am having MVD on January 14th and wanted to know about recovery and I open up the website and you have already asked the question and there are a whole slew of answers. Good luck with your surgery.

Holly - I am so excited for you. I will be thinking of you on the 14th. I expect to schedule mine in late Jan/early Feb, myself. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you and I wish you a successful surgery.

Hi Jessica,

I was told that immediately after surgery if successful you should be pain free. They may have you stay in hospital one night, if all went well, which if you are in good health it should be fine. This surgery is quite minor compared to how they used to open up the skull to do any type of cranial surgery. As for going back to work, you probably do not want to even think about giving a date, time to return, even though you may be back w/i a couple of weeks. My first surgery was not a success, but I felt good after it, so I came home and was on my ride mower w/i two weeks, then swelling began just a little with soreness. That surgery as the following two were all unsuccessful, but that was back in 2006, and they've really come far today. I think I did too much following the first surgery, so my advice to you is to not rush any deadlines. I also think it is great that your MRI showed a possible tangled artery, that is still rare to see on MRI's. If there is a noticeable problem, the surgeon should have an exact area of where the nerve is troubled. So my advice still is to find a surgeon you've done thorough research on, and then only after the procedure be willing to designate a time to return to your job. Wishing you much luck!

Kim