I week away

I'm having my decompression surgery one week from today, don't really know what to expect can someone give me some insight?


Hey Kenny....

Wow..1 week from today!! Try and get whatever needs to be attended to before surgery so you can recover with less anxiety.

I had mine done 3yrs ago..took a while to feel the benefits...but they did come...I was in the hospital for 7 nights...I will be 100% honest with you....The 1st week or so was rough, a lot of pain. dizziness, nausea....But I made strides in baby steps!!

When you get done with the surgery..you will go to the recovery room....don't be a hero!!!LOL..The nurses want to make sure your pain is under control b4 you go to ICU...so, tell them the truth...I was in ICU only overnight.

What really helped me mentally was that I knew the surgery itself was not a difficult job from the surgeons stand point. My NS told me that ..and I must have thought in my head" Yeah, BS, it's not your head!!"

BUT..I ended up watching an actual decompression and the NS was answering questions as he was working..at the VERY END of the operation....he said basically the same thing...I think I saw it on YOUTUBE.

I did not drive for many mths...in all honesty, I am a huge wimp when it comes to driving...so, i think I really could have driven sooner..short distances!!

Please know we are thinking and praying for you...please let us know how you are doing.

God Bless,


Hey Kenny

Good luck with the surgery. I had mine done in Jul 2010 and my experience was different from Lori. I didn't find the recovery as difficult as she did and from what I've read on this site, some of the other people. I did not have any feeling of being sick to my stomach after the surgery, no headaches and really not much dizziness. I had a little dizziness at first and I think it most likely was the fairy dust they gave me for pain. My doctor has an agreement with the hospital that his patients stay in recovery the whole time they are there, so I never went to the floor of the hospital; I had really good care and I was made comfortable while I was in the hospital. I was up walking the next day and was able from the beginning to go the restroom by myself. I didn't just have chiari surgery; I also had the bones taken apart to correct basilar invagination and the site where they harvested the rib bones to help with putting everything back together hurt much worse than the incision up the back of my head. I know different doctors use different approaches; some open the dura (the lining of the brain) and some don't. Mine doesn't open it and that may account for me not having any sick to my stomach feelings and no headaches. My doctor also puts all the stiches on the inside and, therefore, no zipperhead. The recovery for me really wasn't bad; a few pain pills which, after a couple of weeks, I took mostly at night helped with the pain. My doctor also gave me valium for a week or so after surgery. Also, in the hospital I had a button to push if I needed pain medication. I didn't really have to push it very much; the nurses kept reminding that I could though and it was good it was there. I did a lot of sleeping for the first five weeks and it took me about five months to wake up one day and feel good. Before that I was pretty sleepy and tired. I've talked with other people who've had only the chiari surgery and they have recovered sooner than that. It's normal to be afraid, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that nothing was ever as bad as I had imagined it to be. Believe it or not the worst part for me was having to wear the collar around my neck full time for about five weeks...even though I got used to it, I was glad when it was gone. I know my doctor doesn't have everyone wear a collar after the surgery; it depends on what you are having done. And, it' a good feeling to get rid of the worrying about what might happen had I not had the surgery.

I think one of the most important things to remember after the surgery is to get plenty of rest and allow your body to take time to heal. For me, I found that there were things, like using the computer, which I couldn't do at first or it would make my neck hurt and set me back a bit.

I hope you won't spend too much time worrying and will see the surgery date as the first day of the rest of your "good" life....a postive approach goes a long way toward recovery. This surgery is such a personal journey. We all react differently to the surgery and the recovery and we all have different expectations as to the outcome. For me, my measure of success was to hopefully halt progress of the chiari and I got so much more......I hope you will too. Good luck as you get through the first step of the process......I'm praying for you that your surgery goes well. If I can answer any questions for you, please let me know. I think the most useful advice that anyone gave me before the surgery was to get an Aspen Vista collar. It's adjustable up and down as well as around and with my somewhat short neck that made me so much more comfortable. If you have to wear a collar afterwards, I would highly recommend it....OH MY, I have recommended that collar to so many people, I may have to start charging them for advertising LOL! Kinda rambling I know. Hopefully I wrote something that is useful to you.

Blessings to you.


i had my surgery 3months ago,

when woke up was really sore, felt like i had balls in the back of my head and could lay oneside, i think that was from the duraplasty and the side that they took it from, (i had fibre taken from my neck to replace the bone they removed)

i was sore for a couple of days, then before i knew it i was up and moving around, by then i was only on panadol every 6hrs, yes i was still sore but it was a good pain, a pain you know gets better everyday, i was in hospital for 5days, the first night i was in high dependency unit (HDU) then in a special room for 24 hr monitering for two days, after that i was free to roam the wards, im a smoker it was my life line to get out,

i must admit after a couple of days start moving and walking around the best the you can, i had a stiff neck like having a fusion, so was carful on movments but i always walked, i think this helped my recovery, i felt like a new person,

this is possitive, but remember this isnt a cure, its to relieve symptoms and stop it becoming progessive,

also found that leaving the hospital i used a neck soft collar it helped with travelling home,

good luck, you deserve to have abetter life,

please keep us posted


Good luck!

My surgery is a couple weeks After yours.