What was your recovery like in the hospital

I’m having Chiari decompression surgery in a month. I’m wondering what recovery is like the days you are in the hospital and the first week after. Can you walk? Do you have a catheter? Can you eat? Just want to be prepared.

Thanks much!

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Hi KatyP. It seems like everyone’s Chiari surgery experience is different. Some people do great. I’ve heard of some people being discharged after 24 hours.
I personally had a rough couple of wks after surgery. I was offered a sandwich the evening of my surgery, but my mouth was too dry to eat it. I could eat ok by the next morning. Yes, I had a catheter. They inserted mine while I was under anesthesia. I had an IV in one arm and a blood gas monitor device in my other arm. I woke up with a drain in my incision. I don’t remember exactly when I started walking again. It was definitely after 24 hours. I was incredibly dizzy though, so I had to have help for about the first week. I then had to use a cane for about another 3 or 4 days. I ended up staying in the hospital for 5 nights. I slept a lot the first wk and a half after surgery. I really just didn’t feel good, and I needed a lot of help from my family.
Good luck and I hope the surgery relieves your symptoms. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m getting ready to have a revision surgery at the end of July. I made the mistake of not seeing a Chiari specialist for my first surgery.

Thank you for sharing this information! It’s really helpful. Good luck on your next surgery :heart:

Hi Katyp, first of all best of luck for your upcoming surgery. I’d agree that everyone’s story seems to be different. I was in hospital for a week after mine. My surgery was on a Friday morning and I mostly slept through the whole weekend afterwards. I’d had a catheter placed in during surgery too that stayed in over the weekend. Once that was out I was fine to use the bathroom and go short walks in the corridor with physio. I had a lot of sickness initially from the surgery but it settled within that week.

Overall I’d say try and rest as much as possible for as long as possible! I found if I did too much, the next day my sickness/nausea would return and that was tough, but you will get there.

Hi Mary2, thanks for responding. It’s really helpful to hear about other people’s experiences!! I appreciate the well wishes too :slight_smile:

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Hi Katyp,

I was in the hospital for 8 days after my surgery. Like others, I had a catheter inserted once I was under anesthesia. When I woke up after surgery, the first thing I remember is that all light was extremely painful. I had to keep a towel over my eyes the first few days. I was also very dizzy and could not stand without help. Once they took the catheter out, I was able to get up to go to the bathroom, but not without the help of a nurse and a walker. I think it was about 5 days after surgery that a physical therapy nurse came by and get me up and walking short distances. I came home with a walker and needed a family member with me 24x7 for the first month to ensure I didn’t fall at home. Note: I was almost 50 years old when I had my surgery, and was told my recovery would be harder because I was older. (LOL). But, I would definitely do it all over again, as the thing that was gone when I woke up were my chiari headaches.

Best wishes to you as you prepare for your upcoming surgery.


Thanks, Suzie! I’m sorry your recovery was long. I appreciate your response and well wishes!