Hi Minnie. I've actually had two surgeries. The first was a partial right temporal lobectomy in 2001 and when the sz's returned I had a complete right temporal lobectomy in 2003. I had alot of swelling on the right side of my face both times and the headache afterwards rivals the pain of having your head hit with a hammer. They do give you morphine for the pain and steroids to reduce the swelling and it helps somewhat. About a month after surgery I experienced alot of anxiety that was post-op related. It's a normal occurance and it usually subsides within a month or so. Some people go on anti-depressants but I chose not to. I also have a blind spot in my left eye that is surgery related and it's also something that they told me to expect accept that I didn't get it until the second surgery. For anyone that's a candidate I highly recommend surgery. I was only in the hospital for two days for both surgeries because most of the recovery is done at home. Brain surgery isn't what it used to be. I also have 3 children and i've been on meds for over 15 years as well and anything that can improve your quality of life and get you off meds is a plus. I'm still on meds but my sz's have dramatically improved since surgery. Before my surgeries I was averaging about 15 complex partial sz's a month. Hope this helps. If I left anything out feel free to as me.
The Wada test wasn't painful for me. It was just such a weird feeling really. When they inject the barbituate into the hemisphere of the brain that they are going to operate on it literally shuts down and will induce a stroke like effect on the body. It was such a weird feeling to look at the left side of my body and not be able to move it. Then ironically, 2 years later, I actually suffered a real stroke that was unrelated to the surgery! As far as the video monitoring goes I always tell people to buy a sleeping mask. They keep the lights on 24 hrs because the camera always stays on but towards the end they may let you sleep and with the lights on it's hard. So the second time I went in my husband bought me this eye mask and it really blocked out alot of light so that I could get a little sleep. If I think of anything else i'll let you know. And the part about the brick and your head pretty much sums up the pain!
Minnie66- This is my first post to this site. I happen to be in the same boat as you. I too have an angioma in my left temporal lobe. I've already had a VEEG back in Sept 04 and now that the neurologist has fiddled around a little bit more with my meds I think I will be scheduled for a continuation of my workup. I only had one documented seizure while I was being monitored, so my neurologist wants me to go back to document at least two more. Due to the character of my seizures he feels there is a chance I may have more than one seizure focus and he doesn't want to miss an opportunity to document if I do.
Frankly, I'm getting really tired of being on medication. Surgery was first discussed 8 years ago when I had an MRI that first showed the angioma. Up until then CT scans showed nothing! Rain check on the surgery at that time. My meds were working back then, so everything was ok. Well, like Medusa rearing her ugly head, 3 years ago I've been on a roller coaster ever since then with my seizure control. Surgery is looking pretty good to me now. With the side effects of these medications, not being able to drive and my cognitive problems and memory loss, I'm at my wit's end and ready to move ahead with the surgery work-up.
I appreciate reading all the advise from those of you that have been thru the surgery. For those of you that have been thru it - How did the scar look afterwards? Could anyone tell you had surgery? How long did it take to be able to drive again?
Yes, I've had several MRIs and I only have one angioma in my L temperal lobe. It apparently had hemorraged sometime in the past, who knows when, and now I have a ring of scar tissue around the hemorrage. The neurologist tells me that is where my seizures are coming from.
I'm 46 and things aren't getting any better, so he's encouraged me to think about getting it done. Luckily, my kids are age 14 and 9 and if I had the surgery they could take care of me in my recovery! Yeah, I'm feeling the pressure of getting too old... and the prospect of surgery, although a little scary, I'm mentally prepared to go thru with it. I mean, I am scared but I just have to think beyond that .. to what will be the end result Right?
How are you feeling about it now?
An angioma is an abnormal vascular structure in the brain. It is something you are born with. Many people have more than one, or even several. A lot of people have them, in fact, and never have any symptoms at all! (Lucky for them) Because it is an abnormal "blood vessel", it can bleed into the surrounding tissue - this a hemorrhage and is usually small, but not always. They can cause seizures, headache, other symptoms...
Wow, you've already had a big surgery at the tender age of 5. If you had an MRI of your brain they probably would have seen an angioma. I had numerous CT scans when I first had seizures and the angioma didn't show up because it was just small enough that they missed it every time I had a CT scan. The MRI is very sensitive at detecting angiomas and wouldn't likely miss it. But if there is any question of what's causing the seizures in the first place, you have to make sure you ask your neuro, " where ARE these coming from? and What is causing my seizures?"
I went for almost 9 years not knowing I had an angioma causing my seizures after I was diagnosed. When I finally did have an MRI, I was actually RELIEVED to find out that there was something there causing my problem! So, the long and short of it is - never be afraid to ask lots of questions when you see the neurologist. That's what they are there for...
Post Edited (Phoebe) : 2/19/2005 10:20:10 PM (GMT-7)
Post Edited (Phoebe) : 2/20/2005 8:21:38 AM (GMT-7)