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12/22/2010 06:46 PM

Left Occipital nerve release surgery

cmiller
cmiller  
Posts: 863
Member
I'm an Advocate

Hi Everyone,

11 weeks ago I had right occipital nerve release surgery. At the time it seemed that most of my pain was on the right side therefore that was the surgery done. Over the next 11 weeks as the right side settled I could tell the left side was bad also. During that time my husbands school district decided to vote and go to a poor HMO from a premium PPO for the sake of $200 per month from Jan 1. This would mean that they would not cover my surgery if it was not done by a network doctor. Seeming there are only a few doctors in the USA doing nerve decompression surgery, none on my network I decided to go have the left side done now. Dr. Bray, my surgeon felt that the optimal course would have been to let the right completely heal first but the insurance changed it, so we went ahead Monday.

Dr. Bray told me he found that I had this MASSIVE artery that was like the right side...piercing through the abnormal greater occipital nerve in several places. The nerve was very misshapen, and was sandwiched between this artery and a thick piece of scarred fascia and muscle. He explained that he could not do much with the artery because if he cauterized it etc there would be necrosis (dead areas) in my brain. However, once he removed the fascia and muscle there was nothing compressing the nerve. Yay!

It's been a couple of days and already two particularly painful spots on the RIGHT side that had not decreased after the right side surgery has stopped in the last few days. I am estatic.

The doc said that what I had in the left occipital area was the same thing they often find in trigeminal neuralgia surgery. So both sides had major issues and hopefully now I just have to be patient and give it all a few months to heal. He actually said with the damage on the right and left side it still could be up to 8 months before I am completely pain free.

Oh and Dr. Bray was assisted by Dr. Baruk Ozgur who is now doing this surgery also. It is great to hear of another neurosurgeon doing this surgery at the D.I.S.C Sport and spine center.

This has been a great xmas gift

Chloe

Post edited by: cmiller, at: 12/22/2010 06:52 PM

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12/22/2010 07:19 PM
MaryR
MaryR  
Posts: 4121
Group Leader

I am very glad that you were able to get your surgery done before the insurance switched. It always seems like such small differences if you don't actually have health problems, but when you do they are massive differences between plans.

It sounds like this surgery went really well too and it is wonderful that you can already tell that it is helping. I hope it continues to improve a lot as you heal (and I suspect that it will).


12/23/2010 02:23 AM
Enbee
EnbeePosts: 1556
Senior Member

Hi Chloe

I'm glad you coud get the surgery done before your insurance switched over. Even though the timing isn't ideal it sounds like it will eventually lead to less pain for you which is great! Let us know how your recovery goes, and take it easy over Christmas!


12/23/2010 08:59 PM
tortoisegirl
tortoisegirlPosts: 3244
Group Leader

Awesome! Best wishes with your healing and continued pain relief.

07/26/2011 04:10 AM
coachchalfin
Posts: 12
New Member

It has been some time since your surgery almost 8 months. I was hoping you can update your status. How does the left side of your head feel your right? Any numbness? Any negative effects?

07/26/2011 11:07 PM
cmiller
cmiller  
Posts: 863
Member
I'm an Advocate

I feel the surgery was 100% successful. I had the right side done and then the left side 3 months later. The right side healed over the 8 months and is now pain free. the left side scarred poorly which runs in my family. The scarring caused fascia tissue and muscle to tighten over the branches of the occipital nerve at the crown causing ON pain there. He also found another swollen blood vessel on one of the crown branches and it was cauterized. As I said my insurance changed and did not cover this surgery. Dr. Bray is CEO of the hospital and therefore operated free of charge all inclusive including the theater etc. The anesthesiologist did charge $500 for his services. It has now been 7 weeks since the surgery. I had some hypersensitivity and at the 6 week post op visit Dr. Bray told me to use simple sunburn spray over the back of the head a few times a day to break the hypersensitivity cycle and one week later it is feeling really good.

I just posted my whole update here http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/occipital-neuralgia- discussions/general-support/2928934-seven-week-post-surgery- update-on-free

Being ON pain free after spending 3 years in bed in agony 24/7 led to other physical issues which are discussed in my update.

I am very passionate to help anyone with ON as every time I read about someone suffering I can relate and if I can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me.

Chloe

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