Another Cranioplasty

Hi. I due to have nother cranioplasty in jyst over three weeks time I think. Must admit I bit scared at prospect. Had to have previously cranioplasty removed last year in March 2016 because it broke down after being in my head for 30 years and caused a big infection. The plate was removed and then I on IV antibiotics for a few months after. I had massive subdural infection when I 15 which nearly killed me and a piece of skull ad to be removed. A year later when I was 16 I had an acrylic cranioplasty done. It was this that broke down last year.

Have to say I little be nervous as this will now be the fourth time they cutting into my head in the same area.

I heard there more risks and complications when previous incisions are cut into time after time. They ar hoping the operation will reduce the constant headaches I been having since the last surgery which removed the plate.

I now have brain injury since last year surgery which has ruined my shot term memory and my concentration is virtually non existent along with a few other issues that I never gad before I was operated on.

Does anyone know if the risks will be higher for me and will the recovery take longer? Getting worried now.....

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  • Dear Steve,

    I do not have experience to share but I am sure that others one the site do. I also saw that there have been inquiries similar to yours in the past; you may want to look at those to see the insights that people shared in response to those.

    I can see that you have made a tough decision and are wondering if it is the correct one. The fact that you had one so long ago and it worked out fine for 30 years or so seems like a positive sign. I am sorry that something around the removal last operation had an effect on your overall capabilities. You have had so much going on that is stressful. And the constant headaches must add to that stress. I am sure that your doctors are recommending this operation because they see the potential to "reset" your condition -- that is, to reduce the pain and thereby put you on better footing to improve the other symptoms you are experiencing. If you decide to have the operation, please go into it with that kind of positive thought in mind. Your fear is understandable. Stare at that fear squarely and dispassionately and set it to the side . Don't let it color the whole experience; we gain nothing by anticipating more problems that may or may not occur.

    We will be thinking of you. Do stay in touch.

    Warm reagrds,

    Taia

  • Sorry, Steve,, I have no experience of this but why not chat to Headway - I am sure they have come across this before and will be able to talk it through with you. Presumably the doctors feel that this is the best option for you.

    The very best of luck with it, you will have all our good wishes going with you.

    Jan

  • Morning,

    Sorry, don't know the answer really....could ask headway/docs in advance.

    But what did strike me was that you, having been through so much already, may be in the best place to prepare yourself in advance. I think that if it were me (and I appreciate it isn't but this may be something to consider) I would write myself some advance positive notes. Remind myself that I got through this sort of thing before. Along with some practical tips/preparations...easy things to cook, music to play, colouring books and helpful phone numbers. Prepare friends to visit and have dealt with any difficult paperwork in advance...that sort of thing.

    As I say, these may not be relevant to you at all....just might be what I would do.

    Good luck.

  • Hi Steve,

    I underwent a cranioplasty last year (Although it was titanium rather than acrylic, I guess things have moved on!) after a post-surgeical infection made it necessary to remove a section of my skull (I was without it and had a defecit for 3 months or so). After my craniotomy, to surgeries to clean the wound and my cranioplasty, I've undergone four surgeries in exactly the same place in the last year, and I can safely say the work done was outstanding. Scarring is unavoidable and I have a thin strip from my hairline to just above my ear (Trendsetter that I am!) but aesthetically speaking, it's very minimal.

    I think one of the 'positives' about it is that you could look at the existing scar as a 'template' of sorts which gives your surgeon a very clear idea of where the incisions will be. I presume they have mapped your cranial plate with a CT/MRI or relevant imaging to take precise measurements in order to manufacture your new plate?

    The best person to voice your concerns to is definitely your surgeon, they should explain the risks to you at your pre-op consultation but they can't anticipate every question. If you don't already have a date for your consultation, I would recommend getting in touch with your surgeon's secretary and ask whether you can make an appointment to se them in person, or if they'd be willing to give you a call to answer your questions, my surgeon has always been more than happy for me to contact him through his secretary. If you do this, write any questions down to prompt you and note the answers as well for reference, that should prevent your memory interfering.

    Kind Regards,

    Alex.

  • You've had a tough old time Steve, and I'm sorry you're having to face yet more surgery. All I can say is that, as time passes, expertise and techniques keep improving to make surgery safer and more effective, meaning that risks are reduced.

    All you can do is trust in the skill and experience of the surgeon whose whole aim is to perform the procedure to the best possible standard, for his own personal satisfaction and for your wellbeing.

    I'm not sure anything can take away your unease ; it's a natural emotion. But try to picture the scene after the op, where you're back on the ward drinking your first cuppa and the doctor is telling you that all went well. Hang onto that if you can Steve !

    I hope you have some family support, but keep in mind that we're always here to listen any time you need to talk.................ANY time ! Best wishes, Cat x

  • Sorry to hear that Steve, as hard as it is try to stay as positive as possible as it really does help to get you through it! If you feel you are getting too overwhelmed with it all why not give your ns nurse a call to go through it all again with you as I find that the more truthful they are with me the easier it is and I know what I'm up against so I fight harder and worry less....hope that makes sense to you. You take care, best wishes. xx

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