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Headaches after surgery

Anyone else have the monster headaches following surgery? I had mine done on Jan. 3rd and was doing quite well, and then about two weeks post op the headaches started. I am still working with my doctor to find the best way to deal with them. If anyone else experienced these and found an effective way to manage them I would love to hear from you. My case is complicated by the fact that I also developed an awful lot of soft tissue swelling in my face 9also about two weeks post op) which the docs think is simply due to the trauma of the surgery. So the swelling isn't helping but since I switched to a low sodium diet and started drinking more water to flush things out of my system it has decreased somewhat. But I have already had two trips to the ER with these headaches that are also accompanied with the always delightful uncontrollable vomiting. I seriously can not handle another one of those. Any insight anyone? Thanks so much!!! Mary


Hi, i am almost 14 years out

Hi, i am almost 14 years out of a right temporal lobectomy w/hippocampus resection and still have almost daily headaches or migraines. Ive been through every med out there, including the newly approved, aimovig. Its so depressing. I give up.

Re: Headaches after surgery

Headaches?  How about migraines?????  I have a migraine headache at least once per week.  Most times they go away nicely, but sometimes, like the latest episode, it lasted for EIGHT WEEKS!!!  The hospital I had surgery at said it was called Phantom pain.  I'd like for THEM to feel this phantom pain.  My family doctor says altogether different, that the pain is a result of the surgery.  I'll have migraines the rest of my life.  I guess it is better than 5-20 seizures a day.  ??????

Jesus Is My Rock, Music Is My Sanity. Sheri L. Adams

12/14/2018:  Had cervical

12/14/2018:  Had cervical surgery (total arthroplasty/2 disc removed C45, C67); Day7, experiencing radiating headache pain, from left side base of neck radiating upward through top of my scalp.  Periodic use of soft collar adds stability that reduces painful head & neck movements.  Pain rated 8 on a scale (1-10).  Ice packs,10 min intervals, provides 20 percent temporary relief.   No prior history of headaches.

12/14/2018:  Had cervical

12/14/2018:  Had cervical surgery (total arthroplasty/2 disc removed C45, C67); Day7, experiencing radiating headache pain, from left side base of neck radiating upward through top of my scalp.  Periodic use of soft collar adds stability that reduces painful head & neck movements.  Pain rated 8 on a scale (1-10).  Ice packs,10 min intervals, provides 20 percent temporary relief.   No prior history of headaches.

I hope and pray my headaches

I hope and pray my headaches go away, as fast as they came.  Icepaks help; about 20 percent.

Headaches after temporal lobe surgery

My son had surgery in May 2007.  He was doing pretty well until November - some headache, but feeling pretty good most of the time.  Then he had such a severe headache that he couldn't go to work ( not like him at all).  The doctors did an MRI and found nothing.  He also has sensitivity to light and cold and has been having hair loss.  His memory seems to have worsened, some, too.

His neurologist decided to just give him an anti-depressant - Cymbalta - which made the memory worse and then switched it later to Celexa.  My son has never been depressed, and is just a quiet, artistic type of person.

 No one seems to be listening.  The headaches are still with him, and he just puts up with it all, saying he guesses he'll just have to live with it.  Does anyone have any of these other symptoms with the headaches?

I had a temp lobe removal

I had a temp lobe removal in '95 and have had migraines ever since then just about on the left side where the surgery took place. We had expected them to occur so it isn't a shock that they have continued. I hoped that they wouldn't and it actually seemed for awhile things were quieting down to a low hum but they're back once again so nothing has really changed they just aren't as frequent. Trust me when I say frequent we're talking daily as I would be put down to pasture for three or four days at a time in bed, no lights, sound, etc. Now on an average I get them about one or two every other week depending. I usually have to go through the same thing though with the no sound, no lights, but I have a pain killer that my neurologist has given me to use for strict relief to remove them so they don't intensify and so far it seems to be working, so far. *fingers crossed* LOL!

I never really experienced any particular symptoms with migraines per say. There have been times when I have felt like my head is spinning and I'm not, kind of like a vertigo type of thing. I've had moments when it feels like my head is in a vice grip and getting squeezed to an extreme pressure.

As for why the neurologist gave him what he did I cannot say because everyone is different. Perhaps he found something that saw those reasons to use it. If your son feels uncomfortable using it and it isn't working, tell the neurologist and obviously if the neurologist isn't listening get a 2nd opinion and get something that will.  Sometimes it takes extreme measures to get things done you know?

I hope he gets the feeling better soon!  



Thanks for your response.  He has an appointment with a headache specialist/neurologist on Jan. 28th.  He had a pretty bad day today.  I'll let you know.  It helps just to know there is someone listening who understands.

Concerned Mom

Re: Headaches after surgery

HI Sherri,

I get cluster headaches: behind my right eye- hurts like he!! I press my right eye with all of my might, but those darn things don't go away, ugh! Just had the cluster headache this afternoon --> evening, as a matter of fact.

I have had both cluster and intense migraine on my right side lasting for a couple of days (during major stress). That pain has been so unbearable-- it is like the post-surgery headaches! No fun at all :( Hugs to you!


*refractory seizure surgery on left temporal lobe 03/06*

Re: Headaches after surgery

Hi Sheri,

My neuro had said to me when I had the surgery that it was a possibility I could have migraines for the rest of my life it just depends on how things go. This was back in 1995 when I had the temporal lobe removal mind you and I knew what the risks were. It is due to the fact the skull was cracked open was most likely why I have the migraines but what I can say is I don't have them on a daily basis like I used to. 

Something that I can tell you however is I have tried every pill over the counter and they didn't work. I went to prescription from my neurologist and actually did find some relief with a few of them however we did have some trouble as I just could not get relief. It took us awhile to finally find the right one for me but we did of course it could have been a combination of medication as well. The neurologist has chosen to start me on something called Migrinal which is something that you squirt up your nose. The best part of this drug is, it is NOT a steroid. Secondly, it works within 5 minutes because of how it gets released.

The last prescription before this was Ketoprofen and it worked for quite sometime however it just was not strong enough. Using the Migranal, I have instant relief and I don't need to use it all of the time either. Perhaps this is something you can discuss with your doctor? I have tried Midrin (sp?) and also one other but cannot recall the name off hand. 

I quite familiar with migraines as mine used to effect me for three to four days and leave me pretty much helpless before I came across this form of help.  

I wish you the best of luck in finding a cure for your headaches and feel free to keep in touch!


Re: Headaches after temporal lobe surgery

This is from my post under "surgery issues": 


My daughter had a left temporal lobectomy, following placement and
removal of subdural grids and depth electrodes, January 27th 2009. We
went about 5 months with NO SEIZURES- YAY! Unfortunately, at right
about 6 months, she began having very severe head pain on her left
side- where it's all bumpy from the surgery. At the same time she began
having simple partial seizures again. She now has regular/ approx 3 per
week auras/simple partial seizures, with complex partial occurring less
often.  This is definitely better that before surgery(10 or more a
day)! Her history is such that she unfortunately has secondarily
generalized seizures that turn into status epilepticus. So far there
has been no generalized seizures, and I hope we don't go there again.

The head pain lasts ALL WAKING HOURS!!! It is only gone when she is
asleep. So, 16 hours per day, every day!? And, it STABS for 1-5 minutes
at a time! We've tried Indomethicin, Prednasone, Melatonin, Propanapol,
all of which have not helped. (and of course the tylenol, ibuprofin,
alleve, etc...) We are trying something new today. The only thing that
helps is pain meds to help get her to sleep at night. This pain is
SEVERE and debillitating. 

Is there anyone else who has had this type of head pain?
We had an MRI on a 1.5 Tesla machine, which did not show anything. We
have added Lyrica to our Keppra and Lamictal, and are still hoping to
figure this out.

Thank you for any help,



This pain is so tough for her, it's been almost 6 months of EVERY DAY Head pain at this point...

I'm sorry you're going thru the same with your son. As your post is quite old, have you figured out any solutions yet?


Thank you!



Re: Headaches after surgery

I also had bad headaches but we think it was because of the opening of my skull for the operation. Remember the brian in of itself does not feel pain I had them for about threes weeks after my surgery. But I haven't had a one since. Hope this helps you out.

A Friend With Epilepsy


Re: Re: Headaches after surgery

Thanks, every little bit of info helps.

Re: Headaches after surgery

Hiya Mary,

I had a Partial Hippocampectomy surgery on the 4th January 07 In Ireland. I also had a lot of headaches for about 4 days after surgery. I went home on the Tuesday after my surgery. I would get a headache every couple of days. But thankfully I have had none in about a week. I take plenty of Parcetomol if needs be. I remember having the swelling also. It was swollen for about a week. But thankfully its gone down. I wasn't vomiting with the headaches. I was vomiting from the effects of the drugs they gave me to put me asleep during my surgery alright but thats about it. My Surgeon gave me a prescription for drugs to settle my stomach when I came home and also drugs to bring down the swelling in my face.If I were you I would get in touch with ur surgeron and ask him is there anything they could give you to help with the headaches. I hope you get better soon. I am here if you wanna chat.
Take Care,


Re: Re: Headaches after surgery

I had sugery to put grids on my brain so they could get some info and run some tests and experments on me at John Hopkins.Yes,it hurt big time it was worse when they took the things out.I was told that I was doing great and I might go home early but then I picked up some infection.The fever got so bad I passed out for a few days.The staff was arguing about which anti bioactics to put me on.When I was getting a spinal tap the nurse asked me if I was in pain. Why I asked her? Because you're chewing on the sheets I was told.The stuff gave me the hershy squrits bad.Finally they put a tube in my arm so I give my meds to myself at home.That went on for a month.Oh by the way they couldn't fix me up because my sez were coming from both sides of my brain.Still I'm glad I went through all that I did because if I hadn't because every time I had a sez I would wondering at least I should have tryed it.All this was back in aug.06.I still havent heard what my next step is.

Re: Headaches after surgery

Hi, everyone...I am a newbie and have been reading about your surgeries and am having an issue of my own regarding headaches. I had a right temporal lobectomy on Jan. 15. I am STILL having terrible headaches. I have called the Dr. for help and was told I was a "drug-seeker". That is SO not me, but whatever - I'm still suffering. If anyone has any advice, I'd be very grateful. Thanks in advance!

Re: Headaches after surgery


I had seizure surgery way back in 2003, and my headache was incredibly persistent - but it did go away. Seek some pain killers it is the only way to tolerate the constant pain.

I know what you are going through, its' horrible.

Wishing you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

Stuart author: Beyond my Control. Yes my book is about seizure surgery.

Hang in there it will pass

Re: Re: Headaches after surgery

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm now almost 5 weeks post op and the headaches are leveling off. I've discovered a couple things that help keep them at bay. Number one, sleep upright. Helps with swelling and keeps the pressure off the incision so it also makes the headaches manageable when I wake up. Also, cut the salt intake as much as possible and drink lots of water and also Propel or Gatorade to keep the electrolytes up. You will be surprised how quickly you can become dehydrated and not even know it. Hope this is helpful.

head ache after surgery

had right temporal resection 7-2-2007  grids 1st , hurt like hell for good 6 weeks, eventually got better. i exercize intense, and sweat alot , think i'll try the gatorade though.  i guess ijust thought 70-80 oz. of water during and after my workout was enough fluids. i get the rebound headaches, they are a side affect of the headache/ migraine meds they are giving me now. very frustrating , 7 mo. after surgery and still having auras , headaches. going back up to mayo in feb. (more tests) could be worse , i guess. hope things start to look up for you, all.  s

Re: Headaches after surgery

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