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Thread: craniofacial surgery after brain surgeries

  1. #1

    Default craniofacial surgery after brain surgeries

    Hello Everyone!

    Did anyone go through reconstructive surgery after brain surgery?
    I have 2 big dents on my both left and right temporal areas and 2 under my hair higher on my head. I had stroke and clipping brain aneurysm on left side in 2007 and clipping 2 aneurysms on right side 7 months ago. Left side looks so-so, but right temple area has a deep dent the size of a cherry and the whole temple sunk, looks dark like a have a bruise; especially when I feel tired and drained of energy. Surviving those two huge challenges in my life I never thought that would ever consider plastic (reconstructive surgery)... My NS referred me to a Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon. The Doctor suggests putting medpore implants, said I'd be discharged from hospital at the day of surgery. The procedure is covered and I will not pay for that, so this does not make my decision easy... If it was not covered I would not simply do it as I not able to afford it.
    I did some research about the material - looks like reliable and bio compatible with human body, the material is also used for kids reconstructive surgery. The incisions left after clipping on both sides of my head will be partially opened again to access the areas of reconstruction, then closed with staples for 10 days. So looks like big surgery.
    This is the second week I keep thinking and jumping to totally opposite decisions - to do or not to do... I understand all the pros and cons. My question is: is there is any one who went through this kind of surgery and what's the result?
    Thank you all!
    Warmly,
    Cup of Hope.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Ging's Avatar
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    Hello cup :) I know a member who had this and just wrote to him, he had two of the surgeries I believe , they had to go in and add " extra something" after all the healing and swelling went down. Like you he had a very noticeable dent, he is a musician so he was very conscious of his looks. When, I hear back I will put you in touch with him.I know you want to feel good about your appearance
    But it is always scary going back in even over night. I am sure you will do well. My aneurysm was coiled so I did not have that issue, my sister in law does and several survivors on here have. , take care honey , GING :)

  3. #3

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    Hi Cup and Ging
    I can throw in my two cents about this, mine is a pretty long story but I will try to make it a short one. In 2009 I had a 7mm aneurysm on the right communicating artery and had some tests ran, they gave me no other choice but open brain surgery. It wasn't fun as you know, but I made it. Pain was unbearable at times and I was out of work for about 4 months. I finally started to feeling better about 6 months after surgery. That is when I noticed the dent. It got worse as time rolled on, and you could clearly see the craniotomy cut from my temple to my hairline, and also a big hole at the top of the dent where the burr hole was. I looked pretty bad....well terrible is what I felt like. Like Ging said I play guitar and people just kept staring at me, I would try to cover it up using a ballcap and whatever I could but it really showed up bad. I decided to seek a plastic surgeon to take care of this. I found one near where I live and we discussed the surgery, he was going to use Bone Source, which is a bone substitute to fill in the cut, burr hole and push the temple muscle out a bit to make it even. Sounds great.....
    Went through that surgery, when I was healing it looked great but when the swelling went down about 3 months later I noticed some areas that felt like rocks in my head. I had a CT ran and the Bone Source was caked up around the edge of areas where it was applied. Further, it was overcorrected at the burrhole and now I had a knot sticking -out- of my forehead. Went from bad to worse. Long story short I went back to the doctor several times, had to beg my insurance to cover another surgery and they did. Made arrangements a year later to have the 2nd surgery. The same doc went back in, took a grinder more or less and smoothed out the areas that were caked up. I also asked him while he was in to smooth out the knot on my forehead.
    4 months go by and the swelling goes down again. I still have that noticeable knot on my temple, the temporal muscle shows really bad where it is pushed out, but hey...at least the top of the area is smooth now. I still have that sunk in area...but not as bad.
    Long story short is I would like to have yet another surgery, not with the same doctor because I think he made it worse than what it was to begin with, but to have another one so I can get all this straightened up. I don't think it should be that hard to make a skull look like a skull...but apparently he really didn't know what he was doing. I think if I had a doctor that was really good at this it would look good. I also think that the implant would have worked better than Bone Source. Bone Source is an epoxy that is mixed and it has a set time of 4 minutes. 4 minutes! So you have to work quick and know what you are doing with it.
    If I were you and you felt bad enough about how it looks I would have it done....but be forewarned that it may not make that much of an improvement or return you fully back to "normal" the way you were before. Mine is pretty close but not good enough in my opinion but I am living with it. Just wish I was my own doctor so I could do it myself...and do it right :-)
    Also you mentioned those implants will require only part of the original scar to be opened. That sounds alot better than doing what I did, he had to open me back up fully both times and it made that scar widen out quite a bit.
    Hope that helps you some. Consider yourself very lucky to have survived what you have so far and give yourself a smile about it! I have to do that all the time. I look at myself in the mirror some days and just want to throw up but then I smile, and say hey...look what you have been through and look how lucky you are to be alive. Hang in there.
    Tony

  4. #4

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    Thank you very much Ging and Tony for sharing your thoughts and experience. It's important to realize that i'm not alone on this "boat". I read some threads in archives which were also very helpful to get the picture clear. I like the way one of the forum members named the dent on his head as a "a badge of honors":). Think I'm going to stay with mine. Being a woman is easier in this case, just to grow hair a bit longer to cover temples - great reason to change hairstyle:)
    You're a brave man Tony! I'm scared to go back to the surgery table, have panic attacks visiting hospital.
    I'm truly grateful for your positive words!!!

    Warmly,
    Cup of Hope

  5. #5

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    No problem Cup of Hope. Just take it easy, be glad you are alive and survived what you survived. I know it is tough. Sometimes it is hard to ignore how it looks when you look at yourself in the mirror...but I just try to turn that off as much as I can. Hang in there and good luck!
    Tony

  6. #6
    New Community Member
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    I too have been thinking of having this done. Cupofhope did you ever end up having this surgery?

    Debbie

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