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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 45970
Experience:  Experienced physician in Neurology
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I have been diagnosis with chairi #1 malformation and need a

Customer Question

I have been diagnosis with chairi #1 malformation and need a decompression suboccieital; craniotomy surgery I have dizziness and balance is off several falls , head hurts constantly vision blurry and concentration is off memory issues now what is the risk and recovery
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

As with all types of surgery, there is a risk of complications, and the likelihood of these will depend upon a number of individual factors. You should discuss your specific circumstances with your neurosurgeon. Whilst the majority of patients will not have any complications, there is a small risk of problems. In general the risks of surgery include, but are not limited to:

Stroke or haemorrhage or bleeding

Quadriplegia (paralysis of the arms and legs)


Meningitis (this may be due to infection, but is more commonly a chemical or ‘aseptic’ meningitis which settles with time and steroid medication)


Impaired speech (dysarthria)

Memory loss

Cognitive impairment (problems with your thinking)

Swallowing impairment

Balance problems

Hydrocephalus (fluid build-up within the head necessitating a shunt)

Numbness of the skin around the scalp incision

Headaches (these usually settle after a couple of weeks following surgery, but may last longer)

Cosmetic issues (your scar will extend a few cm below your hairline)


The main aim of surgery is to prevent ongoing deterioration and pain.

Most patients (around 80%) experience a significant improvement in their headaches and/or neck pain after surgery.

Recovery can be different for different patients.

You can gently wash your hair around two weeks after surgery. It is recommended that you use a gentle shampoo for this. It is advised that you avoid hair dyes and perms for a couple of months as these may irritate the incision.

You are advised to avoid flying for at least two weeks after your operation, due to the possibility that changes in cabin pressure may cause problems if you have some air left in your head after surgery. You must obtain clearance from your neurosurgeon before flying.

You can resume light work around the house and a gentle exercise program as soon as you feel fit. How quickly you can return to work will depend upon the nature of your job, and it is best to discuss this with your neurosurgeon.

your doctors may recommend some physical therapy and exercises to help you recover after surgery.

let me know if you have questions.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

this varies from patient to patient.

it depends on what type of work you do and your recover and your current physical shape and condition and your recovery.

some people can go back to work as early as 3-4 weeks.

others can take longer.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
IM told me that the surgery probably won't help with memory loss and headaches, so what relief from symptoms is expected from surgery-- in other words what benefits will I see from having it?2.sometimes a second surgery is required. What should be my physical and mental recovery? In other words, I know that I will have some continuing problems but what kind of future impairment might I have physically and mentally
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

if a surgery probably won't help with your symptoms of memory loss and headaches, then maybe you shouldn't have the surgery.

surgery can cause a long recovery and can cause scar tissue as well.

no one can predict what side effects and what physical impairments you may or may not have.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

yes, this type of surgery sometimes can require a second surgery, but in rare cases.

yes, this surgery can cause more balance issues and more headaches in a small percentage of patients.

it can help headaches in 80% of patients if the headaches are being caused by the Chiari malformation

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
have anybody ever died fro this surgery
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

yes, death can happen. less than 1% chance of death.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
will I be 100% after this type of surgery . can it help my vision ? will it effect me mentally ?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

no one can predict you will be 100% after your surgery.

most likely you will not be 100%.

the surgery is to try to fix one issue, this chiari malformation.

most likely it will not help your vision.

it sounds like you are having some not realistic ideas of what this surgery can do for you.

you need to talk to your doctor again about this surgery

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
whats relief will I receive ?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

the surgery could help decrease your headaches if they are being caused by your chiari malformation.

it could help potentially help with dizziness and balance issues possibly

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

you are welcome

let me know if you have other questions.

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