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Pregnancy after Decompression
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Pregnancy after Decompression

Hello everyone, this is my first post - I'm not having much luck getting a clear answer on this one and thought someone might have some info.

I was diagnosed last April and had my decompression in May (I was very fortunate to get a quick date).  I have been doing well, before the surgery I was unable to walk without a cane, has headaches, and all the usual stuff.  Except for some weakness in my hand most of the symptoms improved afterwards.

My neurosurgeon did not recommend any follow-up after my 8 week checkup, and has since left the hospital.  I'm about to start trying to conceive, and I am a bit anxious about the safety of labour and delivery with increased CSF pressure.  I've heard conflicting things.  My GP is great but doesn't know.  Has anyone gotten any advice from a professional about this?

Thanks so much!
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620923_tn?1416285879

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

If I understand u correctly, u r not even 1 yr post op? and if I am right, I would suggest that u wait at least until u r closer to being 2 yrs post op...as that is the time frame for ur nerves to heal.

Becoming pregnant may affect u and the process of healing and to me, I would just wait....

U also need to talk to a OBGYN and let them know about ur surgery as ur delivery should be a C-section...as u still do not want the straining from a natural delivery.

There are books on this topic by Diane Mueller...a RN....

Again, this is just my opinion, but u have to go by how u feel and how u r doing, and if u were released at 8 week?....did u have a post op MRI?

I am confused...what Dr do u see at this point, so u have a NL or a PCP that is helping u?

   "selma"
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847512_tn?1272570662
Hi just FYI I saw a professional after I had ny surgery. My gyno told me I have to have csection because of the strainig from the pushing and I saw a specialist for high risk pregnancies because the Chiari can be at times genetic. They told me not to Conceive while on the topomax (topamax) so to make sure I use protection due to the side efrcts on the baby from the meds and again my deliveries will all have to be c-section. I would talk to a dr that deals with high risk pregnancies before u Conceive to go over things and make sure ur healthy enough to be pregnant for u and ur soon to be child.
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I had wondered about this too. I keep telling my parents/family that I will probably end up having c-sections because of increased pressure when straining.
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I had decompression surgery November 2009 and my surgeon also did not want any follow up with me even though I am still having problems.  However, I still wanted another child and I couldn't get any answers.  I was on Topamax and I got pregnant December 2010.  I weaned myself off Topamax before I got pregnant (planned pregnancy).  I talked with my OB and I was a scheduled c-section the end of August 2011 because of my chiari.  You will just need to let your OB know right away of your decompression surgery.  I had to bring in my post op reports and give a copy to the OB.  There is a great video on The Chiari Institute's website for Pregnancy and Chiari.  It explains what happens when you have chiari during pregnancy and delivery and gives you information to give to your OB.
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It's interesting, because my GP spoke to a neurologist who said not to worry, I didn't need any follow up, and I don't need a c-section, so she doesn't feel that the pregnancy would be high risk.  I'm hearing the opposite online, so it's confusing.

I am only 8 months post op, but we're not planning to start trying to conceive until the summer, and I'm actually doing really well.  The first 5 months were brutal, but I'm back to almost all of my activities.  I'm fairly confident that my body can handle pregnancy, but I'm worried about losing my progress with a dangerous delivery.

Thanks for all the info, everyone.  I guess I might need to shop around for the right OB!
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Hi I was diagnosed in September 2011 and had surgery in january 2012. to be honest all my questions pre op where all about getting pregnant my neurologists didnt seem to have any concern. since the op (very rough for first few weeks) but now 6 month on I feel really good. as a midwife I still feel i dont have all the answers yet re delivery and getting pregnant, but after much discussion with several anesthetics, I dont think there will be a problem for a normal delivery, to limit stress at delivery an epidural would be ok then to limit pushing then a possible instrumental (forceps or ventouse) done early would be possible after all I dont think I could cope with another scar on my body. so when I hopefully get pregnant again I will definitely aim for a vaginal delivery.
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620923_tn?1416285879

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

From all that is said regarding this topic, I really feel it is an individual thing, as to what else u have going on, related issues/conditions and how u recover from the surgery. This is y it is so very important to do testing for all the related conditions b4 u have surgery as they can affect how u feel and heal post op.

I had one natural delivery prior to getting my chiari dx and I did have issues was in the hospital 5 days...and I was younger...I have no idea if at that time if I had been dx'd  and had surgery if I could have had my child....

Times change and advances in medical procedures change...but most important is we can not follow time lines and guidelines as a one size fits all  as we r all diff and will respond diff to the surgery and recovery process.

Talk with ur NS and OBGYN to see how they feel...
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1122824_tn?1274110614
Hi Tamara,
I got pregnant many years before being diagnosed with ACM & Syrinx. My pregnancy was generally straightforward except for the syncope and near syncope.
During the labour, I had a terrible migraine headache to the stage where I couldn't even speak. I can't really explain what happened immediately after the birth, but I felt like I had left the building. I distinctly remember hearing somebody shouting 'breathe', then I came around. I have never requested my notes so don't know what happened or even if anything strange was reported.
I have been having problems with different things for many years and I do believe it all started or became much worse following childbirth. I agree with Selma that you should wait until you are satisfied that your questions have been answered by the right professionals.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and be careful.
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