Chiari Online Support Group

How long to go back to school after surgery?



I’m currently scheduled to get decompression surgery in late Nov. I’m in law school, and we’ve planned to do the surgery over exams/Winter break so that I can take the 4-5 weeks to recover before going back to school in the new year. However, after reading many posts on this board I’m anxious about how I’ll be feeling and whether I’ll be able to go back to school and write my exams 5 weeks after surgery. I was wondering if anyone here had their surgery while in college or went back to a demanding job 5 weeks after surgery? Did you feel ready? I would appreciate any input!


i would suggest that you have a frank discussion with the neurosurgeon/staff about the recovery period after your surgery. There is the recovery from the anesthetic, which can affect Chiari folk more so than usual - let alone the recovery from the surgery itself. I was told 3 months recovery with having people to help - granted I was in much worse condition cognitively and physically than you seem to be. I would rather see you with a contingency plan in place for a longer recovery period than pushing yourself harder than you should because you think that you have no other options. It is harder to think rationally when in recovery so best to make plans beforehand.

Pushing the brain’s recovery does not work so well! It is not a matter of willpower. Schools should be able to accommodate a medical procedure and the necessary recovery period. You just might not be on track with your cohort. Good luck in sorting out your plans and remember that you will need to be kind to yourself after surgery.