Recovery time after surgery

I have temporal lobe epilepsy and I'm waiting on a date for surgery, specifically a lesionectomy in the left side of the brain to remove what the doctors believe is the cause of the seizures. What I'm wondering is: What is the recovery time like after epilepsy surgery? I've been told I'll be in intensive care for 6-10 days, and I can go home after that, but I'll be out of work for about 2-3 months, but beyond that I'm wondering how it goes? I've recently moved into an apartment with friends, I'm wondering if I'd need to move back home for a while after the surgery, that kind of thing. Anyone who's had surgery, I'd like to hear any stories. Thanks,


Re: Recovery time after surgery

Hi Jimbo,

First off, good luck to you - hope your surgery is a success as mine seems to have been. I had right temporal lobe surgery in July 2011.  Sounds like your medical team is on track with what they are advising you.  Prior to my surgery I was told I'd be in the hospital about a week.  Luckily after 3 days I was doing well enough to get out of bed and go for a bit of a walk in the hosptial.  Since I was living at home with my parents, doctors talked to them and said I'd be more comfortable in my own bed, so they discharged me on the condition that my mom or dad would be home with me for at least a week.

If you have the option to move back with family, it could be a good idea. Things that are easy to do now were a challenge for about a month - examples - sorting and doing laundry, going grocery shopping, making meals.  For at least 2 weeks all I wanted to do was sleep and the pain was pretty intense.  My parents were great at making sure I was ok.  Gradually I stayed up longer and longer during the day - went for long walks and watched/listened to TV and kept busy to build up strength and energy.

Regarding work - that probably depends on how tough your job is and the hours you work.  I work in a call center environment that is open 24/7, so as I went back to work my neuro wrote me a note to start off working part time 4 hours a day for 8 weeks, then 6 hours a day for 12 weeks, then no more than 8 hours a day and not past 8pm just to make sure I didn't rush back into work too quick over do things and end up constantly tired.  Another suggestion to consider that I know has helped me lots - consider an occupational therapist.  No one really suggested that to me until I was struggling at work - mainly due to memory and vision issues.  My OT has been a great help at making sure I can not only do my job but soon go back to school for something more suited to me.  Long road to get where I am, but currently still seizure free, working at the same place on 10 hour days, on way less meds and living back on my own again. 

Hope this helps.  Any questions just ask


Re: Recovery time after surgery

Hi GodivaGirl,


Thanks for the reply, that answers a lot of questions, and it's good to hear that surgery worked out for you.  I'm already thinking I'll have to move back with my parents for a couple of months after the surgery at least, but I'm also thinking if there are more complications, or if my doc starts tweaking my medication etc., would it just be easier to be living at home. That's basically the decision I'm trying to come to.

As for my job, I work in an IT company, regular 9-5 hours, and they're aware of my situation, I've told them I may be working part time for a while when I come back until I'm 100%. I hadn't even thought of the occupational therapist idea though, I'll keep that in mind if I'm having problems down the line.



Re: Recovery time after surgery

Ooh I can answer that I had my left temporal lobe taken out 5 weeks ago. Intensive care is automatic for 24 hours which is automatic for anyone. After this I was in hospital for 5 days. I have to warn you it's extremely painful fir a week. Basic paracetamol help when you come home. I' don't take any painkillers now. You need someone to help you for 4 weeks then you are ok. Mega painful at first but my 5 weeks later I'm getting back to normal!! Amazing

Re: Recovery time after surgery

I just got out of the hospital a few days ago, I'm curious about the headaches you have if they're similar to mine: I found I wasn't too sore for the first week and a half maybe, but yesterday I was in so much pain I just had to stay in bed with the curtains closed. Did you have similar days like that?

Re: Recovery time after surgery

If you want any info off me you can attach to my Facebook :-)

Re: Recovery time after surgery

Hi Jimbo.

I had surgery on the left side (left temporal lobe, amygdala and hippocampus were removed).  I've been seizure-free since then (2005) and med-free since 2010.  I recovered on my own.  Had the option to go with parents but preferred the peace and quiet of my own home.  I had the 2 stage surgery.  Crainiotomy on the 13th, lobectomy on the 19th and was sent home on the 23rd.  The next month I slept and had major headaches.  Takes a while to get the energy and strength back, as well as reading.  Had some word-finding problems for a while.  I was back part-time in about 3 months, but freelance.  Not sure that I would have made it through an 8 hour office day.  Enough comes back quickly and since I wasn't seizing, it was worth it.  I started reducing meds a year after surgery.  My memory improved when I got off the meds.  Feel free to add an to my name if you have any questions.


Re: Recovery time after surgery

That sounds similar to my situation, I had the surgery a little over two weeks ago, I'm back home now, low on energy, some difficulty finding words, etc., but the main thing is headaches; Some days aren't too bad, I get by with painkillers, but yesterday the pain was so bad I just had to stay in bed with the curtains closed. At least if I know that's a normal part of the healing than I can get through it.

Re: Recovery time after surgery

I had a right side temporal lobectomy to remove a lesion, and I went home after 4 days. No intensive care in the hospital, and my doctor let me go back to my office job after 2 weeks of sitting at home. I didn't have any complications.

Best of luck to you!