Visual migraine after craniotomy

Has anyone who had a craniotomy still get visual auras (I’m never sure if they are visual migraines or visual seizures). I’ve had 3 since surgery, the latest one being Friday. I’m not sure if it is just something that happens or if going back to work (I had it at work) or stress brings it on. My vision was messed up for a few hours after and I slept all day the day after.

This was the report after my craniotomy… “There is possibly an early prominent vein seen in the capillary phase in the superior occipital/parietal region that drains into the superior sagittal sinus which will be investigated on follow up imaging, but it not clearly fistulous or early filling.”

I’m not really sure what that means and if that could be why I still get the visual effects at times.

I had a rupture on the right occipital/ parietal lobe area I had a craniotomy to remove it a few months later I had a couple visual auras within the first couple of months after the craniotomy but I have not had any since.

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Hey Angela,
Migraines can be notorious for never pinpointing cause/effect. For some people they can have clearly identifiable triggers ie smells, bright lights etc, but for some finding those triggers can be near on impossible.

It’s similar for the type of migraine that presents. Some can be ocular in location, but the actual cause not be ocular at all. My eyes are where I feel heaps of pain. At times I feel my eyeballs are going to explode from my skull, the pressure behind them is just MASSIVE. And yet my issue has nothing to do with my eyes, nor my visual cortex. As the growth in my head has expanded it has put pressure on differing brain structures and it seems this is the source of my ongoing pain. Now this is one dr’s theory. But there are other theories such as a spinal issue, a tension issue, a chemical imbalance, a posture issue etc, etc, etc

A craniotomy is a major assault on the brain. Our skulls are hard, solid bone for a reason, to protect all of those delicate circuits within the grey matter. Along comes a surgeon who opens that protective skull and disturbs those fine circuits, there simply has to be a flow on effect. I sometimes explain it like this:

“If you opened your computer box and threw in a hand full of alfoil flakes, what would happen? Your computer system would have short circuits all over the place and that’s if the system ever worked properly again”

By disturbing those fine circuits, that can have the same sort of a effect on our brains.

As for your report, this is something that really has to be explained by a neuro but a big plus to take from it is "…but it not clearly fistulous or early filling.” In really basic terms a fistula is like a vessel blowing out the side. Where it bulges the wall becomes thinner and is a risk as a weak point. There’s no sign of that. And no sign of ‘early filling’, the early sign of a weakness. So that’s a good thing.

But again trying to draw a straight line between the report and symptoms needs to be discussed and investigated by your neuro.

Hope it helps
Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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It helps. I see them again in November for my follow up angiogram. They thought the craniotomy was going to be pretty straight forward but new things kept popping up during surgery. The plan was to keep an eye on this issue and see what happens on the follow up.

When did you have your rupture and surgery?


I had an embolisation but my transverse sinus (and therefore perhaps saggital sinus) was affected, so in a similar part of the brain perhaps. I had scotomas after the embolisation for a few weeks, reducing in frequency over time. And I had a few more after the 8 week angiogram.

They went away for me over a couple of months. I hope yours might as well.

If they get less frequent, feel positive they might fade away. Hope they do!


Yes I had a rupture in September of 2015 and then I had a craniotomy to remove the AVM so it didn’t rupture again in December of 2015; nothing like two craniotomies within three months…one to relieve the pressure on my brain and stop the bleeding the second one to remove the AVM.

Hi, I had single side visual auras 3x day, followed by a severe headache, for three weeks post surgery… Then suddenly it stopped. 5 months since last time.

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