Brain tumours

A place for people affected by brain tumours or brain cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Memory loss after surgery

Liliboos
Posted by

Hi, my niece has just had an op to remove a large glioma, thankfully all went well but she seems to have memory problems now I know there is a lot of trauma to the brain but is this permanent I wonder or will it come back?? She is 12 days post op its so hard shes like a completely different person.

Thanks in advance x

TracyP
Posted by

Hi Liliboos

Welcome to the online community. It must be a very worrying time for you, though its good news that the surgery has gone well. 

I would suggest that the question about whether the memory loss  is long term is one for the medical team looking after your niece. I think the answer will depend on the site of the glioma and which part of the brain is affected. My experience is that the drugs used for sedation, anaesthetic and pain relief will cause some confusion and memory loss, at least in the short term. You rightly point out that there has been a lot of trauma, which by necessity will cause scarring and bruising, both of which will probably contribute to some short term memory loss. It is still very early days post-op.

My own experience is that I have what I think of as 'holes' in my memory. Its not short term or long term that have gone, it seems a bit random. I can remember things from childhood and forget something from last week, or vice versa. I can't see a pattern but the knowledge that I can forget things helps deal with the frustration. It was also much worse just after the surgeries but for me it did improve with time. People seemed upset that I don't remember them visiting in the immediate aftermath of the surgery. That then became upsetting and frightening for me, as I was worried about what else happened that I couldn't remember, and bad that my not remembering was upsetting for them. If I could offer some advice try not to be let your worry show to your niece. If you can keep conversations general but inclusive you may be able to see some signs of improvement, without the stress of asking direct, probing questions.  You will hopefully see an improvement in the coming weeks but it is early days days post op, though I guess that is not going to help your anxiety. 

Kind regards

T