Mvd questions

Hi all. I just had a few more questions about mvd surgery that I can’t find answers to. If they are there and I’ve missed them I’n"m sorry. How long does the procedure take? What size is the scar? I’ve seen some very nasty pictures on line of massive scars. I’ve been hearing that often times the hair doesn’t grow back in the are of the scar. I’m over fifty male and slowly balding. Do I need to be concerned about covering this up? I don’t want to have to explain why I have this scar for the rest of my life. I work with the public and many if them will ask That’s guaranteed. If there’s anyone here from ontario does OHIP cover the whole thing? What can go wrong during the procedure? What are the risks? Has anyone ever died having this done? Okay, that’s my questions for now. I hope I haven’t made anyone feel uncomfortable. I just want To know.

Hi Pierre,I have not had my MVD yet but I am told the procedure takes a total of 4 hrs. The actual procedure is 2 hrs, and then by the time you wake up it is 4. I have heard this from several surgeons, the scar is supposed to be small. Like I said, I have not had mine yet,but I have seen alot of surgeons. Good Luck.

Pierre, I will try to answer your questions…

  1. the surgery is usually around 3 hours long on average,BUT can be longer.

  2. I would ask your NS as to the size of the scar…they vary according to each NS. Here’s a link to a photo of mine:

    I only had 8 staples. The hair has grown in just fine for me…

  3. OHIP should cover it, but it is wise to ak your neurologist or Neurosurgeon how to go about requesting coverage. My Neurosurgeons office took care of this for me, I went out if province to Winnipeg, I live in Alberta. Every province has reciprocal agreements with each other except Quebec.

    4)… a link to my NS’s webpage on MVD which outlines briefly the risks.
    another link here as well

  4. to my knowledge ( based on my own intense research ) I only came across 1 death, an elderly patient and I believe the death was not associated with the MVD.

    I will post something I copy pasted last year from another site in a separate response. It’s a list if questions to ask your neurosurgeon.

    Please also go to the MVDs group here on the site and read everything!!

    Lots of varied experiences and great info.

    (( Hugs )) Mimi

Found the following on a support board for TN. Brain talk I think…sorry I can’t remember the source, but it was great help to me prior to consulting with 2 neurosurgeons.

Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Go in with all your questions written down and it’s best if someone is with you, as it is amazing how much you miss when you’re nervous.

Neurosurgeon Choice
•How many of these surgeries have you performed?
(If you are having the procedure done at a teaching hospital you may want to make sure the surgeon you are speaking with is the one that will actually be doing the procedure.)
•What is your PERSONAL success rate?
•What do you consider to be a successful MVD? Some doctors will tell you “being pain free” and some will tell you a “reduction in your medication”.
•Do you think I am a good candidate for MVD?

Actual MVD Procedure
•What are the complications that may arise?
•I’ve heard some people have a feeling of “ear fullness”. What are the chances of that happening to me and if so how long does it usually last?
•Is numbness after surgery something I need to be concerned about?
•Do you put my head in a halo and if so will there be pain from that after the surgery?
•What do you use to separate the nerve from the offending vessels compressing the nerve?
•Is there a chance this substance (usually teflon) will be rejected by my body?
•Is there a chance it could move? Even under severe movement (like a roller coaster for example)?
•How large is the hole you will be drilling into my skull?
•How large is the incision?
•How much of my hair will be shaved?
•What can I expect to happen when I check into the hospital that day?
•Should I expect to be nauseous or dizzy after surgery?
•Will I have headaches after surgery and if so, how long will they last?
•What can I expect to see and feel when I awake from the anesthetic?
•Is the relief from TN immediate or can it take time till I feel relief?
•What do you use for pain management after surgery?
•Can you prescribe something for presurgery nervousness for the few days prior to surgery?

•How long will the recovery be?
•How long will I be in the hospital?
•When can I resume regular activities?
•When can I return to work (make sure he knows if you have a desk or a physical job)?
•When can I drive again after surgery?
•When can I wash my hair after surgery?
•Will I need help for a while and if so, for how long?
•If I have a question during my recovery, is there someone I can get a quick answer from?
•How do I wean off my TN medication?
•Can I wean off the medication slowly?
•How long after surgery will I have a follow up appointment with you?

Obviously you will need to tailor these question to suit your own situation.

Feel free to message me if you have any further questions Pierre, or post in the MVD group, there’s a wealth of info there and many people with different experiences willing to help!


Thanks Mimi. You’ve answered so many of my questions and thought me so much here. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time you’ve all taken to respond to my nervous ramblings. Ed and Jay were also a lot if help on my earlier blog. I will try to find brain talk for more resource information. Again, thanks for putting my mind at ease. I had a lot if questions for the neurosurgeon written down but I just wasn’t prepared enough for that first interview. I see him again January 14 th and will be more prepared. He said I was a good candidate after reviewing the mri. I know he has done quite a few of these in Montreal. Thanks

Hi are some answers to your questions.

1) scar probablt will be 5-6 inches and heals very nicely. Done under the hair line and when hair grows back it is covered. If I get a haircut thats too short it will show but doesnt bother me its my battle scar that I am proud of .

2) I have less hair then you so I dont want to lose any that wants to grow. Rest assured it grows back. look at the scar as your reminder of what you went through and what you survived.In 30 years no one has noticed my scar or ever asked me what happened not even my barber

3) your surgeon should have covered the risk in detail with you and the odds. As with any surgery there are risks and with this type of surgery probably a few more risks but serious side affects are pretty rare.

Good luck the day is getting closer...ED

My first MVD was 7 1/2 hours, my second 3 1/2 hours


I had MVD on May 18th of this year for A typical. It has been 90 % curative. Never the less, I have had ongoing side effects. For one I have been stress sensitive and experiencing cognition issues that are subtle and I am stress sensitive. My post-operative pain was intense and it took me 4 months to return to work. I am not the same man, but I have no more pain. Everyone is different, you will do fine. Peace!