Dear Ask The Doctor: Hi Please can you give me some advice My son was diagnosed with arachnoid cyst in April 2010 he was 10 at the time and was suffering pressure behind his left eye which caused him pressure and headaches, he had a a fenestration May 2010, and as far as we know the surgeon said everything went well The thing is he is a a keen footballer and plays Sunday league football, also training twice a week, as with most people after the surgery he suffers headaches still. As parents we also notice that its always when he seems to get hot, either through aerobically or just to getting a hot bath, the headaches get worse, occasionally he feels like he is going to pass out. It was our surgeon who said he was fine a few months after his surgery to carry with his sports. What I would like to know is this safe? because i would like to know how other children who have had this procedure,and who were encouraged back into their sports, how they are doing after being given this advice,are they still well lets say 3 to 5 years down the line because I cannot find anything on the net that gives me reassurance, yes there are plenty of people who have had this type of surgery, and are encouraged back into there normal routine, but are they all doing well, my son as I mentioned sometimes feels like hes gonna faint, surgeon says this is normal, but what exactly iscausing him to feel like that, is it his blood pressure? we are well aware that the cysts can return, but I more interested in how doctors and surgeons come to this conclusion, is there overwhelming data that reassures us as parents that, children are safe continuing back into sports, after this type of condition given all the after effects such as the above they are experiencing. Regards J.McKenna
Dear Patient: The vast majority of persons do well after having surgery to treat an arachnoid cyst. They are able to resume all normal activities including sporting activities and do not encounter any further problems related to these cysts. The fact that your son continues to suffer headaches and occasional fainting spells is some cause for concern since it has almost been a year since treatment. I believe these symptoms warrant evaluation by a neurosurgeon as they could represent re-growth of the cyst. A repeat MRI, following an examination by a neurosurgeon, should be able to identify the cause of your son's persistent symptoms.