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Doctor insights on: Brain Swelling After Stroke

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Dr. David Schleimer
1,498 Doctors shared insights

Swelling (Definition)

Swelling is the enlargement of organs, skin, or other body parts. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues. The extra fluid can lead to a rapid increase in weight over a short period of time (days to weeks). Swelling can occur all over the body (generalized) or only in one part ...Read more


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Help please! Is brain swelling normal after a major stroke and how long before we should worry?

Help please! Is brain swelling normal after a major stroke and how long before we should worry?

Yes, but few days: Brain swelling always follows death of brain tissue, and maximizes at about 24-36 hrs, and slowly dissipates over the next several days. Can be a far greater problem in the younger person, and not so severe in the elderly. The first few days are the crucial period. ...Read more

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Is brain swelling inevitable after right-side ischemic stroke?

Is brain swelling inevitable after right-side ischemic stroke?

Size of stroke: The amount of swelling, or edema, around a stroke is related to the volume of tissue infarcted. For a small stroke, swelling shouldn't be a problem. For a major hemispheric stroke, swelling can be life threatening and even sometimes require brain surgery to relieve pressure caused by the swelling. ...Read more

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After an ischemic stroke, how long does it usually take for the brain swelling to subside?

After an ischemic stroke, how long does it usually take for the brain swelling to subside?

Days: When an ischemic stroke occurs, peak of brain swelling starts in 3-4 days after the stroke. It will last for several days and then subside slowly. ...Read more

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How long does it usually take for the brain swelling to peak & subside from an ischemic stroke?

How long does it usually take for the brain swelling to peak & subside from an ischemic stroke?

Brain Edema: Brain usually develops swelling starting 3 days after stroke and peak 5 days and decreases in 7 days. Your brain can swell as a result of injury, illness, or other reasons. Brain swelling, though, can quickly cause serious problems -- including death. It's also usually more difficult to treat, because the bony skull doesn't let the brain to expand... ...Read more

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How long does it usually take for the brain swelling to peak & subside after an ischemic stroke?

How long does it usually take for the brain swelling to peak & subside after an ischemic stroke?

3-5 days: Depending on the size of the initial stroke, 3-5 days is a fair "peak" period. Most danger is in the first week. ...Read more

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My father had a stroke February 12th this year. He ended up with brain swelling in a comatose situation. How long will it take for swelling go away?

My father had a stroke February 12th this year. He ended up with brain swelling in a comatose situation. How long will it take for swelling go away?

About 3 weeks: Usually brain swelling subsides within 3 weeks or so. An infarction (non viable brain) from the stroke can cause coma if it is in the brain stem or midbrain. Cerebritis from infection can cause coma as well as demyelination which is relatively rare. Repeat imaging on MRI or CT scan might be helpful in tracking the specific region of the infarct, edema, atrophy and Encephalomalacia, or fluid. ...Read more

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Elderly lady had stroke due to blood clot. Has brain swelling. In a coma. Stroke induced. Chances of survival?

Elderly lady had stroke due to blood clot. Has brain swelling. In a coma. Stroke induced. Chances of survival?

Hard to say: The pre-illness health, speed of recognition and early care all play into this status. The physicians at the bedside have a better access to the information needed to answer this question. ...Read more

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Can someone with brain swelling be treated successfully in the icu?

Can someone with brain swelling be treated successfully in the icu?

Usually yes: The question from me is why do you have cerebral edema. Cerebral edema is of two types, vasogenic, leaky blood vessels permitting fluid to move from the vascular beds into the cerebral white matter, and cytotoxic edema, a response to cell death. There is a third type which is mixed cytotoxic/vasogenic, and is seen less frequently. Treatment: steroids/hypertonic salt, mannitol. ...Read more

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How to tell if I have brain swelling?

How to tell if I have brain swelling?

See a neurologist: Brain swelling can manifest in different ways depending on the location and severity. You should first see a neurologist who can perform a detailed exam to detect for any neurological deficits that you might have. If your neurological exam is unremarkable and you don't have any preceding history that would suggest brain swelling, then there is no need for any further work-up to be performed. ...Read more

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I was wondering what are signs of brain swelling?

I was wondering what are signs of brain swelling?

Depress CNS function: In general swelling of the brain leads to depression of central nervous system function. This leads to drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and headaches. With more severe swelling there can become focal neurologic symptoms depending on the type of herniation that occurs. I hope this helps. ...Read more

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Does brain swelling usually have more then one symptom?

Does brain swelling usually have more then one symptom?

Yes: You can have nausea, vomiting, headache, visual problems, stiff or painful neck. ...Read more

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How long does it approximately take to lose consciousness from acute brain swelling?

How long does it approximately take to lose consciousness from acute brain swelling?

Impossible to answer: There are so many variables I doubt that any of us here can give you specific reliable information. Brain swelling is serious, of course. What prompts the question? Perhaps you can be more specific in why you are asking this. ...Read more

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I am really scared. I have symptoms of acute brain swelling. How long does it take to lose consciousness from that?

I am really scared. I have symptoms of acute brain swelling. How long does it take to lose consciousness from that?

Get seen now: Brains don't "just swell" unless it's the result of a blow, especially a second blow. I would not be surprised if you are siimply hyperventilating. If you still believe you are seriously ill, phone your physician's office or otherwise get seen. Acute cerebral edema announces itself as headache, impairment of consciousness, and nausea / vomiting. ...Read more

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Does all brain Tumors cause brain swelling if they are big?

Does all brain Tumors cause brain swelling if they are big?

Brain tumors: No. Some brain tumors are benign (not cancers) and do not cause swelling. Meningiomas and adenomas of the pituitary gland are benign and rarely cause a defici ...Read more

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How long can cerebral edema or brain swelling can take to cure. My friend is making very slow progress, she 50% conscious in a month?

How long can cerebral edema or brain swelling can take to cure. My friend is making very slow progress, she 50% conscious in a month?

Compare with bruise: The acute lesion swells over 24-36 hrs and resolves slowly over 2-3 weeks. However, resolution implies healing, and with encephalitis the process may not totally be stable, with ongoing inflammation mixed with areas of healing. May be looking at several months to resolve edema and perhaps up to 18 months for maximal improvement. ...Read more

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Can headaches & pains n your head cause brain swelling or cause problems like this. All my test have came back normal but I'm still worried!

Can headaches & pains n your head cause brain swelling or cause problems like this. All my test have came back normal but I'm still worried!

Listen to MD: Brain swelling is an ominous sign, but after being checked by an md should point you in the right direction. Headaches by themselves should not be a reason to be concerned about cerebral swelling.
Try to be optimistic, and listen to your md's recommendations. ...Read more

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Any suggestions on which treatments physicians commonly used in brain swelling or inflammation?

Any suggestions on which treatments physicians commonly used in brain swelling or inflammation?

Strange question: Are you in an ICU? Have you had a stroke or hemorrhage or severe brain trauma or a tumor? Are you in a coma? Are you having seizures? Do you have hydrocephalus or herniation? If mannitol, hyperventilation, hypervolemic hemodilution or steroids don't work, they may have to call in a neurosurgeon to drill a hole in your head to decompress your brain. Or have I misunderstood your question? ...Read more

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Can extensive cortical dysplasia cause brain swelling?

Can extensive cortical dysplasia cause brain swelling?

Cortical dysplasia: Cortical dysplasia refers to a malformation of brain, in which the nerve cells have not migrated to their normal location. It does not cause brain swelling unless during fetal life it is caused by infection during the time of neurons migrating to their normal location. ...Read more

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With behçet's disease, brain swelling is a major consurn along with other neurological issues. How do I know when/if a headache is dangerous?

With behçet's disease, brain swelling is a major consurn along with other neurological issues. How do I know when/if a headache is dangerous?

Checklist for...: ...Possibly dangerous headaches: (1) "worst headache ever." (2) "headache woke me from sleep." (3) neurologic changes (double vision, weakness, numbness, tingling, memory or reasoning problems, clumsiness, etc.) (4) vomiting (though this can happen with migraine as well.). ...Read more

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My son was shot through his chest and experienced a massive stoke a day later. They performed brain surgery and has brain swelling he is 14 years old?

My son was shot through his chest and experienced a massive stoke a day later. They performed brain surgery and has brain swelling he is 14 years old?

So sorry to learn of: Your son's injuries. It sounds like the gun shot may have caused a clot in his heart or chest which then traveled to his brain. Brain swelling after such an injury would not be uncommon and I am sure his doctors are trying their best to resolve this. It is premature to tell how much residual damage he will sustain, and I wish him the best recovery possible. Don't give up hope. ...Read more

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Can inhalation of toxic mold cause brain swelling?

Can inhalation of toxic mold cause brain swelling?

Exceptionally rare: This would entail a systemic (as in throughout the body) spread of a fungus through an inhalation mechanism. It could happen but again would be exceptionally rare. Expect a respiratory mold exposure to cause more so respiratory, allergic or nonspecific symptoms like headache/fatigue. ...Read more

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Why is my head very tight on my shunt side right side of my head its like my brain swelling what is this? What should I do? Is this serious?

Why is my head very tight on my shunt side right side of my head its like my brain swelling what is this? What should I do? Is this serious?

Maybe: If you have a shunt, a change in headache can be a sign of shunt malfunction. A CT or MRI or other evaluation may be helpful. I would recommend that you get evaluated promptly. Excessive sleepiness, nausea or vomiting would be other signs that the shunt is not working properly. Of course, testing may show no change! People with shunts get headaches too... ...Read more

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I have daily headaches x 2 months. Head feels like in a vice and going to pop. Sometimes sharp pain. Balance off, does it sound like brain swelling?

I have daily headaches x 2 months. Head feels like in a vice and going to pop. Sometimes sharp pain. Balance off, does it sound like brain swelling?

Not brain swelling: Your headaches have nothing to do with brain swelling. That would cause you to be in a fog, confused, disoriented. The look of Ohio State Buckeye fans who couldn't believe that Virginia Tech could actually come in and beat up on them...beat up on US is closer to the effects of brain swelling! Your headaches are likely tension type in nature OR medication overuse since I see you take Tylenol (acetaminophen). ...Read more

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Tues I had keys thrown to my head doc said it was superficial lasceration&1 staple put n can I bleed or have brain swelling now? Or then very scared

Tues I had keys thrown to my head doc said it was superficial lasceration&1 staple put n can I bleed or have brain swelling now? Or then very scared

Door attached 2 key?: An "average" size key ring (like one that fits into the palm of your hand) is unlikely to have the heft to cause any internal damage. Now, the school janitor's monster key ring, perhaps, but even then, likely to be dispersed on side of head. If no nausea / vomiting / vision changes / etc., would use cool compress to area & relax. ...Read more

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Could a white blood cell count tell if you have brain swelling?

Could a white blood cell count tell if you have brain swelling?

No: A history and physical exam, perhaps with imaging studies, is what you need to rule it in or out. Do you have bad headaches? Sick to your stomach? ...Read more

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Is it true that a white blood cell count can show you have brain swelling?

Is it true that a white blood cell count can show you have brain swelling?

Not specific: White blood cell counts are an indication of infection. Brain infection can cause this, but I would assume a cluster of other symptoms that are significant would make one look to the central nervous system, rather than a WBC count. Medical attention is required for a proper differential diagnosis. Good luck! ...Read more

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Pain and pressure at back of head all day, getting worse and body weakness. Never had before. Could it be anuerysm or brain swelling?

Pain and pressure at back of head all day, getting worse and body weakness. Never had before. Could it be anuerysm or brain swelling?

M.D. visit: Your symptoms are of concern, and there are several neurologic conditions that may cause your pain and weakness. I would suggest that you call your doctor or obtain a check up at the ed. It may also be caused by something less serious such as a muscle spasm. It is best to be checked as soon as you can. ...Read more

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How long cn it take to restore normal functionality after brain swelling due to viral encephalitis/meningitis? What are the chances of full recovery?

How long cn it take to restore normal functionality after brain swelling due to viral encephalitis/meningitis? What are the chances of full recovery?

Good chance: Depending on the severity of the meningitis, I have found that most of my patients do very well, and have a full, or near full recovery. Occasionally, there are cases that leave behind scars that can lead to seizures, or brain injury. However, this is best answered by the neurologist or neurosurgeon that was involved with the specific case, since there can be many factors relating to outcome. ...Read more

Dr. James Dukelow
49 Doctors shared insights

Brain Swelling (Definition)

Swelling of the brain may be caused by excess fluid, ...Read more