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Anyone else have hot flushes post op?

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I don't know if I've already asked you guys this or not. If so, remember my mind is gone. 8}

Ever since having an ACDF C5-6 five weeks ago I get hot flushes and my ears burn and actually turn red. They feel hot to touch too. I've checked my temp so many times and it's always normal. I am 44 yrs old and perimenopausal (sorry men) but had never had this before. Has anyone had this problem? I wake up at least ten times a night burning up and my ears feel like they're on fire. I do this all through the day too! My right ear is always the worst. I'd blame it on normal hot flashes if it hadn't just happened since surgery. I was thinking it was the percocet but I'm not on that anymore. Any ideas? Have any of you had this??



  • Hello again Debbie,

    I seem to be following you around this site and experiencing some of the same symptoms and feelings.

    Yes, I have definately had hot flushes since my lumbar fusion.
    Actually, things have settled down quite a bit now, but earlier on in my recovery, it was quite a problem.
    I didn't have burning and red ears, but my lower back was very hot and I started sweating. My back just above my fusion, would be wringing wet! Not all the time, but on occasions.

    The hot flushes were strange, as I had experienced them during the menopause, but (I am older than you) and they had almost gone. I even had a period (sorry men!!) after 2 1/2 years! My surgeon was amazed, but did say that surgery could definately affect hormones.

  • Debbie,

    I got thrown into perimenopause thanks to my right ovary (sorry men) becoming a 3lb + tumor. The hot flashes were awful for years! They started to settle down, then on my last surgery, they came back with a vengeance! Mine lasted 3 or 4 months! I don't remember my ears turning red, but my face would flush badly.

    My flashes lasted anywhere from 5 minutes to 30! Night and day sweats - yuck! My peri is starting to move the regular menopause thank goodness! Yep, the 'friend' is now 1 day (yes 1) a month, and have been as short as 3 hours! (G) Just had blood work today to check for the usual stuff, and too hormone levels and thyroid. I am pretty sure the hormones are way down, but I do know for me, I will not take replacement therapy. Nope, no thanks! I hope your flashes settle down Debbie. 48 here...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one but sorry you've had this too. I've been thinking maybe it's all in my head!

    I'm glad the problem is lessening for you now. Hopefully I'll cool off soon too.

    We are bumping into each other a lot today aren't we? I've been lonesome and bored sitting here taking it easy today so I'm glad you've been around. Thanks for everything. I'd be lost without all my SH friends!


  • I have had so much help here myself.
    I am glad if I can help others, even a little bit.

    I remember the lonely days and boredom!
    Now I am back at work, and experiencing the tiredness and trying to keep up with everything at home.
    I have a friend coming to help with the housework. She has some financial problems at the moment, so it helps us both. :-)

    I am off to bed now! (In the UK)
    Have a nice evening and hope that you sleep well (not too hot) and a comfortable day tomorrow.
    Gentle hug >:D<

    Catch you again soon. :H
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    As if normal post op stuff ain't bad enough! I'd sleep like a baby if not for this!

    I've had enough trouble with my own hormones--sure as heck don't want any fake ones. lol.

    It's strange though. Wonder what exactly causes this after surgery? Hmmm :? Guess we're just lucky.

    Thanks Brenda
  • My guess? Endorphins are a lot higher than normal after we have surgery, sex, exercise, fear etc. Is it possible that when they are high, hormones reduce giving you (us) the flashes? Hummm... might ask my doctor when I go back to see what my levels are! (G)

    Yeah, the body is designed to enter that next level in life, why on earth do I want to add them suckers back in! I with ya girlfriend!! :) *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Extremely unpleasant hot flushes started the day after surgery. I had loads each day and at nightime it was horrendous - throwing all the covers off because I felt I was on fire, and then waking up 'cos I was freezing. There was no happy medium.

    These hot flushes continued until about 1 month ago. They just stopped. I don't know why, but I'm very thankful they did.

    I did tell the surgeon's team about them, but I never received an explanation. I know it must have been related to the surgery because I didn't have these intense hot flushes before and now they've stopped, so what else could it have been?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • I had finally gotten through the whole hot flash stage, but the two fusions I have had since Aug. of this year brought them back big time! Mine settle down about four to six weeks out of surgery, and night is always the worst. Gone through a lot of Pj's! For me, cortisone shots also flare the hot flashes and the flushing and burning that you talk about on your face. hope yours subsides soon!!
  • I saw this in the forum and could not believe it. All this time I thought it was hot flashes due to menopause! I get so hot, especially at night, and it has been ever since my surgery last August. I used to get hot flashes, but they were never like these, it is good to know that others have felt them and that it is because of the surgery. Wow, the things you learn on this site.

  • The stress of surgery / the trauma on the body can cause hormones to go wacky. It can also cause your thyroid to go on the fritz. I was menopausal when I had my lumbar surgery and I was blaming the hot flashes on that after the surgery. I was going through two and three changes of clothing a night because of the hot flashes. It was about two weeks later I was admitted to the hospital because I also had other issues start up. I was in the hospital for a month before the doctors figured out that the stress of the surgery triggered a hyperthyroid episode. If the hot flashes continue you may want to have your doctor investigate further. Hope you have a complete healing.
  • Any type of anesthesia, narcotics and even steroids can affect your hormones levels.

    Your hormones can be level, you have a surgery and the anesthesia may throw them off. This can result in hot flashes, hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms, It will then be up to your body to produces more hormones. (It's not just Estrogen guys.)

    Steroid injection will do the same thing to hormone levels.

    I had a hysterectomy many years ago and have had to use HRT ever since. Each surgery or series of steroid injection always results in a series of HRT injections to get me back on track. NEVER FUN!

    Once I made the mistake of getting my hormones before surgery thinking I would be all set for a while afterwards. What a waste of time and money that was. The anesthesia just ate them right up!

    That’s why I always make sure the benefits are well worth the risk. Especially when it comes to the steroids. By the time I get my hormones back in line the benefit, if any, from the shot has worn off.

    I have even noticed since I started using Narcotics regularly I require HRT more frequent than I used to.

    As always this is information based on my own personal experience and explanations from my own doctors.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Still no end in sight for this. My hubby just told me that we're not having another one of those nights tonight because he's tired of me freezing him to death! I told him he may as well get used to it. lol. I swear it's just one after another during the night. #:S

    Please tell me more stories about how long it took you to stop having these 'episodes'?


  • For me, they lessened after the first month each time. My husband Chuck sleeps in another room so he can get some rest! Now everything kicks them off. I am battling multiple infections and that flared them again. I have some Premphase left from when I was going through menapause, and I use it for about a week and that seems to calm my system a lot. Not sure I should be doing that, but it has helped more at least seven times after surgeries, infections and cortisone shots. Here's hoping you get some relief - really adds to the laundry too! One more adventure in life!
  • I'm on the cusp of entering true menapause...perimenapause is where I am. I get so hot at night that I wake my Hubby up, he can't lay next to me. I also struggle a lot more with restless leg syndrome...Of course I call it restless body Syndrome. I have to tense up my whole body throughout the night in order to get the creepycrawlies relaxed so I can sleep. Annoying is an understatement.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    You know what's so strange? I'm a person who sweats ALOT when working outside/inside whatever. My hair will be wet with sweat in minutes. Well these darn hot flashes that I have through the night I don't sweat! My pj's aren't wet nor is my pillow! Go figure! Just feels like I'm on fire inside. During the day I do sweat some just around my head/neck though.

    cgm...I feel for you with the restless leg/body. My husband is getting pretty bad with that also but he won't see a doctor. He doesn't even have a doctor! He's only been to urgent care doctors about 3 or 4 times in the past 23 yrs. He's been very lucky--and very stubborn. lol.

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. I'm going to ask my NS about it at my appointment Friday just to see what he'll say.

    Take care,
  • Debbie,

    Sorry you are still struggling with this. I was hoping it would pass for you. Well maybe it still will.

    Do let us know what your NS says. I don't usually sweat during my hot flushes. But then again, I know mine are hot flushes. Since this is new to you, you really need to be sure. If your NS does not have any answers and it continues you should talk to your PCP or OBGYN.

    Your young, so it may not be hormonal. Who knows. They may say it's the anesthetic and you just need to give it more time. Hot flashes/flushes can be caused by different meds, different medical conditions, alcohol, or a drop in estrogen or testoterone just to name a few causes.

    The moral of the story is there are a lot of things the doctor can check for if it continues. In the meantime...sleep by the window, but get some sleep.
  • I'm so glad I found this post! I thought I was having fever's these last few days and my temp is always normal too! It happens after I eat something and at night when I'm in bed I toss and turn because I'm so hot!

    I feel so overwhelmed by all this. I wish there was support when you leave the hospital. In Ontario there's nothing. I didn't even get a wheelchair..
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Hi. First of all thanks for saying I'm young. Certainly don't feel that way very often.

    I didn't ask my NS assistant about the 'episodes'. We were busy discussing my throat problems and honestly I didn't think she'd have a clue. hehe. My sister brought me a box of Estroven (OTC stuff) and I think it's helped a lot. I'm not having them as much at night now. There for a while it was almost constantly!

    Thankfully I've been getting more sleep since they've subsided some.

    Thanks for your concern. I appreciate it.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    How are you doing? It sounds like you're going through the same as me and a lot of others here. I was hesitant to mention it but I'm glad I did...at least now I don't feel like I'm (as) crazy. lol.

    If you read my reply to Frog above you'll see that mine are getting less at least. Whew!! I still have many more than I want but nothing like before. I'm going to try to keep count one day and see just how many!

    I didn't get a wheelchair either but it was because I told them I didn't need one. I walked a long way to the parking lot where we'd parked the day before. Course cervical surgery is way different than lumbar!!! I can't believe you had to walk!! Geez. I know that walking is good for us but I think they push it to far, to soon sometimes.

    Hope you're doing okay. PM me if you want to talk HOT!! lol

  • Hang in there gals. My GUESS is the anesthetic ate up your natural body supply of hormone. Unless, you have had a hysterectomy or have some other reason you are not making more you will reproduce more and it will get back to normal soon. (I know, I know. It can't be soon enough.)

    I was assured repeatedly that anesthetic do eat up your hormone supply! (Remember some narcotics can also mess with your hormones.)

    Trust me, I've been dealing with it since my hysterectomy at age 29. Oh wait, I'm still 29!
  • Go figure. I was online and googled "hot flashes after neck surgery" and I was directed to spine-health.

    I had ACDF a few weeks ago, and from the first night in the hospital began having hot flashes/night sweats. Just as someone upthread stated, I alternate between being on fire/covered in sweat to freezing and completely covered with goosebumps, teeth chattering, the whole thing. It's the worst at night, but does affect me during the day as well.

    I'm a nurse and have never been told that anesthesia can cause this. I figured this was one big coincidence, but now I'm doubting that.

    It doesn't really change things, but it's very interesting to know others have experienced this. I hope it is short lived, because it sure is miserable. The hot flashes have taken up more of my thoughts than the post op pain.

    Thanks to all who posted. Even though it's an old thread, it was very helpful to know I'm not going crazy. :)

    PS-this is driving my husband crazy as well. He's never had to deal with having the AC on in November before.
  • Hi Too soon.

    I'm laughing and I shouldn't be. These hot flashes are miserable. I recently had a bad flare up with my back. I was put on a quick round of prednisone to help clear it up. Of course the steroids are going to mess with my hormones but when your desperate your desperate!

    Here I find myself reading this thread again, after your post, reminding myself, "ah yes, how quickly I forget."

    Many times, after the surgery, surgeons inject mega doses of steroids in the surgical area. I believe that can be counted on to really mess with your hormones as well.

    Hang in there.
  • Hello all, the problems you are experiencing is one of the risks of having this type of surgery. It's called "trauma to the sympathetic chain". The sympathetic chain is located on both sides of the spine & it delivers information to the body such as stimulating sweat glands, constricting blood vessels, etc.
    I just read over all of the risks associated with surgery with my doctor this evening so it's very fresh in my mind. This is one of the risks they discussed with me. Hope this helps everyone to understand.

    ACDF C5-C6 01/2002
    ACDF C6-C7 12/2011
    Prognosis: Permanent nerve damage in hands/arms, all treatment options exhausted-- lifetime CPP
  • I had an ACDF surgery 6 weeks ago. The last two weekends have been getting nauseous and dizzy and then get hot in the face and get flushed. Not sure if it's from the Percocet Have only been taking it when necessary. Then I thought I was allergic to an antibiotic and then then steroid and they told me to stop them both. Can't keep feeling like this on top of the current pain I'm experiencing. Has anyone else experienced this ? In the hospital I had flushes from the anesthesia but didn't get nauseous and dizzy. Help!!!!!
  • Makes me a bit naseous, that's can be a side effect of all pain meds. You can talk to your dr about switching meds, or prescribing anti nausea meds. Dizziness can also be a side effect of all pain meds. Also, since you have likely been laying down a lot, your blood pressure could be a little low, & pain meds can affect bp to.

    I'm surprised your dr told you to stop the antibiotic & the prednisone, as prednisone is a drug that can be used to get reduce allergic reactions.

    Of course, I'm not a dr, & you should call yours & explain your symptoms. I'm only telling you some basics of most pain meds.

    If you were a female, I'd suggest a hormone level check, but I don't know if guy's hormones can be thrown off like women?

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon!

    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • Hi everyone, just came across this hot flushes after surgery...

    I myself had a microdiscectomy 2 weeks ago and had hot flushes after more on first day op this is due to the steroid that they have used to flush after surgery and the steroid decreases inflammation. I had a couple of facet block injection last year and last January so it is normal to have hot flushes and even this steroid sometime keep you awake only 24 hours to 48 thou.
  • I thought I was going crazy! I am 7 weeks post op ACDF and had a total hysterectomy 2 years ago. I use estrogen patches and have been thinking they weren't sticking and putting new ones on. I take a valium at bedtime and occasionally take a 1/2 percocet with 500mg tylenol when the pain prevents me from falling asleep. I'm wondering do any of you take gabapentin? I have been taking that for a couple years so I don't think it's that but maybe the mixture of all these different meds at bedtime? Maybe it's just a part of the healing process?
    Left arm weakness, muscle spasms
    3/7/2014 ACDF C 6-7 allograft and hardware, laminectomy decompression C 4-6
    Small rotator cuff tear.
  • Sorry guys, girl stuff...Glad some one reserected this topic. In the past I had a lot of issues with heavy and annoyingly frequent cycles. I went to doctors for this but got the "huh, that's weird, take a ton of hormones" which did nothing. I was sure I had fibroids or something horrible but ultrasounds showed nothing too out of the ordinary. I mean, years this has been going on. Then my back blows out, I get a fusion and the other problems just stopped. It's been 6 months now. Weirdest thing ever, what an unexpected bonus from surgery. So, because this was weird, I was dying to ask if anyone else had something similiar. This seemed like an ok place to ask since I'm sure it's hormone related.
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
  • I had my ACDF four weeks ago yesterday and almost every night, I have been sweating buckets. My recovery is going well and my incision looks good (not infected). I'm just burning up and sweating like mad every night. Like several others, I am peri-menopausal, but this isn't even like normal hormonal sweats. I am HOT, HOT, HOT and my sheets and PJs are soaked.
  • Had a microdiscectomy two weeks ago, and boy, these hot flashes are way worse than anything I had as I started menopause (sorry men!). It just as folks are describing…my house is now at 66 F, but it can feel like 99 F to me at times. I can't stand anything touching my skin at those times, and at night I toss and turn with sweating and boiling to covers thrown off and freezing…like I will never feel warm again. Back and forth…no in between. So glad to know I am not alone!
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