Long-Term Lyme Patients Do Not Bounce Back Easily After Surgery

Updated: May 7, 2020

Today I am going to write about the reality of recovery from surgical procedures for a Lyme Patient. This reality normally results in a much longer recovery time and the possibility of a relapse of unpleasant symptoms. I think it is safe to say that nobody likes to visit the Emergency room for any reason but this is one place that I think Western Medicine can shine. But even if the Lyme patient does not end up in surgery through the ER but rather through a necessary medical procedure, it very rarely results in a “normal” recovery. I have helped several people over the last few months after surgical procedures (both ER and regularly scheduled). In all cases, the Lyme patient took twice as long to heal. I have found this to be rather common in the Lyme world and I have my own opinion on why this happens. It is not possible for me to run a controlled clinical trial to prove my observations so I will clearly state upfront that these are my opinions based on post-surgical observation.

We can choose something as simple as oral surgery (impacted wisdom teeth) or more complicated like a hemorrhagic bleeding ovarian cyst that requires emergency surgery. The reality for the person dealing with long term tick borne illness is normally a much longer recovery, increased generalized pain, increased nerve pain, more brain fog, longer surgical site healing, and much more fatigue. You can safely say these people do not easily “Bounce Back”. No these people can not be nicknamed Bumbles..LOL. They also experience an increase in anxiety, fear, and depression because they are told they will be “Better” in a few days when in fact it takes a few weeks.

Since the average long-term Lyme patient has been on several rounds of antibiotics (sometimes for years) they are generally nutrient deficient. People suffering from nutrient deficiencies do not heal as easily as those that are not. This become evident when you see how long these people remain bruised. Their bodies also have what I refer to as “muscle memory” when it comes to being in pain and being thrown into sympathetic (fight or flight) mode. Any kind of massive stressor can throw them backwards where their nervous system gets stuck again and it is not as easy to go back into a parasympathetic state required for healing. When you add the prior PTSD that many of these people have experienced it becomes even harder to break this cycle and get out of this loop of FEAR-ANXIETY-PAIN. Luckily, they do eventually as they start to heal.

I personally do not think the addition of more toxins into the body such as required anesthesia, contrasts for different tests, antibiotics, and radiation adds to the ability of the long-term Lyme patient to heal quickly. Most of these people have become bioaccumulating organisms and the addition of more toxins just causes their already weakened immune system to mount a healing response. It probably does not have a positive effect on their adrenals either.

It is important for the surgical team and the follow up doctors to realize that this group of people need extra support in the form of nutritional, emotional, detoxification, and compassion. It would be helpful if the patient could be fully supported through these necessary procedures because it would result in an improved recovery rate, lower medical bills, and a more positive experience for the patient and family.


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Monica Sava Bruenn PhD, FDN, CHN, Herbalist

Phone: (203) 482-6800




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