BPPV after surgery

Timothy C. Hain, MD •Page last modified: March 7, 2021

This site has many other pages on BPPV.

Here we are specifically confining our discussion to BPPV after surgery on parts of the body outside the ear. Of course, one can get BPPV from ear surgery -- this doesn't really need much discussion.

BPPV after surgery unrelated to the ears mainly is associated with dental work. This is not surprising in as much as there is vibration of the bone of the head from drilling, and sometimes positioning.

BPPV after surgery in situations where there was no drilling on the skull is a little harder to understand, but presumably this relates mainly to positioning -- most of the time surgery requires supine positioning on the table.

Strangely enough, there are no reports of BPPV post neurosurgery. One would think that any surgery on the head would have a fairly high prevalence of BPPV, compared to patients with no drilling on the head.

Dental surgery.

See also a discussion of vertigo in general post dental work, which has many other articles about positional vertigo in this context.

There have been several articles published about BPPV post dental surgery. Beskar et al (2012) reported a single patient with BPPV following maxillary surgery. Chiarella et al (2007) reported several cases following dental or maxillo-facial surgery. Galli et al (2004) reported a single case of BPPV post dental implants. Kansu et al (2015) described 3 cases - -one after septoplasty, and 2 after endodontic treatment. Kim described bilateral BPPV after orthognathic (dental) surgery. Gutierrez et al (2007) described two cases after maxillary implants.

Surgery outside of the head.

Shan et al (2017) described two cases after laparoscopic surgery. We have encountered cases in our practice of patients who underwent general surgery and developed BPPV thereafter.