4 Days Post Surgery: Syncope post surgery from inflammation? ES symptoms still painful

The first 2 days i would say where not that bad and i was beginning to underestimate this surgery…

Yesterday on the 3rd day, I was quickly reminded how serious this surgery is. So, I was having some dinner (blended chicken and veg. soup) and i was looking down constantly to look at my plate but after like 10 min of eating i started to feel alot of tingles and pressure building in that area of the neck. Then the pain starts to set in. Following this i begin to feel DIzzy, weak, off-balance, spacey, temperature (felt real cold indoors and would feel hot around my feet) and my whole body was tingling my wife was telling me that i was looking pale. I began to panic a little because the pain around the neck was excruciating and the pressure didn’t allow me to have much mobility without feeling real dizzy.

It took about 90 minutes until the pain and pressure subsided around my neck (surgery side). It felt like an eternity because i was super sensitive. So im thinking it was an episode of syncope due to inflammation around the arteries or maybe it was the vagus nerve? Did this ever happen to you?

SO other then that the process has been fine with the immediate side effects from surgery that are as follows so far for me:

Left side (operated side):
Pain and pressure in ear (tinnitus seems a little louder after surgery)
Tingling and in pain on face
Around the jaw pressure and pain
Neck tightness and pressure
Inability to open mouth more than an inch
Difficulty: Chewing, talking, smiling etc…
**I feel alot of pain in the area behind my throat on the side operated when i swallow and in general. I thought that i wouldn’t feel this pain anymore behind myh throat or is it just inflamed???

Right side:
This ear was hurting alot along with the left side
My jaw hurts on this side also
I have some tingling pain around this side of face
***THis side is not as bad as the operated side as far as pain

Other then that i seem to be doing just fine. Everything at NYU langone was excellent. The doctor that performed the surgery was very experienced. Before the surgery he mentioned that i could get the droopy lip and the first bite, but i dont have it. The only complaint wiuld be that for some reason i didnt see the doctor come to my rooms, I just saw the assistant that kinda gave me a break down of the post surgery info but couldn’t really give me an in-depth info on the in surgery process (how did it go and what did they see?) SHe didnt tell me much but i guees when i see the doc next week he could tell me. She said the styloid where 3cm but i dont know if she just guessed that. Next week the Doc will give me the info.

My ES symptoms post surgery are all still pretty much there and are in worse pain then before i got the surgery. Im assuming this is normal and should resolve after the inflammation has gone down but im not sure. Anyone experience that their ES symptoms after surgery are worse before they get better post surgery?

I would like to appreciate Isiah for being there to answer all my questions for the past few weeks and all others who have also done a great job answering questions. You guys ROCK in this group!!!

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It is very early days yet, you’ll still have swelling, & your nerves will be a bit shocked by what’s happened! Days 3-5 can be bad for swelling, it could be that when you spent a little while looking down it aggravated the internal stitches, & would cause pain. The vagus nerve can be irritated by surgery too.
It’s quite common for people to still have ES symptoms after surgery- if the nerves have been aggravated for a long time by the styloid, it will take time to heal & settle, so try to be patient.
Sorry that you’ve been feeling rough, I hope that things settle soon…make sure you keep icing & get plenty of rest, & keep up with the painkillers regularly. Best wishes, thinking of you :pray:

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Thanx jules, i hear that between days 3 to 5 its worse and its actually valid.I was thinking maybe it was the vagus nerve or because of instant inflamation the carotid artery was pressed.
I know i jsut have to be patient and hope this surgery works with the symptoms ive been having for some time now.

Icing is by far the most important thing to me right now, it feels really good. As far as meds i take the oxycotine at night and day aleve.

FIngers crossed, thanx jules

Anthony, I have my surgery in 10 days. I am terrified. Did you have internal or external? Thank you for your update.

For me it was one of the toughest decisions i ever made but Ive been to so many doctors and have had so many tests done “all normal” and going by what others feel here i guees i had a connection with alot of the symptoms that others experience here. I had the styloid removed externally which i think is probably the best form from what ive read.

Your at a crossroad and you ask your self what kind of life do you want to live?. Then you weigh in the risks and rewards to measure the importance of the surgery to you. I can speak for myself that its painfull post surgery mainly alof of inflamation but i would say just go for it, if you dont do it you will never know. I dont have any relief yet but it takes time! I must say even the night before i still had doubts and even on the way to the hospital i was freaking out internally wondering if i was making the right choice. But i chose a good doc and institution so that made my decision easier.

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You’re right I am at a crossroad. Are you taking gabapentin? The doctor gave me that today at my consult. He gave me 300mg and I took one. I feel like I am high as a kite…not in a good way. Please keep me updated on your progress. I really would like to know what to expect. I know everyone is different because I have read almost every post on here.

Gabapentine and no other med ever did anything for me. I took gabapentine up to like 2,400 and it did nothing to the pain. I took it for about 5 months so i thereafter suspended this medication but i know it works for many people but just not for me.

Currently I am having the same pains but intensified and its probably because of the inflamation that i have. Im just taking it easy, real easy!!! This surgery is very delicate and i am barely speaking at all right now because it hurts when i open my jaw and futher then 1 inch

I will keep you posted absolutely.

How are you doing today, Anthony? Hope you are feeling better with your symptoms. Just curious what today as brought as far as healing… Thanks for your updates. Hope it is better.

Hi Anthony8484,

You commented that the first couple of days after your surgery were ok then the pain set in. That is totally normal. When you have this type of surgery, part of the IV meds you’re given is an anti-inflammatory (usually in the form of epinephrine). The epinephrine & the anesthesia stay in your system for a couple of days post op thus they pain is often lower during those days. Once they wear off, pain becomes more intense for a few days then it will begin to subside but as you’ve noted the recovery process is slow. It can move forward for a few days then backward.

The best thing you can do for pain is to stay on top of taking pain meds. If you don’t want to take the oxycodone during the day, you can alternate Tylenol (acetaminophen) w/ Advil (ibuprofen) taking Tylenol then 2-3 hrs later Advil then 2-3 hrs later Tylenol & so on. I suggest trying this if Aleve isn’t helping for the full time it should. DO NOT ALTERNATE Aleve & Tylenol. You can only do the combo I suggested w/ meds that have a similar time spread (i.e. 4-6 hrs between doses). Since Aleve is a 12 hr medication, I don’t think it would be safe to alternate it w/ Tylenol as you could w/ Advil. The goal is to take your pain meds BEFORE your pain starts flaring up. You want to keep it at as steady a level as possible. It’s hard to play catch up w/ pain meds once the pain gets a tight hold. I speak from experience.

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Isaiah, Did you ever use anything besides Aleve, Tylenol or Advil? Did you ever use gabapentin? Or other pain meds? I have my surgery in 9 days. I’m really scared…

HI Anthony,

Hang in there. As others have indicated, days 3-5 can be worse because of swelling. Sure sounds like you had an usual reaction with so much pain. I tend to have more pain and that tightness when I look downwards at my phone for too long. I recently noticed having more dizziness when I was looking up for too long so it could be positional? I was forewarned my tmj would kick up after surgery and it was my primary complaint after surgery. I too couldn’t open my jaw much and have had some minor first bite issues. Some ear pain still there but it comes and goes. I’m 7 weeks out and the jaw / ear still pretty sore. Im going for some injections on Monday to see if I can get it calmed down.
I was given steroid in IV at time of surgery and then took prednisone (tapered) for 10 days after surgery. Had a wedge pillow at 30 degrees. I iced all day and night the first 4 days along with that. The first 2 days I took oxycodone every 4-6 hours and set my alarm to stay ahead of pain and by day 3, I was down to about 1 a day and except for the jaw pain I breezed thru the 3 days and beyond. I was quite surprised how little pain I was in but then again my last pain flair was just about debilitated me so its all relative. Thats a bummer doc didnt come in. I remember my doc did and barely remember a word he said to me and I still was half drugged from surgery. Since they werent letting anyone (family or friend) in to oversee, I didnt get a straight story till I saw him at post-op. By then he had already done 10+ of the same surgeries and honestly wasnt as fresh with the details. Ask for the operative report when you go in so you can read the details of what they did to you.
Are you taking any steroids ie: predisone?

I stopped taking gabapentine months ago because I just didnt see any improvement. But i understand that it works for many people just not for me. I had mentioned it to my doctor and he said that with ES medication doesnt really go along way because the pain from the styloid is hard to mask with medication. Its a physical/pointy structure constantly there… Everyone is so differente and thats what makes it so hard because you want to find relatable comments but you will rarely find a unique person that has the exact same symptoms as you on here.

Today on my 6th day, i have some discomfort and bodily temp issues that kind of give me hot flashes right now. I have alot of pressure on my neck and pain on my face and around the ears. I still cant chew really because my left tmj (surgery side) is very panfull and is almost like its locked in place and cant open my mouth.

I find myself not taking the oxy much during the day because i just try and save it at night to sleep before it runs out. I try taking 2 tylenols at a time but it obviously doesnt work like the oxy. im going to try alternating the tylenol and alive and see if that gives me an edge.

I dont even try to look downwards because of that scare i had th e other day where i started to get SUPER dizzy and weak after looking down. How long did it take before you where able to look up or down or basically tilt your neck post surgery? i feel like im far from that moment! I wasnt told about the tmj issue post surgery but it makes sense. WHat issues have you experience with first bite? My ears are burning and its on both side which is confusing since i only had surgery on one side. I was kind of dissapointed to not see him and have him tlak about the surgery but its true, i was kind of medicated and not really alert anyways. How are you currently feeling?

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If you’re getting a temperature it’s best to speak to/ see a doctor as you don’t want to let an infection get out of hand…hope that things improve for you soon. I think 1st surgery it was 10days(ish) before I could open my mouth fully, chew properly & clean my teeth well, & I don’t have TMJD…early days still. :pray::pray:

I’m getting occasional hot flashes and *burning/tingling through my arms and legs. I also feel very sensitive as if my nerves where hypersensitive right now. I also am feeling more off balance symptoms currently.

Has anyone experienced or heard of anyone experience this type of side effects post surgery???

Hi Anthony,

I’m sure your surgeon would refill your Rx for oxycodon if you need it. I had my Rx refilled twice. You can get a very small # of pills in a refill like 5 or 10. Just tell the doctor what you think you might need. He should have Rxed enough to begin with to take you through your first cpl weeks post op taking them during the day as well as at night.

Please switch to Advil or Motrin if you’re going to alternate w/ Tylenol. Aleve is a different medication (naproxen as opposed to ibufprofen) & stays in your system longer. I don’t know if it’s safe to alternate w/ Tylenol.

Hi luv4pj,

As much as I’m not a proponent of narcotic pain meds, I did take Percocet (oxycodone) as prescribed for the first two weeks post op. After that I began to gradually spread out my doses, then cut my tablets in half & spread out the time between those till I didn’t need them anymore. I think all told, I took Percocet for 6 weeks after my first surgery. I was afraid to try anything less so can’t give an opinion about the efficacy of Tylenol/Advil post op for ES. I have used the combo in the past when I had the flu with a high fever & body aches & chills that lasted for a week plus. Taking them alternately for that gave me great relief. My second surgery was much more straight forward so my pain level was a lot lower & healing went faster. Didn’t need the pain meds nearly as long for that one.

I’m about a month post surgery now, I didn’t feel the burning/tingling arms/legs but I did get the hot flashes. I kept thinking I had a fever but I’d take my temperature and it was always normal. Weird! I did have a numb tongue and sometimes the roof of my mouth or my lip would go tingly and numb. Pretty much all that weirdness has passed now, all I’m left with is throat pain.

It could be that the vagus nerve has been irritated during surgery, it can have all sorts of weird effects. Or maybe a reaction to the medications or anaesthetic, I don’t know, but it might be worth checking it out with your doctor?
Here’s a link to a piece about effects of an inflamed vagus nerve:
‘If the vagus nerve is inflamed, functions logically affected. It may be due to what is termed as vagal syndrome, which is characterized by nausea, heartburn, dizziness, headache, tachycardia, pain and stiff neck, vomiting or vagal crisis, which directly implies heart and manifests with some uncomfortable symptoms such as excessive sweating, pallor, malaise, nausea, and even fainting.’
The dizziness could perhaps be down to one of the nerves to the ear being irritated?
Hope that this improves soon…

Is there anything that would trigger your hot flashes? any sensitivity to the cold weather?
My tounge and roof of my mouth is also kind of numb and i feel some nerve pain aswell. As for my throat, i still feel the same pain i had before but just more intensified and especially when i swallow.

Now its been 7 days post Op…

I actually spoke to the doctor and he prescribed another round of oxycotone because the amount of pain that i was feeling yesterday did not allow me to sleep I mentioned the side effects and he said it was a serious surgery and that alot of strange side effects can occur while healing. . The pain that i feel is BURNING PAIN in ears and on face.

What i dont understand is ** how is it that my right side is also hurting ???(ears and cheek)** , although not as bad as the operated side but still pretty bad BURNING SENSATIONS. The left side of my face is also very sensitive to touch. When i say face, i mean around the ** lower jaw, cheek and chin **

On the bright side today i feel a “little” better then i did last night where it feels more manageable. ** I still feel the pain in my ears, neck, dizziness and also have become very sensitive to the weather post surgery
*I get very hot outside in the heat and my skin feels like it gets prickly and uncomfortable.

Im trying to be patient but I will admit that the recuperation process might be harder then i had contemplated. I continue to use icepacks all day and that helps but am looking forward to being relieved of the burning pain and pressure in the ears.