After op advice

Hi everyone,

If at all possible could anyone tell me about external surgery? How long it takes, how big is scar? Do I stay in hospital long etc, I am down to have my left styloid removed soon, any advice very welcome.
Xx

You will have to ask your doctor about this, as it does differ from surgeon to surgeon. But most doctors do try to do the incision in the crease of the neck so that it doesn’t show. Mine was done by a skull base surgeon, so he tends to go in behind the ear, but I’ve seen some pics on here where members have had surgery lower on the neck. (It can also depend on whether it’s the styloid process being shortened or calcified ligaments being removed, as the ligaments will be lower down). The op only takes a few hours, often less.
I stayed in just one night, I think the longest I’ve heard anyone has been in was for 2 nights, but that’s pretty unusual. Being kept in is usually to keep an eye on swelling- seems to be more common with UK doctors. In the US it’s often done in a day, more like as an outpatient.
Feel free to ask anything else you think of, & there’s lots of info in the Newbies Guide too, or you can search the discussions with the magnifying glass icon.
Let us know when you get a date!

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Ersaj,

I’m so glad you’ve got yourself set up for external surgery. The first surgical plan presented to you sounded like a real fiasco. Is this the same surgeon but w/ a new plan? I recall your styloids are very long (when they’re as long as yours, there’s a good possibility that part of the length is calcified s-h ligament & part is styloid process). Please make sure that your surgeon intends to remove your styloid(s) as close to the skull base as possible & will file the stub to leave it smooth.

Remember that ES surgery is major surgery & patience will be required during recovery. It takes the body a good couple of months post op to start feeling good again & some symptoms may take up to a year to fully resolve. If you only have one styloid removed at a time, know that post op you’ll likely still have symptoms caused by the remaining styloid & only a second surgery will resolve those.

My incisions were made in my neck creases & even though I’m a bit older, they’re barely visible now (4 yrs post op). Hopefully your surgeon will place your incision(s) in a similar manner.

Happy to hear your surgery is coming up soon.

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I concur with Isaiah_40_31 :grin:
My last surgery was a year 8 months ago. I barely have a scar either side now. I need to point them out now. I had cold laser therapy, which as an extra perk makes the scars less visible.

I had some friends who were begging me to do the internal surgery because of possible scars, they feel silly now lol. FYI at first it will look quite bad because of the swelling. Don’t worry, just follow doctor’s orders and when the swelling goes down, so does the length of the scar. I wore a scarf for a full year to keep the scars out of the sun. It all really paid off. There’s also some great lotions, but only after the right amount of time and an ‘OK’ from you doctor.
When the scars are more visible in the beginning, you have a great opportunity to tell some tales lol. “You should see the other guy”, “I used to work for a magician”, “I’ve given up archery”.

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Lol I should add about having the surgery!
If you need to travel for the surgery, please plan on not flying for about a week afterwards. Cabin pressure and neck surgery do not work well together.
I packed a “nutribullet” for smoothie making.
Isaiah lived near by and generously loaned me a wedge pillow. Hubby and I stayed at an AirB&B each time. We chose the places by if there was a night stand next to the beds, comfy place to veg and watch TV , and net flix!! Lol. We also tried to find a place where we could do the prescribed walking easily. Bendy straws are a must. A bell that your helper can hear so you don’t need to yell. Soft foods in case it hurts to chew. I found that a fig newton size cookie was perfect for accompanying the pain meds.
Everyone is different but planning ahead is key for avoiding frustrations while you need to heal. I’ll pray for you :blush:

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Great suggestions, MusicGeek! Thank you for the additions!

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@Isaiah_40_31 I’ll always be greatfull for your help. :heart:

And, MusicGeek, I’ll always be grateful for the chance I had to spend time with you!

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My name is Jessica and I had surgery to remove my right styloid on 8/22. Dr. Douglas Anderson from the Ogden Clinic in Utah performed the surgery. I have had pain that progressed over the past 5 years and just couldn’t function and be a mom that my 2 year old son needs so I put my faith in a surgeon that has been great so far. Post OP pain is no joke, and it is probably the most painful surgery thus far in my life. As my surgery started they had my husband sign a waiver to remove the lymph node under my right ear, due to the fact it was the size of a golf ball. Once that was removed, they removed the fractured styloid and I woke up in recovery. I would have liked to be in the hospital overnight for observation, but it was an outpatient procedure and they sent me home. Attending my post OP appointment on 8/24 the PA removed the drain tube from my neck. In doing so, I have been able to swallow and eat a little better. My face and neck are bruised and swollen and I have a 6 inch incision so thank God for ice and Meds. On 8/29 I have my second post OP appointment to remove my stitches, hopefully by then I will notice some pain relief and find out my lymph node biopsy results. So far, I have noticed improvement in my right ear hearing. I will post an update on my healing and if I can answer any questions I would like to do so to help. Please know that all results are different and your pain and nerves may react differently than mine. For example the facial nerve was affected and my lower right lip is droopy, as well as, my tongue is numb on that side making it harder to smile, talk, or eat. Good luck with your surgery and I hope you are able to have a better quality of life.

Good luck on your recovery and thanks for posting. I go under the knife this morning. I’ll post an update when I’m able.

jess1129 - Great to hear that surgery is behind you! Lip droop & tongue issues post op are not uncommon & may take several months to resolve but be encouraged! They do recover w/ time. It will take you a couple of months to feel normal again & probably some time beyond that for the damaged nerves to recover. Half my tongue was paralyzed after my first surgery & it took about 9 months to recover.
Be patient w/ your body especially in the first couple of months post op. Ask for/accept help w/ daily chores as often as possible. Having a toddler to take care of will be challenging, but he’s at an age where you can begin to teach him that moms get “owies” too so he needs to be gentle around you. :wink:
I’m hoping & praying your lymph node biopsy is negative & that your node was irritated by your styloid process.
:pray: :sunflower:

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Hi everyone,

Thankyou so much for all advice, I am just waiting for a date now, wont be to long I hope, jess I really hope everything is ok, I have all fingers and toes crossed for news about your lymph node.
I really dont know what to expect post op, I am fairly nervous but nothing can be as bad as living with this for seven years. To date I can not sleep at all on my left side ( styloid process 6 cm at least) tongue still goes hot and numb, left sinus, left ear has hypersensitivity to loud sounds. I am so very grateful for finding this group and the support it offers. Love to all xx

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Jess I hope that you soon recover & good that you’ve already noticed an improvement with your hearing! Take it easy as much as you can with a little one- it’s easy to overdo things but it does set healing back. There have been quite a few members with some facial paralysis; nerves can take a while to heal from being stretched etc in surgery, but most surgeons monitor the nerves as they operate, so it’s usually a temporary irritation, not major damage. So unfortunately patience is needed! Thinking of you & God bless :bouquet: :hugs:

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I just recieved word that my biopsy results were negative! What a relief, at least the big C is off the table. I tried driving for the first time since surgery and it is definitely too soon. Taking my little guy to walmart and to artic circle for some lunch normally isn’t a gigantic feat, but today was a little too much too fast. My son Axel was getting anxious being home, but he might have to settle for a walk to the park. Time to slow things down and heal.

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Jess,
Thats really positive news about biopsy. Hope you heal quickly from your op. X

Such GREAT NEWS!!! So glad you can emotionally focus on healing now & not being concerned about that lymph node!! Park time w/ Axel is a great idea. Just take it slow & easy there as well.

:heart:

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So glad your journey has come this far. I assume you’re seeing an experienced surgeon so you should expect great things post op but know they may time to reveal themselves as recovery requires patience. An optimistic attitude will go far toward quicker healing & a better outcome.
:blush:

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Hi everyone, I had surgery on Tuesday to remove my left styloid, it went ok, after op I was put on antibiotics and had a neck drain in, I stayed in overnight, the pain in no joke after surgery and the hospital had no supportive pillows which hurt me mire at the base of my skull, my scar is around 6 inches but has been done in the crease of my neck, my face is swollen and I still find in the mornings my throat is closed up which scares me but, as the day moves on it starta to open up, I am unable to chew / bite but one thing which I haven’t lost is my smile which scared me a little. My hypperacusis in my left ear seems to have calmed down, but its a littke to soon to say what other symptoms have gone. I feel quite self concious at the moment because of the scar and will need to have the right one done in the future. Hope you are all doing ok.
Xx

Glad that you’ve had surgery, & hope that your recovery goes well… if the scar’s in the crease of your neck it won’t show soon, don’t worry. You can’t see mine at all. I found chewing was difficult for a week or 2, have you got soft foods in? Recovery can take a little while so take it easy & don’t panic if symptoms don’t go straight away. Thinking of you :bouquet: :hugs:

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On the topic of scars, it is unbelievable how much they get better. I was mute for a while and after surgery I didn’t have much of a voice when I could talk. Going home a week after surgery there was a bit of scuttlebutt at the airport because my post op wheelchair couldn’t go through security. A pilot asked if I was OK and all I could choke out was “I’m a survivor”. My husband said something like “she has a bad wound”. My husband has olive skin and can pass as any Mediterranean ethnicity Lol. The next thing I know people were saying I was an Isis survivor. wow what a mess, but it gives a good example of how bad I looked. Now I have run into people who don’t believe I have had ES surgery - so that shows how much of a huge improvement one can have. Again; I highly recommend cold laser therapy as soon as possible, it helps inside scar tissue to incorporate into the muscle and it helps out side scar tissue fade considerably.