Before Surgery

Things to try before getting surgery for relief in meantime? (Meds, acupuncture, etc.) Planning on getting surgery eventually- waiting for a call to schedule a consult with Dr. Bunnell in Jacksonville FL. My symptoms are the sensation of something stuck in throat on left side, trouble swallowing due to it, and occasional ear pain on left side. Anyone have any tips prior to surgery? Anyone have anything to say about Doctor Bunnell? TIA


Hi Morgan,

I shouldn’t answer for our members who’ve seen Dr. Bunnell, but in case they’re not following posts on here at this point, I will just say that so far, everyone who’s seen him seems to have had a very positive experience & good surgical outcome. You can click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right & type Dr. Bunnell in the search box & posts where he’s mentioned will come up.

As far as your symptoms go, there are several things you can try - icing your neck (to reduce inflammation the styloid(s) is/are causing…15-20 min on & w/ at least 45 min. between icings. If ice makes symptoms worse, try heat. Sleeping w/ your head elevated can also be helpful. If the symptoms are bad enough, a low dose of Rx nerve pain medication can take the edge off till surgery. A more aggressive approach would be to get an ultrasound guided lidocaine/cortisone shot in your throat in the area where your tonsils are (or were if you don’t have them anymore). This has provided good, short-term relief for some of our members but a few also found it made symptoms. worse.

Hi! Thank you for the response. I will try some of the things you mentioned and read some peoples’ threads on Doctor Bunnell. Do you know what nerve pain medication has had the best results?

Nerve pain meds are in two categories anti-seizure or anti-depressants. The ones that are most often mentioned here are Gabapentin (Neurontin), Amitriptyline, & Carbamazepine, but there are others. All have some side effects (usually tiredness/sleepiness) so it may take a bit of trial/error to find what works best for you. Also starting on a low does & gradually increasing it to the effective level can help alleviate side effects. It can take several weeks to a month for them to work as they need to build up in your system. Not a quick fix but they can be very helpful.

1 Like

I was prescribed Amitriptyline; it’s worked well for me; all the nerve pain meds are prescribed at a low dose. I don’t feel drowsy in the day with it, but it does help me sleep a bit better- I was in pain before so sleep was pretty elusive! Sleeping propped up a bit as @Isaiah_40_31 says helped too.
I think some members have found acupuncture helpful, although never tried it myself- you could have a look in the past discussions. Massage isn’t really recommended though as it can make things worse.
I hope you don’t have to wait too long to see Dr Bunnell!

1 Like

@Jules @Isaiah_40_31 thank you both! Jules, did you get any side effects other than tiredness with Amitriptyline? How long were you on it? What symptoms did it help? I have seen some people say it helped pain, but i don’t have pain, only the sensation of something in throat.

Actually, the sensation of something in your throat (globus sensation) is a type of nerve “pain”. It’s caused by an irritated vagus nerve & is a common ES symptom.

Oh i didn’t realize that. Thank you! I will try to get a prescription

I had Type 2/ Atypical facial pain- so aching, burning, boring pain, so the electric shock type pains people can get. It’s the Trigeminal nerve affected for me so I get tooth ache & pain at times the side of my head. I haven’t had any side effects from Amitriptyline, it takes the edge off the pain, & I wouldn’t get any sleep otherwise. I had hoped I could come off it after surgery but unfortunately couldn’t.
The sensation of something in your throat is usually an irritated nerve rather than something literally poking you, so it might be helpful…

1 Like