Bilateral Eagle Syndrome Extraoral Surgery #1 of 2: My day 1 experience/post-op recovery/tips

Hey all!!!

So as the title states, I wanted to share my experience following the 1st of 2 Bilateral Eagle Syndrome surgeries (which took place yesterday morning, 12/31/14, at approx 7:30AM). FYI- I will eventually have BOTH styloids removed, but this 1st surgery was to remove just the right styloid process. For everything that transpired prior to this 1st surgery, check out my other thread & grab some snacks because that ones a novel (not that this one is any better, but still lol). In this thread, I just want to share my experience during the moments leading up to the surgery, along with some observations I made during my post-op recovery & i'll also share some tips that might be helpful to someone else who ends up having the styloid process removal procedure done in the near future.


First things first, i'm a guy (not that it matters, but just so you all know that there are guys out here who sometimes have a low tolerance for pain & I think i'm one of them lol). I stayed with mom & dad the night before since I knew I would not be driving for a couple days. Once we got to the hospital, we checked in shortly after 5:30AM (once we found the right building lol) & went to the waiting area after filling out some paperwork & ensuring that the ID info on my wristband was correct. They called my name & I went up to the surgery prep room while mom & dad initially waited in the lobby. I was assigned a nurse, who got me the necessary surgery "gown", bags for my personal belongings & cleaning wipes to clean myself off prior to my surgery time. She closed the curtain to my room & I did as instructed (everyone was VERY nice). Once changed, the assistant nurse came in & asked some questions similar to the questions the first nurse asked, Another young lady came in to get me started on the IV, then the anesthesiologist came in & brightened my spirits. He didn't really explain much in terms of the process &/or risks of anesthesiology, but i'm assuming this is because I advised him that I had my tonsils removed before in the past & he probably figured that I already knew the drill.

Shortly after he left, my mom came in to be with me in the minutes leading up to surgery & I had 3 quick questions written down on some paper (all 3 of which I would ask my doctor as I would see him just prior to the surgery). My blood pressure was a little high (150/80) but both numbers were in the normal range just the other week (like 10 minutes after a workout), so I figured this was because I was a little nervous. The doctor finally came in, kindly greeted my mom & I, he marked the surgery area on my neck & after a short debriefing, I asked my questions. I asked him how soon I could schedule surgery #2 (to my delight, he stated it could be as early as 6 weeks if this 1st recovery goes well), I asked him if I would be able to eat (he said it would depend on how i'm feeling), & I asked him if I could keep the styloid as a souvenir once it was removed (he said they could take a picture of it for me, which was fine by me). Seeing this styloid process for myself would be "closure" for me after suffering with this condition for so long now. At this moment, my spirits were really being lifted as it seemed like on this day just about everything was going better than I had expected, but the icing on the cake came when the doctor himself asked my mother & I if we would mind him praying with us before surgery... I try not to force my religion on others, but I can proudly say that I am a Christian who believes in the power of prayer (as is my mother), so needless to say we accepted his offer & joined hands in prayer. From that point, I sadly draw a blank as the next thing I remember is being guided out in a wheelchair with mom & dad helping me into the car that we had parked in the valet. I definitely was beyond drugged up/exhausted & was nowhere close to being able to walk on my own with any kind of balance, but I found it in myself to get in that car smiling because I knew that I was now halfway to the finish line with one of these two "thorns" finally removed after SEVEN YEARS of pain & suffering.


As we left the hospital, mom showed me the picture of the removed right styloid process (in EXCELLENT quality, taken by the doctor himself, in a full-color printout, from several angles) and I breathed an emotional sigh of relief. The feeling of closure was almost overwhelming, knowing that I was now one step closer to FINALLY putting this condition behind me once & for all. As we made it back to the house, I began the process of assessing my pain level & figuring out my limitations as far as mobility/etc. First thing I noticed was the fact that although my neck was quite sore on the side of the surgery, my pain level was nowhere near as sore as I had expected it to be (presumably due to whatever meds I was on, of which mom never allowed me to see because she's scared of me overdosing lol). What would bring pain, however, was if I touched the surgery area (obviously), leaned to the left/right, laid on my left or right side, bent forward or looked upwards... Doing any of the above would bring a level of pain that basically matched (or surpassed) the level of pain I would experience on any one of my worst "sore throat" days. Needless to say, I learned quickly what NOT to do in order to prevent this.

Mom & dad graciously allowed me to take over their bed & I slept off the rest of the meds that were used during my surgery (or at least that was the goal lol). I was absolutely exhausted & very weak, but so glad to be in this huge comfortable bed as I began my recovery process. This was really when I learned how NOT to lay during this healing process, & some things you just have to learn the hard way lol. I also learned what it felt like to drink fluids & I thankfully can say that while swallowing is painful, it is MUCH more bearable than what I experienced when my tonsils were removed (in my case).

Hours later, I woke up & had a couple bowls of wonton soup (+a couple small chocolate chip cookies) & this is where I made what was probably my GREATEST mistake thus far. Not sure where the miscommunication originated, but I guess I ate earlier than I should have (before the meds were cleared out of my system) & as delicious as that soup was, I sadly did not end up digesting ANY of it: A few short hours later, I got dizzy, felt my stomach churn, & next thing I knew I was leaning over the bathroom toilet on my knees, throwing up everything I had ate. It was HORRIBLE, I absolutely hate the feeling of throwing up & I can honestly say that I had not thrown up ever since I was like 12 years old. It was the absolute worst feeling ever, but in that moment I knew that I brought it on myself & I was learning yet another lesson. As the night progressed, I threw up several more times, & I believe my "upchuck" grand total came to somewhere between 16-20. Had I known this would have happened, I would have recorded it & sent the footage off to The Guinness Book Of World Records because i'm quite sure I broke some type of World Record. In any event, I think (PRAYERFULLY) that I got it all out at this point, & I guess i'm gonna lose a few lbs over the next few days because i'm not interested in eating anything else at this point until I know that i'm 100% in the clear. At this time, mom & dad are knocked out asleep, its about 3:17AM & i'll be asleep soon enough because I feel my eyes getting heavy. O yea, & mom/dad made me take the couch this time unfortunately, so we'll see how this works out (I feel like Cinderella when her Golden Carriage turned back into a pumpkin lol). But hey, I brought the cat with me, so at least I have him here & he's not walking around meowing all night this time (knock on wood).

With all of that being said, here is a quick summary of the pros & cons thus far, based on my own observations:


#1 Breaking the World Record for throw up within a set amount of time (because I ate before I should have).

#2 Although the pain is not as bad as I expected, when I try to eat/drink, lay on my left or right side, or look up, the pain matches what I would experience on any one of my worst "sore throat" days.

#3 The weightlifting is on hold at least for a few days (or weeks) thanks to #2 and the stitches.


#1 God guided this ENTIRE process so that in the end I would end up with a doctor who is an EXPERT when it comes to this procedure, caring & one of the nicest people I have ever met.

#2 The doctor offered to pray with my mother & I just prior to the surgery, we took hands & sent one up (then he came down to the lobby & prayed w/ mom & dad AGAIN afterwards).

#3 The doctor said he'll be able to do surgery #2 in only 6 weeks depending on my recovery progress (initially I thought i'd have to wait 3-6 months).

#4 I already notice my airway passage has improved (MAJOR when you're a singer who needs to breathe correctly).

#5 My "smile" muscles have not been compromised, i'm not experiencing "first bite" syndrome & to my knowledge there is NO nerve damage (all of which are several complications that can arise following this procedure [according to what I have read in recent weeks]).

#6 Assuming it is not the meds giving me a false sense of hope, I honestly feel like the recovery is not going to take too long.

#7 (more than anything) I'm ALIVE.


Last but not least, here are some tips based on what I have learned over the last few weeks on through this first day of post-op recovery & I truly hope this information can help someone else who might be having the same/similar procedure done in the near future... PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: I am not a doctor & some of these tips may or may not work for others... I'm simply sharing what I have learned over the last few weeks/hours & I am sharing what has been working for me since getting back from the hospital (your mileage may vary):

1. (NEVER BE AFRAID TO GET A SECOND, OR THIRD, OR FOURTH OPINION PRIOR TO DECIDING ON SURGERY) - At the end of the day, YOU are the one who will have to live with the end result of the procedure. Don't allow egos (from other doctors/etc) sway you into rushing the process. This is YOUR life, this is YOUR health & in the end, YOU have to make sure that you're choosing the doctor &/or method that works best for YOU. If a doctor makes you feel guilty simply because you took it upon yourself to get a 2nd or 3rd OR 4th opinion, then you may wish to re-consider whether or not that is the doctor you should be going with (as he/she may be in it for the wrong reason, which is definitely something that you do NOT want when that person is operating on you). Be observant, take notes & pray that God will lead you in the right direction. In my case, I did all of the above, I ended up going in a direction that I was not initially planning on going in & (in my opinion) I truly believe that this was truly the BEST direction for me.

2. (PLANNING FOR YOUR SURGERY DATE) - CAREFULLY look over all pre-op instructions that should be sent to you at least 2-3 weeks before your surgery date... I'd say if you don't have this by the 3-week mark, call your doctor (or his/her assistant) & request to pick it up or have it emailed/faxed. Aside from not eating/drinking anything after a certain hour on the night before surgery, there are also certain meds/supplements that you will need to stop taking up to 2 weeks prior to surgery (& its kind of a big deal because taking such meds/supplements up to the surgery date can possibly cause SERIOUS complications with the surgery [in my case, I had to stop taking Cod Liver Oil 2 weeks prior, & I even suffered through a headache one day because aspirin is my go-to whenever a headache rolls around yet it was another item on the "do not take these medications" list]): Had I not looked over the list, I would have continued taking the Cod Liver Oil, & I would have taken at least two aspirin within the 2 weeks leading up to surgery... Be proactive & mention to your doctor (or his/her nurse) any meds that you frequently take that are NOT on the list just in case the list is missing anything (in my case, the hospital called to register me at one point & told me to stop taking my vitamin D [which was not on the list])... Google "medications not to take prior to/following surgery" for good measure, & pay attention to the list of meds/supplements not to take in the weeks FOLLOWING surgery as well. ALSO: Map out your trip to the hospital IN ADVANCE (including but not limited to where/how you will park)... Mom & I had planned to do this but simply ran out of time & i'll bet my last dollar that my blood pressure would have tested a little lower had we arrived a little earlier. Also MAKE SURE to bring your ID/insurance card... I actually had a couple days the other week where I left my wallet at home, & i'm so glad I didn't make that same mistake yesterday because they definitely asked for both items at check-in.

3. (BRING LOVED ONES IF POSSIBLE) - Needless to say, you want someone you trust who can get you to/from since you won't be able to drive yourself home. But more than anything, if it is a family member, a loved one or a close friend, it can definitely help to calm your nerves during the moments leading up to the surgery... In my case, my check-in time was about 2 hours before the surgery, the surgery itself lasted roughly 2 hours (because my styloid was LONG & a little harder to reach than the doctor had expected), then I was in recovery for approx 2 hours. In the end, I checked in just after 5:30AM & we left around 11AM (according to mom, because God knows I didn't know left from right by the time I left that place). So thats just under 6 hours total & obviously the total length of time from check-in to completion might make it difficult for others to come with &/or stay through the duration of your surgery, thus I was very fortunate. Nonetheless, if you go alone for whatever reason, just pray, make sure you have a ride to/from & know that you're really NOT alone because God is there with you every step of the way! YOU'VE GOT THIS, & trust me when I say that its nowhere near as bad as you probably think it is!!!!

4. (RELAX) - I know for fact that despite my high blood pressure test upon arrival, I was FAR more relaxed than I could have been. The friendly demeanor of everyone I came across at the hospital had alot to do with this, but so did having mom & dad with me & ALSO knowing in my heart that I had finally chosen the right doctor for the job (after searching & searching for MONTHS). All of this added up in my case, & by the time the doctor came in the room, I had a peace that came over me that cannot be put into words: I was ready, & all of my worry was gone (especially after the doctor himself prayed for a successful surgery on my behalf). What a difference that made! Just know that you'll be in & out of there in no time & in the end you will feel SOO much better.

5. (TRY TO HAVE YOUR POST-OP APPOINTMENT SCHEDULED BEFORE YOUR SURGERY DATE APPROACHES) - Not sure if this is the norm, but my doctors surgery scheduler ROCKS... She's basically a mirror image of him, she gives off the impression that she is his biggest fan, she is kind/caring & she actually scheduled my post-op appointment for less than 2 weeks after the surgery (I go in for post-op on 1/12/15). She knows i'm trying to get all of this behind me A.S.A.P. as well (since i'm a singer), so i'm sure she played a big part in the doctor being willing to schedule surgery #2 so fast (provided that my recovery from surgery #1 goes well).

6. (PLANNING FOR & MINIMIZING PAIN/PREVENTING LOSS OF BODILY FLUIDS) - OK... Everyones tolerance for pain is different... For me, I feel like mine is low, but I can once again say that my pain thankfully has been moderate in this case & this is good news as mom hasn't even been letting me take much meds since leaving the hospital (I believe they gave me Oxycodone, which is a med you must be VERY careful with [looking up the side-effects, it looks like that bad boy just might have caused at least some of my countless "upchucks", if not ALL of them]). Not sure how I will feel once the meds wear off or once I stop taking them altogether, but in my case/as of today, the most pain comes if I try to lean to the right or left, lay on my right/left side, bend forward or lay 100% face down/up. Best way I can explain it is like this pressure somehow hits the surgery area in either of those positions & I feel it (just as if I was to directly touch it). Sitting (or laying against thick/doubled pillows) at a 45-90 degree angle prevents this pain & keeps it moderate to low (you should be able to sleep easy if you take this approach). If you don't already have some nice LARGE pillows, get some prior to your surgery because you'll be glad you did! ALSO: If you need to get up out of bed for whatever reason, DO NOT lift yourself up from the neck area (because you'll be sorry if you do lol)... Easy to make this mistake, especially in my case as I guess this is usually the area I use to lift myself up whenever I get out of bed (didn't even realize it until now). Instead of lifting yourself up in this manner, simply place one of your hands behind your head & slowly/gently push your head upwards until you feel the weight transfer to your mid/lower back (or until you're at an angle of approximately 90 degrees), then you're good. ALSO: Keep some ice packs handy (or ice wrapped in wash clothes). Gently placing this across your neck will help to soothe it & further minimize the pain (avoid getting it WET though, as this may cause problems with the stitches [presumably, as my doctor advised me to cover the area when I take a shower]).

When it comes to swallowing food/water, initially all I could think of was the Hell I experienced during my tonsillectomy recovery (it felt like knives cutting at the back of my throat every time I tried to eat/drink anything). Let me tell you: At least for me, this thankfully is NOWHERE near that bad... It is, however, somewhat painful to eat/drink, as to be expected when you've just had a major operation in your throat area. Mind you, I didn't eat/drink anything until after I had slept for several hours, so I had time to rest up before even attempting to take in anything. That probably helped, but in the end it seemed like food was somehow slightly easier to take in than liquid. As for liquid, this has been my workaround (which may sound dumb but has been working in my case): Drink from a straw (you won't want to take big gulps, trust me)... Breathe in from your NOSE while at the same time taking in liquid at the mouth... As you exhale, swallow the fluid. Don't ask me how, but this seems to bypass the pain sensors if that makes sense & it goes down easy. You'll get into the habit after a few run-thrus, & it will make your life easier especially when you're trying to remain hydrated.

Lastly, do yourself (and your toilet bowl) a HUGE favor & don't eat anything for a while following your surgery. At this point, I don't know if it was because of the Anesthesia or the Oxycodone, but I threw up like crazy & I highly doubt this would have happened had I not eaten so soon after the surgery. Trust me, you might be a little hungry, but you won't die by going without food for a day or so. Drink LOTS of water, give yourself a nice meal the night before surgery (PRIOR TO the cutoff time) & try to make it a meal that digests slowly (like oatmeal, beans, greek yogurt). The slower it digests, the longer it will keep you full & should pull you through that next day or so. While I ate the night before, I didn't eat anything that was really slow-digesting, it was out just prior to my surgery & all Hell broke lose shortly after I tried to eat again following the surgery. Clarify this with your doctor & make sure to have a clear understanding. To my understanding, however, it just depends on the person & for me, eating so soon after the surgery just didn't work in my favor. ALSO: In my case, they wanted me to urinate one more time before surgery, supposedly because they want your bladder to be empty during surgery. Normally I can't pee on cue like that, but this time I got lucky: Probably best to cut off your water intake a few hours early, so that your bladder is all clear once your surgery time has arrived.

Well guys/gals, I think that's about it. If I forgot anything that anyone needs to know, just let me know & i'll share whatever I can. I've been up for a couple hours typing this & i'm exhausted, but I did it for YOU guys so that we could hopefully have at least one thread on here with some straight answers coming from someone who just got out of surgery for BILATERAL Eagle Syndrome (which of course is the rarest form). I said I wanted to help/educate & raise awareness about this condition going forward, & just take this as me trying to do just that. I'm counting down to surgery #2 & praying that it will be as successful as surgery #1. I'll post a separate thread once that day approaches, & i'll come back to THIS thread with any updates on my recovery process as I go. I will keep you all updated with any changes/unexpected symptoms or if anything weird happens between now & then. ALSO: Make no mistake that I absolutely will share the name of my doctor once surgery #2 is complete, so that anyone who is either A. in Arizona or B. able to travel here will be able to link up with one of the BEST (and if anyone needs to know his name now, inbox me & i'll send his name over privately). Thanks once again to everyone who shared your knowledge, support, kind words & prayers in the weeks leading up to this first of two surgeries. I appreciate it more than any of you will EVER know!!! For those of you with a strong stomach, feel free to pull up the attached file which is a picture of my removed right styloid (not meant to gross you out, simply meant to educate): Doc was nice enough to take this picture for me & seeing that right styloid process FINALLY removed was CLOSURE for me, letting me know that i'm halfway to the finish line!!! I'll also post some scar pics in the future once I give it some time to heal, so that people can see what I was trying to see several weeks ago (a picture of a healed scar, taken a few weeks/months after surgery, with the stitches dissolved & no makeup covering it lol). Thankfully this doctor specializes in the placement of his incisions, so if all goes as planned, my scar won't be too noticeable (& those who read my other thread know that the external scarring from the external [aka- extraoral] surgical approach was one of my main concerns with this surgery since day one). Talk to you guys soon!!!! GOD BLESS/Story developing...


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Thanks for sharing your journey so far. You have painted a good picture of what to expect for those of us who hope to get to the surgical room at some point. Best wishes for a speedy recovery so you can get your second surgery out of the way, and get on to your singing career. From what I have read on here, don’t over do it too quickly as you recover…you learned the eating part on your own! God bless you as you recover and rest up!

Thanks for the update and sharing your experience. I appreciate any/all information that you can provide. I think my surgery will be intra oral but it is still good to know what to expect. I wish you a speedy recovery and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!!

Great news that you've had your op, and glad that your doctor prayed with you- amazing! I'll keep praying for a swift recovery so that you can have no.2 removed as well! God Bless, jules

Just wanted to post a quick update,

Upon closer observation, I am noticing a "clicking" in my right ear when I open my jaw fully. Its almost as if something is shifting (bone/cartilage) as the jaw opens, then when I close my jaw I don't hear it again. So it only happens when I open my jaw. Has anyone else ever experienced this & if so, how long did it take for this to go away? Would love to know as i'll definitely be bringing this up during my post-op appointment if it continues. Thanks again guys


Glad everything went well. Your experience sounds exactly like my first surgery, except I didn't eat. I only had Gatorade. I am in the process of finding a doctor here in La to do my second surgery since I've moved since the first surgery. I also experienced the clicking in my jaw. It's been six months and I still have it. I was told it was the TMJ. Praying for a speedy recovery for you

Well done. This should be shared everywhere.

YOU are amazing! Thank you for sharing this. WOW 1 day after your surgery too!! SO glad things went well but sorry you got sick :( You really help ease my fears of surgery. I meet with an ES doc in Feb. Fingers crossed. xoxo

Thank you all so much for the kind words!!! I'm so glad this is helping some people!! My apologies on the delayed reply &/or not being able to reply to everyone individually. I'm of course still in recovery mode, & i've honestly been resting a lot. As mentioned, I want to keep you all updated on what i experience during recovery & at this point I feel like i'm getting quite a mixed bag lol. As of today, i'm noticing that the pain has somehow shifted to my upper stomach area… Not sure why nor am I sure of the connection between that area & the area of my neck where the surgery took place, but its just been like a "crampy" feeling in the upper/central stomach area. At this point, the pain has gone down in the neck area to where I can now lay on either side & experience minimal discomfort in the neck area (which is definitely a plus), yet now I experience this "crampy" feeling in the stomach area as stated. Another plus is that swallowing liquid/food is getting MUCH easier, & on a scale of 1-10 the pain level is probably about a 1 or 2 (if that) when it comes to swallowing liquid/food.

Yesterday I went in with crossed fingers & had some chicken broth… After waiting it out an hour or so (with no "throw up" incidents), I had some Wendy's chili w/ a slice of cheese, milk & a couple chocolate chip cookies. Once again, no throwing up :-)… Later that evening I had some salmon, milk & bean/lentil soup… & then this morning, I had some oatmeal, scrambled eggs, applesauce, milk & a couple small oatmeal cookies, & I then had my 1st "movement" (this was the 1st "movement" since the morning of my surgery, which means I am thankfully digesting food w/o throwing it up at this point). Common denominator is that I stopped the Oxycodone at least 12 hours before I ate my 1st meal yesterday (replacing it with Aleve), so i'm guessing I was falling victim to one of Oxycodone's known side effects. Could have been the anesthesia as well, of course, but I guess i'll never know for sure at this point.

As suggested by one of my buddies on here, i'll continue on with pain meds as days 3 & 4 are supposedly the worst if the meds wear off (today is "day 3" for me), but in my case i'm replacing the Oxycodone with Aleve since I have no "anti-nausea" meds (I was never offered any lol). I'm also making sure to only take the Aleve with a meal (as suggested by the hospital during a follow-up call I received from them earlier today), & this of course means i'll be eating something every 4 hours when i'm awake. Right now, i'm trying my best to keep some ice on the scar area as my neck seems to be swollen & I really want the swelling to go away. I also want to make sure that my scar does not keloid, so i'm just trying everything I can to prevent that. Protein supposedly helps rebuild/heal torn muscles when working out, so i'm trying to take that same approach in this situation & stay focused on getting most of my daily calories from protein so that the muscles that are torn/sore from the surgery can heal faster. Prior to surgery, I have been going heavy in the gym & have made some adjustments to my diet over the last few months as a means of burning fat & getting in great shape by next summer (40lbs lost since 9/1, trying to lose 35 more)… My protein shake & other items are at my apt & i've been stranded at mom/dads house, so I feel like I just don't have what I need here (which is making it hard for me to stay on the high protein/high "good" fat/low-carb diet I have been trying to stick to in recent weeks). In other words, i've been doing the best I can, but I know that i'm only gonna be able to stay here another couple days before that scale starts going back up. So where it stands right now, i'll be headed back home no later than Sunday afternoon & hopefully start easing back into my workouts (mostly cardio only for the next week or so) by Monday. I won't do any heavy lifting until i'm 100% positive that the stitches have healed, & the cardio will be low-impact (elliptical) as opposed to the treadmill (just so I don't have too much strain/shock going on while my neck is still healing).

Altogether, i'm just taking it day by day, taking it easy as far as singing/heavy talking, & i'm taking notes so that I have my "ducks" in a row once my post-op appointment day arrives. Aside from the swelling in my neck area (which hopefully will go down eventually) & cramping in my upper stomach, my MAIN concern at this point is the "clicking" in my ear that was not there prior to the surgery. Some of you are mentioning that this may be TMJ, which I would hate to deal with after everything i've already had to deal with, but I guess i'll just have to wait & see & i'll definitely be bringing it up during my post-op appt if the issue continues. Bottom line, I definitely feel like i'm getting better & i'm determined to continue sharing whatever I learn in this process so that the preparation/recovery can be at least a little easier for the next person. Thanks so much once again guys & i'll keep you updated… Story developing….


Thanks so much for all your sharing, & may you continue to heal & recover quickly. I have been on this site for gee z one-two yrs?? & still have not gotten the nerve up to seek surgery. Long story short, my Eagles really flared up back then after having a tooth extracted. Having the jaw area pulled on really misaligned everything & really heightened all of my symptoms (clicking when opening & closing jaw, vertigo, numb tongue & ear pain). I saw a post back than that someone who went to a Nero Muscular Cranium Masseuse which I chose to do. It really, really helped place everything back in line again to where my symptoms lessened & have been manageable.(I'm just to chicken to have surgery, maybe 1 day for I know it's the only way to truly have this resolved) Just thought I would share this with you & it may help in some way. From your pictures you have a lot of manipulation in the jaw area & you may benefit from this kind of therapy as well. Prayers to you & all the members here, you all been a God send.

Tbone: thanks for sharing your story. I too had MUCH worsening of symptoms after a tooth extraction…interesting…I have the symptoms you describe exactly plus a lot of headaches and neck and throat pain. I might have to check into the Neuro Muscular Cranium Maaseuse route. I will see a surgeon next week, so will see what he has to say…Prayers to you on your journey with this…praying that eaglewontbeat me had a great day today!

Hey all!!!

Just wanted to post another update, as a means of keeping you all updated & hopefully giving others a roadmap for what to expect leading up to & following surgery. Today I finally headed back home after spending the last 4 days at mom & dads house. I'll give a quick rundown of where i'm at as far as symptoms, but in short i'll say that I just felt well enough to head back home at this point, in hopes that I can get some things taken care of as I continue recovery & plan for the 2nd (& hopefully FINAL) surgery related to this condition.

The swelling is still there (on my neck/jawline) but it has gone down a little bit thanks to a little remedy i'll mention in a few moments. Same goes for the pain at the incision area. It stings every now & then, but according to mom that means the skin beneath the stitches is healing which is good news (looks very red as of today though, which i'm praying is normal lol). As of late, i'm experiencing some numbness from just below my right-center jawline on up to the lower section of my cheek (roughly the diameter of a golf ball), but hopefully that will go away eventually. I can thankfully say that pain swallowing food/liquid is a thing of the past (although sometimes challenging to get down thanks to styloid #2 that has not yet been removed). I must say, however, that doc sure picked the correct styloid to remove first, because it seems like the one he took out was causing the bulk of my problems (even though they both were already making contact with my throat & at roughly identical lengths). ALSO: I have been able to talk/sing ever since the surgery, but i've been forcing myself to take it easy & refrain from both due to the fact that some soreness is still there & I know the wound is still healing (mom put me on the phone with a family friend the other night & I definitely could have choked her lol).

I believe my stomach soreness was due to all the throwing up & thankfully that is pretty much gone at this point as well. In regards to the throwing up, I have not thrown up since that night, despite the fact that I feel like I have been eating like a pig since then lol. Common denominator is that I switched from the Oxycodone to Aleve & the anesthesia has presumably been well out of my system for a while now, so once again, it is probably best to take caution in regards to eating soon after surgery &/or when you're still on the Oxycodone (your mileage may vary)...

As for the "clicking" I was hearing in my right ear when I would chew, that has also gone down (although still there at a much lesser degree)... I'll be keeping my eye on that, but it definitely seems like it is fading & I will be SO grateful if it fades away completely on its own (along with the numbness).

One thing that unfortunately has not gone away yet is the sensation of a water pocket in the back right side of my throat (which, as mentioned in my very 1st thread, turned out to be my tongue smacking against the rear edge of the roof of my mouth [the "palatopharyngeal arch" to be specific])... In short, doc stated that he believed this was being caused by the styloid on that side, yet that styloid is gone now & I still have the issue.... Not the end of the world, but definitely annoying and something I was truly hoping he was right about. Worse comes to worse, I may just have to live with it unless I can find someone willing to perform a surgery that would raise that arch so that my tongue has enough clearance to avoid smacking this arch every time it moves even the slightest bit (this has been happening ever since I had my tonsils removed).

Aside from what I mentioned above, all seems to be well. Gonna try to get back to the gym tomorrow but won't be working out as heavy as normal for at least a week or so as I just want to be cautious until I feel like the wound is fully healed (Lord knows I don't need to overdo it & end up busting any stitches open before the wound has fully healed [I went through that with the tonsils lol]). Sadly I got on the scale the other day & noticed that I had gained about 12 lbs since my surgery (went from 185 to 197), which is actually the main reason why I decided that it was time to head back home AND back to the gym... But thankfully most of that was water weight, & here's a quick tip to losing it: Right before bed, take a hot bath with 2 cups of epsom salt & 1 cup of baking soda (hot as you can handle, soaking in it for at least 20 min, no more than 30)... Not the best at explaining it, but the epsom salt will help draw out the retained water/sodium (while the baking soda cleanses) & your "numbers" will go back down not only right afterwards but by that next morning... This lets you know right away that it was water weight... In this situation, I wanted to lose the water weight but I also wanted the swelling in my neck/jaw to go down (although you're not supposed to get the incision area too wet), so after my bath I took a small plastic bowl, filled it with 4 tablespoons of epsom salt, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, dipped a washcloth in it, positioned it just under my chin/jawline, tied it with this cloth icepack that has straps on both sides & slept with it on overnight... Although not 100%, the swelling went down substantially compared to how it was the night before (& as for the weight, it went from 197 down to 193 immediately following the bath). I'll probably fast for 2-3 days, do a reduced calorie "ease-in" on the others, & combined with at least 64oz of water a day (+ the gym & another epsom salt bath one more night this week), I should hopefully be back to 185 by the end of this week. Just a little tip for those of you who hate the weight gain &/or the "turkey neck" look that can creep up on you following this surgery :-)... If you're like me, comfort foods will sadly become your weakness during at least the 1st few days of recovery, so just mentally prepare for this unless you have a high enough willpower to avoid such foods during that time (I didn't). High sodium/high carb = weight gain (in most cases) so just be aware so you can know what to expect lol.

Well guys, thats it for tonight. If anything else arises between now & my 1st post-op appointment, i'll be sure to let you all know, but for now it looks like mom will be calling in on my behalf sometime tomorrow in order to schedule surgery #2 for removal of my other styloid (that should hopefully take place within the next 6 weeks or so). I would almost wait until i'm fully healed from this 1st surgery (so i'm not "overlapping" my recovery), but at this point I just want to get it behind me so I can move on with life... After reading a few horror stories of the styloids growing back, i'm just PRAYING that doesn't happen to me (my doc left about 3cm of this 1st styloid in place as he is VERY cautious & didn't want to disturb some critical nerves that are nearby & could have caused issues with my face). I guess only time will tell, especially considering that mine was calcified, but i'm gonna PRAY that i'm done with this condition for good once surgery #2 is behind me. And if not, you know i'll keep you all in the loop!!!

Assuming nothing extraordinary takes place between now & 1/12/15, expect a brief follow-up following my 1st post-op that is scheduled for that date & i'll let you all know once surgery #2 is scheduled (at which point i'll post a separate thread with my experience following THAT surgery). FYI- I'm doing all this because I know the Eagle Syndrome condition itself is rare, but BILATERAL Eagle Syndrome is even more rare & I just felt like posting as much 1st-hand info as possible was the least I could do to help at least some of the small few who may end up in my shoes sometime in the future. Special thanks to Kay, shoppergirl, Jules, SweetC, Ladygw, Lisa, tbone, Isaiah 40:31, & anyone else who has shared so many kind/encouraging words &/or helpful advice on any of my threads or via inbox! It is so appreciated & thanks to YOU all & my parents, this process has gone so much smoother than I had ever expected.... Have a great week & i'll be in touch!!! God bless/Story developing...


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Good news- take it easy in the gym tho! God bless

My Eagles is bilateral, but the right side is not bothering me much. It has started to act up occasionally lately, but not that I want another surgery at this time. I do hope you can get back to your normal activities soon.

There are a lot of people on the forum that have or had bilateral Eagles. In fact, I would say more have bilateral than not.

Eaglewontbeatme, I have a really sensitive stomach (especially with narcotics), so I always tell the anesthesiologist and they give me extra meds for nausea. I usually get an anti-nausea prescription for when I go home too. I've had 6 surgeries on my neck in the last couple years (4 for Eagles) and I had very little nausea with these extra helps. That might be something that would help you too in the first day or two after surgery.

Thanks heidemt!

Even though I had my tonsils taken out back in 2006, I feel like I went into this particular surgery somewhat blind when it comes down to what to expect following surgery. Definitely knew nothing in regards to the meds for nausea. I would have taken them up on the offer had the hospital offered them in the first place, but now I know what to ask for next time lol. It may be pointless in my case as i'm now 100% paranoid in regards to eating anything any sooner than 24 hours after surgery, but i'll try to take some meds home just in case. Definitely was given the impression that bilateral eagle syndrome was more rare than unilateral, but I stand corrected if more people actually have bilateral (makes me feel a little better to know that there's a few more ppl than I expected who are out here fighting this fight with both styloids as opposed to just one :-).

As of right now, i'm noticing intermittent pressure running from the upper-right temple down to mid-jaw (on the right side, which is the side of the styloid that was removed). Although mild, i'm also having headaches that come & go throughout the day, regardless of what position i'm standing/sitting/laying in. Last but not least, I might have spoken too soon in regards to the "first-bite" syndrome: Over the last 2 days, I have started noticing a sharp "stinging"/"tingling" sensation running from the mid-jaw up to my right temple when eating (& I sometimes experience the sensation intermittently long afterwards). Hopefully all of these symptoms (including the others) will fade away on their own in coming weeks as i'd hate to be stuck with them for life lol. It sounds like you've got at least two years under your belt since being diagnosed/treated. If you've experienced any of the above symptoms, please do let me know if they ever went away on their own or if you needed additional surgery/meds!



heidemt said:

There are a lot of people on the forum that have or had bilateral Eagles. In fact, I would say more have bilateral than not.

Eaglewontbeatme, I have a really sensitive stomach (especially with narcotics), so I always tell the anesthesiologist and they give me extra meds for nausea. I usually get an anti-nausea prescription for when I go home too. I've had 6 surgeries on my neck in the last couple years (4 for Eagles) and I had very little nausea with these extra helps. That might be something that would help you too in the first day or two after surgery.

If you've experienced any of the above symptoms, please do let me know if they ever went away on their own or if you needed additional surgery/meds!


I think that most of the worst pain was gone by 1-2 weeks (during which time I had a long flight back home) and I felt pretty much completely recovered within about a month. I went to work easily after 2 weeks. I did get the first-bite syndrome with my last Eagles surgery about 1 1/2 years ago and while it got better, it still hasn't gone completely. It is much better though, but I still have to be careful sometimes. First-bite syndrome is pretty painful - for me it's a sharp pain when I open my mouth and lasts a couple seconds.

Eagleswontbeat me,

Hi - how are you doing?

I'm trying to help update Emma's doctors list. I thought you indicated who your doctor was, and I've gone through your posts and I'm not seeing it. I think it may be my eyes after reading through pages and pages of discussion. Who was your doctor?

I hope you've healed well and are getting ready for your next surgery.

Hey heidemt,

I just added you as a friend so that I can send you personal messages. I plan to post my doctor name on here & my other discussion thread shortly after surgery #2 but will gladly private it to you once my friend request is accepted (it won't let me message you without it)! Sorry for my delay, so much has been going on. Just posted a new discussion thread to give some updates. & YES for surgery #2 (can't wait to get it BEHIND ME :-)


Hey all,

Just wanted to advise that I posted a 30-day post-op update following surgery #1 of 2 (it has actually been a little over 30 days at this point, but yea lol). This discussion thread can be viewed at