Cleveland Clinic visit September 9 2020

Had my appointment and was it was so wonderful and informative. I had appt with Dr Brian Burkey, his Resident and a medical student.I was with this group of men from 9:15am til about 1130am. The decision was no surgery at this time as symptoms are intermittent. Treating me with gabapentin. They probed me with their fingers and instruments, all without causing me pain, concluding that most patients would go through the roof in pain. Surgery has its risks and should only be considered if pain became unmanageable. I’m happy with the decision. Dr Burkey was caring and informative. I asked him about the function of Styloid and he said it works as anchor for a group of four muscles, including facial muscle that runs by your lip, and swallowing muscle. The function of this muscle group can be diminished temporarily or sometimes permanently with surgery. His surgery patients have never had a problem post surgery, but the risk is real, it’s a major surgery and should not be taken lightly. He also said Dr Cognetti is Dr that he would recommend if I wanted another opinion. Also mentioned a Dr from California. Dr Burkey has done at least over a hundred of these surgeries, so I highly recommend him. Our approach is going to be conservative as I have no vascular risk and he is there for me if things change. Very satisfied with the appointment.


I am so happy for you and glad that you shared this. I am waiting for scheduling to call and set up my surgery date. My consultation sounds like it went much like yours. I had my left side removed in March, and I believe the surgery went really well. My surgeon however offered zero communication before, during or after. I was so hungry for information!! I decided to reach out to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee WI.
The doctor I saw was so wonderful and informative. She walked through every step with me, Poked and prodded and assured me that all else that could possibly cause my symptoms were eliminated.
She also said almost word for word the pros and cons of surgery. She talked much of the gabapentin. Hoped that I would be open to trying it for awhile, but also stated that since my first surgery was so beneficial and I healed well, she was confident in my decision to proceed.
Your post is such a positive one! I needed it this morning. Best of luck!


Thank you so much. I’m going to try the medication, if things change yo will go back to Dr. Burkey for my surgery. So great to speak with somebody who was well versed. Glad it helped you. I had to travel 4 hours to meet with him at Cleveland Clinic and worth every second.

Conversely, I live in Rochester New York, home of the famous University Of Rochester Medical Center and they knew nothing. I bounced from One Recommended Doctor to another here with no help. Thank goodness I found this group.


Glad that you found him caring, pleased that you feel it went well. I do agree that usually it would be really painful when a doctor felt the SP, so if yours wasn’t too painful I’d agree to wait. I think the fact that he is very conservative re surgery was a comment by another member, that might be hard for some…Did you ask him about the vascular issues, why the other doctor was concerned?
Obvs we’re not doctors here, but from what we’ve read of members’ post-op experiences it seems to be more the nerves that are affected at times with surgery, rather than the muscles losing their attachment & then not functioning, but maybe that’s what he means, that innervation of the muscles is affected…
I hope the medication helps!

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Initially they thought carotid artery was involved, however, the angiogram revealed I had good blood flow to brain with no vascular issues. Very please with his conservative approach. He left the door open in case I need to get surgery. Very impressed with him.