Considering second surgery

I had my left styloid removed 6 months ago. I haven’t had any improvement in my symptoms. (Burning throat, swallowing difficulty, neck pain) I’m trying to decide if I should try the other side.

Recovery wasn’t that bad for me beyond the first few days. However, there is certainly a financial cost of doing the surgery and traveling to California to see Dr. Samji. I also have 2 kids that need care in that week I’d be gone which requires much orchestrating. Plus, the first surgery didn’t help me. There is a possibility that the right side is the problem. I do get this tension down the right side of my neck that never happened on the left. The right side also kicks inwards when the left didn’t, so that seems a possible reason it is causing problems. However, my throat burning is not one-sided. Could I expect that the right styloid would be causing pain in both sides?

I think I’ll just be left wondering if I don’t try. But I’ll admit, I only have maybe a 15% confidence that it will help. Decisions…

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I’m so sorry your first surgery didn’t make a dent in that burning throat problem @Ladybug! All I can offer here is my own experience & that even though both styloids caused symptoms predominantly each on its own side, after I had my right one removed, I continued to have some symptoms on the right side UNTIL my left styloid was taken out. I had read that “crossover” symptoms can occur because the two halves of our bodies are so interconnected, but my experience made me a true believer. It can also be unclear which styloid is causing which symptoms until one is removed. Often what remains is caused by the other styloid.

Surgery is always a bit of a gamble especially where nerves are involved. I think there’s a good chance you’ll get at least some relief from your throat symptoms & neck pain after a second surgery. We speculate that once one styloid is removed, if the other is elongated &/or the ligament is calcified, it can cause an imbalance in the neck i.e. the styloidless side has basically unrestricted movement where the side w/ the remaining elongated styloid acts a bit like a tether preventing free neck movement, swallowing, etc., which causes symptoms & potentially crossover pain. This could be your situation & freeing up the second side of your throat/neck might make all the difference in the world.

I know this is a tough decision for you especially w/ the logistics involved in traveling for surgery. I will pray for you to have wisdom as you consider your options.


That does sound a difficult decision, especially given there are some risks with any surgery & that it’s going to be difficult for you travelling etc. I think for me deciding to have the 2nd side done came down to wanting to be as good as I could be, & like you say wondering if you don’t try whether you could’ve felt better…plus while I knew of a good surgeon I wanted to get it done in case he stopped doing the surgery!
Adding in my prayers to @Isaiah_40_31 's for wisdom with your decision :pray: :hugs: