Double Extraoral Styloidectomy


I am currently scheduled to have a double external Styloid resection - the surgeon will remove as much of the ligament as possible (calcified and not).

I was wondering if anyone has done such a thing and what their experience was.


So, sort of freaked out now as all my searching reveals those who did both sides did so via the oral route and some doctors not recommending both.

Should I try and see if I can only get one side done?

Pain Theory,
Similar to what you’ve found, I’m not aware of anyone who had double external surgeries. So I’m not sure what to tell you. Is your doctor experienced doing Eagles surgeries, or doing surgeries in that area of the neck?

The surgeons that I know of will only do one at a time. I think the main concern with doing both sides at one time is that there could be swelling on both sides of the neck. They also will not do a second surgery on a patient until several months have passed.

But one thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when someone gets surgery on one side, the other side kinds of revs up and the symptoms become worse on the other side. So it can be an uncomfortable wait in between surgeries.

So I’m not sure what to say. Are you having severe pain on both sides?

Can’t think of any either, not external. Last person I remember having both sides done at the same time was SaaMee, hers was intra-oral though. I think she did okay after surgery.
I would definitely want to talk to the surgeon, find out how many surgeries they’ve done like this.

My Doctor would only do one side at a time. His reasoning was that in the unlikely event I experienced nerve damage he didn’t want to risk both sides. I think it was a good call.

Thanks everyone for your input. I’m going to have a talk with my surgeon before we do the procedure. It sounds like I may be the first of the forums to do such a thing, if so I’ll report my experiences.

Just another two cents. I need both sides done as well and met with a doctor who has done over 60 surgeries. He refuses to do both at once because of the swelling. He requires 6 months waiting period between the two surgeries. Best wishes.

That’s very helpful. Is he doing external or interoral?

External. He refuses to do interoral - his opinion is that it’s a better outcome statistically. I 'm suppose to wait 2 month while on gabapentin and “then decide” if I want to go through with the surgeries. I can’t imagine continuing in my current state. The risk of lip paralysis “ending my career” has everyone skidish. It won’t :slight_smile:

Music geek, when I had my two surgeries with your doctor, I had a numb lip for a couple months, but both times it went away completely by about six months after the surgeries.

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Heidemt, Thank you! That’s good to know, and also I am very happy for you! :slight_smile: (I Haven’t figured out how to do a big smile with a mobile device with this site yet)

Pain Theory,
I’m going to be bold here. You deserve the best possible medical care. I’m not a doctor but I have a PHD in hard knocks. I would look into getting a another doctor’s second opinion and possibly jumping ship to use that second opinion. This is one of those special illnesses where it’s worth traveling for the best care. When I first started my research before finding this group I was considering going to India. Hubby and I were grateful there are a couple of doctors in the States. I live near a world renowned hospital. I have friends who head departments there. There is an ENT who really wanted to meet me. The people there saved my dad’s life, but it wasn’t ES. That doctor had only done 1 surgery and the jury is still out as to its “success”. This is the time where you are allowed to be selfish. This is the time where you are allowed to say “no”. This is the time to do what I right for you regardless of if it’s inconvenient for others. I will support your decision and I’m sure many others here will do the same :slight_smile:.


Musicgeek can I ask who your dr is that is experienced with eagles syndrome?

Does anyone prefer to have external or internal surgery? If so what is your reasoning?
I am leaning more towards external, I don’t care about a scar at this point. I have heard Drs feel they can get more and see better with the external method. Id like to hear everyone’s opinion on this.

@kcannady- external does give the docs a better view, yes, so they can get more of the styloid out, and has less risk of infection apparently. Depending on the doctor’s method, it doesn’t leave much of a scar either- mine was done by a skull base surgeon so he went in behind the ear, you can only see a little bit round my neck below the ear, but I have seen some quite impressive pics on here of others following surgery where it’s been done across the neck. I have to admit I just wanted the surgery done and didn’t care whatsoever about a scar!!
There’s more info about the different surgeries in ES Information- Treatment: Surgery

Pain Theory,

I’m a bit late jumping into this discussion, but I had bilateral extraoral ES surgery done by the doctor heidemt & musicgeek referred to. He was my “second opinion”. The first doctor I saw wanted to do bilateral external surgery & keep my in the hospital over night. He had done a few ES surgeries & was the doc who first diagnosed me. Though he had done several ES surgeries, he was a bit evasive in answering my questions about how much of my styloids he’d remove & what I should expect post op. I’m so thankful I got that second opinion. Post op I had lots of swelling in my throat. I imagine if I’d had both sides done at once my throat would have completely closed up which of course doesn’t bode well for breathing. I agree w/ the general concensus - get a second opinion & get only one side done at a time. I also vote for the external approach because of better visability & access.

Praying for you to find the best possible surgeon!

I had the intraoral one done first and it failed. The doctor only removed the tip of the styloid so I had to have another surgery(External). Hopefully, the surgeon will remove as much styloid as possible. Also, I don’t see this talked about much here, but you will get scar tissue in your neck from external surgery. It can be bothersome from time to time, but still better than having a bone sticking out of your neck.

It depends where the doctor operates- they all do surgery differently. Mine was mainly behind my ear, with only a small bit going down to my neck, which is hidden in a fold any way- you can barely see it. But like any surgical scar it does get a bit sore- I still use oil on it a year post-op to stop it getting too tight. Like Badeagle says- it’s definitely better than a bone poking me!

Actually, after 2 external surgeries & neck incisions. I have no build up of scar tissue. Curiously, I still have some intermittent neck pain, but my scars are very smooth & almost invisible.

Before the site updates I had some communication with another member who is better now. I had told her the severe burning throat pain symptom i had was much better after getting cold laser treatments. The other member told me she recieved cold laser treatments post op.
Cold laser is similar in use for physical therapy as ultra sound. Since the laser shouldn’t be used on the thyroid my doctor bought a special Cone to help keep the laser clear. We are planning on my continued treatment post op to avoid internal scaring.