Down One Styloid!

Snapple2020 asked me to post this good news: Dr. Samji removed her left styloid process yesterday. Surgery went very smoothly, and she has no lip droop or tongue dysfunction & is feeling pretty good for being only two days out from major surgery. The area around her incision is a bit swollen, tender & numb in spots but this is to be expected. As many of us have experienced post op - ice is her current best friend. :wink:

Day 2 post op:


That’s great news! All the best for a speedy recovery.

Thank you for sharing @Isaiah_40_31.
This is great news @Snapple2020 and I wish you a speedy and successful recovery!!

I know Diamond’s are forever, but Ice is our best friend.


Great that another member has got rid on one pesky thing! Snapple- wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery, take it easy & hope that you heal well!


Here are day to day pictures for Snapple2020. She’s on her way home now & doing amazingly well! I’ll let her update post op details.
The first pics were from the day after surgery (Tues). The following are Thurs. & today:

She has a remarkably minimal swelling & low pain level. We are celebrating & giving kudos to Dr. Samji for a surgery well done. :partying_face: :clap:t4:


Definitely, doesn’t look swollen at all :+1: Keep healing well, Snapple :bouquet: :hugs: :pray:

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Wonderful news. Hope you continue to have a great recovery.

Thanks sooooooo much Isaiah for posting the pix and for your excellent and very much caretaking of me after my surgery. She has been the most wonderful and supportive friend (as she is on this blog) to someone whom she just met and travelled to San Jose to have surgery with Dr. Samji. She gave me a ride to and from after surgery and got me out walking for the days after!!! I cannot give her enough KUDO’s and appreciation for all the help given my original plans (that included someone travelling with me) fell thru and the surgery got delayed.
My surgery was one week ago. I flew in the friday before (24th) for pre-op visit and spent the weekend preparing and getting stocked on food and supplies. Isaiah brought be a loaner wedge pillow and I brought the U-shaped pillow on the plane. I flew into San Jose from Seattle on an evening flight with only 5 people on it and the airports were deserted. I flew home back to Seattle on Friday after seeing Dr. Samji for a post-op visit. All went off well without a hitch.
I found a wonderful old eccletic hotel in downtown Los Gatos and had a room with a kitchen and handicapped bathroom. There was so few people at the hotel I had my own outdoor gated wing with a beautiful rose garden. The employees brought me wonderful vases of roses for my room. This place isnt fancy but homey, clean, good TV and great cafe’s and food within steps of the place. Also a river walk if you are so inclined. Although the stores were on lock down and closed, when they are open I would highly recommend this place. Nice place to stay for a week stay and have surgery.
Even though I was alone, I felt very safe and Isaiah made the stay enjoyable. 2 days after surgery I was in almost no pain and took daily walks with her. I still cannot believe the lack of pain given doc dug deep into my neck. I still am doing pretty well although I think the steriods and icing has helped. My neck feels thick.
Im told my styloid was sharp, thin, medially angulated and longer than what was thought (over 3.22cm) and deep into the neck making it a bigger incision and longer surgery. A large cluster (level III cervical lymph nodes) had to be resected to get to the removal. The only outstanding pain I have and did have after surgery is my left jaw. I was warned my tmj would get kicked up from procedure. Its sore to open my jaw especially first thing in the am. Im getting some nerves turning on some in my cheek and neck but not much. yet. One styloid down. I hope to get the other side done in early Sept.


It was my pleasure to help you through your early post op recovery, Snapple2020. So happy we met & especially that you’re doing amazingly well so soon after surgery!


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So glad that you’re safely back home & have been able to have surgery! Hope you carry on healing well, & that those nerves don’t cause too much discomfort as they come back to life!

Thanks Jules and Isaiah.
Day 9 and swelling has gone down quite a bit today and facial nerves starting to defrost and my neck doesnt feel so “thick”. I guess I was experiencing so much pain on and off before, that any post surgery discomfort is not bothersome to me. Maybe its too soon to make judgement on success of surgery. When pain is so bad you can hardly function in life, this really is a breeze.I guess “numb” is better than pain. :sweat_smile:


Second that- I felt the same about the numbness!

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Snapple2020 is having trouble getting pictures to upload & requested I post these which were taken today. She is healing remarkably quickly & with little pain but is feeling her nerves begin to “wake up.” Her external swelling & post op bruising are nearly gone. :partying_face:

Looking very good Snapple! God bless :bouquet:

Thanks Jules and Isaiah.
These pix are Day 10 and the swelling has gone done considerably. Unfortunately these pix highlight my age and wrinkles. :pensive: I havent needed to ice in 2 days. My only complaint is still the left jaw area and stiffness I feel when I open my mouth in tmj region. Im still avoiding chewing much that requires hard biting . Although I can open my mouth wider the stiffeness/soreness remains constant. I just try and stretch often throughout the day. I have found a combination of a wedge pillow along with the L or U shaped pillow suggested here to work great and very comfortable.

I remain lucky that I have not had any residual face drooping, tongue or swallowing issues like others after surgery. I have had little significant pain after 2 days from surgery although I do know the steriods have helped alot. You are given them in surgery and then 12 day taper after surgery. I obtained my operative report from the surgery and it took me about 1/2 hour looking up terms so I understood what was done to me. Alot of care was done to protect the nerves and arteries. Given Dr. Samji has performed about 500+ of these procedures over the years, its still amazing what he was able to accomplish in under 2 hours and then pushed out the door to go home from an outpatient procedure. I can only suggest to others to do your due diligence on the experience of the doctor/surgeon you have perform these procedures. It is worth the extra $$ to travel to get the most experienced surgeon and best care available to you and hopefully the best outcomes. Do you really want a doc who has limited experience cutting into your cranium and sensitive facial nerves?
Hope my posts help others. Im so thankful this blog was here and led me to the information I needed to get the proper diagnosis and care.

Officially the procedure performed was “Left posterior mini subocciptal craniectomy with resection of styloid bone and decompression of glossopharyngeal nerve”. Official pre and post op diagnosis was Left glossopharyngeal neuralgia and Left Eagles syndrome. My research on the glossopharyngeal neuralgia led me to some new and technical information I found very interesting. I will try and post for those that like the deep dives of information.

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Hi Snapple2020,

I’m so glad you’re doing very well! Our wrinkles have been earned. They are jewels in the crown of maturity, just like gray hair! :joy:

Your jaw should regain mobility as time passes. I know I had a stiff jaw joint after my first surgery & it was a month or more before I could open my mouth & chew effectively. I think Jules had a similar experience. I didn’t have that problem after my second surgery.

I recall you’re doing some of your own PT. I think what you mentioned is good & I recommend you keep it up. Sometime soon, you could begin applying moist heat (i.e. a warm damp washcloth to your jaw joint area, also soaking it in the shower or bath tub for a few min. might help to start loosen up joint & muscles.

I couldn’t open my mouth wide & had trouble chewing for a week or 2 post surgery, as Isaiah says. It soon wore off, but then I don’t have TMJD. I just ate smoothies & soft foods for a couple of weeks. Didn’t have it all after the 2nd surgery, got all the smoothies etc ready & didn’t need them! Hopefully yours will soon wear off!
So glad that you were able to see Dr Samji & have surgery with him. The info will be good to read!

How are you doing? Are you noticing any improvements. Since we are so similar, I am following along actively, trying to decide on surgery.

Thanks! Jen

DAY 16 - Steri-strips removed:

Looking GREAT!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am doing very well and cant believe still how well i’m doing. My jaw is still pretty sore when I open it and/or bite down very hard. It definately is improving daily. As you can see it is healing up pretty nicely as I just took off the steri-strips and very happy. I am still significantly numb in the area that is still black & blue going left towards the chin. Most of the other numbness Ive had is in various stages of defrosting and returning to almost normal. Once in a while it hurts some when I swallow in B & B area but this is almost gone. The numb area kinda feels tight and “heavy” feeling but does not hurt.
My shoulder and neck and been generally good. I have been using a wedge pillow along with the L or U shaped pillow which I got for after surgery. Im using it all the time now and it seems for the time being that it stabilizes my neck at night. Often if I sleep the wrong way, I wake up in pain as how I sleep can put my neck out. My neck creaks and cracks all the time and I have not paid attention if that has changed. So far so good and I havent had my neck go out causing major pain. I’m going for a massage tomorrow although she will stay away from side of incision.
Im ready to schedule the other side! Im thinking late august, early sept.