Dr. Hackman/Surgery

Hi everyone,

I have bilateral vascular ES and need to have revision surgery (that I have put off for years). I am considering having bilateral surgery with Dr. Hackman at UNC. I am hoping to hear from those who have had surgery with him, if you can share what you experienced prior to surgery, how the surgery went and how you are doing now.

I’m very nervous and I have an array of other health issues. Hoping to get a better feel and comfort level hearing the experiences of others. Thank you so much! :heart:

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Hi krista! So sorry that you need to have surgery again…
I’ve had a quick search of the discussions & there’ve been a few about Dr Hackman, I’ll post some links for you, but hopefully others will respond with their experiences:
Surgery with Dr Hackman Nov 8th - General - Living with Eagle
Revision Surgery with Dr. Trevor Hackman at UNC Health - Symptoms and Treatments - Living with Eagle
Bilateral Styloidectomy complete! Dr. Hackman team did amazing - General - Living with Eagle
You can always send a pm to some of the members to see how they’re doing…thinking of you :hugs:


Hi Jules! I hope you are well. It has been a long time :heart: As always thank you for being so wonderful and helpful. I will take a look through the links.

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I’m sorry, too, that you need revision surgery, krista3! Dr. Hackman has done a fair number of surgeries for our members at this point & for the most part, everyone has had good outcomes. I’m sorry to hear you have other health issues you have to deal w/ as well. Hopefully getting your styloids taken care of will make caring for the other problems more straight forward. :hugs:

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Thank you so much! I hope you are well :two_hearts:

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Dr. Hackman was my surgeon for a bilateral styloidectomy in August of 2021. My surgery was successul. My experience with Dr. Hackman, the hospital and his office staff was great. My recovery was difficult at tlmes but i got through it with prayers and advise from doctor and ES Family. It took my recovery 6 months. I am without symptoms. I had my 6 month follow-up last week. We were both pleased with my outcome.

My prayers are with you for a successful procedure.


@Dcau thank you so much for sharing and well wishes! Did you have any complications or nerve issues (facial paralysis etc) after surgery that took awhile to heal?

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Krista 3, i did have some complications but was treated successfully with prednisone on two occasions. Teeth were misaligned for a few months but went away as the doctor told me it would. There was some pain off and on during the 6 months until the swelling stopped. No paralysis.

Best wishes for a successful surgery.


That’s really good news, & thanks for the update- are the headaches all gone now? :smiley:

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Hey there I’m so happy to hear about your positive experience. Everything I’ve read about Hackman is excellent. Do you mind giving a timeline of everything? My consult is march 31st just want to get an idea of how long after I can expect surgery. What were your symptoms prior to surgery?

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Thank you so much for your response!

Hey sorry I meant to @Dcau you with these questions. What are your symptoms? I’m setup for the 31st with Hackman. After 2 failed surgeries up here in Boston with 2 different surgeons hoping this is the good one.

My symptoms before surgery were pain in ears, jaw, trouble swallowing and foreign body sensation in throat. After surgery, my healing process took about 6 months. It took about a month for me to get surgery after first consultation.

Best regards for a successful surgery and recovery.

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Thanks so much. Did you have vascular involvement at all?

Hey there! :slight_smile: I am 26 / Female and was diagnosed with Eagles Syndrome last July after going to the ENT for what I thought was a broken hyoid bone. Unaware that it was very difficult for that to occur easily they had me get a CT Scan with Contrast and when the results came back they showed that I had Eagles Syndrome.

After being diagnosed in July by Dr. Heckler (who was an understudy of Dr. Hackman’s), he suggested that I have Dr. Hackman do the surgery because of how skilled he was and he had access to the Davinci Robot, although in the end we ended up doing the surgery externally due to blood loss concerns because I’m anemic. After getting in touch with Dr. Hackman I scheduled an appointment with him, which he confirmed the Eagles Syndrome and suggested surgery due to my very specific symptoms of pain in the throat, tinnitus, the feeling like an icepick is stuck in my throat, eye pain, and worse.

I’ve gotta be honest I’ve been doing mostly good since the surgery. I’ve been in school trying to finish up my Senior year so it’s a little extra hard because I’m constantly stressed.
Though most of my symptoms are gone I still have been recently having some other pains and upper back issues like near my shoulder blade but that could be an entirely different thing haha.

Okay I actually have to get back to homework but I wanted to stop in and comment! You can find a lot of my story on the Facebook groups for Eagles Syndrome!

They ended up removing a 7 cm bone on one side and a bit over a 4 cm bone on the other side, both 2 cm thick.


Very interesting… It looks like you might have an anatomical variation of the posterior arch of your atlas (C1 vertebra). On the 3D model it looks unfused.

Especially Case 5 looks like yours.

Could it be the source of upper back pain?..

Btw “broken” hyoid can be seen on many young people’s CT scans. The hyoid bone AFAIK is actually three bones that finish fusing by mid-late thirties.

You are amazing! Thank you! I’m going to look into it more and go back through my ct scan with contrast and try and see if i can somehow see it better if possible? I remember @Isaiah_40_31 telling me they thought that something could be going on with my C1 as well! Who would I see about this? A neurologist or would I talk to Dr. Hackman about this?

I’d say neurologist/orthopedic surgeon perhaps?.. really not sure …

Good catch @vdm! Interesting article, too! Thanks for always being so on top of things here!

You could mention it to Dr. Hackman & ask for a referral. He would likely be a good source of info regarding who to see. I’m glad your other symptoms are pretty well gone but am sorry about the shoulder pain. Hours in front of a computer can certainly exacerbate shoulder & neck issues. I’m glad you’re finishing your senior year. I hope the next few months go smoothly for you!


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