Dr. Omelie Minnesota

Any experience out there with this physician? I see his name on here in a few threads. If people could share their experience and recovery I’d appreciate it. I think he only does extra oral procedures.

You can always send a private message to ask anyone who’s mentioned him if they don’t see your discussion. Hope you get some answers!

@biggiestyloid - Did you see my reply back to your private message? I sent it the other day.

@anharris - has also had Dr. Omlie. She may be of help.

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@anharris and @naturelover - I have Dr. Omlie coming up for my surgery on September 1st. Can you please share with me how it’s gone for you? I have a long trip home after I am released but would like to see what others say about him. Thank you


Not long away! I’ll be thinking of you & will pray :hugs:

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Thank you! I appreciate it. As the day gets closer the more nervous I get. I really am thankful for all the post’s from everyone. It’s really helped give me a good idea of what to expect.

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Hey Melanie! Both of my surgeries went well, though both also had challenges. Dr Omlie takes the styloid back as close to the skull as possible and removes any calcified ligament. He usually works with his nephew (you probably already know this) who is an oral surgeon to do the maneuvering in surgery for visibility.

He typically uses a local in addition to the anesthesia with a goal of better controlling pain in the first day(s) post op. I didn’t know this going into my first surgery, and there are only 2 local anesthetics I can use without an allergic reaction, so I was quite swollen and had hives when I woke up. During the second surgery they made sure to use one I wouldn’t react to which was much appreciated. I suspect due to having them sso close together, I found it harder to control pain after the second round and ended up staying an extra night at the hospital.

Dr Omlie has a good bedside manner and answered all of my questions promptly (if you don’t have mychart set up yet, that’s the fastest way to get an answer as his nurse checks this daily). I realized after getting home that adding a muscle relaxant would help control pain (I carry most of my tension in my neck) and he was able to call that in when I asked.

For the trip home since you’re not in the twin cities area, I’d recommend at least one pillow and to lean your seat back about halfway. Also I’d ask for an ice pack to take with you, and suggest filling your prescription(s) at the hospital pharmacy, this way you can stay on top of meds and don’t have to add an errand.

Jello, pudding, and applesauce were all my friends in the first days after surgery, along with cream of wheat and soup. Not everyone experiences this, but I felt symptoms of first bite almost immediately after surgery and they continued for about 6 weeks consistently, then tapered over the next few months. The best thing I found to do was push through, the more often I ate/drank the less I had that pain.

Please feel free to ask if you’ve got any other questions!


Hi Melanie -
I apologize for not responding to your question sooner. I am so happy that you will have your surgery soon! The thing that helped me through those last nights before surgery was that I knew that whatever might happen, Dr. Omlie was very well-qualified & experienced to handle it. I was safe in his hands.

I had my first side surgery back on Jan. 20 & my 2nd surgery on May 11th of 2021. I had Vascular Eagle Syndrome with my styloids compressing my jugular veins. My symptoms were daily migraine & intracranial headaches. I also had extreme lightheadedness every time I moved or tipped my head down. Plus, I had a chronic cough. I had those symptoms every day for four years. I am happy to say that all of my symptoms have gone away with the exception of my cough! That is only about 50% better. It is so amazing to be able to move & have my life back. I owe all that to my surgeries & Dr. Omlie & Dr. Cha who finally diagnosed me.

From the first time I met Dr. Omlie, he was very well-informed about my condition. He had even consulted with my referring doctor about my condition before my first appointment. He was kind & very concerned about me. He told me the risks of my surgery, so I knew what to expect.

My two surgeries were both very different as far as recovery. I would highly recommend having a wedge pillow & a v-shaped pillow. That was the only way I could get comfortable & fall asleep. Also, I used ice packs nearly continually for the pain & to keep the swelling down. Try to find some that are smaller & flexible to fit on your neck. I never took narcotics after my surgeries. I have weird side effects to most drugs, so I only took Tylenol & Ibuprofen. I took that around the clock for at least a week. After the first surgery, I had a really hard time swallowing. I believe it was from the anesthesia & the position of my head during surgery. So the second time around I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist & he gave me a numbing spray in my throat. He also gave me what he called a “cocktail” of drugs so that I wouldn’t get sick from any particular one. My suggestion would be to make sure you communicate with Dr. Omlie any pain meds you think you are going to want to take so he will give a prescription for it when you get out of surgery.

I wasn’t able to swallow except for soft foods for about a week after my 1st surgery. Things like protein shakes, apple sauce (I had to crush my pills), broth, mashed potatoes, & yogurt was all I could eat. Then I progressed to more chunkier soft foods. For both surgeries, I had difficulty opening my mouth wide. That is another reason for the soft foods. I also had a bit of First Bite Syndrome with both. That is not fun & there is really not much you can do about it except to squeeze something tight near you. That kind of distracted me from the pain for the few moments it lasts. Also, try to figure out what type of food or beverages may trigger it more.

I had numbness on the side of my face, jaw, & ear after both surgeries. It was worse for my 1st one. After the 2nd surgery, I had some mouth numbness. That kind of freaked me out, but it wasn’t too bad. No one could notice it, but me. Now, the numbness on my 1st side is gone. The 2nd side is still little numb on my jawline & earlobe. It has gotten better quicker than my 1st side.

The 1st time, I went back to work too soon. It was after 1 1/2 weeks. I work retail so there is a lot of talking & moving my head. I should have stayed home longer. I regret that. My 2nd time, I took 3 weeks off. That was good & I felt ready to go back to work. I wasn’t in pain.

Two words: ice & drugs. Keep them up around the clock for at least the first 1-2 weeks. Don’t be a hero. You’ve already suffered enough.

Good luck & keep us posted on how your surgery went. Feel free to ask questions. This site is the BEST!


Great info, @naturelover! Thank you! I will make only one additional suggestion - try to get your post op pain meds & other Rxs before surgery so they are already at home when you arrive. Having to pick them up on the way home after surgery is not much fun. I was able to get mine ahead of time. It was so helpful!


Thank you guys so much for sharing your stories with me. I’m getting ready to go into surgery soon today. I’m so nervous but I feel better having been able to get some first hand knowledge from you. Thank you very much. You helped me prepare better.


Hope all goes well, will be praying for you, God Bless :hugs:

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Hi Melanie!

I hope your surgery went perfectly. I woke up early this morning & prayed for that. When you feel up to it, please let us know how you’re doing.



Melanie, how are you? I hope your recovery is going well.

I joined the forum on behalf of someone with complex symptoms that I am beginning to think has a version of vascular ES. I am in the tc metro area- how did you get your diagnosis- my patient is fairly frantic- has vertigo as well as other symptoms

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Hi Washi -

Dr. Cha, a headache specialist/neurologist at the Headache Clinic at the U of MN, diagnosed me & then referred me to Dr. Omlie who is a vascular surgeon at Southdale Fairview. She did a 3D CT scan of my neck & head. Also another test for blood flow in the neck area. I can’t remember the name of that one. It actually came back normal & she now thinks it might have been done wrong or something because I clearly had vascular compression due to my styloids pressing on my jugular.

I think Dr. Cha would be the expert in Minnesota. She has diagnosed quite a few & then Dr. Omlie doing surgery, if needed. I know that they have been trying to figure out the best treatments & ways to diagnose Eagle Syndrome patients. They are both very compassionate & intelligent! Dr. Cha figured it out during my initial consultation with her. I had four years of every test, every type of doctor, hospitalization, etc. no one could figure it out. They just called it migraines. So that is how I was treated, but it never helped.

Please let me know if I can help in any other way or answer further questions. I hope your patient is able to get a diagnosis.


Thanks for that info naturelover, I’ve added Dr Cha’s name to our list for members as well.

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Dr. Omlie is now at a different clinic, and works with a Dr. Karimi - has anyone had experience with him? I’m seeing him next week.

I don’t believe anyone on our forum has seen Dr. Karimi. Please let us know how your appointment goes & how you feel about Dr. Karimi. There are questions that are a good idea to ask when you have your appt including what type of surgery is done - intraoral or external & how many ES surgeries has the doctor done. You can search for a more complete list using the magnifying glass icon above.
We do recommend that surgery be done by an experienced ES surgeon for the best outcome so you may want to consider Dr. Omlie for surger if Dr. Karimi is new to ES.

Dr. William Omlie is still with Fairview Hospital Systems - aka MHealth. He works with different clinics & hospitals, too. Dr. William Omlie works with his nephew, Dr. James Omlie, Maxillofacial Surgeon. They do the ES surgeries together. James is the expert of the skull base area & William is the expert of the jugular & arteries (vascular) areas.

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