External surgery: what is recovery like?

Hi all.

Curious to know your experience with extraoral recovery; recovery time, pain levels, and healing.

I think I will be healing from this, myself sooner rather than later! I will keep everyone posted; I always appreciate reading everyone’s stories on here.

Best to all of you~


If you look for ‘post op update’ in the search box (click the magnifying glass icon to open the tab), it’ll come up with lots of links to previous discussions which will give you lots of info, & what to expect after surgery etc. There’s also info in the Newbies Guide section under surgery, & some links to other discussions.
It does vary for everyone, just as everyone’s ES symptoms are different, & even with external surgery there are different techniques, so bear that in mind.
Personally, it wasn’t anything as bad as I expected- I only needed ibuprofen or paracetemol after the first day for the pain, although others have had more pain than this. Swelling can be a problem (wasn’t for me as my surgeon puts a drip in overnight), so have ice packs ready. The worst thing I found was that I couldn’t open my jaw wide at all, for at least a week, so had to eat lots of smoothies & mushy foods for a couple of weeks. But with my second surgery I didn’t find that a problem at all, so it’s all different! I also found turning my head was painful for about 3 weeks, so I wasn’t able to drive. Again, second surgery was easier for this! Lifting etc. is a no-no for a few weeks; it’s very easy to overdo things & then find you’ve set your healing back.
But there have been several people on here who’ve gone back to work, especially desk jobs within a week or two, so it does vary a lot.
Be prepared for numbness or strange sensations, some people have had facial paralysis or tongue problems from the nerves being stretched in surgery- this usually wears off gradually over time. Usually the surgeon will monitor the nerves as they go, so there shouldn’t be permanent damage. I had decreased hearing with one of my surgeries, & it felt like I’d had concrete poured in my ear, which was a bit worrying, but it went off after a couple of weeks. I still have some numbness around my ears, but I’ll take that over pain!!
I hope this helps; best wishes for your surgery, let us know when you get a date!

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Jules gave you a wonderful summary so I’ll give a quick recap of my experience:
Week 1 post op was the hardest as far as pain & swelling went. Used lots of ice packs, CALM (to prevent constipation fr opiod pain meds), kept my head elevated at all times; walked 10-15 min periodically starting day after surgery. Tried to reduce frequency of pain meds starting day 3. BIG mistake for me. Days 3-5 post op usually are the time of greatest swelling.
Week 2 post op was better. Went back to exercising at the end of week 2 but had to modify. Did a bit too much too fast.
Each week after week 2 saw progressive recovery. By about my 2 month post op anniversary, I felt “normal” again (except symptoms fr my 2nd styloid started getting worse but they were a bit different than the other side).

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Thanks for this (for everything! Ah—praise Jesus for the internet & the good folks using it helpfully :heart:️:heart:️:raised_hands::pray:).

Trying very hard to not put the second styloid in my mind & will try hard not to after the right styloidectomy but man…it’s quiet now with the occasional little irritation — feels haunting sometimes, looming! Not expecting that sucker to be called to my attention right after this surgery, but uh…so glad you all have prepared me to keep an eye on things & not wait to pursue resolve for that side if needed. Glad to be able to explain it to my parents for sure; you are right about the financial independence, of course—that’s another looming thing in my life :wink: (in all of ours.)

Truly becoming very optimistic at the chance to be free of this; praying, praying, praying about it. Praising for the help I’ve had. Having my dude St. Blaise intercede for me when I’m tired :wink: …that legend of the kid with the fish bone stuck in his throat…I always had a connection I felt to Saint Blaise as a kid, and no wonder, later in life I practically became that kid with the fish-bone-stuck-in-(in either side of :wink: my-throat feeling :upside_down_face::upside_down_face::upside_down_face::fish::no_good_woman:t2:‍♀️

Fun story you might enjoy / feel I want to share: had been prayed over earlier in the year and my pain subsided greatly / was able to eat easier, voice was stronger, freaked out when I went to my car and I could turn my head so freely / belted some singing on the way home in ways I couldn’t have for years—truly felt healed in most ways to the point where I was balling on the way home that night-totally crazy improvement (also, it was the same week as the feast of St. Blaise, so woah!). The bones were there, but it was like they were not interacting with anything. Obviously this GPN issue happened, & the flare continued (of course, I’ve learned so much through the suffering/ scare these last weeks / joining it with Jesus’ & the suffering of others) & I feel like it was God’s way of giving me an answer to proceed with this procedure, because I was pretty freaked out about the prospect of surgery originally, but also SO anxious & SO complacent about it. Without that pain subsiding, I would’ve not only not had the chance to experience that hope for what life could be like with treatment, but also didn’t have it on my mind, even subconsciously as something that I had to worry about earlier in the year (let me tell ya…it would’ve been another thing I didn’t need to think about) —very certain now what needs to be done. He works in mysterious ways.

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He does indeed work in mysterious ways, & has quite a sense of humour we’ve found out… I did learn a lot through this weird syndrome, & praise God that through this site I found out about a doctor who could help. Never heard of St. Blaise, will look that up!

He’s technically a patron of throat ailments, but doesn’t Eagle’s often feel a lot more like a throat issue? All of that prodding…Ha! At least mine sure has :wink: My throat hates all of this Eagle’s business.

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Thanks for the clarification about St. Blaise. I was wondering, too!
Love your story of temporary healing & the purpose it has served for you. God does what He needs to, to get our attention &/or “order our days”. He knows us intimately & loves us infinitely! :grin:

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