I have an appointment with Dr Luke Philippsen in Muncie, IN on October 7th, 2020 after being preliminarily diagnosed through dental panoramic xray and experiencing ES symptoms for over two and a half years (was initially misdiagnosed with reflux).
I’m wondering if anyone has had surgery done by Dr Philippsen and if so what technique did he use (through neck or intraoral/use of Davinci robot, etc?). Was it successful and what was your experience with this doctor please?
I have a call in to nurses to try to find out more before I see him but would really love to hear patient experiences.
If you he’s been discussed on the forum, search for his name and any relevant conversations will pop up. I just checked and he’s on the list for IN doctors, so hopefully someone has posted about him. Wishing you peace as you begin this journey! I’m 4 weeks post op of my left styloid removal and already seeing benefits.
We have one other member who hasn’t posted in a long time - Stargazer. I believe Dr. Philippsen did at least one of her ES surgeries or was somehow involved in her ES journey. You could send her a private message. I think she’d respond.
Hello. I have been to see Dr. Phillipsen too. So far my experience with him and his office staff has not been very good. There has been a lot of trouble communicating. I now have a follow up with Dr. Phillipsen on the 5th. I have wondered how you have gotten along with this group? Did you or are you having surgery? Have you had any problems with getting records from other doctors to Dr. Phillipsen?
My first visit was strange. The nurse who met with me before my doctor appointment told me Dr. Phillipsen is trying to get away from treating Eagles Syndrome patients. He didn’t say that but with all the complications getting records to him, I have to wonder
I also had an interesting experience with Dr Philippsen (Muncie, IN). I was told he will assess Eagle’s patients case by case to determine if he’ll treat them and they were almost not going to keep my appointment but I was told he’d see me as I was “already on the books”. I got the impression he’s trying to withdraw from this kind of surgery.
I did have my appointment face to face with him. He told me he only does this surgery through the mouth. I had already decided I wanted to go through the neck as more could be removed. I got the impression he only removed what he could (which I believe is not enough).
He told me he would refer me to one of his colleagues in Tennessee who goes through the neck but I never heard from that doctor and Dr Philippsen could not remember the doctor’s name.
I ended up traveling from IN to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to have my left side operated on through the neck by Dr Jason Newman at Penn Medicine two weeks ago. I’m so glad I went to him. He is a highly skilled skull based surgeon who is very familiar with difficult surgeries. Dr Newman left it up to me to decide whether I wanted to go through the neck or mouth but said if it was him having the surgery done he’d have it done through the neck (that helped me make my final decision).
Dr Newman removed my calcified ligament as close to the skull base as possible and removed 5 centimeters (2 inches) of ligament and smoothed the remaining part near my skull.
I know not everyone can travel for surgery but it is in such a delicate area of the body I wanted to go with someone I felt more comfortable with. At the time of my surgery he said he’d done about 75 Eagle surgeries which might not sound like a huge amount but he usually works in the cancer center so the bulk of his surgeries addresses other conditions.
I’m sorry for your experience w/ Dr. Phillipsen. Based on the information you & Bec have given us, I will take him off our doctors’ list. We want helpful & supportive doctors not doctors that leave our members wondering “what’s next?”
Bec has given some good advice, & we have several members who’ve been to Dr. Newman for ES surgery, & I believe all have had good outcomes. I hope you’re able to travel to one of the more reliable ES doctors on our list. We do feel the external surgery is safest & allows for the best overall outcomes because the styloid & stylohoid ligaments are more fully accessible & nerves & other soft tissues can be better monitored during surgery.
Please let us know what you decide & how we can support you along the way.
Thank you for your update. I’m so glad you found Dr. Newman to be an excellent surgeon. We’ve had good reports about him. I am sorry though that there was no one closer for you to see.
For what it’s worth, I had my ES surgeries done by Dr. Samji, & at the time, he’d only done about 75 ES surgeries. He’s done close to 500 now. When a surgeon is familiar w/ the “territory” where the styloids are from doing other types of surgery there, then ES surgery isn’t a great challenge. The most important part of ES surgery is having the styloids adequately shortened (to the skull base if possible) & the stylohyoid ligaments removed if they are at all calcified. It sounds like Dr. Newman took good care of you in both regards.
I agree completely with what you’re saying. I was more than happy to see an experienced skull based surgeon who had done as many as 75 ES surgeries. I’m extremely happy with Dr Newman and Pennsylvania Hospital. I was kept in ICU overnight after my surgery for monitoring due to operating so near the carotid artery, etc. I was very impressed with pretty much everything about the hospital treatment I received there.
I also agree it’s best to remove Dr Philippsen from the ES list of doctors. I told him he was on it and he seemed very surprised. Unfortunately people in Indiana will most likely have to travel further for treatment but this seems common anyway for a lot of areas.
Thank you Bec and Isaiah for your input. I am looking at a doctor Douglas Van Daele at the University of Iowa. Looking at his profile on the university’s website, Dr. Van Daele is certainly well qualified to perform surgery but there is no mention of Eagles syndrome in his specialties section. I am going to call tomorrow and see what information I can get. Fingers crossed.
Any skull-based surgeon i.e. ENT, Maxillofacial or Neurosurgeon should be able to do ES surgery because they are familiar w/ “the territory” where the styloids & stylohyoid ligaments “live”. That said, getting the styloids removed to the skull base & the stylohyoid ligaments removed if there is any calcification on them apart from the styloid is mandatory for a good long-term outcome. Many doctors think “snipping the tip” off the styloids will do the trick & some only remove them back to their normal length which has really helped some of our members. The best results we’ve seen though are when the styloids are fully removed. Another thing that happens is partially calcified stylohyoid ligaments are left in place instead of being removed w/ the styloids. That can continue to cause ES symptoms.
We do have at least one member who’s had ES surgery done by Dr. Van Daele. If you click on the magnifying glass icon above, & type his name in the search box, related posts will come up for you to read.
Here’s the link for it. You can find the link by clicking on the butterfly icon at the top of this page. That takes you to our home page. The link for the Doctors’ List is under the Symptoms and Treatments category (it’s a little gray bar underneath the heading - “Doctor Information”). You’ll need to scroll to the top of the page as there are a number of posts that follow the doctors’ list itself.