Headed to Denver tomorrow

I leave for Denver tomorrow. Appointment with Alison on Tuesday and then surgery with Dr. Hepworth on Wednesday. I’ll have my left styloid removed, a vascular team will go into the jugular and expand it and I’ll also have a cranial leak fixed in my sinuses. Hard to believe I scheduled this day 9 months ago.


Thank you for the update @stuuke! How exciting that your day is almost here! I know the timing for this hasn’t been ideal but it seems like there’s never a “good time” to have surgery!

I’m putting your surgery date on my calendar. I will be praying for a problem-free surgery & a great outcome - also for your safe travels tomorrow.

Please let us know how everything goes when you feel up to it.



Hi @stuuke,

That’s good news. I’m glad your waiting time for the trip is over. I was there last month after similar long waiting time. It was a good experience, P-SL is an amazing hospital and the surgeons where really great. By far the best surgery experience out of 6 Styloidectomies (attempts) I had to go through. As it is feeling now, surgery was really worth it. Wishing you a smooth trip, successful procedures and best outcome. Thinking of you and sending positive vibes for Wednesday. Good luck. :four_leaf_clover:


Safe travels , Wishing you the best .:pray::pray::pray: for a speedy recovery …


Wow that sounds a lot! Wishing you all the very best of luck. I know that feeling of waiting for much needed surgery and counting down the days. Good that surgery date is finally here. D :slightly_smiling_face:


After 6 you’re definitely a pro. Glad it worked out for you.


Best wishes, hope that all goes according to plan…will be praying for a successful surgery :pray:


Made it to Denver. Staying near Union Station and took in part of a Rockies game today. For $8 I couldn’t pass it up :slight_smile: My wife is coming in tomorrow night.


Glad you’re enjoying the area while you can. GO ROCKIES!! :partying_face:

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Thinking of you and sending you my best wishes! I’m excited for you to be getting this behind you so you can have a better quality of life!


Made it through surgery. The hole in my sinuses was about the size of a hole punch and it definitely sounds like it needed to be fixed. That has been the worst part of recovery. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of bleeding that I’d have. Even with the sleeping pills I couldn’t sleep the first the night in the hospital. The area the styloid was removed hasn’t been that painful and they didn’t need to balloon the jugular so those two things went pretty smooth. The styloid was pretty tangled up. I haven’t seen photos of it yet. I do have loud ringing in my left ear and pain/pressure in that area. Chewing and swallowing has been fine. I was able to eat breakfast the morning after the surgery and have eaten regular since. Last night I was able to get some sleep so today is going better. Pretty crazy that for 10 years what doctors thought was a little scar tissue in my sinuses was a hole. Dr. Hepworth said he was 85% sure it was a hole before the surgery. Thanks for all of your continued support.


Thank you for sharing , praying for a full recovery . Hang in there.


Hi @stuuke !
Recovery from the skull base defect is much more impactful than the styloidectomy, I understand. It feel tremendously better once they remove the packing and gell film/foam placed during surgery. In the mean time hang in there, use a cool mist humidifier day and night as much as you can (buy one if needed) and sleep with your head and chest elevated. It takes quite a while to see the benefit from the leak repair, be patient. You are in the best hands for both surgeries! Be well, take good care


Glad that Dr Hepworth is so skilled to be able to fix the leak, & good news that you didn’t need ballooning & can eat okay! I hope that you start to feel better soon, take care :pray: :hugs:


Still haven’t had a good night of sleep. I’m not sure if it’s the pain that wakes me up or what. I tried the sleeping pills and the pain meds and they really haven’t had an effect. Still have strong ringing in my left ear and what feels like pain in my skull in that area. Still surprised that I don’t have much pain in my neck.

You may be having some mild rebound intracranial hypertension (high pressure in your head) related to the cranial repair. This is not uncommon. Be sure to sleep at least 30 deg elevated and stay hydrated ( enough to have to urinate more frequently). I am sure Dr H or his NP Alison will address this at your FU appt, this coming week I would think? Hang in there, the head pain will get better a little every day. Great that your neck feels so good!!


@stuuke - My surgeries weren’t as extensive as yours, but I couldn’t sleep well until I was able to lie flat again. The first couple of weeks post op, I felt like I was cat napping at night not sleeping. I had to use the wedge pillow for at least 6 weeks after surgery or my throat would feel like it was swelling shut. Most people can lie flat sooner than that. Just to say that sleepless nights early post op are normal.

I’m glad surgery is behind you, & you’re on the road to recovery. We all hope to feel better sooner than later but the recovery from ES surgery can be slow. I’m really glad @JustBreathe has been able to weigh in on recovery from a CSF leak as that’s outside of my experience.


The CSF input is definitely helpful. I hadn’t thought about it much since most of my focus was on the styloid and the leak was just something that might be in there. I’ll be back in my own bed Tuesday which should help in the sleep department.


Day 4 of recovery. Had a green chile breakfast burrito in Pueblo and watching football most of the day. Sinuses seem to be doing a little better. I can breathe a little out of my right nostril. They don’t want me to clear my left nostril so it’s pretty much packed with everything that oozed out after surgery. I still don’t sleep well but I haven’t slept well in 10 years so not a huge surprise that after surgery and sleeping in a strange bed I’m having issues. I have some lightheadedness and the worst issues are still pain/pressure in my left ear and ear ringing. Pain meds don’t seem to make much of a difference so I’ve only been taking Tylenol. I noticed my left cheek is a little numb. I seemed to have lots of muscular issues in my jaw/neck so these symptoms might be just body readjusting. I am a little worried about flying with this much pressure in my ear. Follow-up appointment is on Tuesday.



It’s good to know you’re seeing a little improvement. Talk to Dr. Hepworth about your ear situation vs flying when you talk to him at your follow-up appt on Tues. He may be able to Rx a short-term med to help w/ that when you fly or maybe just keeping ice on your neck/face/ear off & on throughout the flight will help as that will reduce swelling. Flight attendants are very helpful in providing small bags of ice if you ask. If you don’t have a small hand towel w/ you, it would be worthwhile to get an inexpensive one prior to flying to help protect your skin when icing on the plane. Also, you or your wife can call the airline you’re using to arrange a wheelchair or for transportation to help you get to the gate more safely. I know how big that airport is & walking to your gate can take quite awhile. Long distance walking/hurrying to get to your flight may not be in your best interest so soon after surgery. You can play that one by ear.

Jaw, neck, face, & ear symptoms are not uncommon after surgery & can take 4-6 mos or more to resolve. They seem to go away very gradually, & nerve pain/numbness can come & go repeatedly giving the impression you aren’t healing, but that’s the way nerves heal…it’s not a quiet, polite process.