Now day 6, postop

And am wondering about a couple things.

For those who've had the styloidectomy + tonsillectomy, if you have experienced this.

It's like deep in my left ear, it is so painful. I seemed not too bad on day 4, but yesterday and now this morning, it really hurts. Back to sucking on popsicles.

The nurse had said it was due to the tonsil. If so, do you know why?

Another question would be.......... my Doc had the words resection of the left styloid process. So I don't know how much he took, and why he wouldn't have taken it all. I see him Tues. morning.

And I really feel this may be a week longer more than they give.

Thanks for any feedback.

Hi Winterinmn,

Sorry that you're having a worse day. I had external surgery, so it wasn't as painful as yours, but I have had some earache, probably day 6 or 7, and thought I was getting an ear infection, but it did pass. Don't try to be brave and do without your painkillers- if you need them take them. Resection just means removal, so it doesn't mean he's left some of the styloid in- I completely forgot to ask after my surgery how much was removed, and I forgot to ask beforehand if it was possible to have a souvenir photo! Hopefully someone who's had intraoral might have some advice for you.

I had this as well but I did not have my tonsils taken out it lasted for about 4-6 months and I will still get it occasionally I am over 1 yr post op.

I am two days post op but mine was external. The surgeon took the right styloid further back than my left. The surgeon said that there is no proof that taking it all the way has any more benefit. I also am having pain in my throat (left side) as well as some ear pain. My pain medication does help as well as putting ice packs on the throat. I know that each day things will be a little better. I am also having trouble speaking. My vocal cords have been really strained so I was told it would be a few days before my voice returns. I hope Winterinmn you heal quickly. I know there are a few of us all in different stages of healing. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

Bless all your hearts. Thank you.

Even if my Doc left some in there, I can only imagine he has a very good reason. I will find out tomorrow.

I had also been told by another ENT that I had a lg. cyst on that tonsil. The nurse I briefly chatted with said the Doc said it wasn't a cyst, but junk/garbage??? I haven't a clue. We know it was something.

Pain is still there. More pain pills during the night. Today I will take some Aleve; that does seem to help with the inflammation.

Thinking of you all and sending prayers.

Too early to worry, my ear pain did not subside for several weeks. It is a slow process, do not expect it to be a straight line either. You should start feeling better after 3 weeks. Sometimes the stitches take that long or longer to dissolve. That will be the first improvement. The stitches cause pain and discomfort. Even after that lots of swelling, so it is up and down. I felt better at about 3 weeks then a kind of relapse that sent me looking for a consult. I had the consult at about 2.5 months and was told 6 months to a year. Yep, it was up and down. 2 years 3 months now and I still have some ear discomfort from time to time, but it could be from a disc in my neck. Seems to be a disc, because when my neck does not hurt after PT or chiropractor, the ear does not hurt.

Later after several months, if the ear still hurts, have someone check out the position of your neck vertebrae because surgery can be hard on your neck.

Hi Jules,
Did you only stay in hospital overnight? How long did your surgery last? I am scheduled for left Styloidectomy on May 14th 2019 & of course am a little anxious. What can I expect immediately postop?

Hi Pindergirl67,

I had my first ES surgery 4.5 yrs ago in the US. It seems in the US, ES surgery is more often done outpatient. That said, it really depends on the doctor who does the surgery & the type of surgery whether or not a drain is installed. I think patients w/ external surgery go home same day more often than those who have intraoral surgery. If you don’t have complications (i.e. nerve wrapped around your styloid or extremely compressed vascular tissues), external surgery can be done in about 90 min. I had bilateral external ES surgeries, & my first surgery took abt 2 hrs due to a nerve complication, & my second was textbook & took 90 min. Again, this does depend on the surgeon & possibly his/her level of experience w/ this type of surgery. Both of my surgeries were outpatient so I was able to start recovering at home w/in 6 hrs of the time I arrived at the surgery center.

My immediate post op experience after my first surgery was a very sore throat (from the breathing tube), lethargy & brain fog from the anesthesia & light-headedness from the Percocet Rxed for pain. If you’re Rxed an opioid pain med, make sure you start taking a stool softener & laxative either the night before surgery or ASAP post op to keep from getting constipated (some doctors don’t warn about this “lovely” side effect of pain meds). Beginning to ice your neck ASAP after surgery is also important to help keep swelling at bay - 15 min. on & at least 45 min. off but do this several times over the day & even at night if possible for at least the first week.

After my first surgery, I was pretty much on a liquid/very soft diet for the first week because my jaw was stiff & my throat so sore. After that I could eat pretty much anything. After my second surgery, I had no sore throat & was able to eat a normal meal when I got home from surgery. Protein powder, fruits, veggies, yogurt, & ice cream all come in handy for making smoothies; popsicles feel good on the throat & soup is nice if you feel like having a warm meal. You can even have a chunkier soup but run it through a blender first if your throat is sore.

Finally, the ever-touted wedge pillow (Bed Bath & Beyond is a good source) is very important as keeping your head elevated especially when sleeping for weeks 1-8 post op (depends on the person) will help w/ inflammation & pain. Many people have found a neck pillow - V or U shaped - used in addition to the wedge pillow to be helpful.

I’m so glad your surgery is soon. The first couple of weeks post op are the worst then the healing really begins. It’s mostly inflammation that causes the early discomfort. Once that begins to subside, symptoms start to fade.

I’ll put your surgical date on my calendar & will pray for you that day in particular.


Thank you so much Isaiah! You provided really good information and I appreciate it. My doctor did tell me I would have a drain. Once again thank you for getting back to me so quickly. The tip about ice and the pillow is very helpful. Thank you for your prayers! Take care.

I had a drain in, so was kept in overnight- actually I think the drain was the worst thing for me! It wasn’t painful, just uncomfortable & it kept catching on things so I couldn’t sleep! But definitely worth it, as I had very little swelling.
My biggest worries & first thoughts when I came round were what woukd swallowing be like (it was fine, I could feel no difference to before!), & would my speech be okay- again that was fine! I also had a big pressure bandage over my head, which was quite a surprise, I don’t know if any other doctors do this though, they took it off the next day when the drain came out.
Meds seem to be different in the UK, so Isaiah’s advice is good on that one- I had some stronger pain meds in hospital but didn’t need them when I got home, just paracetemol.
I couldn’t open my mouth wide, & chewing was painful, so I lived on smoothies, yoghurts etc. & soft foods for a week or two. First bite was annoying, but it passes!
We had quite a walk to the car, I felt really good so didn’t think to use a wheel chair, a bit daft, felt quite wobbly quickly!
And take it easy, I felt okay, so overdid it several times! That sets healing back!
Best wishes, & I’ll make a note of the date so will pray for you…

Forgot to say second surgery was quite different- I guess knowing what to expect helps- but with this one I could open my mouth much easier & chewing was fine! But what was different 2nd time was that the side of my face was very numb, almost like it’d been set in concrete, & my ear that side felt blocked, although it wasn’t! My hearing was really reduced that side, which was a worry, but it passed in 2 weeks & was fine after that. Both times I had numbness around the jaw & cheek, that’s improved alot. I think it all depends on what nerves are close to the styloid & have to be stretched to access it, but they monitor nerves as they go.
I hope this helps!