One day post op, external surgery

Hello, had my surgery done yesterday. Previous topic: New user, possible eagle syndrome, scheduled for styloid removal in 5 days. Question about jugular vein compression

They removed left styloid completely. How many of you guys had throat swelling? It’s hard to swallow and breathe. Using lots of ice and receiving lots of meds. Thanks

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Great that you’re through surgery! Difficulty swallowing does happen sometimes, if you can use icepacks that will help with swelling, & if you’re not on them steroids can help too. A couple of members have had fluid build up which has caused problems recently, @JPB in his post:
Preparing for the big day - Dr. Hackman - General - Living with Eagle
And Tikimon recently…:
Styloidectomy surgery coming up. Need help with information on post surgery symptoms - General - Living with Eagle
I hope that the meds work for you soon, praying for you :pray:

So sorry to hear you are experiencing more swelling - it is definitely expected post op.

I am approaching my 2-week anniversary since receiving my bilateral ES surgery with Dr. Hackman at UNC. Here are some symptoms and feedback:

  1. Swelling - I have swelling in the neck, head, and still some in my belly/body. I originally put on 20-30 pounds of water weight 48hrs after surgery (they believe it was the nerve med or an allergic reaction to the anesthesia) and 5 days with a diuretic helped. I am now 10 pounds up from my original weight.

  2. Throat - I have had issues with not being able to swallow well for years. Fortunately, I have injections at Northwestern prior (30-45 days) to my ES surgery at UNC, and those reduced the symptoms. Having said that, my throat is extremely tight, painful, and soft foods/liquid/fruit cold drinks, helps tremendously!!! I wouldn’t worry as much about this until you are weeks into your recovery since it is normal to have discomfort with this type of surgery.

  3. Sleep - I am averaging 3hrs of sleep a night, normally waking up with neck pain. I expect this to decrease over time. Had to purchase a temporary night guard since I was biting my inner gums.

  4. Meds - I am only taking ibuprofen now (2-3 times a day, 2-3 pills per the MD), and occasional CBD (with melatonin) to sleep. For a few days I went cold turkey, but ended up back in the ER (2nd visit there) with excess water weight and stress on my body since I had massive swelling with no pain reducing med to allow me to sleep or rest.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have and I am happy to share my experience.


@green_potato - I LOVE your picture - especially the eagle addition. The happy face emoji is good too!

I had the exact throat swelling & feeling of not being able to breathe or swallow well after my surgery. My surgeon Rxed a 10 day course of prednisone that saves me. I took it every morning in hopes it wouldn’t keep me awake at night (a side effect of prednisone) & w/in an hour, my breathing & swallowing were much better for the day. By the next morning, I’d feel bad again but after prednisone felt much better.
I slept w/ my head elevated abt 30° at night which also helped. It wasn’t comfy to sleep at such an angle but was worth it to help my throat & reduce the swelling in my neck. The throat & breathing sensations lasted about 6 weeks for me but others have gotten over it faster.

I’m so glad your surgery is done & your healing has begun. :hugs:


Thanks for your support! I will post an update once I will feel better. So far so good. The swelling in the throat was probably because of the intubation, but the y still give me prednisalone. Right now I’m dealing with another problem. When I swallow my throat goes to one side towards where my other styloid is, I’m wondering if this because of the inflammation. Surgeons did a great job, seems like I don’t have any nerve problems


If your other styloid is elongated or the stylo-hyoid ligament calcified it could be that it’s creating rigidity now one side has been freed, so could be why you feel swallowing is different. Swelling will peak about days 3-5, so you might feel things improve after that…


Isaiah do you recall what mg your prednisone script was? My gf who has some autoimmune difficulties asked why wouldn’t low dose prednisone work for me to settle things … Will ask the group but seems like a reasonable course/question while waiting for surgery (being aware of the timing, etc).

Hi @Leah,

Good question! I know prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory which could possibly help reduce your pain by decreasing inflammation that’s causing nerve irritation. It might be worth a try depending on how long it is until your surgery. Unfortunately, prednisone can have some nasty side effects: extreme irritability, hyperactivity, inability to sleep well, difficulty w/ mental focus, & jitteryness, to name a few. It also reduces the immune system, & w/ longer term use can rob the bones of calcium. You might do better to try a nerve pain medication such as Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, or Carbamazepine. The main side effect from these is sleepiness so it’s often recommended to take it before bed. Nerve pain meds can take a week or more to work so they are something you need to commit to for awhile to get the best results.

I don’t recall the exact starting dose for my post op course of prednisone, however, it was a tapered course, something like - 50 mg/ x 2 days, 40 mg x 2days, 30 mg x 2 days, 20 mg x 2 days & 10 mg x 4 days or something like that. Most doctors won’t prescribe long-term prednisone because it can be detrimental to your health/body, though as your friend noted, it is commonly used to help people w/ the symptoms of some autoimmune diseases.

Thank you… Agree on all. Have a script for Gabapentin so will give that a go.

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Some doctors do lidocaine/ steroid injections into the tonsillar area to help with ES pain & inflammation, it has helped some of our members but not everyone…

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