Other surgery While having ES

Hi! I was wondering if anyone has had any trouble with other surgeries while still having Es. Back on April 5, my styloid on right side was 3.5 cm. The ligament was partially calcified. The report said this was discontinuous and not an entire elongated structure yet. My left is only 1mm. With one dot of calcification. I have not been able to get a doctor is officially diagnosis me other than my dentist. My pcp only ordered a ct because I asked. My symptoms are mainly ear pain, sometimes jaw pain, off and on pulsatile tinnitus, sore throat occasionally. I may have to have gallbladder surgery and was wondering if anyone’s had trouble with other surgeries? I thinking my main issue may be intubation. Thank you for any input.

I’ve not had major surgery before ES surgery, just lighter sedation, but I know others have, so hopefully they’ll chip in. But I agree the intubation & position they put your head & neck in could be a problem, I would imagine that your ES symptoms will be worse afterwards. When you have your pre-op I would mention this, & again when you see the anaesthetist (?sp., early in the morning here!!), in the UK you see them as well just before the op, mention it again. Just in case the calcified ligament you have makes your neck tight to position.
Have you got a date?

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Hi melb777,

I agree w/ Jules regarding neck position & intubation but also want to encourage you: Gallbladder surgery is much simpler than it used to be. It’s done laparoscopically w/ a small incision above your gallbladder. This helps recovery be much quicker because you don’t have a huge abdominal incision from which to recover.

The fact that your styloid is elongated & your s-h ligament is partially calcified & are considered discontinuous & not an entire elongated structure makes no difference regarding whether or not you have ES. My styloids were both elongated & my ligaments both partially calcified. Either one of those things alone, in the presence of ES symptoms, adds up to ES. I’m sorry you’re having troubles finding a qualified surgeon to acknowledge that. Do try sending your CT scans to someone like Drs. Samji, Milligan or Cognetti for a second opinion. Having a phone conference w/ one of them does not obligate you to seeing them for surgery.


I had my left tonsil out about 6 weeks ago, before I knew that my symptoms were caused by Eagle’s. Post- surgery, I had more symptoms, but it’s hard to tell which were from my tonsillectomy and which were from the ES. At any rate, I now feel much as I did before the surgery.

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@MLNPG Thank you! That’s what I’m thinking too. I’m gonna feel worse but then will eventually go back to pre op symptoms. Since your had a tonsil removed it definitely be hard to tell. I’m worried my sore throat will feel worse.

@Isaiah_40_31 Yes I will definitely need to get back on the ES hunt once I found i what to do with my gallbladder. Apparently I have stones. Terrified of the surgery but know it’s very common and much easier to recover from these by like you say laporscopic. I think I’m afraid my off and on sore throat which I assume is from ES will be very bad after gb surgery due to being intubated. I’m definitely going to mention it to the surgeon.

@Jules no date yet. I see the surgeon June 10 and can hardly eat anything. I had my first major gb attack and it’s still affecting me. Terrified of surgery and terrified of intubation. Of the pain it will cause my throat even more. I’m definitely going to mention the ES, I’m just discouraged already because I don’t think they understand. We shall see what happens. Thank you.

Hi melb777, I didn’t have surgery prior to my ES procedure, but of course I had anesthesia during the ES surgery and did not have any difficulty. I agree with the recommendation to explain all this to the anesthesiologist. He or she is the expert and will be strongly invested in your having the best possible surgical course. The gallbladder surgery sounds necessary, so perhaps it is not a question of whether to have it but how to make it as safe and comfortable as possible. I will say that after having my ES surgery I was not at all eager to vomit or do anything else dramatic with my jaw (I am vulnerable to having reaction to some of the meds), so from that perspective taking care of digestion first might be great order in my humble and non-medical opinion.


@onelessstyloid thank you, I’m definitely going to explain this before the surgery. Sometimes it’s hard to explain something I don’t fully understand myself. The doctors in my areas have been unable to help me. But you are right the gallbladder surgery is necessary. I pray it won’t flare up my ES too much. Thanks again.

I will resend. I sent a picture of my ct with my name, so I deleted it.
I had several surgeries with intubation before having my styloids removed. They were both over 5.1 cm before I had a partial removal intra orally in 2013. I had 5 surgeries after that before having the styloids removed. I suspect that you will be fine, but your ears and neck and throat will be more painful for a short while. I recommend that
you gently masage any tight painful areas around the skull neck under the jaw and around the eat after surgery. No massge therspists or Physical therapists. They tend to overdo. If your massaging causes pain, then just lightly apply pressure to any knots and breathe slowly and deeply. If the knots disappear after a minute or so, they were just tight areas. If they don’t try again later. Sometimes swollen areas take time.
I recommend that you have the styloid removed before doing many more surgeries. I believe all my surgeries played a role in pinching my nerves and freezing my neck muscles, if not just the years I spent trying to fix my shoulder blade pain before changing direction.
My first ENT gave me a steroid ointment to put in and around the ear. Putting it just into the ear seemed to alleviate some pain and swelling.
Bring a copy of your Ct scan to the anesthesiologist and or tell him that your " temporal styloid is calcified and elongated and your stylohyoid is calcified" and ask if they can be very gentle on that side when intubating. They understand anatomy better than the term Eagles syndrome.
Best if you can use the tutorial on this site and get a picture of a 3D view of your styloid. Note: 3 D slicer does not save the view so when you have something that looks relatively good on the monitor, you need to take a picture of it on your cell phone. Then you can download your picture and print it to send to doctors.
Once you have that picture, any doctor in the field of ENT or oral surgery or related areas should take note. I would attach my picture, but the one that I have available has my name and other info for my doctors.


@emma you’re a lifesaver. I remember reading through some of you older posts and was going to private message you very soon. You beat me to it. :slightly_smiling_face:. Thank you so much for all this helpful information. Idk what I’m more terrified about. The pain of the surgery afterwards or the pain of my throat afterwards. But all of this is so helpful. Ok sure i will be reaching out again soon. Also would you know the name of that ointment for your ears? Also other than massaging did you find anything else that helped your neck and throat after multiple surgeries?

Betamethasone Dipropinate , my spelling is off on the second word. It worked to relieve the itching in my ear from nerves and a little of the pain. Lidocaine ointment also helps. I have used OTC lidocaine lotion on a Q tip, but the prescription steroid was best. I cannot use steroids anymore without the approval of my eye doctor.
My pain level after Eagles surgery was worse after intraoral. My doctor did not use steroid IV or injections and I believe I had way more swelling and on a soft food diet for weeks. The partial styloidectomy did not ever get rid of all my pain, but it became tolerable after 11 weeks, then way worse after about 3 years. I found out later that the remaining partial styloid was thick or grew thicker over time. The surgery itself was done very well, and checked out months later by a second surgeon that operated on Eagles patients.
Often the external surgeons use IV steroids during surgery, which carries over a couple weeks to keep swelling and pain down.
I did not need much more than tylenol and ice after my first external surgery. I think I used about 6 tramadol and only got those a week after surgery. My second surgery, I had very little after surgery pain. Tylenol was good enough. The facial paralysis caused my eye to be excessively dry and that was painful and scary, but I learned to manage that. I am doing well, now.
A 7 inch wedge pillow and an airline travel pillow and sleeping sitting up a bit were important to keep pain away. Ice packs. Ice packs. I have a small old fashion ice bag and at least 4 small gel pads.
Recovery is different for each person, some of us have more pain than others.
So worry about the gallbladder for now. One thing at a time.