Recovery day 2

Arrival in Denver started out with a few near misses. I could barely stay conscious driving to my accomodations in Colorado Springs after the plane landed which I assume is due to not getting enough oxygen already then adding the insult of altitude. I was fighting it until I woke up veering into the lane beside me and had to pull over and rest for a couple of hours before I could continue.

Dr. Hepworth called in a neuro vein specialist from North Carolina to assist since they found abnormalities in the cat scan. I basically have no right transverse sinus. That was a nice surprise. I am still waiting on my follow-up to find out all the details, but surgery with Dr. Hepworth went much longer than expected. He relayed to my friend that is with me that there was a lot more going on than expected but not sure what that entails since I didn’t talk to him yet.

My voice has definitely changed and I look like Shrek. The incision is about double what it was supposed to be but thats no big deal. The constant choking sensation is gone which is nice! Everything on the left side is numb. The one thing I expected to be different was blood oxygen and HR. I had vascular eagles. It took a while in recovery to be able to get off oxygen (several hours) and it is still low 90s. HR is still over 100. Maybe the swelling needs to come down more for the circulation to work better. I did manage to hike several hours today in this heat so can’t complain.

Hi @Jjay76!

If you went hiking for several hours in the Denver/Colo Springs area heat today (I just passed through that area a couple of days ago), & it’s only the second day post op, you’re doing amazingly well!! If you’re taking post op steroids, they may be hyping you up & making you feel more energetic than you should feel after a big surgery. I would recommend you take it easy for the rest of the week though. You’ve just had major surgery & your body needs the down time to heal. Tomorrow you may notice an increase in symptoms & pain as by day 3 post op the effects of anesthesia & surgical anti inflammatories has worn off & post op inflammation often flares through day 5. I’d put off hiking & other strenuous exercise for at least 2 weeks & maybe more since you had a more complicated surgery. I pushed myself physically too soon after my first ES surgery & paid for it w/ a slower recovery.

I’m glad your surgery went well & you have a friend w/ you. It’s good to have someone around to help for a few days post op. We’ll look forward to hearing your surgery details if you want to share them once you’ve talked to Dr. Hep.

No worries. I’m not on anything during the day. Just something for pain as needed and a sleep aid. Surprised no antibiotics. I have always found that the quicker I get up and about the quicker recovery happens. Just the way Im made though. I post back when I get more info.

1 Like

I was told by my surgeon to start walking on my second day post op, but it was 15 min at a time at a slow easy pace. I went into my ES surgeries super physically fit but was really knocked down by the both of them. I’m glad your body seems to spring back fast. Just wanted to warn you that you may find this surgery a little more challenging to recover from. That said, we do have members who seem to barely notice they had surgery & are “up & running” w/in a couple of days just like you.

1 Like

Glad that you’re through surgery okay, it sounds like it was very complicated so will be interesting to hear from Dr Hepworth what he found!
Probably best to take it easier for a bit really as the heat & exercise won’t help the swelling go down!

1 Like

Post op today…results are that there was extensive obstructive matter compressing the jugular vein from the hyoid to the styloid. The PA said thick fibrotic material had to be removed basically from the styloid all the way to the collar bone along the jugular which indicated it had been there a long time. It also was attached to the jaw bone.

Well, that explains why you must be feeling so much better! I bet your case was a unique one for Dr. Hepworth! I’m so glad he was thorough in removing everything that needed to come out. I hope your recovery continues well. Just remember to listen to your body & take it easy any day you have pain or fatigue. That will only help your recovery remain smooth & quicker.

Thank you for the update! Please let us know how you’re doing going forward when you have time.

Wow, you’ve been unlucky with that, but lucky that you were able to see a really good surgeon like Dr Hepworth…I hope no more scar tissue builds up, did he say if that was likely?

It kind of caught me off guard so the only question I asked was if we would need to do the other side. It actually is a little disturbing because my dentist did a procedure to release my tongue 2 years ago because it was like stuck to the floor of my mouth and he thought it needed to be released and within 2 weeks he had to do it again and said he had never seen scar tissue come back so fast. A gastroenterologist tried to balloon my esophagus because she found a stricture prior to eagles when no one could figure out why I was choking and when she tried to do it my throat tore. Connecting the dots after yesterday’s post op seems really strange. Has anyone else had this fibrotic tissue all in the neck? I don’t even see anything in the report about a calcified ligament being removed.

I think you have a very unique situation @Jjay76. Being unique is both good & bad. As Jules said, you saw one of the best surgeons on our list for “non-standard” ES cases. Let’s hope there is no scar tissue development as you heal. That’s pretty crazy about your tongue & esophagus surgeries. Hopefully this one is the end of the road surgery for you!

My neurologist asked for his contact info today so he can refer if he has anyone w this in the future.


Good to spread the word & raise awareness about ES :grinning:
Re the scar tissue, there have been some discussions on here about cold laser therapy which is supposed to help, that might be something to look into once you’ve healed if you have any issues? Take care of yourself :pray:

1 Like

Hi @Jjay76
How have you been? Any updates? Hopefully your disappearance doesn’t mean anything bad happened to you!