Surgery complete with Dr Hackman 6/20/22

Hi y’all,

I can finally update after my surgery with Dr Hackman this Monday.

I had some pretty bad post anesthesia reactions and was in and out of the ER, so I haven’t had a chance to focus on my healing and how I feel until now.

The surgery went well and he successfully removed both styloids to skull base. Dr Hackman really is one of the best here. Surgery was under two hours and for my left side he only needed to go from in front of my ear. It’s amazing to me that I just had neck surgery and I’m discharged from the hospital the next day and not chugging oxy.

My pain is typical and I have been getting by on Tylenol. Just the headache, ear ache but nothing crazy.

It’s too early to say anything about my vascular symptoms but I am seeing some small positive signs, but I’ll need to see how I really feel once I can distinguish between surgery pain and the regular my iih and that will just take time.

I will say though, that my neck feels amazing. No longer feels stiff, I have full range of motion, and no more poking when I turn right. All in all, neck feels amazing and I’m hoping with time my other symptoms will resolve or improve.

I will continue to update as things become more clear to me. Thank you everyone for your support!

Including pics of my nasty styloids. Small one was what was left over from my previous surgery.

9 Likes

Glad it is over. Wishing all the best in recovery. I wish we had competent ES surgeons like Hackman who removes it from the base here in Canada.

4 Likes

Glad that it’s done & you can concentrate on healing now, good that you’ve seen improvements in the neck stiffness already! I hope the swelling’s not too bad & will keep praying for you! :pray:

2 Likes

Something I forget to mention is that I have essentially zero nerve damage from this surgery. I’m amazed how Dr Hackman can get the styloids to skull base and avoid any major nerve damage. All I have is small numbness by the neck incision and my bottom right lip is a bit off, but these are such minor details I won’t even be thinking about it.

5 Likes

I’m so glad to hear you are doing well! I have my appointment with Dr Hackman in August and I cannot wait. Continued prayers for an easy recovery! I’m so happy for you to have this behind you.

5 Likes

@elijah - so glad to read your great reports. Sorry for the immediate post op troubles but so glad you’re home & recovering now & w/o narcotic pain meds! That is remarkable!! Things may get a bit more uncomfy over the next few days so keep the ice & Tylenol handy. Don’t skip pain med doses for a few days even if you don’t have much pain because if it does flare up, it can be tough to “catch up” w/ the pain meds later.

Hoping for a good quick recovery for you & GREAT NEWS! about the lack of nerve injury!!! :hugs:

3 Likes

Wow! The one looks like a monster! Thrilled for you to be on the back side of surgery and on your recovery path! Sending you well wishes for an easy stress-free recovery!

4 Likes

Thank you all for the well wishes.

This surgery has definitely been harder on me than my first one but I’m hanging in there and know that I’m still very early in recovery.

I know days 3-5 is when inflammation is worst and I definitely feel the pain around my jaw, forehead and cheeks due to the ear incisions and I what I believe was the jaw being displaced during the surgery for access.

I’m still getting by on just Tylenol so it’s obviously not that bad.

I will continue to update here.

3 Likes

Thank you for the update! I must say, I’m amazed & in awe of you for being able to manage bilateral surgery pain w/ only Tylenol. I’ve always thought I had a high pain threshold, but in retrospect, maybe I’m a pain wimp. :joy: Tylenol wasn’t even in my vocabulary when I was recovering from my unilateral ES surgeries. Maybe it should have been!!

2 Likes

Nah, there were definitely moments I almost took oxy. I’m just dealing with so many post anesthesia issues that I fear that the oxy will make some of them worse so I’m just avoiding and know it’ll get better with every passing day.

4 Likes

That is a fantastic mindset! Good for you!!

2 Likes

Keep us updated every passing day @elijah, we will keep our :crossed_fingers: for you :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thinking of you! :hugs: :pray:

2 Likes

10 post op update:

I am glad to report that I am seeing quite a few significant improvements with my old symptoms.

  1. Brain fog seems to be gone.

  2. Facial pressure is at a minimum if there at all. It’s just sometimes hard to distinguish it from surgery pain

  3. Vision has drastically improved. No more double vision, blurry or bouncing with my pulse!

This all seems to good to be true for me, and I am reminded that I had a brief period of relief after my first surgery. However, this feels different, if only because they removed the remaining styloid from my left side and the complete one from my right.

I am still dealing with pain and pressure that are around my ears that seems to sometimes wrap around my head. Dr Hackman and I both believe this is surgery related due to it originating from my surgery spots and will get better with time.

My fbs is acting up pretty bad so we’re gonna keep an eye on that, but it’s a trade-off I will make 10/10 times.

I am also getting some burning like sensation around the top back of my head. I wonder if this is nerve related?

4 Likes

:clap: :v: I am glad you are seeing this. Perhaps, a result of both compression being removed at once and draining normally so the optic nerve sheath does not have CSF build up nor in the brain hence the lift of the brain fog. BTW, @Msdstc also reported that he was feeling good after the double styloidectomy with Hackman so he might be giving it a time before reporting similar findings. All in all, it is a good trend.

4 Likes

That’s really good news, brilliant to see such an improvement already!
The pain at the back of your head could well be nerve pain if it’s a burning pain- the common nerves which get irritated with surgery/ ES like the Trigeminal nerve & the Facial nerve don’t run quite to the back of your head, my guess is maybe the position of your neck during surgery could’ve caused the muscles to tense & cause a nerve to be irritated?
I hope that you keep healing well, & thanks for the updates!

2 Likes

Thanks guys. I will continue to update and I hope to continue to have good news.

For now, as long as I don’t regress I’ll have a better idea once my surgery pain goes away. I do have the fear that my symptoms will suddenly comes roaring back due to my IJV closing, but I’m staying hopeful and I don’t have a specific reason to assume that they will close up now I guess it’s just some PTSD from last time.

4 Likes

It’s understandable to be worried, especially after your last surgery, but hopefully Dr Hackman will have got enough out for you!

2 Likes

FANTASTIC NEWS! So glad you’re seeing these good results already!!

Don’t worry if symptoms come & go a bit as that seems to be part of the healing process. I had horrendous FBS but over time the shocking pain it caused gradually faded. I still have mine a little bit but have noticed in the last year or two it continues to become less & less of a problem. It’s been nearly 8 years since my ES surgery so I find it interesting that those nerves are still in recovery mode. FBS is caused by an overactive parotid gland which I learned recently is innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve. Since that nerve is one of the cranial nerves often negatively impacted by ES, this new info made a lot of sense in explaining why some of us get FBS post op.

2 Likes

Two week update.

Most of my previous iih symptoms seem to be gone. I’m hoping this lasts. Vision is way better. Brain fog is gone. Head pressure seems to be gone.

I am still having a lot of pressure in my ears and jaw and I seem to have some sort of nose pressure now, it kinda feels like there’s liquid stuck in the back of my nose, sort of like a post nasal drip feeling but with pressure. I’m a little nervous this is iih related but I’m hoping it’s somehow surgery related and will go away with time.

Any insight on that would be helpful.

4 Likes