Well after years of pain and months of doctor’s consults my 1st surgery is coming up in 1 week with Dr Samji! I’m having left side external done and I think it’s really only hitting me now that it’s actually happening. I’m terrified, more so of the general anesthesia than the actual surgery as I have a weird phobia that I won’t wake up and from past experiences, I’m quite a handful when I do wake up
I have a wedge pillow, but is there anything else I should get in advance to prepare for recovery? I got extra strength cepacol throat lozenges to help with any throat pain for the intubation. Not sure if there’s anything else I’ll need? Any advice would be great, and of course positive thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated
That’s great news! I was there in May for my left side and a bit nervous too. Because I had previous surgery(attempts) it was more difficult than usual. Nevertheless they did a fantastic job. Everyone is very reassuring and that made me trust them and what they are doing completely.
I wouldn’t be concerned about the anaestesia. Nowadays it is very safe and no big deal. Furthermore it was the best anaestesia there I ever had and I unfortunately had quite a few before.
Hopefully you feel a bit better now. A bit excitement previous surgery is also good for activating your immune system and wound healing. So don’t be too concerned about that. You are in best hands, you will see…
I would recommend ice popsicles as good pain killer. Ate quite a few of those colored ice bars. (Waterice cools more than cream ice.) And of course 2 or 3 ice packs you can put in the freezer.
Wishing you all the best and keeping my fingers crossed for your surgery.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the support and suggestions. I hadn’t thought about popsicles so I will make sure to get some
Really good news that you’re going to have surgery soon! I don’t think you’re alone in being worried about anesthesia, I’m sure most of us have had that thought about not waking up…but as TheDude says, they are safer these days.
TheDude’s also given you some good advice, I’d suggest getting smoothies/ soft foods ready (not sure where you’ll be staying, if that’ll be possible?) as quite a few of us have had trouble chewing and opening our mouths wide after surgery.
One of our members, seamom, did a ‘surgery shopping list’ with suggestions, here’s a link:
Surgery shopping list - General - Living with Eagle
I’d suggest getting some laxatives ready or prunes/ figs, whatever you prefer, as some of the painkillers can cause constipation. Some members have been wary of washing their hair because of the wound, so you could get some dry shampoo to keep you going.
And if you use the search function to look for what to expect after surgery, there are lots of topics about that you can get ideas from, & get prepared.
I hope that your surgery goes well!
Thanks Jules! This is all really great advice and I will definitely check out the shopping list
You will be in good hands at that surgery center. They take very good care of you. If you have had some bad experiences in the past, make sure (insist) to have the anesthesiologist call you the night before to discuss your concerns. The go over it again when they check you in.
I found a u-shaped pillow to go on top on the wedge pillow very helpful. I still use the combination at home as it stabilizes my neck and have ordered more of them. It may be too late to order one unless you have it shipped to where you are staying. I ordered mine off amazon, Its actually called an L-pillow made by “Contour”.
I didnt have much problems with sore throat from intubation. I found watermelon to be very soothing and didnt have to chew it much. I had a little first bite 2nd time around. I found trader joes mac & cheese which is microwavable to be pretty tasty. Also Jimmy dean breakfast bowls (frozen section). You can swallow these without chewing and they are soft. Pasta seems to go down easy and smoothies. Also acai bowls.
My last suggestion is to fill your RX the day you get it. I had problems finding pain killers at the Walgreens in Los Gatos and had to go elsewhere to get it filled. I waited until Saturday to find another one and had problems filling it which required a call to doctor on call…especially if it is oxycodone. This took several hours and was pretty stressful thinking I could have them before surgery.
Good luck with your travels and surgery!
Hi Zoero! I’m so excited for you and am sure your surgery will go splendidly, so don’t waste another second worrying about anything. Focus on how nice it will be to finally be pain free when it’s all over. I will say some prayers for you and for a speedy recovery!
Hi Zoero! I stocked up on yogurt, bone broth, pudding, ice cream, and eggs. I had both sides done at the same time so eating soft food the first week was needed. Definitely laxatives of various strengths, including magnesium citrate full strength, which finally worked. My doctor made incisions around the the front of my ears, which are still a bit tender 2 months post-surgery. In anticipation of that I found a soft latex pillow with holes for my head and ears. It kept my head stationary and upright the first month and has made it easier to transition back to my sides for sleeping. I was worried about hair washing but my doctor used really strong glue on my skin (stitches underneath) and he told me to shower and wash my hair the day after surgery. I had 3 ice packs to rotate the first few days to reduce swelling. Really, though, even with both out at once, it was not bad at all - pain was easily managed, I was eating soft fish and grits in a restaurant after my overnight hospital stay and my husband drove us home - 2 day trip - with no issues. I think the surgeons who do this frequently have perfected the methods now so it is pretty easy recovery. Good luck with it. Don’t worry about it. Focus on the knowledge that you will feel better when those styloids are out.
Dr. Samji is wonderful! I was his 13th patient to do this surgery. Now, he’s probably done hundreds of styloidectomies. I really didn’t have much of a sore throat, and I ate Soft foods for a few days. Make sure you get a script for a step down of doses from the prednisone , to wean you off as I gave you a high dose during the surgery. Also, if you take the pain meds, they can make you severely constipated, so stock up on what you need for laxatives, i.e. magnesium citrate. A wedge pillow is good. I used extra pillows placed between the head of the mattress and the box spring. He covers the incision with Tegaderm, and that will be removed when you go back to see him in 10 to 14 days. That will keep the incision clean and dry. If you have any questions text his nurse. She gets right back to you. You could ask for her phone number to text. Know that you are in good hands. He removed both of my elongated styloids. I called him my hero. I woke up with no ear pain. I wish you the very best keep us posted
Thank you for your post, Polly! I completely agree! Dr. Samji did both of my surgeries & helped return my life to normal. Thank you for coming back to share your experience with him. I think I was his 75th ES surgery (or something like that). You were definitely on the early end of his experience!! And, yes, he has done over 300 ES surgeries now.
My husband just had surgery Mon. Swelling and pain much less than expected. He was able to eat anything by day 2. Curious to see how day 3 will be.
I found a blow up wedge pillow on amazon. Perfect for travel. I think $12. received in one day.
Trader Joes has fresh soups and refrigerated ones to heat up that have come in handy.
Wow thank you everyone for your support, sharing your experiences, and giving me great advice! I truly would be lost without this group of amazing people. I’m flying to San Jose today and I’m feeling a lot less nervous now. I will update everyone after my surgery on Monday
Thank you for letting us know how things are going. So glad your husband’s recovery is going smoothly! I’ll be praying for that to continue.
That’s good news! Swelling can get worse so around day 5 things can get more painful, be prepared for that & don’t panic if he feels rougher. Hopefully healing will keep going smoothly!
Hope that your surgery has gone well, have been praying that it has. Thinking of you
My surgery went well. He removed 4.5cm from the original 5.2cm, as well as removed both stylohyoid and stylomandibular ligaments. I’m a bit shocked by how much pain I’m in, and also quite nauseated from the pain meds but I know this will get better over time. I’ll update my recovery as the days progress.
Thank you for your update, Zoero. Your nausea may be from the anesthesia. If it lasts more than 24 hrs, do call & request a different pain med. We don’t have too many members that end up w/ both the s-h & s-m ligaments calcified but it does occasionally happen. Ice your neck frequently & keep your head elevated as those two things will help a lot over the this week.
I will be praying for your pain to lessen as the week progresses.
I feel much less nauseated today. They kept pushing IV dialudid post op because my pain was so bad so I think that’s why I felt sick. I feel ok on the Percocet though. He said my stylohyoid ligament was fused to my hyoid bone so he had to re-sect it. I have lots of swallowing pain so I’m sure thats just from messing with the hyoid so much. My left ear is completely numb but I heard that’s normal and I passed the nerve function test so I’m not worried. All in all, everything went very well and I do feel better today compared to yesterday
Thanks for the update & glad that you’re feeling a bit better! Will keep praying for you
Glad you are doing better Zoero!
2nd time around I had that nausea too (from IV pain meds) and ZOFRAN did zero for it. Like you, it eventually passed but no fun to deal with it.
I had alot of numbness myself which was preferable over pain. I still have some numbness and Im about 1.5 yrs and 9 mths out on my surgeries. I have found that having some massage and stretching the neck loosens things up. Usually by weeks 6-8 you see it subside for the most part. Given the hyoid involvement, you might have some extra weeks of recovery.
Wishing you steady improvement in the coming days