Surgery on November 26th

Hello everyone. Here is my story:

33 year old Male. 5'11" 165lbs Texas

For several years now I have been suffering with TMJ symptoms. Spoke with my dentist and thought we would revisit the issue one day in the future. A few weeks ago my ear began hurting and I was unable to swallow because of the pain. I thought I had an ear infection. Went to the clinic and "Kevin" the PA told me I had Eustachian Tube Disorder. He gave me a script for $120 Nasonex and a corticoid shot. I was still unable to ear and asked my wife to find an ENT in the area for me to see that day. I was lucky and she found Dr. Guillory. I was able to see him at 2:00pm that day. He did a thorough exam and said he suspected it may be Eagle's Syndrome. I had never heard of it. He ordered a CT for a few days later. CT came back and he confirmed the diagnosis. Both styloids are elongated, but the right one extends all the way to the stylohyoid ligament, which is beginning to harden.

No one in my area does surgery for this, so he referred me to Dallas. I was able to see Dr. Chan at UT Southwestern a few days ago. She agreed with the diagnosis and I have surgery scheduled for the 26th.

The surgery will be extra-oral. What can I expect? How long of a recovery? What medicines after surgery and for how long? How long of an incision and where? There is not a lot of information online and I can't seem to find any videos or pictures of the extra oral surgery.

Thank you all.


Meant to add some of my symptoms:

Sharp radiating pain when swallowing, sore throat, ear ache, jaw pain, neck pain in back of neck, slight headache.

Aggravated by swallowing, sneezing, yawning, turning head left, sticking tongue out or pulling it far back in mouth. Brushing teeth made it worse as well.

I live in Houston and after 5 years of unbearable pain and symptoms, I was finally diagnosed. I was diagnosed with several things and every non-invasive and invasive tests were done. I feel relieved to know but so bitter for the last 5 years to have no life. I went to another TMJ dr in 8/13 that had a ct-scan that picked up my styloids. He felt I had Eagle’s syndrome, i saw a couple of drs here that could not give me their final opinion but just wanted to put a bandaid on my symptoms. Of course, it has not helped!
I am having surgery on 11/25. Dr Samji in Ca. I think that the medical community in Texas needs to not rush to TMJ diagnosis. I was too diagnosed with TMJ, 3 years ago and spent $3,000.00. on orthotic and tens treatments that just aggravated my pain and made symptoms more. Welcome to the group and wish you luck on your surgery!

Thanks, Amy. I did try calling some ENTs in Houston but got nowhere. UT Southwestern has been very helpful. Sorry you had to go so far to get help. Let us know how it turns out. I will try to update when I have my surgery also.

Any other experiences with the extra-oral surgery?

I too had been diagnosed with eustachian tube disorder and TMJ. My bite jaw/bite was out of alignment by 3mm to the left side.(currently in a orthotic/jaw splint)

The splint did lessen some symptoms but never took them away. During the process of evaluation for proper placement of jaw and possible wisdom tooth hitting a nerve came the possible diagnosis for ES. It was the oral surgeon that saw the styloids/ligaments on the panorex.

Confirmed by Dr. Samji and I had the left side removed on 10/28/13.

My incision is 2 inches. He usually does 1 to 1 1/2. (needed to do more than expected)

I was given antibiotics, prednisone, and pain meds.

Still in recovery mode..... Was told that swelling would take approx 6 weeks to go down.

Maybe......Try to find out how your surgeon/s do theirs. Not sure they are all doing them the same way?

Will they be removing the whole thing or partial? Is another good question to ask.

Happy to answer any other questions you may have :)

  1. The surgeon said she would try to remove as much as possible and going extra oral would allow her to do that. She also said that it was too long to go trans-oral so she wouldn't have a choice but to go extra-oral. She said a "small" incision so I am unsure of how many inches. Hoping for fast relief and a quick recovery.

I think it is a good thing that she decided to do what was best for you and for her to get better access to it. :)

Praying you have relief and a speedy recovery :)

David wishing you the best on your surgery today,and fast recovery.

Best to you during your recovery!!!

Update: surgery went well. Could tell a difference as soon as I woke up. I do, however, have a lot of pain at the moment in my throat.certainly the worst sore throat I have ever experienced. This will probably go away in the next few days. Hurts even worse to swallow. Was given Cephalexin 500mg and hydrocodone/APAP 10-325 T.

Happy that everything went well :)

Sorry about the pain it does get better!

Praying for a speedy recovery :)

Unfortunately we are both having recovery week!!:(. But I am just icing it up and sleeping with a wedge pillow. My husband bought it bed bath beyond per Dr Samji to keep head elevated above 30 degrees to reduce the swelling. Did you ask your surgeon if you could have cough drops or lots of Popsicles?

HOw are you doing? What was your experience with Dr. Chan, I am updating my spreadsheet and we need to know if we should recommend him. Hope you are doing well and enjoying the New Year with less pain.