Surgery with Dr Hackman

Well I am finally having surgery tomorrow after being canceled twice because of COVID. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I am having both sides done with Dr Hackman. Requesting prayers please that the surgery is a success with no complications and a speedy recovery. My biggest fear is the potential nerve damage. Dr Hackman said he’s never had a patient not eventually heal from any nerve inflammation so I have to stand on that.


Glad you’re finally getting there! Of course I’ll pray for you, hope that all goes well…some members have had facial weakness after surgery, but it does seem to improve with time, hopefully you won’t experience that at all. Let us know how you get on when you’re up to it, God Bless :pray: :hugs:

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Good luck with your surgery! I had mine with Dr. Hackman almost 4 weeks ago (mine was also bilateral). Other than some stiffness, and numb ears (pretty common after his method of surgery), I am healing up from the procedure relatively well. As Dr. Hackman says, it mostly just takes time. I will post a full update soon on my story thread, feel free to stay tuned & let me know if you have any questions! Prayers and best of luck!


Hi Sula64,

I’ll be praying for you, too. It’s a giant step for you, but Dr. Hackman does good work. I expect you’ll feel much better after those styloids are gone. :hugs:

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Thanks for the support and prayers. On my way to the hospital now. I will give you guys an update when I am able. Cheers for now.


My surgery got canceled once due to Covid as well ): but at least we finally got to get them! Wishing you a speedy recovery and lots of relief :heart:

Keep us posted, having surgery with him on May 9 .

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Are you having both sides done? Glad that you’re able to have surgery :grinning: :grinning:

Hi Everyone. I am 1 day post op and just got discharged after staying overnight in the hospital. Dr Hackman told my husband the surgery went well. I didn’t get to talk with him yet only his assistant. I have a post op phone visit with him in a couple of weeks. I was surprised that my incisions are so big. My husband said he told him there was extra calcifications he had to remove. My incisions run from the back of my ear to the front of my throat. The left is about 7 inches and the right is 6 inches. Did anyone who had surgery with him have such big incisions?

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Has Anyone Else Who’s in their 70s had ES Surgery?

Glad that the surgery went well! They are longer incisions than most have, but the important thing is to remove all the calcification, so good that Dr Hackman has done that…Any nerve damage, is your face all okay? I hope that you soon see the benefits of surgery, will keep praying for a good recovery for you :hugs: :bouquet: :pray:

This is now day 3 post op. Still in quite a bit of pain but manageable. Icing really does help. No nerve damage to my face, just numbness around the front of my ears. The original numbness to the left side of my jaw is better but not completely gone yet. Flying home yesterday I was praying so hard for the ear pressure not be so bad when landing because I always have acute ear pain when flying and it can take a few days for pressure to equalize. I was so happy that for the first time in my 57 years I had absolutely zero ear pain or pressure from flying. Still a little dizziness when laying down but better. The burning tongue is still there but slightly better. Still a lot of pressure in back of my head but I’m hoping this gets better once the inflammation goes down. I can tuck my chin now without the horrible spasms on the left. So far so good. It’s probably going to take some time for the vagus nerve to wake back up. It was badly compressed on the right. The pulsatile tinnitus is still there as well as the high pitched whine in my ears. Overall, the surgery was a success. It’s just going to take a while for the inflammation to go down so I can see what I am left with symptom wise. I still have what Dr Hauser called severe life-threatening upper cervical instability. So I am sure a lot of my symptoms come from that. It’s just going to take a while to sort it all out.


Glad your surgery went well. My scars are both longer than most people. Once the area is fully closed you just apply gel scar sheets at night that are medical grade you can get on Amazon. You can reuse them until they no longer stick. I alternated with vitamin e during the day. I also purchased a scarf from a company called Coolibar which has Sun protection built in and I use 70 sun screen when going out doors. If you keep the scar out of the sun for one year you will have the best results. My second scar actually has healed better than my first scar from 11 years ago. Hope your symptoms resolve and you heal quickly!

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Thanks for the recommendations Ann. I get a lot of sun living in SW florida. I didn’t even think about that relating to scaring. I would rather not go through the rest of my life looking like the bride of Frankenstein.

That’s great seeing improvements already! You’re probably going to be feeling the worst effects of swelling the next couple of days as it peaks about day 3-5, so be prepared for that. Good that you’re patient, hope you continue to heal well :hugs: :pray:

Your healing plan sounds great, Sula64! A positive, wait & see mindset helps so much! It will take some months & even up to a year for your recovery “picture” to fully develop. I hope that all of your symptoms disappear or at the very least subside to a significant degree. Perhaps what appeared to be life-threatening upper cervical instability was in part being caused by all that extra calcification in your neck.

@Sula64 Hello!
I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing !!?? :purple_heart:

Thanks so much for checking on me. My incisions have healed well. I’ve been using scar gel on it twice a day and I’m amazed at how effective it is. I’m happy to say that the horrible spasms I would get down the left side of my jaw that radiated to my collar bone is completely gone. However, I feel that the cervical instability is worse. I’ve had to work closely with my chiropractor to gently massage the vertebrae back into place; otherwise, I feel it hitting into the back of my incisions. My vagus nerve was very compressed by the right styloid. My inner ear canal on that side is still numb since the surgery and the gastroparesis and other GI symptoms are worse. I start prolotherapy at the end of the month so I’m praying we can get my neck stabilized so my vagus nerve can heal. I’m desperately trying to avoid a craniocervical fusion. The chance of a failed fusion is very high due to the craniectomy I had because of the chiari malformation. I knew beforehand that this surgery was just the beginning of my journey. I still have a lot of work ahead of me but I still have hope.


Hey I’m assuming many of you went from out of town as well. I just booked my hotel for 5 days the hospital had some discounted rates.



I’m so glad for the good things that have resulted from your ES surgery but very sorry for the hard things you still have to face & for the symptoms that haven’t resolved. It’s hard to know which symptoms are caused by ES & which potentially have other causes. I will be praying for you to find a solution other than the cc fusion to help your vagus nerve recover.

Hope is what keeps us going! Good for you for maintaining hope even when “the climb seems steep”.

:hugs: :sparkling_heart: