Surgery with Dr. Samji scheduled for 7/29 - Qs

I just met with Dr. Samji and have scheduled my left side surgery for 7/29. I was very impressed by him. He has now done over 300 Eagles surgeries.

I am also a little nervous now that the surgery is actually scheduled.

My ear/throat/tongue/tooth pain are pretty well controlled with Motrin every 4 hours when it’s bad, but the Motrin may be contributing to my increasing tinnitus in both ears, so I want to quit taking it. I also have times when something catches in my throat, making swallowing difficult and painful - the Motrin doesn’t help with that. Dr. Samji said it was probably the ligament catching.

He asked if I had trouble turning my head. I said no at the time, but I have had limited range of motion on the left side for several years now. I just didn’t think the two could be related. Does anyone else have trouble turning their head?

My other big problem is teaching. My pain is worse after I talk all day, and my voice becomes hoarse. It’s the same if I sing for any length of time. Dr. Samji said we wouldn’t know if that was caused by the SP or not until he took it out. I’d be interested in talking to others with voice issues.

And, I’m interested in learning more about first bite syndrome. I think I had it after my tonsil surgery. The first few bites made me cry, then eating was much better. This lasted a couple of weeks. Does this sound like the same thing?

Overall, he said my SP process was long enough (over 5cm) to be the likely cause of my symptoms, and that the risk of nerve damage was about 1%. He feels that I am a good candidate for surgery. So, I’m hopeful that this will work a lot better than my tonsil surgery did to help my symptoms. I’m so thankful to live close to San Jose.

That’s good that you have a date for surgery!
And with a very experienced doctor too…
There have been quite a few doctors who’ve had voice issues, & there is a link to a research paper mentioning this as being caused by ES, you can use the search function to read up on other’s experiences- teachers & singers especially have had the voice issues, I guess maybe because they’re using their voices more it becomes more noticeable?
Not everyone gets first bite & it can vary in intensity, but it generally wears off in time. What you describe after your tonsil surgery sounds like it. I know Isaiah40:31 still has it at times, I had it happen again the other day, weird as I hadn’t had it for ages! A small price to pay given how much ES symptoms have improved…


I have just scheduled my surgery with Dr. Congnetti, the ES expert here on the east coast, for June 17th. Now that my surgery has been scheduled I am nervous but excited - or as someone else described here in the forum as “nercited.”

My symptoms are similar to yours. The pain is worse at times then others. When they are not so bad I think that I can manage without surgery - heat, ice, ibuprofen, sleep, no overexertion, etc. I do appreciate all that report on their surgery outcomes, but some of the results seem very scary, so much so that I try not to read those posts. I have to remind myself that everyone is different and each outcome will be such.

My most chronic symptom is that the pain in my neck, under my chin makes it feel like I have the onset of the flu all of the time - again sometimes worse than others. The poking feeling in my throat is always present, which may be the cause of pain in the back of my tongue. Like you, my voice changes - it gets raspy and sore after talking for long periods. I do not know how you can teach. This pain limits my time socializing and will turn down events from this. I have limited range in turning my neck but its not truly painful, but uncomfortable.

I also have radiating pain on the left side from my neck to my ear, cheek and teeth. This nerve pain is random and may not appear for days, but its very unpleasant and painful when it pops up. The pain in my teeth sent me to the dentist. While I did have some work done, he wants to wait to see how the surgery works before doing root canal. He said that it may not be needed. (He was one of the first doctors who actually believed in ES!)

Dr. Cognetti asked me if the symptoms appeared slowly or quickly. For me it seemed to happen overnight. This did not surprise him. I like that the surgeon experts in ES are selective in agreeing who to perform surgery on - they want good outcomes and of course, so do we.

All the best to my fellow eaglet sufferers.

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I really thank you for your response. It sounds like we are in similar situations - similar symptoms and similar that they are not present all the time.

I have had the swallowing problem sporadically for a few years, but when I got the cluster of symptoms around my left ear/jaw/tongue/chin, the catch while swallowing has intensified too. My bone pokes into my throat so I definitely feel a lump in my throat. Teaching this year has been a real challenge, especially if I pick up any virus from the class.

You make a good point about the drs doing their own screening. They know who they believe they can help.

I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about how well it goes for you!


Thank you. I will look up the research paper about voice issues - all the symptoms are problematic to different extents, but not being able to have a strong voice all day is very tough as an elementary school teacher.