Surgery with Hackman TOMORROW 12/21

Thanks to the support I’ve received on this forum and the information I’ve gathered here, I went from thinking I would never feel better after a series of weird symptoms cropped up 6-mos after an ENT found my Styloid in my left tonsil and broke it off from their to having some hope Dr. Hackman’s revision surgery will provide some relief. I just want my life back! I am currently on full medical leave from a job I love and I miss my clients desperately (from the sound of it they are giving my colleagues a run for the money and are hoping this surgery has me back in the office ASAP). I am starting to have worry thoughts that this won’t work and I will still experience these debilitating symptoms of the past 8 months. The stories I read on here give me hope. My surgery is at 8am tomorrow… I don’t really need anything with this post… just feel like I know you all at this point even though I rarely post… like I said, you give me hope and have helped me so much already and for that I am so grateful.

Actually, if anyone can speak to how long before their pre-revision symptoms went away (e.g., pulsatile tinnitus, clogged ear, headaches, pain at base of skull, dizziness, positional symptoms, brain fog, increased ICP, etc) after surgery that could be helpful. I am sure it is very individualized but hearing some timelines could help.

Thanks again for everything!


Hi @SamiA,

I’m thinking of you and sending positive thoughts across.
Sufficient surgery gave me some instant relief and I felt really well for few days after surgery. Then it got a little bit worse before it is very slowly getting better again. I had few surgeries already and for the last two most sufficient this was the case. In prior surgeries they didn’t shorten the styloids far enough. Is this the case for you, too?

Hoping that everything runs smoothly for you and Dr. H and that surgery brings you a lot of improvements. You are in good hands with Dr. H as I know from reading this forum. Good luck! :crossed_fingers: :four_leaf_clover:


Hi! Wishing you all the best for your surgery, will be praying that it’s successful for you and that your symptoms will resolve quickly :pray:
I had jugular compression & similar symptoms, mine did go really quickly after surgery, but that appears to be unusual. Mine had only been compressed I think for a year, others on here have had compression symptoms for much longer so seeing the benefits of surgery has taken longer, & occasionally there might need to be stenting…So don’t panic if you don’t feel instant relief!
I guess you’ve read the advice about taking care of yourself post-op, keeping part upright, icing etc?
God bless, & let us know how you get on when you’re up to it :hugs: :bouquet: :pray:


Hi @SamiA -

I’m so glad you have surgery tomorrow! I have great hope & expectation that you will feel much better once you have that styloid removed. Recovery itself can be a bit of a journey but our bodies are good at healing once we get rid of the thing causing the problems.

We are so happy to be here for you & are glad you’ve benefitted from the forum. I didn’t have vascular ES but can say that my healing journey took awhile as I had so many nerves that needed to recover but recover they did & my life has been so much better. I had my surgeries 8 years ago so there’s also my testimony to how well/long surgery has helped me.

I will pray for your surgery to go well & your recovery to be all that you hope for.

:hugs: :pray:


Best wishes for your surgery recovery! Please keep us updated as I have some bad symptoms since after my surgery where a part of my styloid is still hanging in there. Hoping your symptoms are better soon! :slight_smile:


I am so sorry I saw this late. Dr. Hackman performed my surgery bilaterally on Nov. 4th - it was a tough post-op healing process for me. However, as you will read on this forum, things do get better over time.

  • throat pain and constriction has improved
  • scarring is healing, less breakouts along the surgical site
  • unfortunately headaches have increased, as well as jaw and neck pain
  • first bite is no joke - please consider following any good ideas provided for reducing those symptoms should they occur

Please feel free to reach out and I can always share more.

Hoping that things went well yesterday!!!



Thanks everyone!!! Surgery went well!! He was able to do the repair of the left and get it down to the base of the skull and then remove the right.

Instant headache relief on the left side (felt like a thin sheet of metal in my skull behind my ear for the past 8 months). Still too early to gauge some of the other symptoms given the swelling and pain from the surgery but I am feeling optimistic.

I drive back to Maryland tomorrow to try and beat the bad weather. And by that I mean my dad will drive so I can continue resting. Thanks for all your support and well wishes!



So good to hear from you already! I’m really glad your surgery went so well & you’ve already got some relief.

Wishing you safe travels home tomorrow. How great your dad is there to help! Take ice packs w/ you in the car as icing will help reduce pain. Please keep us posted as you heal. You know we’re here to answer questions & give support whenever you need it.


So pleased that you’re through surgery, & great that the headache is better already- just be prepared that it might return as you’ll likely have swelling still, it seems to peak at about 3-5 days, but hopefully it won’t!
Safe journey home and hope that you can rest and relax :bouquet: :hugs: :pray:


Things are going pretty well about 9 days post-op. I ended up getting the flu which was pretty unfortunate but feeling much better from that stand point.

Question: Anyone with clogged ear symptom pre-surgery have it come back worse after surgery? There are times when I can’t hear at all. Granted, this symptom was always worse for me with allergy/cold symptoms and flu definitely can complicate this AND I am a bit concerned because my left ear seems worse at times than pre-surgery. Any thoughts?

1 Like

We’ve had a number of members have “clogged ear” syndrome post op & even some hearing loss as a result. It does seem to resolve over the first month post op as the swelling from surgery begins going away. I suspect the combo of surgery & flu have made the problem worse. Are you still icing your neck? If not, that might help, as well as continuing to sleep upright at night. I slept w/ my head elevated for 6-8 weeks post op as when I tried lying w/ just my own pillow sooner than that, I could feel my throat & neck swelling during the night. It’s not a comfy way to sleep, but it sure helped me reduce post op issues.

1 Like

My ear felt completely blocked after one of my surgeries, & I couldn’t hear at all- I got it checked out because I thought they’d sloshed the antiseptic or something down my ear, but there was nothing, so it must’ve been a damaged nerve. It went off after a couple of weeks, so it could be a nerve thing…


I had a fullness feeling in my ears, but it was more the constant ringing that was difficult to deal with - it was like someone was constantly using a dog whistle - maybe my kids were messing with me :). It has improved but I still have it periodically.