Symptoms Question

I had my right styloid partially removed(about 1.6cm) original size was 4.6cm. I am still experiencing issues and can feel the styloid in back of throat and it feels very wide and am having constant throat pain that seems to move from my nasopharynx down to my lower throat periodically. I also get a weird dryness feeling all the way down to my lower bottom wisdom tooth. It’s almost like im not making enough saliva feeling. My nasopharyny is contantly irritated or dry on the right side. I have chest pain sometimes as well. I also am experiencing a very bad taste/sour taste that seems to come from the nasophaynx area. Anyone have these symptoms prior or after surgery? It has been about 6 months since surgery. My ENT has told me he can do nothing else for me and doesn’t feel comfortable removing more styloid. I have been referred to Minneapolis to Dr. Ondrey at U of M who i have seen once before when i was trying to get diagnosed. This has been a 3+ year ordeal.

First off, it sounds like your surgeon didn’t remove enough of the styloid. A more normal styloid length is 2.54 cm or 1 inch though a range of 2.54-3 cm has been suggested as being normal. Some surgeons try to remove the styloid to the skull base & also remove the s-h ligament at the same time to help prevent calcification/regrowth as resected styloids have been known to regrow but usually over a period of years not months. Some ES symptoms can be caused by cranial nerve irritation. The cranial nerves which help control many of our bodily functions occupy the same space as the styloids & s-h ligaments. You can Google them to see what body functions each controls & thus do some investigation of your symptoms that way.

Having a follow-up CT scan will confirm that what you’re feeling in the back of your throat is actually your styloid process. With your symptoms being as bad as they are, it would be worth it to do that if your insurance will cover it.

If Dr. Ondrey offers you no help or hope, you could try a telephone consult w/ Dr. Samji or Dr. Cognetti to get their opinions about how to move forward. There is a charge for these consults but some insurance companies will cover at least part of the cost.

It can take up to a year for things to settle down, & for nerves especially to heal. Hopefully some of the others can chip in with the symptoms, not had those myself. I think there’s been a couple of people recently who’ve had problems with enlarged hyoid bone processes who might have had chest pain too- Michael definitely mentioned it, he’s just had surgery for the second time. Stylohyoid Ligament & Hyoid Bone Surgery | Bonn, Germany, 04/05/18 and 05/30/18
As Isaiah says, the cranial nerves have different functions- there’s some detail in the Newbies guide about symptoms & what might cause them, so have a look in there- I think possibly one of the Trigeminal nerve branches might have something to do with stimulating the salivary gland cells, not sure… Are your tonsils still there, any problems with those? I think others have had tonsil stones which can cause a bad smell or taste.
But I do agree with Isaiah that maybe not enough was taken off, & if the styloid process was at quite an angle it can cause problems, so that could be the case for you. A follow-up CT would be really helpful to see what’s left… If any revision surgery is needed, that will be tricky to get another doctor to do it, so it may well be that you have to consider seeing one of the really experienced doctors.
Thinking of you & hope that you can get some help- so frustrating after having had surgery.