Why Do They Only Fix One Side?

So......I fly out in 3 days in preparation for my Monday surgery.

Question that I do not understand:

Why does Dr. Samji only remove one (1) of these at a time.........with a potential 4 month wait in between???

He told me that removing one can eliminate symptoms on both sides.........even though both of these tusks were ridiculously long, thick and angled in a weird pattern.

How can removing the left side help with all of my ear dysfunction issues that I have on the right side as well?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


You will experience swelling and discomfort from the surgery. I think doing both sides would possibly swell your throat too extensively. My doctor only does one side at a time, too. Best of luck with your surgery!

I asked him the same question cause I have pain & ear on both sides. But he said most of the time post op, patients tell him that both sides subside after taking one side out. Then I asked him if he thought it was maybe the other side is having to compensate and the other side gets irritated. He said it could be from compensating but not a clear concrete answer. But I would be really concern if a dr would take both out at the same time. All I can think about is if I was to get too much swelling on both sides then, would my blood flow be cut off to my head!!!..lol! Probably not but not going to take the risk.

To me it makes sense to do one side at a time. The surgery causes a lot of swelling and neck pain etc. I don't think I would want a doctor that I don't know well to operate on two sides at one time. What if he is a bad surgeon. I had a bad unskilled surgeon do a surgery on my tear duct. He stitched part of my tear duct sac to my sinus. I could not breathe properly for 11 years and was terrified of trying it again. Good thing, he didn't operate on both of them. (I did finally get the surgery fixed,but still have scars that should not exist at all). He was the only surgeon supposedly able to do the surgery and we didn't have forums like this back then.

Just my opinion.


Dr. Samji told me the same thing except he said 6 months in between. I wondered how it could relieve the pressure for both sides. I think it depends on what is being pressed on.

After having just done it..... In my case......I would definitely not want both out at the same time. It causes a lot of swelling and neck pain. However I would (will) do it again in a heartbeat!!! :)

you sound upbeat.......which is encouraging for me!

plane leaves in 3 days.......surgery is monday at 10:00 am

tell me that you have "good vibes" for me..........lie if you have to :o)


How can they not be causing problems?

Yes! I have good vibes for you!! :) No lies needed!!


I had ES bilaterally. Only had surgery on the right side and so far that was the side that caused a majority my issues, especially carotid compression. Since surgery in August, I am not considering surgery on the left side at this time, nearly all my issues stemmed from the right side. I am thankful to have it done and over with.

I hope your surgery goes well and brings you much relief!



My doc removes tumors from the skull base. He told me that he frequently has to 'tie off' the internal jugular on the tumor side, and patients will then develop collaterals (new veins usually in the back of the neck/skull base) to compensate and drain the blood. He said that they don't notice, and that they go on to live normal lives that way.

So according to what he's saying, if you have both IJVs restricted by your styloid processes and causing a lot of your symptoms, then releasing just one to flow normally should do the trick.

I guess that's just from the standpoint of the IJV, though.

I agree with what everyone said about both sides of the neck having surgical trauma at once....I think that's more likely the reason why one is done at at time.

Hi Todd,

I agree with the others saying the swelling may be the reason for surgery on one side only or perhaps putting stress on a fresh wound by turning your head so far could also be a reason. I really didn’t have much swelling. Within a week, I was almost back to normal. The pain was mostly on the first day because of the pressure bandage. It was a ball of gauze placed on the area and wrapped tightly. I spent the night at Stanford University Hospital. The IV was almost as painful as the pressure bandage. I didn’t have much pain after that. I took one Vicodin at a time and only used a quarter of what Dr. Samji gave me. My worst experience was coming off the Prednisone the next day. I am one of the “fortunate” who reacts to Prednisone by becoming “manic”. I had a really good cry for an hour. Full fledged sobbing. Didn’t hurt the wound. If I have the other side out I am most worried about the prednisone. I plan on seeing Dr Samji next year. The bone is growing. More problems with ear and neck pain. I wish you the best. Good luck. You are in good hands.