Would you postpone ES surgery for another time sensitive fertility surgery?

Needing some insight. My pain developed back in Feb. of this year. I’m currently set to have surgery to remove the left stylohyoid ligament on 6/13. I’m considering postponing the surgery due to the fact that my intense pains have not been around since my submandibular gland issue cleared up (at least that’s what we think was causing the most intense pains). At the moment, my pain is manageable, but uncomfortable. I have to not do anything too strenuous in order to keep the pain low. However, my husband and I have also been planning to have my eggs retrieved so that we can make embryos. I was planning on doing this in Jan, but I had just had Covid in Dec. and then food poisoning. Then in Feb. these pains started. I’m 38 and I haven’t gone through the process of egg retrieval yet, but eggs decline rapidly with age. I’m concerned if I do the ES surgery first, I will have to wait at least a month or two to attempt egg retrieval. My egg retrieval cycle will include 5 days of a pill to help a few eggs grow (I’m doing a low cycle) and then an injection or two later to make me ovulate. Then a 15 min or so (under anesthesia) surgery where the doctor will use a needle to retrieve the eggs. This process can only take place starting with the being of my cycle. I’m wondering how other women with manageable ES symptoms have done with egg retrieval if they have done that before ES surgery?

Thanks so much for any insight.

I’d also be curious to know how long you waited to have ES surgery after symptoms started? Did you wait to rule more things out or wait until the pain was worse? I’m still not 100% certain that my calcified ligaments are my issues. But then again, I’m sure it’s pretty hard to know what’s causing the pains.

Every surgery is personal and depends on the severity of your condition and the potential of the surgery to treat it. It comes down to cost/benefit analysis. I am not a doctor and don’t certainly have all the info regarding your case to give any informed medical advice as the doctor who looked into your case decided that surgery was best course of treatment. However, considering the mildness of your symptoms plus you upcoming fertility surgery, I think postponing it, NOT cancelling it makes sense. This way you can have the time sensitive fertility surgery while keeping an eye on your potential ES symptoms. Again I am not authorized to give medical advice so this is my personal opinion. Eventually though, you would need to do something about the elongated, calcified ligament as the pictures you posted on the other thread show long and extensive calcified ligament.


Thank you for your insight. For sure it’s different for everyone. I do have pain every day, just currently not too bad. However, since I have the ES surgery scheduled for 6/13, I’m still trying to figure out if I should get it done with so I can recover, then maybe do egg retrieval hopefully before my right side needs to be done (if it does). It would be nice to start feeling better sooner than later. I don’t have the egg retrieval scheduled at this point. I’m a little concerned the pain may be amplified if/when taking hormones for the egg retrieval.
From my imaging, are you saying the ligaments look elongated? I know they are calcified, but I didn’t know the ligaments themselves could be elongated. The surgeon thought my styloid processes looked normal though.

Well what I meant by elongated is the extended calcification of the ligament itself. Sometimes, there is partial calcification on the ligament. Yours appear to be full calcification on the whole ligament. I could be wrong as I am not good at reading dental cone beam images but I assume that because your calcified ligament appear to be bones attached to the hyoid.

That makes sense. He did say they were most calcified closer to the hyoid bone. I hope that doesn’t make it harder to remove.

I do agree w/ what @KoolDude said re: having the egg retrieval surgery first. That seems more pressing to me as the time it takes to recover from ES surgery is unpredictable. We always hope for a best case scenario, & many people feel pretty good at the end of two weeks while others limp along for several months recovering. It’s best to be optimistic but also realistic when it comes to ES surgery recovery. Even if your symptoms were to ramp up during your hormone therapy, it would likely be temporary & hopefully manageable.

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Thanks for this insight. I’m one week away from my surgery right now. And a part of me really wants to keep the surgery and hopefully find relief after. It’s been hurting to swallow and a bad sore throat for weeks. I do feel like it’s possible my submandibular gland is irritated again and I get dry mouth. I don’t know that I can go through with egg retrieval with all the anxiety and pain I have surrounding my ligament surgery. I didn’t expect to be this confused this close to surgery. But I’m also have to be realistic of if I’ll actually go through with egg retrieval if I post pone this surgery, or if I’ll end up just feeling anxious and waiting for the ligament surgery instead.

Btw, how do you deal with the no water aspect before the surgery with dry mouth causing more pain? My surgery is 10:30am next Monday. But no food or water from midnight before.

Goodness, you have alot going on & a tricky decision to make! Personally I’d go along with what the others have said & get the eggs retrieved first, that shouldn’t put the surgery off for too long, especially as you’re not in too much pain. As @Isaiah_40_31 says recovery does vary a huge amount for people, it would be a shame if you did take longer than expected to recover. And sometimes having one side removed does cause the second side to flare up, which is why lots of us do end up having both sides removed, so you could possibly have the surgery & still be in pain & in the same boat with the second side?
I have a dry mouth too, so usually swig on water all through the day- that was a big worry for me with the surgery too. You can get oral gel which moistens your mouth, best to check with your doctor if that’s okay, & try it beforehand- I didn’t find the gel that helpful though. I used a dry mouth spray before my second surgery, which I was told was fine to use, but it has Xylitol in it, which I’ve since found out upsets my stomach, so post surgery I had terrible gnawing pain! That was actually worse than any surgical pain :joy: I had to ask for some gaviscon (indigestion medicine) , but with our lovely UK NHS system could only be given by a doctor so ended up waiting hours for someone to prescribe it :woman_facepalming: So best you try something before surgery in case it affects you…otherwise the best (but less polite) solution would be to swish your mouth with water to moisten it & spit it out! I’m surprised no water from midnight, I’m sure I was allowed just water up until 5am or something before my morning surgery…

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Thank you for all these tips!

If I do postpone the ES surgery, any suggestions for helping with pain in the meantime? I can’t take ibuprofen or nsaids. I use a moist warm washcloth multiple times in the evening to help with my submandibular gland and/or ligaments. I do work out anymore, but I do still go for walks. Today I think I had what felt like first bite. And I do have pain swallowing. I’ve been using menthol drops when it hurts too much. One thing that’s bothersome is feeling like there’s a lot of mucus in my throat. I’ve found trying NOT to clear it helps it not get inflamed. But maybe more warm salt water gargles are in my future?

I spoke with my ES doctor and he also recommends doing the egg retrieval first due to the unknown time it will take to recover from ES surgery. I can only get my eggs for so long, but the ES surgery I can wait on—if I can manage the pain and symptoms.

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Salt water gargle for the throat mucous sounds like a good plan. Other members have had the mucous problem, too.

Some ppl have found icing their necks works better than heat but for others, heat helped more. You can also talk to your doctor abt a temporary Rx for a nerve pain med such as Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, Carbamazepine to get you through to surgery time if you get your egg harvesting done first.

Sleeping a bit propped up helped me- it’s really useful if people have jugular compression, but it helped even before I got vascular symptoms, so might be worth a try…Glad that you’ve had medical advice about the best order to do the surgeries :hugs:

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