After 2+ years of seeing numerous doctors and specialists, this week I finally encountered someone who actually knows about ES, has preformed the surgery many times before (including on members on this site) and could speak with confidence about it. After asking me questions, he poked around painfully feeling my styloid process in the back of my throat. He is an ENT so he scoped me for the millionth time just to be sure and of course he found nothing else to explain my symptoms. I already had a CT scan done showing elongated styloid processes (3.7 and 3.8cm). So after he was all done he said, well you have Eagle’s Syndrome and I think surgery may help. So I’m on the wait list for surgery with him, likely some time in the next 3-6 months (wait times in Canada!)
We talked about the internal vs. external approaches and he’s done both, he’s a skull base surgeon who primarily does oncology (cancer) surgery so he’s pretty experienced all around from what I gather. He no longer preforms the external approach, he prefers the internal. He recognizes the pros/cons of each but ultimately he’s the expert and believes the inter-oral is the way to go so that’s what we’re going with. He said he avoids taking out the tonsil unless he has to and says he can get virtually all of the styloid out with this method, right up to the skull base in most cases.
At any rate, it’s a scary decision but ultimately I believe it is the only thing with a chance of permanently removing my pain. I’m on 600mg of Lyrica which is the max dose and taking advil/tylenol around the clock trying to keep it manageable. Long term it’s just not sustainable.
So onward I go to the next step in my ES journey!
P.S. For those of you in Canada and more specifically Alberta, here’s his info - Dr. Dan O’Connell (https://headandneckclinic.ca/page.php?id=1#4)