First, I’m so glad you’re able to have both ES & your CSF leak taken care of at once. The extent of your surgery may require a longer recovery period, but hopefully you’ll see BIG positive changes as you recover. I’m sorry you have so much to deal with all at once.
To answer your first question, there is lots of information on post op recovery in the Newbies Guide. If you click on the magnifying glass at the top right & type in “post op recovery” quite a number of discussions will come up that will give you a more complete picture of what people have experienced than I can provide in one post.
Here’s a quick run down of my experience:
- The first week is the most uncomfy & painful. Days 3-5 post op are when most people experience the greatest swelling & thus pain, so it’s important to keep on your pain med regimen through that period. My surgeon also prescribed prednisone for the first 2 weeks which was very helpful keeping inflammation in my throat at bay.
- You will have a sore throat even if your surgery is done externally because a breathing tube is inserted for surgery & that irritates the throat so cold shakes & smoothies, juices, water/drinks feel the best for food early on.
- Covered gel ice packs to ice your neck (if you have external surgery) are very helpful (15 min. on & at least 45 min off - 3-5x/day for the first week).
- Head elevation at all times. My surgeon recommended keeping the head elevated to 30+º especially when sleeping thus a wedge pillow (Bed, Bath & Beyond has a nice one that’s not too costly) w/ other pillows placed on top to increase the angle helps w/ this. Some people also find a neck pillow (like the sort you use to sleep when flying) is also a great help.
- Inflammation & pain usually begin to decrease a bit in week 2, but the healing process overall takes a couple of months. For nerves & vascular tissues that have been irritated or damaged it can be up to a year +. I’m 4.5 years out from my first surgery & am still experiencing nerve recovery in numb spots on my jaw line.
- My surgeon recommended Mederma w/ sunscreen for use on my neck incisions once they were sufficiently healed (about 2-3 weeks post op) to help reduce the scar. My scars are nearly invisible now for which I credit my surgeon & not the Mederma so much.
- Please reach out to us on this forum for questions after surgery as we are here for you every step of the way - for “the good, the bad & the ugly”. We will do our best to encourage you & lift you up as you heal.
You can reach out to Della who has ED & had surgery in 2016 (click magnifying glass & type Della in the search box…posts involving her will come up. If you click on her name at the top of one of her posts, it will give you a link where you can send her a private email). I know there are others on here who’ve had ED & ES so hopefully someone will join in this thread to share his/her experience. I’m not sure about anyone w/ a CSF leak though.
So glad you’ve found camaraderie & info that’s been supportive for you here! That’s our goal.
Please let us know when your surgery is so I can pray for you especially that day.