I will answer your questions here though the answers to all the questions you’ve asked are on our forum. The magnifying glass icon above right is a very useful tool. Click on it & type in for example - surgery what to expect & posts about surgery will come up. You’ll get a wider variety of information that way.
There are YouTube videos of both the intraoral & external ES surgical approaches. A recent video done by Dr. Osborne in Los Angeles is a mini-documentary about the surgery of one of our members. I suspect if you are nervous about the surgery, watching these videos might not be a good idea because they are very detailed. If knowing what to expect will help ease your mind, then go for it.
Surgery is generally done in an outpatient surgical center so there is no hospital stay involved. A few insurance companies & Medicare do require surgery to be done in a hospital with a one night stay. You’ll need to check with yours to see what their policy is.
Surgery ranges from 1 to 2 hours depending on what the doctor finds once he makes the surgical incision. Sometimes the styloid is deeper into the neck than expected or nerves are wrapped around it which takes extra time & care to deal with. If there is calcification on the stylohyoid ligaments then those need to be removed as well.
The first week post op is generally the worst as days 3-5 are when the post op swelling is the worst. By the end of the second week, many people are able to return to work. It seems that most people start feeling noticeably better by 6-8 weeks after surgery & pretty darn good by 6-12 months post op. This is a major surgery & is not one that you will walk away from feeling fine in 2 days.
Jules made an excellent observation about the wording in your lab report regarding where your jugular compression is & a fair warning about Dr. Cognetti. He leaves an inch of styloid process behind when he does ES surgery. Having him do your surgery will not be terribly helpful since your compression is close to your skull base. Dr. Newman does remove the styloids to the skull base which is what you will need to have done to get relief from your IJV compression symptoms.