Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

My surgery experience


So I had surgery for Eagle Syndrome on April 26th 2019. My surgeon was Dr. Rui Fernandes with The University of Florida and Shands Hospital.

My styloid process is actually 2.9cm and isn’t in the typical range for true elongation, but I was having symptoms of Eagle syndrome all the same. It started when I was very young. I was eating a bowl of cereal when I tried to swallow a bite and all of a sudden was overwhelmed by an intense pain that felt like a razor blade running across my throat every time I tried to swallow. Even swallowing saliva was painful. The episode lasted a few minutes then subsided on its own. It happened again within a month and then stopped almost entirely until I became an adult. In the last 12 months I’ve had at least 15 episodes leading up to the surgery.

I went to an ENT at the local Hospital/medical group that I prefer (Baptist Health) but the ENT was shocked at the symptoms I described. He said it sounded like Eagle Syndrome but he didn’t believe it existed until he saw me. The 8 ENT’s with his practice had no experience with treating it so they referee me to a specialist. The first refused to take my case, the second, Dr Fernandes had performed the procedure multiple times and was confident he could treat me.

The surgery lasted about 2 hours. Afterwards, I was in post-op for maybe an hour. The surgeon intended for me to stay overnight for observation but, due to a miscommunication, I was sent home about an hour or two after the surgery.

This left me baffled and confused because the surgeon hadn’t given me much information about the recovery. The hospital sent me home with a few lines of discharge instructions and the verbal instructions were lost in the haze of pain meds and anesthesia.

After going home the same day, I felt great. However, this was mainly due to the anesthesia and pain meds they’d given me. On Saturday I felt like I was on my death bed. I had no idea how swollen my face and throat would be. I wasn’t prepared for this and felt like something was terribly wrong. Luckily, I found this forum and realized my symptoms were in line with others. Temporary decrease in hearing in my left ear, numbness in my face near the surgical area. The doctor went in through my neck and I have about 6 inches of stitches running down my face.

I’m on day 4 since surgery. There is orange, clear and red oozing from some of my stitches. I became severely dehydrated and the skin on my face started cracking. Fluid then began sweeping out of one of these areas (directly under my chin).

I’m confident once the swelling goes down, I will be out of the worst of it. In the meantime, I’m going to continue using ice packs and keeping my head elevated when sleeping.

I will continue to provide updates as my healing progresses.


Hi, & welcome to the site!
Glad that you feel the site is helping you with post-op info…& we weren’t aware of your doctor, so good to hear of another one.
What a shame that you were sent home early with no info, not great. We’re not doctors on here, just people who’ve had ES ourselves, so if I were you I would either ring the clinic where you had your surgery or contact your PCP about the wound oozing, just to make sure that it’s not infected.
Swelling can ease if you keep yourself propped up, so sleep semi upright if you haven’t been already, & lots of ice packs! Try popsicles if swallowing is painful so you don’t get dehydrated again.
Yes, the numbness should ease gradually, but it can take a while! I still have a couple of patches on my jaw/ ear area, but that’s a very worthwhile price to pay for feeling so much better!
I think from other’s experience day 4 can be about the worst, once you get over the 1st week things will improve!
Thinking of you…


bakari86 -

As long as the fluid is clear, you probably don’t have an infection, however, as Jules noted, it would be a good idea to either call your surgeon’s ofc to ask about it or go see him or your PCP to make sure all is well.

Your dehydration situation sounds pretty awful. I hope you’re drinking lots now! Extra fluid is important while healing. Keep that water, iced tea, juice, Gatorade,
(not soda :upside_down_face:), coming!!


Thank you both for the advice and well wishes!

I called the doctor’s office and am currently awaiting their reply. The fluid is orange but my nurse neighbor said it doesn’t look infected.

Today has been much better since sleeping with my head elevated. I have less swelling and the feeling like I was constantly choking has all but subsided.

The bandage for my wound came off early due to all the sleeping fluid. I have put a makeshift surgical bandage on and am also waiting on further instructions from my doctor.

All in all, things feel like they are moving in the right direction. Thank you both again for your advice and well wishes! It is much appreciated!


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That’s good, thinking of you…