And someone please post a photo and/or link of the famous wedge pillow you used that we all need for Surgery Recovery
Your wish is my command!
Wedge pillow (buried ) w/ additional pillows to create a ~30º angle (as per Dr. Samji’s suggestion)
Your scar is amazing !!! I can’t even find your left scar?! Kudos to your surgeon! What scar treatment did you do?
And lol at the pillows. So I am guessing you are hooked and still sleep with the pillows? Or old pic? That’s a good set up.
My surgeon was Dr. Samji. He is a wonderful surgeon! (It also pays to have “old lady neck” w/ lots of creases ). I had my surgeries in 11/14 & 8/15 so am no longer using the wedge + pillow stack. I did use it for about 3 months post op though.
Here’s my scar/ recovery progression.
Procedure: 2/3 left hyoid removal, left styloid and calcified ligament removed. (This was a 2nd surgery and was external after intraoral failed to provide relief). Debating oral surgery?? I wish I had just done the external initially!
Surgeon: Dr. Ron Karni Houston TX.
1 hr post-op after surgery -in recovery room
2 days post-op —still draining ok at this point
3 days post-op —infection sets in (redness, PAIN, swelling, fever, drain is clogged, can’t swallow-no fluids in 3 days so ordered an IV, at home. Later that night shallow breathing)
4 days post-op (like 3am)—went to the ER, the small tube was replaced with larger to drain, ct scan done to look for abscess was clear, scope showed swelling in pharynx and was treated with steroids and 3 antibiotics, admitted for 2 days for meds and observation)
6 days post-op—meds worked wonders. Tube removed in clinic. 2 Steri-strips in place.
7-10 days post-op—the incision continued to ooze and drain through the opening in the wound. Had to wear loose bandages. Steroids-strips replaces often.
14 days -2 weeks post-op—scab formed in last spot, no longer draining/oozing but is now collecting fluid under the skin and have some swelling under chin. More sore than day 10-14. Using ice to help with swelling and pain. No need for steri-strips. Lots of numbness still.
16 days post- op—after some compression with a scarf all day to help with the edema, and some Celebrex (an nsaid). Less swelling and pain. Started scar silicone cream.
WOW! What an improvement! I bet it will “disappear” when it’s fully healed. I used Mederma w/ sunscreen for mine (again it was Dr. Samji’s recommendation). It seemed to work well. Sewmomma & some others have used silicone scar patches which I hear work well, too.
Thanks !! I ordered both products when I saw y’all’s past posts. Now to decide “when to start” using them. There’s that one tiny piece of scab in the middle so just waiting …
Future reference to those browsing … don’t assume your dr will tell you how to dress the wound, treat the scar, what to eat or how to sleep for comfort post-op. All info was lacking and this forum was a god-send. Thankful some drs were more clear (like Dr. samji) so the info can be shared!
I would say you can start using Mederma now, even w/ the scab. I don’t know about the silicone patches. Didn’t know they existed when I was healing.
It’s getting there! Yours has been quite a journey…hope you soon feel the benefits!
4 weeks post op for silicon patches! Those suckers are sticky! Leave it alone til then
Sewmomma I’m so glad you told me. I was tempted to try the patches this week but don’t feel ready for anything sticky. I still want to slip a curse word when my hair or shirt brushes my scar.
Since you also had surgery from “the hyoid up” I’m curious if your scar is in the same spot as mine? Does the hyoid stay this hard and swollen for very long? It’s like a rock along my scar.
I too have a “click” but mine may be lower… I almost feel like, now that I saw the anatomy in the ER with the scope/screen that my issue may be a clicky swollen epiglottis—but I really haven’t gotten confirmation on that from the drs.
I hope you are feeling well and have gotten even more relief these days.
Hi! Yep, my scar is low and almost at the center of my throat like yours! My clicking is fading. Ever so slowly, fading. I got off the crazy train wondering what caused it. Although I might google epiglottis .
Absolutely hard as a rock after surgery. That let up when I started rubbing it which was step two after the patches. Rubbing started at 6 weeks for me. I have a squishy neck again on both sides. 1/10/19 and 5/30/19. Here’s the first scar just under a year. I have a patch on the second one constantly. I change them when they loose stickiness. By the way I cut mine so I can stretch out the box.
It’s looking good now!
WOW! Barely visible. Good job being conscientious in treating your incision/scar while it healed.
Wow that “barely there scar” is amazing. Gives me so much hope sewmomma. Thank you for sharing and giving the tips. Glad to know the hardness of the site is normal & what to expect going forward. Happy to hear your clicking has lessened ! Don’t get back in the crazy train (your words, hahah ) googling epiglottis. I follow up on Monday so I’ll ask my dr if that’s even logical …
…Who usually laughs at my lack of medical lingo… He’s like “arent you a Premed Student ?” Ummm well …I’m 38, my brain is mush from 4 kids, it I decided to try to do this thing and I just finished organic chemistry and biology… I can tell you the steps of germination and that hot glass looks like cold glass in a lab… I CANNOT tell you the anatomy of the throat. Lol. But I wish I could.
@SewMomma If it helps… here’s what led me to reading more about the epiglottis. This is the ct scan report when i went in to ER for the infection (3 days post-op). I read about all the edema in the different areas, googled each word … the clicking was even more super loud and obnoxious during this infection and edema. And yet while on the iv steroids in the hospital for 2.5 days it was so much better …, and now it’s back. On inhale some relief but then a hard click with my swallow. So I just wonder if I have a chronically swollen something (like the epiglottis) going on.
And ps. Why can’t a stinking report ever include anything about the styloid or recent removal of them ?! Even mentions eagles surgery (incorrect oral surgery date) , so why no measurement for it. So annoying cuz God knows how much I paid for this in the ER?!
Interesting wording in the report.
I really wanted a post-op CT scan to see what was removed and what was left! My curiosity will have to be unsatisfied though. My troubles are fading and really aren’t troubles at all compared to when the hyoid was held prisoner by the calcification. Be free hyoid - live your best life!!!
Surgery recovery update — 3.5 weeks post op
Surgery on styloid & hyoid in Houston tx. (Reference post #6 above)
I couldn’t make my latest doctor appt due to finances. But I am doing ok & did let me doc know how I’m doing.
I am still swollen and the lymph nodes under my chin are tender (remember I had the post op infection). No redness or fevers, and drainage stopped about Dec 2nd. Scar looks good. I think ? Does it look right ? Lol.
Swelling comes and goes… here it is at its most swollen yesterday.
Swallowing is ok, Kinda disappointed. I can’t really eat and talk at the same time & I have to focus or I get a feeling food will go down the wrong way. Liquids seem to be even harder to get down for some reason & I’ll occasionally choke. I get tired talking and strain to talk at the end of the day & get hoarse if I talk a lot. I have an annoying click with my swallow that feels more like my epiglottis than my hyoid but who knows?!
I truly feel an issue occurred with my 1st eagles surgery— during intubation and oral surgery near my vocal chores and I’m still recovering from that.
I think the only pain / issue I feel now is maybe my vocal chords & those lymph nodes? I figure this will all go away in time ?
Let me know if you think I need to be seen before my docs next opening (March). How long did you just “wait and see” before going in for further concerns after surgery. When swelling is gone ?
Good news is most my eagles syndrome symptoms are at least gone and I am extremely relieved about that. Thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it.
Hi premedmom -
It’s my opinion that you’re doing great & have nothing to worry about at this point. The symptoms you currently have as well as the intermittent swelling all go w/ your body working hard to heal you. Think of the swelling as a “pillow” with which your body is surrounding the injured area for protection. Since swelling is now intermittent, that’s a sign of healing. Your swallowing & vocal cord issues are caused by nerves that were irritated prior to & perhaps during surgery. With time they will heal & should return to normal or mostly normal. Honestly, I still have some swallowing issues & choke on water at some point almost every day. It’s an annoying problem but doesn’t affect my life & is a gentle reminder of how far I’ve come since ES surgery. I do have some periodic vocal issues as well. Again, not life changing just a reminder… ES surgery is rarely a perfect cure. Most of us are left with some remnant of what the evil bird did to us. What’s important is that, for the most part, your life can return to whatever was normal for you prior to the advent of ES in your life. I know you’ll get there & be back in school focused & achieving great things soon.
All this to say, if you don’t notice any further symptoms of an infx, I think it’s safe to wait till March for your follow-up appt.
P.S. Your incision looks great & as it heals will disappear & become part of your neck crease. And I second what Jules says below. Really appreciate your insight & contributions on the forum!!
So pleased that you’re seeing ES symptoms improve! It is still early days yet, & while there’s still some swelling things are still healing, so I wouldn’t worry about things at the moment, easier said than done. Everything’s way better than at this stage after your last surgery isn’t it?
And thank you for your input in the site- it’s great when members like you who are in the middle of your own journey with your own worries take the time to encourage others & give them support- it’s what makes the Bens Friends sites so amazing & helpful!
You’re in my prayers, gentle hugs for you!