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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Surgery Date 2/10/2020

So I had a heart attack Tuesday 1/14/2020. I think my ES had something to do with it. THOUGHTS?

Very sorry to hear that, hope you’re recovering okay?
It is very rare for ES to cause cardiac problems, but it is possible, & there are documented cases I believe. there’s some links to research papers in this topic in the Newbies Guide:


It covers mainly about strokes but also cardiac conditions. Basically, the styloid processes can compress/ irritate the Vagus nerve, which is part of the autonomic nervous system controlling heart rate amongst other functions, so quite a few members have had heart arrhythmias. Also if an area of the carotid artery is irritated (the carotid sinus) this can also cause cardiac problems, either through the effects on the nerves, or compression blocking it & causing plaque or clots to be released into the bloodstream.
But this is very rare…so not something for most members to be concerned about.
I’m glad that it’s not long until your surgery; have you had a pre-op appt. yet, are there any concerns about you having surgery?

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Hi tmc -

Jules gave you a very good & thorough reply regarding the heart attack question. The concern I have is that your doctor doesn’t really know what’s involved w/ ES surgery based on what you said in your profile info about how it would be billed. Since you now have a potential complication caused by ES, if I were you, I’d get myself to one of the more experience doctors on our doctors’ list unless you are not able to travel to see one of them. Another member from your state went to Dr. Ryan Osborn for surgery in Los Angeles area & had good results. There are also several doctors at UCLA med center who do ES surgery. The most experienced ES doctor is in San Jose, CA, - Dr. Hussein Samji. I’m including the link for the doctors’ list below.

It seems tests can be run to confirm whether a true heart attack to rule it out.

Based on what I have learned here, wouldn’t a CT Scan with contrast show any nerve or artery impingement?

The autonomic system controls so much in our bodies including blood pressure and heart rate. My daughter starting passing out when she was age 7 and the pediatrician said it was just a “Vasal Vagel” response and that it was normal for kids to pass out. I never believed that for a second. She started passing out after any physical exertion and heat conditions, experiencing migraines and by age 13 was disabled with bone crushing fatigue and a worsening off the symptoms. She has dysautonomia which in part is a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system. If standing for too long, her heart goes into tachycardia and will pass out. Its not a heart issue, its a result of a dysfunctional autonomic system. Are nervous systems are all run by the autonomic system. Many things can put it out of whack especially if Vagus nerve involved. I would think it is important to get the proper testing to make sure you know what is the problem.

Sorry, I misread your post. I thought you said you “thought” you had a heart attack so disregard if it does not apply.

no worries, yes my heart attack was for real, they even put a stent in

Are you having ES surgery on 2/10/20? I sure hope so and hope it helps rid you of pain, worry, and possibly helps your heart in ways you had not known.

no, surgery has been changed to June 8th because of the heart attack. I am so disappointed, I don’t know how much longer I can hang on

Hi TMC,
I am so sorry to hear about your heart attack! I have no special knowledge in this area, but I just checked and don’t see any scientific papers reporting heart attack related to ES. I assume the ES surgery was moved because you are now on drugs to reduce clotting (?) Hopefully your cardiac functioning is improving every day so you will be to go into your June surgery strong. May the days pass quickly before your surgery.

thank you, I am on clotting drugs, but also I gotta get my heart strong enough for surgery

@tmc ~
A word of encouragement regarding your surgery delay - a week before my second ES surgery, I had a terrible bike accident w/ a head injury, & my surgery was postponed 3.5 months. I cried. The remaining styloid caused me incapacitating pain, but I made it to surgery & am doing great now. It’s been 4.5 years since that surgery.

You’ll get there. Take care of your heart & yourself overall. Your surgery day will be here before you know it.

By the way, who is doing your surgery?

thanks for that encouragement.
Dr. CHHETRI at UCLA is doing my surgery

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A CT with contrast won’t show nerve involvement- CTs don’t show nerves. It would show vascular compression, but only in the head position the CT is taken in- often the vascular effects are seen in certain head positions, but the CT can’t always be done like that.
Sorry to hear about your daughter, a difficult condition at any age, but especially for a child…

It’s good to be on the safe side with your heart, hope that the time passes quickly for you & that you can manage your symptoms until then.

thank you, this is my biggest issue. I never wanted to see June this bad

You are in good hands tmc. Most all my experiences at UCLA have been good except I preferred Cedar Sinai pain center. So sorry about the stent,etc and that you have to wait. Heart attacks are serious business. On the good side, it is better to have had this addressed before ES surgery if that makes you feel any better. My mom had plastic surgery for skin cancer and 2 weeks later had a heart attack and a stent put in. It really complicated her recovery. ALOT. so hang in there till June.

Thanks Jules for the info.
I forgot about the ability to read nerves on CT or MRI and didn’t realize alot of vascular issues are positional. Ive had several surgeries for nerve compression that were picked up by a “Neurogram” which is an MRI that reads nerves. I was lucky to be in a study down at UCLA in 1998 w a neurosurgeon who helped develop it. Its essentially an MRI with specialized software to read the nerves. After 2 years of going to docs for severe sciatic/leg pain (docs that said I was drug seeking) after enduring injections and MRI’s that were negative, the neurogram found a mass of scar tissue compressing my sciatic nerve. I cried when he told me as we all know being told its in your head doctor after doctor is super frustrating. Never really knew what caused the scar tissue but I do suspect it was from childbirth re: delivering 9.5 lb baby. There is more availability in the country now for this but I think insurance still claiming it “investigational”. The key is also having a doc who can decipher the results using the software. I would love to have one of those on my neck and styloids as I know I have nerve impingement. If I had an extra $1-2K laying around. :roll_eyes:
My daughter is now 25 and can only be upright about 4 hours a day. Its tough sometimes but she has learned to adapt as I. I have flown her all over the country to experts trying to find a way to improve her life alas they know whats wrong, just not how to fix it. I hope in her lifetime they will. In the meantime, I have learned alot about the autonomic nervous system. LOL.

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thank you so much