Done and Done!!! If you can, definitely go see Dr. Donald Annino at Brigham and Women’s in Boston, MA. I can’t even begin to say enough about him and the hospital!!! He is a ninja and I have none of the nerve side effects I have been so scared about and read many of you all unfortunately have had. I do have some, such as numbness around the cut and face and my right hand/arm doing what it wants sometimes as if someone else is controlling it, ha. Also, fairly severe pain from my ear to my pectoral muscles, which seems to be fairly normal. Surgery went incredibly well and my anesthesiologist was also incredible.
I did get sick the first night and WOW was that the worst thing imaginable to say the least. Don’t eat anything rich or creamy the first couple days!!! I was pretty lucky as I was put in a suite, at no additional cost, due to lack of available beds. It was pretty incredible!!!
Dr. Annino removed 1 3/4” - 2” of the right styloid, in two pieces for safer removal along with some of the ligaments/muscles. Unfortunately I was not allowed to keep the styloid. I woke up from surgery with a significant cut and drain installed. (See picture) Dr. Annino said that scar tissue should form in the coming weeks and help the function of what was removed. He was not comfortable removing the styloid any closer to the skull due to the high risk of infection and additional muscle removal. He said he removed enough to offer me relief of my symptoms along with plenty of additional room for the styloid to move freely. When he opened me up, he found that the styloid was pushing on my jugular vein and carotid artery when my head was turned to the left, and assumed that when turned to the right into some of my nerve pathways. Scary at hindsight and lucky that I didn’t get more damage with all that my styloid was hitting.
Recovery has been a bit better than expected, however, since I have been seeing pain management for years, due to many other issues; the pain meds aren’t working like they do for most. Luckily it’s bearable and should start getting better in another week.
The best idea was renting a zero gravity lift chair which I have slept in since surgery in a hotel room. That was the life saver for me!!! The local rental company and hotel were great with accommodating the delivery and pickup. At home, i am lucky to have a Reverie bed (reverie.com) which has the movable/zero gravity base and fully adjustable firmness every 4-6”. With that I can toy with sleep angles as tolerated. I cannot wait to be home and actually sleep in it! Living in a hotel for 11 nights now and it is beyond old! Sure hope and think I will recover better and faster at home!
As a short time has passed and being immune deficient, the pain is steadily getting slightly worse (assuming usual healing process) and meds aren’t lasting like they do for most people. But like anything, things usually get worse before they get better! Overall I cannot complain as everything has been wonderful (especially considering my original fears) and I can definitely tell something’s “gone” and thank God for that!!!
At my one week post-op appointment he said everything I am having is normal and should start noticing more and more relief two weeks post-op. Will be back at work two weeks from surgery and will be doing half days to get back into it.
If at all possible, without question consider Dr. Donald Annino (https://health.usnews.com/doctors/donald-annino-488) if you are trying to locate a surgeon and can get up to the New England area. He is in Boston, MA and my location was Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also on staff at other local hospitals in the area I believe and has cancer experience which seems to be better when it comes to this surgery. He really is a ninja when it comes to surgery!!! Least damage of anyone I’ve read about on this site. Almost all pain is surgical!
If you have any questions let me know!