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Surgery notes (first styloidectomy)

Day 1 (surgery day) notes:

Surgeon indicated that surgery went very well with no surprises. He told my mother that the styloid was pressing on both the jugular and internal carotid. The left styloid and two ligaments were removed.

Here’s what is different today:

Can look down easier

Can swallow better

No more shooting nerve pains to ear or up side of head (took a neurontin right before surgery though - prescribed for surgery by anesthesiologist)

No headache (had one going into surgery)

Bulge in tonsil gone

No first bite, droopy lip, or tongue issues (Hooray!)

Eyes not red and not hurting. Could be drug-related change (Prednisone:steroid and Percocet:pain med) or just more rest time and sleep today. Too early to say if improved eye symptoms associated with styloid removal. Can only hope.

Still have palpitations. Hoping the remaining right side styloid is to blame.

Twitch still present on surgery side. May just need time to heal now.

Can’t hear as well out of left ear (new symptom) and it pops each time I open mouth. Hope this is temporary. Still have some ringing tinnitus but it seems a bit more more focused on the right ear now and quieter on the surgery side. Have not yet noticed any pulsatile tinnitus post-surgery.

Entire left side of neck is numb (expect temporary).

Level 4-5 pain upon waking up…nurses were very quick about bringing meds to mitigate pain. They also brought an ice bag, which helped. Pain in neck worse than in throat.

Dizziness…probably associated with pain meds (I received several types) or just the trauma of surgery.

Productive cough (no cough before surgery). Probably from tube.

Startling single spasm/closing of the lower throat during sleep that awakened me 4 or 5 times. Spaced pain meds out farther to rule out possible over-relaxation of respiratory tract. Also having some possible opioid-associated urinary retention so more spacing probably needed. Took laxative to keep things going.

Favorite shopping list items so far: applesauce and bag of frozen peas, which I have slipped into a pillowcase. This lives on my neck now. I have 2 bags and switch them out as needed. The wedge pillow is also very helpful to achieve and maintain the required 30 degree elevation.

Overall, I feel pretty good…better than I expected for Day 1:)

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That’s great news to feel improvements straight away! Patience will be needed for the other symptoms…after my 2nd surgery my ear felt really blocked & like it’d had concrete poured in it, it took a couple of weeks to go completely, I’m sure yours will be temporary too.
Thanks for letting us know how you’re getting on! Get lots of rest & will keep you in my prayers :bouquet:

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Thanks, Jules. I think the hearing is already better than yesterday:) I took last dose of pain med 7 hours ago and am just now starting to feel like I might take another one soon…maybe a half pill. Ice is really helping a lot!

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That’s great! :bouquet:

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Hi there!

You sound great! When do you go in for your check up and/or fly home?

I’ll have to try the frozen pea thing, sounds more comfy than my stiff gel ice packs.

When you have a second, can you clarify something about what you had removed? You said “ligaments” - was there more removed other than the styloid process and stylohyoid ligaments?

How’s your throat/cough today? Eating ok?:green_heart:

Hi @SewMomma. Surgeon removed the styloid and two attached ligaments. One is the S-H ligament. I believe the other is attached to the tongue. He thought it was important to remove both. I did not ask for a measurement of the bone but it looked to be roughly 4 cm. There was some tissue attached and they had it (without the ligaments) in formalin to send out for biopsy.

My pain is at a very good level. I decided to switch to just ice and Tylenol. The Percocet was potentially causing multiple side effects I did not like (red face and neck, urinary issues, palpitations (?), and larynx spasms). List of side effects also includes tinnitus, which I still have. Pain not bad enough to justify continued use. It probably works well for most but I had some issues. I want to see what symptoms go away completely without it.

I have residual stuffiness in the left ear and a crunchy/popping noise in that ear when I swallow or open my mouth. I’m hoping this is just temporary. I think the nurses in the surgical center said it was going to be transient (hard to remember with drugs in system). I’ll have a post-op appt on Friday and will find out more. Wish they could write everything down for you.

I am using frozen peas and corn. I bought the fancy non-food ice packs but they don’t bend well when cold and are pretty uncomfortable. One started to leak though so I started putting them in a plastic bag first, then pillowcase. They’re kind of like frozen pillows…pretty nice:) neck and chin still feeling hot and a bit swollen at this point. I understand that’s normal.

There was a small amount of blood that leaked under the steristrip after I got home. Not worried about that. Only very slight bruising. Tiny pin holes in shoulders, neck, and inside mouth and throat from the nerve monitoring. These are healing…hardly noticeable.

Cough still there but throat feels a lot better. I’m eating soft foods that are not super hot (cooked noodles and broccoli, smoothies, soups).

So far I can still turn my head better and look down better than before surgery, so that is good. Hoping palpitations go away. If not, may have to see if right side styloid (same length) is to blame. Want left ear to go back to normal first though.

Thanks for checking on me❤️

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Goid that you’re doing okay & still seeing some improvements. I hope that you can manage okay with less pain relief if the side effects with perocet are too bad. I only had ibuprofen after the 1st day, pain wasn’t too bad. Keep healing, you’re in our prayers!

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Thanks, Jules. I’ll try to post another update on Friday.

So good you have relief from some symptoms the first day!

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You are very resourceful and crushing this recovery! One day at a time, as always.

Thanks for explaining what he took out. I’m sure all will come back normal from the lab.

I had ear crackling and sharp, shooting pain in my surgical-side ear 2 days after surgery too! I wrote about it on here and it went away soon after that. It’s those first two weeks - so many strange feelings/sensations as things get back on-line.

Hope you have a good day today. I’m sure you’re ready to go home!

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Thanks for the encouragement and info about your post-op experience with your ears. Makes me more at ease that everything will settle down eventually😊 I’m trying to keep the ice on all the time but during the night it usually falls off. This morning I woke and the ear was pretty hot. Still just inflammation in there I bet. It’s only Thursday morning after Monday surgery. Excited to get to shower today though👏 The steristips will get wet…wondering if I should try to cover that area somehow or if it would be a futile attempt. Maybe they are supposed to get wet though so that they eventually peel off. My other surgeries involved staples, so this is new. Not sure about trapping moisture in there. Maybe I’ll wait and call the doctor’s office when they open. What was your post-op experience with the steristrips?

You’re up early! I had glue on my site and would hold a dry rag over it while I showered for the first week or so. Then I got brave and blotted at it to loosen up the glue and it peeled off by two weeks. :slight_smile::heart:

Thanks! I used a combination of additional bandages and the dry towel and was careful. The steristrips stayed dry.

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Good job. Nothing like that first shower. :butterfly:

@SewMomma, that is the truth!!! :blush:

I had baths to avoid wetting my neck. Hubby washed my hair for me so I didn’t get it wet as my incision was partly behind my ear…that was fun, not- he was hopeless, couldn’t wait to do it myself!!

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It’s nice that he tried, but definitely understand wanting to be able to do it yourself!

I’m ready to go home and start getting back to normal but my body is not quite there yet. I have 2 days to get ready. Fortunately, the airline will wheel me around if I’m not up for walking through the airports. Takes much of the worry out of getting home. It was worth it to book the non-stop flights!

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I’m here at the tag end of this discussion, but my husband taped plastic wrap over my steri strips for my first few showers. It was a heroic effort but leaked anyway. Interestingly, when I went for my follow-up at the end of my first week after my first surgery, Dr. Samji pulled my steri strips off to look at the incision. It was a very painful process. Because of that experience, I had my sister pull them off prior to my follow-up after my second surgery & when I went in, Dr. Samji asked why my steri-strips were off. I guess he changed his strategy over the course of the 9 months between my first & second surgeries. :crazy_face:

Glad your shower went well, redbird! I bet getting home will begin to speed your recovery. After all, “There’s no place like home!” :house_with_garden:

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Lol. I was just thinking it would be bad for a bunch of moisture to get trapped under a solid patch of those strips. It’s several layers thick. I just sort of kept the other side to the shower and used SewMomma’s dry towel suggestion with the extra bandages and it seemed to work this time:) They’re not even starting to peel off yet so I didn’t want to get the whole thing wet. I remember one of my abdominal incisions became infected and it really affected the look of that scar in the end since they had to re-open it. This one is not going to be hidden so I’m trying to avoid contamination as much as possible.

Wise! And don’t forget to start looking for those silicon patches after two or three weeks. I’ll post a picture soon of my scar at a little under three months.