I had a C1 laminectomy. It was considered successful, but 2 weeks post-op I developed high amount of chronic pain. In part it was due to how the nerve tissue grew around the occipital nerve & in part b/c my NS kept pushing me to be more & more aggressive with PT in spite of complaints about severe & worsening pain. He did do a MRI & that came back normal, so he assumed everything was fine. Later a different doc found out that I had a very elevated SED rate (blood sedimentation measures inflammation) after surgery lasting for almost 12 months which was exacerbated by the PT. Had we known about that (it is caused by a genetic condition I have), we could have either progressed more slowly with the PT or started me on NSAID's, but as it was, the inflammation worsened & the muscles in the back of my neck atrophied. I now have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted at C2 to manage the pain related to the post-op complications.
As for the surgery itself, it was no big deal at all. I was eating regular meals 12 hours post-op. I was out of the hospital in 24 hours. I was out jogging after 3 days. I was driving again 3-4 weeks post-op. If you have any particular questions, let me know. Hope that helps.