Four Hours Post Op with Terrible Pain

Please moderators can you put this post in the right place. I’ve been out of theatre for four hours now.
Styloid was removed on the right side only. They done the op intraorally using the robot.
It was a success but the pain is mental. They’ve given me two lots of fentanyl and a oramorph a- type of morphine. It’s eased it a bit but not much. I’m
Staring at liquid paracetamol as well but it’s too thick to even contemplate drinking. Im not too sure when I will be able to eat again, I can’t even drink water so still attached to the drip. Praying the pain heals soon.
Thanks for all the support x

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I am so sorry you’re in terrible pain, @Lemontree! Intraoral surgery is more painful than transcervical especially if you’ve also had your tonsils removed to make better access to your styloid process. The first week or two are the absolute worst as far as pain goes, but you should start gradually feeling better after that. Every body is different regarding how fast they heal & how intensely they feel pain. Hopefully once your meds get on top of your pain, you’ll be able to keep it at a tolerable level by closely following the dosage & frequency of ingestion guidelines provided by your surgeon. I’m glad you’re in the hospital for at least one night & hopefully for as long as is necessary to make sure you can swallow before being discharged. I’m praying for your pain to get under control. :hugs:


Thank you @Isaiah_40_31 for you message
The pain has eased slightly and I can tolerate water now.
I couldn’t sleep the entire night, after the pain eased around 3am I woke up every 10 min not being able to breathe, it was like my entire throat was sliding down and blocking my airways, I constantly woke up gasping for air. This happens over the years but only once or twice a night, not every 10-15 mins. I managed to whisper this, (can’t speak it’s too sore) to the nurse about this several times, and he said well your oxygen levels are ok. I’m a bit annoyed it’s not been taken seriously. I also can’t feel the entire right side of my tongue it’s so numb, I hope the sensations come back. Thanks for your quick response, I really appreciate it, this website has been so amazing and helpful for me :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’m hoping to speak to my surgeon when he’s doing the rounds for more answers, I’ve a feeling I’ll be brushed off and sent home x

So sorry that you’re so sore, I hope that the meds get it under control soon…thinking of you and praying for swift healing :pray: :hugs:

Thanks so much @Jules
They are trying to get me to eat something so I can go home, the pain has finally subsided but I’ve so much numbness it’s hard swallowing. I’ve managed half a yogurt.

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I’m really glad your pain level is significantly lower, @Lemontree. I had the exact same throat problem after my first ES surgery & still have it occasionally. Taking a 10-14 day (I can’t remember exactly the length) course of Prednisone allowed me to sleep at night. I’d take the medication in the morning so it wouldn’t keep me awake at night. You absolutely should firmly request this from your surgeon.

It sounds like your hypoglossal & probably your glossopharyngeal nerves were irritated during surgery as those are the two that innervate your tongue. I expect the numbness in your throat & tongue will gradually disappear over the few weeks to a month or more. Those types of post op symptoms are rarely permanent but they sure are annoying while you’re in the thick of them. Half my tongue was paralyzed for some months after my first ES surgery. I could feel it but the motor part of my half my tongue muscle wasn’t functioning. It was a challenge to speak & eat so I sympathize!

It’s good to know you got half a yogurt down. Based on that information, I expect they sent you home, & if so, I hope you’ve settled in there & will start feeling a lot better over the next couple of weeks.

We have noted that days 3-5 are when the post op swelling peaks so it would be good to try to get that Rx for Prednisone ASAP as it will help a lot.

Please keep us updated. :hugs:


Thank you, I’ve taken note of that medication. I spent another night in because I could only eat a yogurt yesterday, so basically that’s all I had over 48 hours, I tried my best but I’m not force feeding myself just so I can give up the bed. It was a challenge to eat. I didn’t feel ready to leave either I was still in a lot of pain. I also feel the hypoglossal nerve is irritated, the drs here seem to shy away from mentioning nerves. I’m unsure why. I’m going to bring it up today when they call around, I couldn’t speak yesterday and should the dr a few things I read out, he skimmed over them and gave me the most basic of answer, so I’m glad I’ve a little of my voice today.
Thanks again, it’s really not a pleasant surgery the inter oral, perhaps I’ll ask for the external surgery for the next one. x

Poor you, it sounds rough…I guess the doctors perhaps don’t want patients worrying if they mention nerves that it might be permanent- as @Isaiah_40_31 says the nerves get irritated during surgery but usually settle. Praying that they get your pain under control & that you can swallow more comfortably :hugs: :pray:

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I’m glad you were able to stay in the hospital for at least one more day. I hope they keep you until you feel stable enough to go home.

Two other things that helped me w/ the feeling of my throat closing & waking me up when I was sleeping were sleeping w/ my head very elevated i.e. 30º (I used a wedge pillow w/ bed pillows on top of it, & sleeping on my side. Any time I slept on my back I’d get that air cut off, throat closing feeling. That lasted for 6-8 weeks post op for me, but the prednisone did help reduce it.

That’s interesting @Isaiah_40_31 did the drs tell you that’s hypoglossal nerve that’s making the back of your throat close? I was dismissed again today. @Jules you are quite possibly right they don’t want to mention nerves. They brushed over my concern that my throat was collapsing every 10 mins the first night after the op and every half hour the second night. I mentioned I’ve the sleep clinic next week and they said take the issue there. Surely it’s an ENT issue that they can help with or at least give information and a reason to me it feels very related to the styloid. Anyway, Im at home now resting up, still in a lot of pain, but I’ll get there. I might just leave the left styloid in after this ordeal lol! Thanks guys again this site has been so amazing x

Sucking on ice chips/drinking very cold liquids & sucking on popsicles has been very helpful for our members who’ve had intraoral ES surgery. Icing your neck may also help - 15 min on & at least 45 min off using a thin towel between your skin & the ice pack. Ice is very helpful for most people in these early days after surgery. I think Jules found heat more helpful so that’s also something to try.

My doctor never suggested which nerve was causing my throat closing sensation. I suspect glossopharyngeal &/or vagus as they’re pretty active in the throat area. You’re right that what you’re experiencing is related to your surgery. Your surgeon is ignorant of this but should know that it can be one of the side effects of ES surgery because of the many nerves that can be irritated during surgery. It’s always surprising when we know more about this than our doctors.

I’m also praying for your full recovery from this operation. I do think having the transcervical approach is less painful during recovery.

I’m praying for your recovery & pain reduction, too. :hugs:

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Thank you @Isaiah_40_31 I totally agree, sometimes you feel your crazy when even suggesting these things to the Dr’s, they look at you like you’ve three heads, yet it’s all there in the medical literature and it’s easy to find. The drs doing their rounds who I was talking to both today and yesterday were not even my surgeons who does the procedure, I’ll be seeing him in 8 weeks time. They muffled their answers to me like vague politicians, it was just dribble. A dr then said to me “well at least now you don’t have an elongated styloid process”… I just looked at her and half laughed and said “ey not quite, I still have one of those on the other side” :exploding_head: lol.
Anyway I’m lucky I’ve had this surgery so I can’t really moan. It’s out and that’s the main thing. Your advice is super helpful, I’m all propped up in bed with a neck cushion and I’m going to send one of my family members to the freezer for an ice lolly lol. Thanks again x

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Hope that throat sensation eases soon, their bedside manner leaves a bit to be desired, good old NHS! Because of bed shortages after my second surgery I ended up being put on an orthopaedic ward, all the nurses kept coming & asking about ES & the surgery as they’d never heard of it, it was a good opportunity to educate them- as shame your doctors aren’t interested!
Take care of yourself, hugs and prayers :hugs: :pray:

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No one had a clue what surgery I got, one nurse said oh you got your tonsils out? I was croaking at him no I didn’t , they are still in there lol. I could hardly string a sentence but I’m all for advocating what you know and don’t allow the so called experts to disregard what you have to say just because you don’t carry a medical degree. I was amazed at the dribble the drs came out with on their rounds on both mornings, the most basic of information and not even relating to anything what I was asking. Anyway I’m glad it’s out, I need to keep focusing on the positives :slight_smile:


Are you feeling any better today? :hugs: :pray:

Hi @Jules , I’m feeling a little better thanks. Last night was the first time I got some sleep. I still can’t open my mouth very far it’s like my jaw feels completely locked up on one side, I guess that’s normal. Im wondering when was the first time anyone ate solids with the inter oral surgery? I couldn’t eat a thing in the hospital, but I could drink shakes so was drinking kefir and yogurt, it took hours to work up to it. They said I must first eat solids before leaving the hospital, so I was very naughty and lied and said I are the porridge in the morning (I hid
It) it was purely so I could get out the place. Eating solids was far too challenging. I’ve still not managed any solids and it’s day 5, I’m living off meal replacements shakes. Anyone got any idea? I still can’t feel the back of my throat xx

I couldn’t eat properly for over a week with my first external surgery as I couldn’t open my mouth very wide at all, so that’s normal with either surgery…I made lots of smoothies with pineapple and spinach juice, banana & yoghurt. Don’t blame you hiding the porridge! My mum had her tonsils out as an adult (pretty much the same recovery as you’re having), they made her eat toast before they let her go home, can you imagine that :astonished: I wouldn’t worry about sticking to the shakes etc for a while yet, there have been posts about recovery from intra-oral surgery, I remember one of our members @Weezie65 posted quite a bit although it was a while ago, I’ll have a look & see if I can find those… :hugs:

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Here’s one:
Surgery #2 - 5 Days Post-op Intraoral - General - Living with Eagle
You might find this discussion helpful too:
Intra oral surgery-who has had this who already had tonsils out previously? - General - Living with Eagle

Hope these help a bit!

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I also had my surgery intraorally. First month is hard, your salivary glands go nuts and the pain is somewhat hard. Hang in there, your pain will eventually subside. I’m a Diabetic and it took me a month to stop spitting the over excess saliva that would not stop. I walked around with a cloth over my mouth to keep from dripping.

You have to also realize that there’s allot of fear concerning the pain because with ES, any new feeling in the throat, we don’t know what it is? So, we question ourselves as to was it the right decision to have the surgery? I had been so trained by fear and I asked myself that same question…

Pray and ask for peace and surround yourself with people who love you and will pray for you.
Blessings… and just take it one day at a time, sometimes, one minute, and sometimes one second…


Jules, I had both styloids removed intraorally on the same day. Dr. R. Layton Runkle also removed my tonsils that day. Dr. Runkle was a professor/associate of Dr. Krempl at OU Physicians.