In a surgery on Feb 9th I had my submandibular gland removed along with 39 lymph nodes and part of the SCM muscle (this was a cancer removal rather than ES surgery). Since then I have been unable to turn my tongue to the left side and I cannot pull back the left half of my tongue (the right half pushes the left out of the way). I’m concerned that my styloglossus muscle was cut (or broke during a throw up event shortly after surgery). Has anyone experienced these symptoms after their ES surgery?
The closest description I can find is hypoglossal nerve damage.
Thank you for any experiences you can provide.
I know of one member who had the same problem, but don’t think he’s on here any more. Some others have had nerve damage so have had temporary tongue weakness etc., but that has eased.
I hope that the cancer’s all cleared up for you, it sounds like a pretty major op.
My hypoglossal nerve was damaged during my first ES surgery as it was wrapped around my styloid process & had to be unwrapped so the styloid could be shortened. For me, it was the right side of my tongue which was affected. It was basically paralyzed for about 6 months. I could feel it but had no control of it. I talked like I was drunk & had a terrible time eating & drinking. Gradually, the nerve healed and is about 95% back to full function. There are still some words that are harder for me to say & eating takes me a bit longer than it used to, but my tongue is mostly back to normal otherwise.
Nerves take a very long time to heal, especially if there’s been major damage to them. As far as your styloglossus muscle being cut during surgery, that would be a question for your surgeon. If you’re only suffering from nerve damage, patience will be your best friend, as your nerve will most likely heal to at least some degree, unless it was cut in two. Surgeries in that area of the body are difficult because of all the nerves & muscles that can be affected. Hopefully, you’re just suffering a temporary set back & will begin to see improvement over the next several months.
I had a shortening of the right styloid during which the styloglossus muscle was cut. It is cut in pretty much all styloidectomies as far as i’m aware. It attaches to the tip of the styloid process. Also cut is the stylomandibular ligament and stylopharyngeus and stylohyoid muscles depending on how much of the process is taken out. I actually had tongue deviation prior to surgery and this was a little worse for quite a few months after surgery. It is back to baseline now. A cut styloglossus muscle not explain the severity of your symptoms. Perhaps the hypoglossal nerve was stretched or damaged during surgery. As mentioned above, only time will tell how much function returns unfortunately.