Post op experiences - anxious

I am now 1 week post-op, had both my styloids removed intraoral. I cant say that I feel great… What makes me most nervous is that it still feels like I have something in my throat. I hate that feeling, and really hoped it would be the first to disappear. The styloid is gone, I don´t feel it where I used to feel it and have seen the after picture.
Is this normal?
I know it will take time to heal, but I was not prepared for this and it makes me really anxious :pensive:

Hi, I just wrote I’m glad I only had one side done! I’m going to guess you feel the same thing I do…a tight/closed up/ swollen throat that absolutely feels like a lump is there when I swallow. I’m trying not to overreact as well because this is something that drove me crazy before surgery as well. Does swelling sound conceivable? I have a little pouch of fluid left right above the incision on my neck so I envision that’s how my insides looks too. I also have a very hoarse voice. How’s your voice?

Northstar -

Irritated nerves can take months to heal. As SewMomma suggested, it’s most likely that your throat sensation is being caused by inflammation & irritated nerves. Since you had both bilateral & introral surgery, your throat swelling will be a fair amount greater than for someone like SewMomma who had unilateral external surgery. Obviously there is generally lots of throat/neck swelling with either approach to ES surgery.

You should begin to feel some noticeable positive changes by the end of the second week post op & significant healing by 1-2 months post op. Don’t despair at this point. You’re still in early recovery. ES surgery is considered to be major surgery even if it doesn’t seem like it would be.

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It is very early days yet, as Isaiah says it can take a while for nerves to heal. The sensation of something stuck in your throat isn’t necessarily caused by the styloids actually poking you but can be a nerve sensation because they’re irritated. So these nerves have been irritated for a while, & will take time to settle. Intra-oral can be a harder op recovery-wise, so patience is needed.
Hope that you both soon feel better! Thinking of you & you’re in my prayers…

Thinking of you Northstar. What has been your “go-to” for nutrition these days? :heart:

I can now eat everything, have been doing it for some days now. Just have to chew a lot.
How are you doing today?

I am 10 days post op. Working on writing my story to share. Wondering is it in the realm of normal to still be needing really soft foods. Before surgery I couldn’t even chew a blueberry and now I can - but when I read that anyone could eat anything I worry. Thanks all:)

Sew Momma - my go to for nutrition is my nutra Ninja. Once I discovered that I could pulverize steak by life improved immensely. Getting pretty tired of smoothies:)

Lol pulverized steak - what a riot! I’m with you sjlash - 7 days post op and it’s all soft food here. My main problem is my crazy tongue! It’s living a double life! The left side (non surgical side) is normal. My right is swollen, puffy and just lazy! Food just hangs out on the right side of my mouth with no chance of getting swept up. The mechanics of eating that we take for granted! This morning was a milestone though, I was able to chew (on the left) and safely swallow one pancake! I was excited. My voice is 80% resolved. But my speech is still pretty messed up. I can’t make certain sounds “d, t” for example. I still have a pouch of fluid around my site. But I’d say my outlook has increased slightly. So grateful the awful click is gone on the right. I’m a slow healer with swelling I suppose. Took one Norco when I woke up. A little pesky pain was lingering at the site. Hot shower with some sponging of the scar. Doing 2 800mg ibuprofen today. Gonna make a smoothie with yogurt, peanut butter and cocoa powder. I love Chick Fil A chicken noodle soup so I have two large orders of that in the fridge. My mom is bringing chili tonight, hopefully I can manage that ok on the left side. Packets of instant oatmeal have been good. When I’m really desperate to be full and have had enough of the chore of eating, I pull out a cold Vega chocolate shake from the fridge. I found those at Target here. I’m making burritos for my family today. Way too complicated for me to even dream of moving all that around in my mouth! Been reading some recovery stories on this site to try to help me calm down about my tongue. If I could just get it out of my head that there is permanent damage I’d be doing so much better. I should listen to my husband who is celebrating all my small improvements. :rainbow::clap::heart:

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Hi there, I wanted to share some info regarding your tongue. I had my right styloidectomy this past August and my left this past November. In August I experienced left lip weakness, and it has pretty much disappeared. The November surgery left me with a right side tounge severe weakness. I actually call it paralysis. I informed the surgeon right away after surgery and he let me know that the hypoglossal nerve is what controls it and most likely because of the territory it’s located in, it has suffered from the invasion of the surgical instruments and swelling. After talking with others, I have found out it takes 6-9 months or so to regain its use.
After all the crazy rabbit holes I’ve been down chasing the culprit for my pain, I’m actually ok with my tongue nerve not working. I have lost some weight and have difficulty with talking at times and eating is a challenge.
BUT, my original pain is 90% gone.
I used gel ice packs 4-5 times a day for 6 weeks to help the inflammation deep down subside.
Hang in there, as my dear mother use to say “this too shall pass”.

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Thank you. I’m so glad you chimed in. I will stop worrying! And I’ll keep icing!!

Thank you, gbr! When I had my first surgery in Nov 2014 & ended up w/ hypoglossal nerve damage & a paralyzed right half of my tongue, there was only one other forum member who was posting about tongue issues. He’d had what sounded like a “hack job” surgery done in another country so the basis of his problems were different than mine. It did take 9 months for my tongue to return to nearly normal. I still have days where eating is a little more challenging (I tend to eat fast & take bites that are too big. When I slow down & take small bites the eating challenge basically disappears). I still have words that are harder to say (like “little” & “puddle” - those w/ double, “hard” consonants in them. If I make myself enunciate they come out fine though.

You gals will recover full tongue function though the intervening period between surgery & recovery can seem interminable.

It really does vary- after my 1st surgery I couldn’t open my mouth very wide at all, had soft foods & smoothies for over a week, & couldn’t clean my teeth very well, but I was completely fine after the 2nd surgery to eat normally. It probably depends on the angle of the styloids and whether they’re near certain nerves- nerves are usually monitored in surgery so at least you know it’s not permanent damage, just will take a little while to heal & settle…

I do keep reminding myself the surgeon did stress that nerves would be monitored during the operation. I think that’s a crucial thing to ask when discussing the procedure with a potential doctor. That fact is what’s keeping me from irrational thoughts about things being permanent right now. It’s all a test of faith and patience, the recovery.