Post Op. What is Normal

I Just had external surgery last Friday. I wish we had a long detailed list of what to expect and what is normal. I know the obvious like, infection, bleeding, not being able to breath. But there are so many little things, I wonder if they are normal? So far my recovery has not been what I have expected. I thought I would sleep a majority of the time but I have not been able to. I would like to know your opinion if you have had surgery. I am still without a voice now for 4 days. Is this normal? Have any of you experienced this? I still can’t see in the back of my throat so everything is tight. Any one find a good way to sleep propped up? I have a wedge pillow. But I am finding it hard to sleep and it is making me all hunched over. When is it ok to do light stretching? I have worked so hard this last year on my posture and shoulder and now im all hunched over and my shoulder is in bad shape. Part of my pain in sleeping in a bad position. Did anyone develop a cough as result of all the phlem? My dad suggested heat instead of ice? Has anyone tried heat? I have my post op appointment this Thursday. As always thanks for listening.

Sorry that you’re having a hard time sleeping- I did too & the trouble is when you’re tired it makes everything else seem worse… Firstly, to help with sleeping I had a wedge pillow & a V-shaped pillow as well; it kept me well propped up, & the V shaped one is good because it can help take the pressure off the side of your neck. Maybe your doctor would be able to give you something to help your sleep for a few days, & a muscle relaxant for your shoulder?
I can’t remember if you had external or intra-oral surgery? If it was intra-oral, then the recovery time can be a bit longer as it’s like having a tonsillectomy as an adult which is pretty tough apparently. (If so, then maybe google recovery from tonsillectomy as an adult, there’s lots of info out there about it). If your surgery was external, then at a guess I’d say your throat is sore from the breathing tube. You say you’re voice is gone- is it croaky like with a sore throat?
I didn’t have phlegm trouble, but I know others have, that must be horrible if you’re having to cough lots.
If you’re still getting swelling then heat’s not too good an idea, but if swelling’s gone down then it would help with your shoulder.
It is very early days & it is a big operation, so you do need to be patient & let your body heal. I think because the op can be done as an outpatient, people get the impression that it’s a minor surgery, but it’s not, so don’t expect too much.
I wouldn’t do stretches just yet, I don’t think I started doing any for a couple of weeks, but that’s something to ask your doctor too.
Hopefully you’ll get some answers from your doctor on Thursday, but hang in there, it will get better!

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Sorry- seen in your other post that you had external surgery, so I’m guessing alot of your throat issues are from being intubated, but if your voice was being affected by ES- I think you said before it was?- it could be that the nerves were irritated by surgery & will take a little while to settle.
Sending you a hug! :hugs:

Thanks so much Jules for your reply. I have a croaky voice. I think it is a combination of the tube being in and maybe nerves being irritated by es. All the spots where I was having pain with eagles are magnified since the surgery. I still can’t see the back of my throat bc everything is so swollen in there so that has to affect the voice quite a bit.

Hi Agirl, I hope today is a better day for you. You have been in my thoughts.

I hope your surgeon is able to shed light and give you reassurance through your recovery period.

I did wonder whether the lack of being able to take strong pain medication (if I recall right) could be a factor in the difficulties you have experienced following surgery, knowing that some members have been on quite strong pain relief at least in the first week. This might be a factor and would be good to know from your surgeon if this has contributed in your initial discomfort.

I wish you continued recovery and healing. Sending you much blessings xx

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Hopefully the swelling will go down soon… I know some US members have been prescribed steroids to help with swelling, don’t know if they would be an option for you, or if you’d want to take them? Perhaps discuss this with your doctor today, & let us know how you get on…

What about sleeping sitting up instead of using a wedge of pillows? Do you have a recliner?


Thank you for all your support. The Dr. says that I am healing and should continue to heal and be ok. My voice came back about 2 hrs before my appointment today, it is still a little weak so I am being careful but it is nice to be able to speak. He said the swelling was not too bad and thinks it will go down on its own without the help of steroids. I definitely agree with Vkossa that not having good pain killers has made this more difficult but I think I am finally moving forward in the healing. The Dr. did not seem that concerned with my pain level. If I ever need surgery like this again I will definitely get a recliner. I wish I had one now but will have to make do. Again a huge thanks. I do not know what I would have done without this website and support.

Glad that your voice has returned, & I’m sure it will continue to strengthen, patience is easier said than done! I hope that things continue to improve for you, & that you soon feel the benefits of surgery. :hugs: :bouquet::bouquet: :smiley:

I just had external styloidectomy in March 6th and had no complications except some minor numbness to my left side of face and Chin. But I feel great and never really had any pain etc.I’m sorry you’re going through this.

I didn’t realize you could get much swelling inside from external surgery and is not being able to breath a common problem post op?

July123, The swelling in my mouth and throat I believe was due to the breathing tube they put in during the surgery. I do not believe breathing problems are common post op.(but I don’t know for sure) My breathing problems were due to the fact that the tube hurt me so my body produced a bunch of mucus to protect and heal my throat.

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Thanks Agirl, the intubation is what I’m dreading the most!

July- most people don’t notice any pain etc at all from intubation.

My voice came back about 2mos after my surgery. Don’t get discouraged, it’s going to take time. Good luck