Some confusion, here

On May 11th, I will be having my left side done intraorally. Hope that's the correct spelling.

That side of the tonsil has to go, which I dread.

I am having Dr. Wm. Garvis (MN) do the procedure at Abbott in Mpls. I liked him immediately.

I had asked him about doing it extraorally, and he said you run the risk of damaging a facial nerve and why take that risk?

I was confused about them only giving two weeks off from work. I let him know ahead of time that it takes me longer, and most likely will be three weeks. He was open to that.

Reading from others, it doesn't sound like they're raring to go back to work in that short of time.

My job requires heavier lifting.. up to 40 lbs. sometimes.

Oh - and I'd asked his coordinator about doing both at the same time and she called back and said he

said we'll do only one for now as it is a difficult procedure.

Can anyone elaborate on any of these points? Greatly appreciated.


The Dr I saw is in NC 12 hours from me. He started off going to do both sides but later went back said well do the side that giving me the most problems first. He said he like it if i could stay in town for at least 14 days. Which I thought was long time for staying at hotel and cost. But I understand the healing process he wants to make sure everything is ok. I think the 3 weeks maybe good for you make sure you are well rested and ready to go back to work you don't want to rush things.

As I understand it, you actually run less risk of damaging facial nerves by having the extraoral approach because going through the neck allows the doctor to see & move the facial nerves & vascular tissues (carotid artery, jugular vein) out of the way so nothing gets cut by accident. The intraoral (you did spell it correctly) approach doesn't give the surgeon any visibility of the nerves or vascular tissues. They are basically cutting blind. That said, many people on this site have had very successful intraoral approach surgeries, so it's clearly not as dangerous as the literature makes it sound. If your surgeon is more comfortable with the intraoral approach then that's the way to go. My doctor also only does one side at a time due to the amount the throat swells post op. I did have significant swelling & took steroids to help keep my throat open. Glad I didn't have both sides done at once after all!

As far as post-op activity, my surgeon said no aerobics or lifting weight for the first 2 weeks post-op and waiting for 2 months would be even better. I did jump back into exercising at the 2 week mark & think it was too quick. You will most likely not be comfortable lifting heavy weight for 30-60 days post op. I'm having my second surgery on the same date as your surgery & will be more conservative in resuming my activities this time.

So glad you'll be getting this done soon!



I had both sides (intraoral) on Monday the 13th of last month and was ready to go home after one night in the hospital, probable would but a bit of a high fever kept me most of the next day waiting. Finally around 8:30 pm day two I was released and I didn't move from the couch for the next two days. Could I have went to work that Friday, maybe? Just no strenght and I really need the extra day. With all that said, the next week was a strain but as they said "no heavy lifting".

Week three: still a little sore, using cough drops for the dry throat, but I've got a full range of speech, no singing yet.

Just take it easy and heed the doc's instructions, he know your case the best, right?

Thanks so much for this feedback as it is all very helpful.

Here's another question/concern I have. What foods, drink, etc. can you recommend following the surgery?

Coffee, tea, water, jello, pudding, soups, ???????????

I didn't change food types, just bite size. Since I had both sides done, it's still as I said a bit sore. Opening wide is an exercise that still hurts.

It really takes a month to heal" intra oral approach that is. You can’t even eat solids for 4 weeks and your tired and week from no food and the very strong pain meds! And if he’s a good doctor. He should give you some broad spectrum antibiotics to prevent deep space neck infection too? So your body will definitely feel off for a while. So I would definitely write work off for 4 weeks to say the least! Truthfully speaking" You really need to give your body that time to heal! Because’ your mouth is one of the hardest places to heal my surgeon said" Best of Luck and a Very speedy recovery :slight_smile:

I had surgery to the left side three years ago. I was back working in 2 weeks but I don't do any heavy lifting. I was told no lifting over 10 pounds for 4 weeks. Mine was done externally and though you do run the risk of nerve damage it was not bad at all. I will have the right side reduced on May 15th and again is will be external. Mine may be done externally as the styloid is so long and may not be something that can be done orally. Everyone heals differently and you may bounce back quickly but I would give myself time as oral surgery in my opinion will be more painful (swallowing). I wish you the best.

I am one week out from surgery/externally. Lots of broth, smoothies, rice, risotto. Have just added soft, cooked vegetables. Was hard to swallow at first, still hard to open my mouth and to chew.

Intraorally worked really well for me. I was only down one week for each surgery. Actually the first side gave me very little issue and wasn't even very sore. The second side had more swelling and pain.Yes, do each side separately. I was reluctant, and wanted both at once. But it would have been very difficult to swallow if I had both done at once because for me one side was more painful than the other. One side the surgeon said every piece of tissue he touched was super tight, and I could definitely feel the difference. So much depends on what angle etc each styloid may be sitting. So, yes, each side separately is better . This surgery immediately makes your body happier. The relief is amazing. It takes a long time for the nerves to heal (at least 6 months.). And mine were really pushing on my jaw, so at 9 months post surgery my jaw is still working on finding the more comfortable position. But I fought with Eagles for more than 20 years, so your may not take so many months. But I felt so much immediate relief it was overwhelming. Soft food and soup for a week, then normal food, you just have to be sure not to let food get stuck in the little divet as it heals.

I love hearing all your experiences. As each day passes, I am getting a little more worried. I was telling others I need to 'reprogram'' my thinking. If I expect the best outcome, then so be it.

Had my pre-surgery physical this afternoon, and the lady Doc had me get that tenunus (sp.) shot. Also had to get an EKG. She said the possibility could arise at the hospital where if I hadn't had it, they could cancel the surgery. Didn't want to, but I did. Thanks again, everyone.

DO NOT WORRY! Go into your surgery with confidence in yourself and especially in your doctor. The surgery & recovery will by only a memory quicker than you think! Plus, a positive mindset really helps the healing process.

As far as food goes, eat anything you want, just run it through a blender w/ the liquid of your choice before you try to consume it. I had salad w/ many veggies & used the dressing as the blender liquid; I had chicken veggie soup blended. I had my first side done right before Thanksgiving & my husband took my turkey, yams, green bean casserole, stuffing etc. & put it all in a blender w/ some almond milk. It looked awful but tasted amazing! Do listen to what your body is asking for. You may want to start w/ simple smoothies - protein powder & fruit or veggies & water or milk or use yogurt w/ milk or water as the base (especially if you're taking antibiotics) to keep your stomach's bacterial flora healthy. Pain meds can be very constipating so keep fiber in your diet or Magnesium citrate capsules or a product called CALM which is powdered Mag citrate (available at most drug stores/on Amazon) works amazingly well to keep things moving.

You'll do GREAT!! Follow your doctor's post op instructions & listen to your body!!


You guys are awesome. So glad for this forum, otherwise I'd be in the dark as to what to expect. I will leave a message with Dr. Garvis's coordinator asking if she will gently talk w/the Doc about what type of work I do - it's very hard on the body and we sometimes are lifting up to 40-50 lbs.