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swallowing issues

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello All,

I had C3 thru T1 posterior and anterior surgery on May 26th. I was on a soft food diet leaving the hospital due to problems swallowing. I have graduated to foods containing pasta. My throat isn't sore but it feels like my muscles don't work properly and food gets stuck. I have tried eating things like subway seafood and such but still can't swallow it down without having to choke it back up. Has anyone else had this problem. I have lost 10 plus pounds since surgery. Any advice would be greatly appriciated.


  • I'm sure you have alot of swelling with so many levels done at once. Swallowing easily will take time. You're only 1 month out, you have a ton of healing to do! But definitely check with your Dr. whenever you aren't sure about something. Good luck, heal well!
    Faith M
  • I didn't have so much trouble swallowing with one level done. But with my nursing experience, and the fact you have lost so much weight, I advise you call your doctor. Have you tried some protein shakes, smoothies with yogurt, Ensure??? I do have problems with esophageal spasms that required dilatation (opening up the esophagus) and had severe swallowing problems, so with personal experience from this, I used to drink protein liquids such as above.

    Best wishes to you during your recovery.....

  • As the others have said you are still very early out of surgery, and I would suspect have alot of swelling at this point. Marianne, is correct in using the liquid protein drinks. One of those is for maintaining weight, I think it is the one that says plus on the can. I would make sure your surgeon is aware of the discomfort you are still having. If it is still happening at the 2 month mark. they can perform a barrium swallow test, to see if anything is obstructing the esophagus. I had issues and finally at 5 months, finally did the barrium swallow and found one of my plates to be putting pressure on the esophagus, so stretching it wouldn't help. I was fused and the offending plate was removed. Take care.
  • Fruit baby food is good, I ate that after my neck surgeries. I ate jello, applesauce, pudding, yogurt, scrambled eggs. drink with a straw and take tiny sips and take very tiny bites until you can see your doctor. Soups are good too, tomato, chicken broth, chicken and stars. This is what I did for several months. My throat was so sore after mine also. I had several levels done also.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • Welcome to our site, I had C4-7 done 12-9-08 the surgery took six hours due to lots of bone spurs. I had the same kind of problems swallowing, it just took time and lots of soft food. I still have some problems with pills and dry food like chicken, I just make sure I have something to drink to get it down but it's 95% better and the doctor says in time it will be 100%.
    Take care, I hope you have a good and fast recovery.
  • The atkins/EAS type drinks are good. Ice Cream and milk (homer simpson -- ahhhhhh) and all that soft food. Yeah it will be sore for awhile but it goes away.

    I do get large pills hung up in my throat. I think it's the hardware. I have to be careful how I swallow those.
  • Hi - hope your feeling better. I've had the same op as you and it took a while to settle but if your still not happy then contact your doc but try all the other posts have advised. Mine was 10 years ago now and every now and then I still have problems swallowing especially with things like bread, meat, cake, chicken that sort of thing so always have a glass of water handy. At the end of the day the muscles have been cut into but you should be fine.Good luck with your recovery.
  • I am just out of surgery 4 days but I have to tell you that cherry cough drops and ginger ale have done wonders for my throat. I advice anyone having this surgery to get cough drops and drink a lot of ginger ale. :) Made a world of difference for me. I do have a little swallowing issues but doc told me that will subside in a few days. I was really scared about the swallowing issues that can occur but if it gets stuck just wash it down with water, really not a big deal and it should heal with time.

    I had two levels and doc told me he had to scrap a lot of arthritis out so I guess time will tell.

    Good Luck to ALL!

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