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Trouble Swallowing

dschmidt56297ddschmidt56297 Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am still having trouble swallowing. My surgery was Dec 30th. I have to make sure I have a ton of water ready to wash down what ever it is I'm eating. Everything I try to eat gets stuck in my throat. Any idea how long this might last? Thanks for the replies


  • Mine was better after a couple of weeks (once the swelling went down). I lived on jello, smoothies and fruit salad for a little while.

    Have you been in to have your bandages changed? If not have them check the swelling. Don't hesiate to call your surgeons office and let them know if you are concerned.

    >:D< Feel Better >:D<

  • It was at least 3 weeks before I noticed a major difference. After that period of time it was another couple of months before I could eat all foods without a problem. Cheese and chocolate were two foods I had to avoid for quite some time.
  • It was almost 4 months for me. My surgery was Nov. '09. Sometimes I still choke while swallowing. There is no obvious injury though, so for me it might be something else.

    Hang in there....it gets better.

  • Looking at the date, you're real early yet out of surgery. Most of us reduce the swallowing problems between 2 and 4 weeks. It all depends on what they did, how long the surgery etc. Of course, if it is real bothersome, or you are concerned, don't hesitate to give your surgeon a call. Less stress allows for easier healing, which is what most surgeons try to achieve. I hope you're feeling better soon.

    One other thing. I tried not to try and swallow dry items, chewed things bunches before I swallowed etc. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had my ACDF C4/5/6 on 18 September and my swallowing only came back to something approaching normal a week before Xmas! I still occasionally choke slightly. The secret is to eat small pieces and chew them well. Hope this is of some help to you. :)))
    Good luck to you.
  • Thanks for all the helpful posts. I see the doctor on Thursday to have my incision checked, just to make sure it is healing. I do notice after my shower when my neck brace is off, I still have some swelling so I'm going to ask the Dr. about that. Right now I've been eating soup, jello, pudding and ice cream and sucking on ice chips. Only good thing about the swallowing problem is I've lost 10 pounds.
  • You might also want to consider drinking one of those bottled drinks like Ensure - they contain all of the nutrients you need for one meal and actually fill you up to some extent.

    Just a thought.

  • Its understandable considering that the surgeon moves the vocal chords, esophagus (I think) out of the way to perform the discectomy/fusion. It all gets majorily annoyed at being messed with.

    I most certainly do not look forward to the swallowing issues. I've done my research, plus the invaluable input by those of you who have gone before me.

    My next surgery is to be a two level cervical disectomy/fusion. I'm expecting this in the next two months or so.

    I'm thinking liquid diet probably for some time after. I would suspect the surgeon probably has a standard letter he gives to patients on what kinds of things to eat.
  • Yes, swallowing take some time. My 2 level ACDF was on 129/2010. You have had much less recovery time. The best advice I rec'd was be patient. Jello, pudding, soup, pasta, ice cream, sherbet, mashed potatoes & oatmeal (soupy)keep me going for a few weeks. Slowly add soup with very small noodles that can just slide down. I still have problem with bread, sandwiches, bagels, chicken and meat. I also lost weight in the beginning, but gained it right back. My only other advice is use the stool softener to make your life a little smoother and easier. Good luck.
  • I think my swallowing problem is getting a little better. Last night I was able to eat a grilled cheese sandwich and chili. Made sure I had water there for when I needed it. Everything went down okay. Today I had oatmeal and made it kind of soupy. Still have been sucking on ice chips at least once a day to help with swelling.
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