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Upcoming ACDF, Throat & swallow issue questions

So, that's the part that freaks me out the most. How bad is it following surgery?
ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
...and it was the best decision of my life :-)


  • Not pleasant at all.

    Keep a carbonated beverage close by at all times.

    Some activities may be off-limits.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 555
    I had throat issues from my first surgery. It was actually my throat that was bothering more than the surgery itself? If it gets bad, just ask for some throat spray. That's what they gave me in the hospital. I didn't have any real problems swallowing. It just hurt like a sore throat to swallow. I remember I asked for a lot of ice in my drinks. And I have very sensitive teeth & don't normally drink really cold beverages. But the cold felt good in my throat. Also, get yourself a package of bendy straws. They help a lot to drink from.
  • It's an annoyance, but not the end of the world. The first couple of weeks, NEVER eat without liquids nearby. You'll need a lot of it. (or just eat only soup!) At 4 months, I still have an issue maybe daily, but not that big of a deal.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • BuddycampBBuddycamp Posts: 20
    edited 04/28/2015 - 6:05 AM
    With both of my cervical fusions, I experienced swallowing issues (or lack thereof) while in the hospital. I had C5/C6 done in 2009 and C6/C7 in 2013 and both times I couldn't swallow anything without choking and the hospital I was in won't allow patients to leave until they're able to swallow. My scheduled over night stay ended up being extended to 5 days both times because of this. Outside of that, throat felt like I had strep for a day or so from the breathing tube but wasn't too bad. For me the worst pain after surgery was the incision site and the muscle spasms. Good luck on your upcoming surgery, I hope you get the relief you need and have a fast and full recovery. :)
  • My goodness.
    I wonder if this also has to do with your gag reflex also being a culprit. Mine is not that sensitive whereas my son's is so severe certain textures make him gag and throw up.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • I had 2 level (C5, C6) a few weeks ago, the sore throat was not pleasant, but it just felt like having a bad sore throat during a cold. I didn't choke at all and could swallow all the pills, I was eating soft food for 3 days and then pretty much normal after one week. But I do notice yesterday if I swallow two / three pills at the same time, it takes another sip of water to flush the pills down, you can almost feel the pill just hang in there (bottom of neck behind the incision) not choking, hope it gets better when the swelling behind the incision heal but it's not really a big deal.

    My surgeon told me I am a skinny guy with a skinny neck, there was not a whole lot he needed to move aside to get to my spine. Good luck with the surgery, my first meal was apple sauce and scramble eggs with cheese. Small bites, chew slowly!!
  • Thanks Kenny! I'm very anxious to get this over with.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • One week postop and the throat is starting to feel better. I find that very watery stuff is the most uncomfortable to get down. Thicker things likes smoothies and oatmeal etc. are easier to swallow. Still having some spasms in the esophagus but they are definitely improving. First thing in the morning is the worst but after that morning cup of coffee things start to feel better.
    I really dreaded the whole throat thing too Denise, and it really isn't that horrible. It gets better every day.

    Occasionally I feel like someone is squeezing my throat, but like I said it gets a little better every day.
  • Thanks so much for the update. This *really* comforts me and puts me slightly at ease.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
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