I am writing this post about my father. He is 54y/o. He had a 2 level ACDF on 12/3/04. They had a very difficult time intubating him due to small airway (difficult anatomy). He came home from the hospital 2 days post op and was unable to eat or drink anything without choking. On 12/10/04, he was admitted back into the hospital for dehydration and swallowing difficulty. As of today (12/14), he has lost 32 pounds. A pharyngogram was done and showed that he had no sensation in his throat and is aspirating. The ENT doctor believes it is from the swelling from the trauma of the surgery. He is being discharged from the hospital today with a NG tube in place for feeding. He can not eat or drink anything. He is so misserable. They are to repeat the swallowing study in 2 weeks. Has anyone else had problems like this? Please let us know.
Very sorry to hear about your father. As you may be aware during surgery they move the larynx, airways etc all out of the way. After surgery it is very common to have swallowing difficulty and problems with your voice.
Considering your father has small airways I would think this would make it so much worse.? I am almost 6 weeks post op and have just noticed the yellowish bruise going down around my neck and the strange swallowing feeling dissipating. I would imagine if I had a very narrow throat that things would have been alot worse.
If you search the forum you will probably find some experiences of people where they have had swallowing problems and choking post-ops.
Thank you so much Paul for the info. We are hoping and praying for the best. It is going to be a long two weeks until the swallowing study is repeated. The doctors really feel that the problem will resolve, but it could take up to eight weeks. Only time will tell. Thanks for keeping him in your prayers.
This is very common problem with this surgery. You fathers smaller airway makes the problem even worse.
I had 2 level ACDF on June 30th. I was discharged the next day, but was re-admitted the next day because my throat closed off and I couldn't even swallow water or my meds. It took about 3 weeks for my thoat to feel better.
Given your fathers situation make sure that someone keeps a close watch on him, as he may need to go back. Don't be afraid to take him to emergency room if he has any trouble.
My problem was not nearly as severe as your father's but I learned to take small bites of food and chew it very well before swallowing. I also ate a lot of jello and soup for a week or two and avoided food that was dry or tough. It is very common to lose weight while recovering from this type of surgery.