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Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

Two weeks ago I had an anterior discectomy. The surgeon said that it was possible to lose my voice for a while because the nerve to the vocal cords would be "stretched" during the procedure. Sure enough, I lost my voice and I have an extremely difficult problem of keeping liquids from getting down my airway.

I was just wondering if this was somewhat "normal" and if so, how long before I should expect to get my voice back and swallow properly?

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Old 03-06-2010, 06:26 AM   #2
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Re: Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

I have heard of some people who have lingering throat symptoms after anterior cervical surgery. If any nerve was moved, all nerves take a while to recover from any "trauma" (even simple movement out of alignment). Keep track of how you feel and if you are seeing even marginal improvement daily or weekly, this is good. If not, then you need to discuss it with the surgeon at the next visit. When do you see him/her next?
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
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Re: Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

Thanks for the post. I know that surgery can cause trauma to the area and until it has time to fully heal the nerves can be slow to recover. I was just a little concerned that it was taking slower to recover than I had expected and wanted to see if other people had experienced something similar. I see the surgeon next Wednesday.

Old 03-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

I've had 3 cervical fusions..and certainly takes some time to heal all the nerves and muscles and to have that hoarse/scratchy throat...and feeling like a 'lump" in the throat..

I am concerned though about you saying that you are having trouble even with this happening every single time you take even a sip of water?

I would give the surgeon a call first thing Monday morning , or even a call to an 'on call' surgeon this this is not a usual symptom to have things going down your windpipe...

So..if you wait till Monday...ask to speak at least to a nurse (not just the receptionist), and tell them exactly what is going on..they should be able to let you know what to do...if for some reason there was possible damage/nick to that area that has caused undo swelling or an opening of some sort...

Again..I never had trouble with that type of issue...just the normal sore throat and feeling swollen so had milkshakes/ensure type drinks the first few days..especially after my last one which was a 360 and took over 6 hours...

Wish you luck!! Take care

Last edited by Ilovemycutedog; 03-06-2010 at 09:40 AM.

Old 03-06-2010, 09:47 PM   #5
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Re: Anterior Discectomy - lost voice

Hello - sorry about your voice. There was a person on here a couple years ago who lost her voice and had some issues. All of us have some minor problems after surgery, but some people do get it worse. Two weeks isn't very long I remember having swallowing problems for about 3-4 weeks. If your voice doesn't come back within a month - I think I would go see an ENT (ear, nose throat) doctor.

There are some older posts by a woman named "julyg", she experienced voice problems and ended up needing help from a specialist. I am putting it here in case you need advice down the line. I just checked and she is still somewhat active on healthboards.

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