Airway Stenosis/Vocal Fold Paralysis Endoscopic Surgery Postoperative Care Instructions
Stenosis is a medical term for an abnormal narrowing. When it occurs in your airway, it can cause difficulty breathing. Stenosis can be caused by prior surgery in your neck, prolonged intubation for support during a major illness, trauma to your neck from an accident, or from an unknown cause (idiopathic). Often your surgeon can open this narrowing by working through your mouth, throat and voice box to incise or remove scar tissue that is causing the narrowing. This is called endoscopic management and after the tissue is cut or removed, the area may be dilated (stretched open). You will generally notice an improvement in your breathing immediately after the surgery. However, this surgery can be delicate and occasionally the airway cannot be opened and a tracheotomy (breathing hole in your neck) will need to be created. Also, the surgery may need to be repeated if the scar tissue reforms.
After Endoscopic Surgery Care
Incision: This surgery is done through your mouth. Therefore, there are no incisions.
Sleeping: Please sleep with your head and upper body elevated to 30 degrees on pillows.
Activity: Do not strain, do heavy lifting or hard exercise that involves the upper body for 2 weeks.
Diet: This is usually performed as an outpatient, and you will be discharged the same day after surgery. You can eat a regular diet, but should keep your diet light the first night after anesthesia. This will lessen your chances of developing an upset stomach.
Voice Use: In general you can speak when needed. Your voice will be hoarse or rough for 2 to 4 days. If it is not normal after this period, discuss it with your doctor on your first visit after surgery.
Pain: Most patients find that regular Tylenol is effective to control pain. However, there will be a narcotic pain medication called in to your pharmacy that you should pick up to have on hand to use if the acetaminophen is not adequate
Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do anything dangerous if you are taking narcotic pain medication (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, etc.) This medication affects your reflexes and responses, just like alcohol.
Antibiotics: You may be prescribed antibiotics for 7 days depending on how much tissue your surgeon removed. Please take this as directed.
Call Your Surgeon If You Have…
- Any concerns, we would much rather that you call your surgeon then worry at home, or get into trouble.
- Fever over 101.5 degrees F.
- More than expected swelling of your neck.
- Increase warmth or redness in your neck.
- Pain in your neck or chest with breathing or swallowing that continues to increase instead of decrease.
- Problem urinating.
- If you have trouble breathing- you need to go directly to the emergency room without calling.
How to Call Your Surgeon
- If it is urgent due to bleeding or difficulty breathing, call 911 or go directly to the closest emergency room without calling ahead.
- If it is not urgent, please try to call the Laryngology office during clinic hours of 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday. If you need to speak with someone after 5 pm or on a weekend, call the Laryngology office and the answering service will contact the doctor on-call to call you back.
9am - 5pm:
Raisa (8am-4pm) (212) 241-3468
Glorianne (212) 241-9105
After 5pm & Weekends:
9am - 5pm:
Jessica (917) 623-5296
Laryngology Office (212) 241-9425
After 5pm & Weekends:
** Please call during office hours for questions related to appointments, prescription refills and lab results. **
These appointments will have been made for 3 months following the surgery. In addition to the office visits, a swallow study will be scheduled on the same day just before your second postoperative appointment. This appointment schedule will have been given to you with your preoperative packet of instructions. If you have misplaced this list of appointments, in general the first postoperative appointment is 6 days after your surgery. Please call the office to confirm this appointment. We will then provide the list of additional appointment dates at that visit.