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Uvula torn during shoulder surgery. Uvula hanging down on tongue. Is there any treatment?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2544 Questions
Thank you. Yesterday I had shoulder surgery and I believe my uvula was torn when they were trying to intubate me. They said a blister formed and burst when I threw up after surgery, but my uvula is now hanging down on my tongue and appears to be about 2 c m longer than usual. Is there a treatment for this or does it just get better on it's own?
Posted Tue, 7 Aug 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 7 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Injury to the soft palate and uvula does occur in a few patients during difficult intubation.

2. If the uvula appears about 2 cm longer, get an examination done by an ENT Surgeon. Do you have pain?

3. If there is a gape or the uvula is precariously hanging in the throat you may require suturing or excision of the uvula.

4. The soft palate and uvula has a tremendous capacity to heal. After major palate surgery, many a times, the sutures cut through due to palatal movements (which accompany swallowing and hence are unavoidable). In spite of this, the healing is surprisingly excellent in the long run. Healing of large raw areas takes time. Suturing and approximation of edges speeds up healing. Also after palatal surgery for sleep apnea syndrome, healing is excellent in spite of large raw areas left after radio-frequency ablation.

5. You must get a direct examination done as soon as possible before the tissue becomes friable or infected after which suturing is not possible. If that is not possible, you may share a close up photo here.

6. I must emphasize that the chances of self healing are high as long as infection, bleeding and inflammation is controlled.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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