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Tips for healing a damaged uvula after surgery

January 22, 2011

Post surgery…you think the worst is over.  Instead you have one more painful annoyance to deal with, that thing located in the middle of the back of your throat is stretched to more than twice its size, it is swollen and so sore.  When you look at it with a flashlight, it looks all mangled and distorted, you are sure you will need another surgery to fix it!   Your uvula has somehow been damaged via the breathing tube during surgery.  Consult with the nurse or Dr. and don’t panic, it will heal, I promise, I have some helpful tips for you…

If your uvula is damaged, then you most likely have a very sore throat too.  For several days up to a week or more, until your symptoms diminish you will want to:

Talk as little as possible, this helps greatly, especially in the beginning.  My uvula definitely felt more bothersome and more swollen after I would talk.  I spoke very little for 4-5 days.

Drink ice water and lots of it, the ice helps to sooth the throat and uvula.  This will also help if your uvula is stretched so much so that it makes you gag and cough, which is not good for the uvula.  The ice water helps to sort of numb it.

Eat a soft, low acid,  low sugar, bland diet and avoid very hot foods.  I do not consume dairy, but I would say to avoid most of that as well and any other mucus producing food and beverages.

Gargle with warm salt water several times a day and always after eating or drinking something other than water.

Sleep on your back if you can.

Meditate, listen to relaxing, soothing music to help take your mind elsewhere.

Get as much rest as you can!

I hope you feel better soon 🙂

95 Comments leave one →
  1. bcoy permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:54 pm

    Wow! Your post was just what I was looking for!

    I just had my appendix removed 2 days ago, and the worst thing about it thus far has been my uvula being mangled form the breathing tube. Like you described it’s red, twice as long as it should be, and just flops around back there. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt much, but it sure is a bit disturbing flopping around back there. I have to keep swallowing to keep it back in place there.

    How loing did it take for your uvula to heal? Any other dos and donts I should be aware of while waiting for it to heal?

    Thank you again for posting this!

    • June 22, 2011 10:33 am

      After seven days there was noticeable improvement, but a good two weeks to fully heal. I can’t think of anything else that I did that helped other than what I wrote. Not talking will certainly help it to heal quicker. Good luck, hope you feel better soon!

    • ChaCha permalink
      December 17, 2012 6:46 am

      Ok i have exactly the same symptoms as everyone here but I wanna say mines worse. It’s covered in puss. IT Looks infected as though it was cut and bacteria/infection clinged to it. Extremely painful.

  2. July 3, 2011 8:04 pm

    Everything you explained was spot-on after my operation. Thank you very much for the advice, I’m now 5 days post op and looking forward to be back to normal in around another week.

  3. July 4, 2011 12:53 pm

    You’re welcome, so glad this post has helped. That is exactly why I wrote it. Feel better soon!

    • Concerned Daughter permalink
      September 25, 2013 12:42 am

      My Mom just had a full hysterectomy yesterday and when she got out of surgery and woke up she instantly new something was wrong. The first thing she said was, “There is something stuck in my throat.” She tried to cough and hack with no success. The nurses couldn’t see anything and gave the regular discussion of it being a normal reaction to having the air tube placed down her throat during the surgery. At first we excepted this response but Mom still could feel something in the back of her throat that moved and kept choking her. She could feel it with her tongue. She kept trying to clear her throat and hack it up to no avail. Using a flashlight I could see something red and bloody back in the deep part of her throat, but none of the nurses could see it. My Mom was getting so frustrated and tired not knowing exactly what was going on and the nurses not really believing her or understanding what she was feeling. I decided to search the web describing her symptoms and came across this blog. You guys were an answer to a prayer. All of the descriptions fit exactly what Mom was experiencing. It was such a relief (to both of us) to know what was going, that she wasn’t experiencing some freak side effect/reaction, ideas to treat it, and that in time it would correct itself. Thank you everyone for posting their stories and sharing their remedies. After going through this I can add one more helpful idea. Popsicles also work wonders at helping with the swelling and diminishing the pain. I also shared this blog and the information with the nurses at the hospital so that they could be made aware of the possibility and better support future patients. They were all interested and surprised by what I found. Hopefully, they can be better prepared to help the next patient they come across that presents the same symptoms.

      • Andi permalink
        September 25, 2013 2:27 am

        We are starting a small revolution!

      • September 25, 2013 10:45 am

        Well Done, Penny Mills on the Email about your Mom.
        We all need to be pro-active, bringing this, too often, additional worry for patients to the Medical Staff’s attention. It should not happen !!!
        i left a blog in May 2012 and still the anxieties come tumbling in.
        Good Wishes to Mom for a full recovery
        Anne ( UK)

  4. July 4, 2011 4:01 pm

    I figured I would follow up here and let others know that it’s true after 2 weeks post surgery your uvula does return to normal. I wasn’t convinced at first, but 2 weeks out and the redness, swelling and size are back to normal. It would be nice if the nurse or someone would inform you after surgery of the cause of that swelling.

    To add to Pennie’s tips above, I mainly had a lot of ice water during the day (which helped to distract you from this thing hanging in your throat). I gargled salt water before and after meals, and before bed. At night, I actually slept on my side, so that the uvula would just rest on the side of my throat. I also made sure I had plenty of vitamin C (in pill and juice form) in me, as it does act as an anti inflammatory. I also tried to avoid anything that would produce mucus, because I was already coughing up my uvula since it felt like mucus in the back of my throat. Sorry that sounds gross, but it was true.

    The proper care and time did the trick. So, for anyone else, just try and relax and each day you’ll see inprovements, by about week 1 (post-op) mine was no longer an annoyance. Now at 2 weeks I would say it’s back to normal.

    Thankls again for this blog post!

  5. March 17, 2012 9:50 pm

    I had my tonsils removed worst pain ever n now my uvula is swollen and I can’t Evan spit cuz it feels like I’m going to chock I cant wait to feel better

  6. April 3, 2012 8:43 pm

    Thank you so much! I have been worried about my uvula and no one at the hospital explained this to me. I was told I would have a sore throat, but my throat is not sore while it is annoying. Thanks so much. I will be patient with the healing of my uvula! Your information is right is on point!!

  7. Yolonda F permalink
    May 13, 2012 1:04 am

    I am so glad I found these postings! I am currently going through this right now. It scared the crap out of me at first. I can’t wait til it is healed! Thanks everyone! I will post when I am back to normal.

  8. May 18, 2012 12:57 pm

    I found this helpful site AFTER my uvula healed. The hospital were no help at all. My GP prescribed a numbing spray Difflam 300ml and an aenesthetist friend said that the Clenil Modulite 50mcg inhaler (usually for asthma) would also help. I also used soluble aspirin for a gargle. I was worried about infection. It has taken 12 days to get back to normal and still my voice disappears if I speak for long.
    So take comfort! It can take a long while to heal but it WILL.
    Why aren’t the staff at hospital trained to expect this? No one seemed to know what to do and I was discharged without any advice , which was worrying.

  9. michelle permalink
    May 22, 2012 3:38 pm

    Great post….had appendix removed 48 hours ago and no one explained to me why my uvula is the way it is and what I could to to relieve it. I am experiencing everything that was mentioned above and am going to take the advise on suggested remedies. I’m counting down the days until I’ve reached the 2 week mark! Thanks everyone.

    • May 22, 2012 9:58 pm

      Dear Michelle,
      Best wishes for your recovery. My uvula is now back to normal… think it never will be. I’ve complained to the hospital about not giving advice and medication to patients with this problem. They ought to know how to treat it! Suggest you do the same. let’s save others from the alarm it causes.!

  10. Ray Krahmer permalink
    July 1, 2012 1:25 pm

    Thanks for your posts and information! I too had surgury (shoulder) and was not told about the possible reactions to the tube in my throat. I really think the hospital/doctor staff involved should inform the patient of the possible effects and I will let them all know as soon as i see them in person. One addition to my swollen Uvula is the roof of my mouth feels extremely raw and burns intensely! And makes eating very unpleasant, Has this happened to any of you?

    • Kari permalink
      December 9, 2012 2:04 am

      Hi ray yes I have exactly the same
      Plus very red (almost purple ) and sore mouth and whole throat
      It’s day 6 for me and I still can only eat tint bits of really stewed veg
      Anything else is way too painful
      I hope it goes soon and am hanging out for day 14 🙂

      • Ouch permalink
        April 16, 2013 12:42 pm

        Ray, I had the same issues. It is now 3 weeks post-op, there is still some swelling in my soft palate and my uvula is still purple.

  11. July 1, 2012 3:30 pm

    Ray, I don’t recall experiencing what you did with the roof of my mouth. That must be absolutely brutal for for you. I would call and let them know. I hope you feel better real soon, take care :).

  12. tmill009 permalink
    July 19, 2012 2:41 am

    OMG I was just freaking out after seeing my uvula. I had surgery on Friday and couldn’t figure out why my throat was still killing me even though I knew I had a breathing tube. I thought it would have been a couple of days and then would get back to normal. Every time I ate, the back of my mouth would burn like heck and after looking at it I finally know why. Its much like you guys described with it being twice the size and the whitish flemmy part at the bottom. SO GLAD to know this is normal as I was having a panic attack before reading your comments. Im still going to phone my doctor tomorrow as I have never seen anything like this and am totally grossed out but I can at least be rest assured that by next Friday, hopefully its back to normal! Thanks guys!

  13. Jason permalink
    August 9, 2012 9:24 pm

    I am recovering from strep throat, my tonsils had swelled so much that when I would swallow it must have been pulling on my uvula. I was checking in the mirror and was overjoyed to see my tonsils had nearly returned to normal and then totally horrified to not be able to see the end of my uvula until I used a tongue depressor. I was getting really nervous that this would have to be something that needed to be corrected by surgery, but then I found this link started doing what you recommended and have already had great results, thank you so much for putting this up here : )

    • Kari permalink
      December 5, 2012 11:53 am

      Oh my god
      I am sitting in hospital having had a hysterectomy after the anaesthetic I realised my sore throat wasn’t going away
      When I tried to eat the burning was overwhelming my uvula is hanging damaged and choking me
      I told the nursing staff and at first they ignored me until I told the gynae on visit this morning
      He got the anaesthetist to come who said it looked ok!!! ( it’s red and floppy and touches my tongue )
      She got the nurses to give me ice and a sore throat tablet !! Said the tube may have done it and will hill heal
      I am totally panicked and upset
      Then I googled and saw this
      And feel so relieved it will get better
      Thank you !! Mine has a slice out of the back
      And the pain is horrific
      I was scared It was infected it hurts so much

      • December 5, 2012 5:29 pm

        Dear kari, Was so very sorry to hear that you have the problem too. When will they learn to be more careful with that breathing tube?.Uvulas are delicate creatures and i hope so much yours will soon heal
        Love, Anne

      • Andi permalink
        December 7, 2012 11:57 pm

        Kari…your story…my story!
        Hope you are feeling better!

  14. Martin permalink
    September 25, 2012 11:20 pm

    5 days post op back surgery and throat red raw, hard to tolerate hot or cold foods or liquids plus uvula swollen. Not one person in the hospital told me any of this despite me mentioning it before I left hospital. Visited GP yesterday for reassurance really told it will go in time. Must feel hard done by as two surgeries in a week to solve back pain and came out with this! There should be a warning and more care on this point.

  15. Andy permalink
    November 28, 2012 5:32 am

    This post is really very helpful. I feel much better now. I just had surgery yesterday and was freaking out. This even made me forget my actual surgery. Hoping to be better soon.
    Thank you all

  16. December 2, 2012 4:59 am

    I just had my gall bladder removed 2 days ago. The anesthesiologist explained only that I may feel like something is caught in my throat afterward due to the breathing tube…explained it literally seconds before I went under (those guys work fast!) Anyway, I did feel weird in my throat during recovery day, but not until I went home did I notice that my uvula looked stretches and deformed and it just lay on the back of my throat. There is no more swelling or soreness, but it feels so weird. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  17. Andi permalink
    December 7, 2012 11:34 pm

    Thank you so much. My story is just like yours. I complained post-op and they said, “yeah it’s pretty common. Eat cold things”. I had a feeling salt-water gargles would help…I can’t wait to try it right now! You have major surgery and end up dealing with this because of a careless team.

    • Andi permalink
      December 8, 2012 4:32 pm

      Talked with my doctor…he said to eat cool foods – not hot, not ice cold– and to do salt water rinses. He also said to avoid talking (a tough thing to do when you want to get support from friends after surgery!). A doctor friend of mine said that the medications listed above are not available in the US. Also, we’re all probably on so many meds— who wants more? I am keeping my fingers crossed that in a week, my throat will not be my top priority…then I can focus on healing!

      • Kari permalink
        December 11, 2012 6:15 am

        Hi Andi
        Hope your throat is feeling better thought I would update
        Had to go to gp as the pain was shocking she was horrified by the hospitals behaviour and said I must complain which I will
        It’s now day 9 and the pain is reducing the uvula is partially shrinking back and I can eat !! Well some things
        I used the salt water every few hours and found that really helped
        Plus aneasthetic spray
        It’s a dreadful thing to happen
        And I am going to take it up with them
        But am on the road to recovery
        Thank goodness 🙂 this site was awesome in helping me get through

  18. Andi permalink
    December 12, 2012 5:49 am

    Thanks, Kari. I dd write a letter to the hospital about that and other problems. We’ll see if and how they respond.

    • Kari permalink
      December 12, 2012 8:31 am

      I am greatly improved today and resuming work Monday so will write the complaint and see how it goes
      I am also writing to the Heath care complaints commission for nsw as the issue has systemic issues regarding failure to report and learn from adverse outcomes
      I found some excellent research articles on the Injury it’s well documented so infact hospitals should have protocols in place
      Glad everyone is healing well
      Will only post once I get a reply
      By all 🙂

      • Andi permalink
        December 12, 2012 11:15 am

        Thanks to you, Kari. I hope you continue to get stronger and healthier.

      • Andi permalink
        December 27, 2012 3:18 am

        Have you received any reply? Is this event serious enough to warrant a hospital to report it? What is nsw?

  19. Stephanie permalink
    December 27, 2012 1:15 am

    I am on day 7 post op for sinus surgery and my uvula was mangled from the breathing tube. My uvula has not gotten longer, but much wider. I also have a white spot on the bottom half which my doctor says is a scab. The pain has been horrible and here are some tips I have found: gargling the throat spray helps temporarily as well as orajel applied with a qtip. I have been drinking hot tea as well, but let cool after brewing to lukewarm temp. Cooked pastas, potatoes, and other veggies (no sauces/spices) are about all I’ve been able to get down with minimal pain. I know you all say it will eventually get better but I’m awfully miserable here on day 7 with little to no improvement. I sure would like to shove a breathing tube down the anesthesiologist throat right now…. Hope everyone fills better soon and thanks for the thread!

    • Andi permalink
      December 27, 2012 3:15 am

      All these stories make me so angry! Why are they so careless? Anyway…after a week, I thought I was better and started talking on the phone and such. Mistake, I think. I am now back to having pain and hoarseness, although the uvula itself seems to be less inflamed. I speak for a living, so I am really worried about how I can get back to work!!
      Yes, a speech pathologist told me that salt-water rinses, tepid things, breathing steam, and bland food are good (as someone else posted). But for me, I plan to see an ENT to make sure there’s no permanent damage.

  20. Kari permalink
    December 27, 2012 3:19 am

    Yes the end of my uvula was white
    The back of my whole see able throat area
    Started almost deep red purple
    Then got a thick yukky whitish coating and it was so painful
    By day 7 I could only still sip lukewarm tea
    And plain greens mashed no salt butter sweet things or anything or ouch !!!!!!
    But by day 13 I could eat bread with crusts off and was managing most unsliced soft things
    Again by day 15
    I am almost normal now with a slightly sore residual throat pain
    So it does go even when you think it won’t
    I really would encourage everyone to make a complaint
    This clearly is an adverse effect that us more common than you would believe
    The medical system needs to prevent it where
    Possible and where not recognise and properly treat it
    Looks like most if us did not receive adequate
    Care diet or advice and reassurance
    It’s a very distressing thing to happen on top of whatever procedure you went in for
    My complaints are in to the anaesthetist and hospital
    Will post when I hear back
    Good healing to all 🙂

  21. Kari permalink
    December 27, 2012 3:33 am

    Hi there
    Yes I provided a detailed but short complaint
    Firstly to the anaesthetist then to the hospital
    Nsw is the state I live in in Australia
    The healthcare complaints commission oversees complaints and us a gov body but also has carriage of assessing and compiling
    Adverse reactions that come through them
    That may not be being picked up
    Here every hospital is supposed to record any
    Injury that takes place but often they don’t particularly if they are considered minor
    They are more likely to document a well known adverse effect ( eg one that is clearly documented in the literature and those are often more serious)
    The thing is its often because patients don’t complain that injury is not reported and hence
    Isn’t recognised for a long time as an adverse effect
    I revived an immediate response from the hospital acknowledging the complaint ( I have requested a response in14 days)
    I have also received an e mail from the anaesthetist practice manager indicating they will respond on jan 2nd
    So we will see

    • Rei. A permalink
      January 22, 2013 4:37 am

      Wow I appreciate this post! I was freaking out wondering why I felt like I had spit stuck in the back of my throat. Looked at my uvula and as explained it is so swollen it is resting on the back of my tongue! First day was the worst, I felt nauseous like if I were sticking my fingers down the back of my throat. I just had eye muscle surgery four days ago so I guess they got me too with the breathing tube lol. What I don’t understand is why when I had the last one done almost a year ago I woke up fine with no sore throat or damaged uvula. I guess some are more experienced at this then others. I sure wish I had this surgery at the same hospital as the last time! Thanks for the post guess I’ll start doing some of the above tips. Except not talking that’s too hard to do when you have a big mouth you can’t keep shut lol

      • Andi permalink
        January 22, 2013 6:11 am

        As a caution. The “not talking” helped heal the initial problem, but it caused some muscle and nerve atrophy to the vocal chords which a doctor assumed was nerve damage….That became another horrible saga. So bottom line, if you are hoarse after your uvula and throat recover, give your voice time to regain its former strength. If you must see an ENT, get a second opinion before they put you on meds (esp. steroids). Please learn from my horror story!

  22. jim permalink
    January 23, 2013 11:38 pm

    thanks to everyone for this posting had shoulder surgery yesterday had to stop at emergency room on way home because swelled up so much couldnt breath through my mouth and still feels like im gonna swallow it or its torn even the er in a different hospital didnt tell me dirrectly anything about it just treated me for possible allerigic reaction to anestegia i was contem,plating returning to the va hospital until i found this sight i wonder if they can be sued for negligance for my probably unecessary er visit where they gave m,e steroids and iv benedril

    • Andi permalink
      January 24, 2013 1:19 am

      Unfortunately, those consent forms we sign pretty much absolve them from culpability. Unless there was real negligence and long-term damage, there’s nothing that can be done (so said my atty, at least regarding the powerful hospital where I had surgery). I hope that views of this forum continue and they get the message to take an extra moment to just be friggin’ careful!!
      I did write a letter to Patient Services and the CEO of the hospital. You can also inform your insurance company.

  23. Kari permalink
    January 24, 2013 3:00 am

    Just wanted to give a update
    After a visit to the local Gp who confirmed uvula necrosis
    I wrote to the anethetist and hospital seperately and complained I requested an apology , that the nursing staff have education on this injury , from the anethetist a reduction in the fee to counter act the additional costs I Incurred and that the incident be written up as an adverse outcome
    The hospital were infact very good and did apologise, reprimanded the nursing staff for dealing with me without empathy and have circulated the article I sent them
    The anaesthetist wrote a rude response saying my throat was fine when she saw it ( but I had taken photographs from day 2 ! ) and requesting the fee immediately
    I have now referred the anaesthetist to the health care complaint commission and will see what occurs
    I don’t hold much hope
    But I suffered so badly I don’t feel I can leave it
    I can’t afford to sue
    So hope the system works
    Fingers crossed

  24. Andi permalink
    January 24, 2013 3:17 am

    Btw…we here in PA also have a Complain Board; however, I used that office for the over-aggressive ENT who put me on mega steroids after the throat injury! My battle has become a war! When will these doctors learn to see patients as human beings???

    • Kari permalink
      January 24, 2013 4:04 am

      Yes they really do not have any empathy for the patient at all
      The response from the anaesthetist was appalling
      I just hope that the hccc do at least investigate
      If the best I can manage is to get her to look at herself however briefly I guess that’s something

      • Andi permalink
        January 24, 2013 5:36 am

        Sometimes, that’s all we can hope. That they think; that they are mindful. And, as you are doing here, that others are informed.

  25. January 28, 2013 8:02 am

    THANK YOU! i had my appendix removed two days ago and have the same issue, im looking forward to it going back to normal in 2 weeks. they really should figure out a way to get the breathing tube in there without causing such damage.

  26. chelle permalink
    February 28, 2013 12:59 pm

    i had surgery 6 days ago and i had the same thing happen to me. i kept telling them in the hospital that the back of my throat hurt and they checked telling me nothing was wrong. i kept complaing and the surgeon then checked saying my uvula was bruised, well i get home and had unbearable pain when i ate or drank and gagged when i coughed or breathed hard like my airway was being blocked. when i checked my throat my uvula was very swollen and white. the next day i didn’t have the glob feeling in my throat but still pain when i tried to eat or drink. so i checked part of my uvula fell off, WTH!!!!! what is my next step???

  27. Tony permalink
    March 10, 2013 10:07 pm

    I had an Endoscopy 2 1\2 weeks ago. I had a gel cap stuck in my throat for several hours and thus the ER doctors recommended the procedure. I was ecstatic to know the pill was gone after the Endoscopy. But shortly right after, I felt a “lump” in the back of my throat. I went back to the ENT and they confirmed that my Uvula was elongated causing some major discomfort and gagging. I am an instructor so you can imagine how challenging it was to speak 8 hours a day. After a week of major meditation and relaxation techniques to help me deal with the discomfort, I experienced severe Post Nasal Drip. I figured the reason why was due to the constant swallowing triggered by the swollen uvula. So I found the magic solution to treat Post Nasal Drip- Ocean Saline Solution spray. After about a week and a half, my throat felt normal again….until I decided to spend 13 minutes in a steam shower. and as soon as I got out, there it was again! I felt the uvula sitting in the back of my tongue! This was to say the least exasperating. So I am still dealing with the elongated uvula, Drinking cold water, gargling salt water , drinking green tea with honey. I really hope it fully heals soon. I suspect the reason why it has taken longer was due to the Post Nasal Drip I got 1 week into the ordeal. It may also not help that I have been working (teaching) throughout this ordeal just to keep my mind off of the thing in the back of my throat. I am certainly happy I have found others dealing with this successfully! Thank you for your posts! Looking forward to posting results once my uvula goes back to normal!!

  28. Kari permalink
    March 10, 2013 11:12 pm

    Just a quick update on my uvula saga
    Which was damaged during a hysterectomy (which is horrid enough on its own)
    Write to the hospital to complain and they
    Responded reasonably and said they would send out an article to nurses to ensure its picked up
    Referred the anaesthetist to the health care complaints commission as her response was to say it wasn’t injured!!!
    I took photos of it as it went through the healing process which is a must do I have found out !! The pics clearly show the damage
    Hcc is now negotiating with her for an apology but without the pics and her denial I wouldn’t have a chance
    As it is hcc are suggesting she may not have realised how bad it was !!
    In the end we must complain or nothing will change
    Last week my Gp had a visit from another patient same injury ignored at same hospital !!!!!’

    • Andi permalink
      March 24, 2013 10:08 pm

      Hi, Kari…similar story here. Finally talked to a patient “advocate”. I’m waiting to hear from head of anesthesiology….What a mess…

  29. March 24, 2013 5:50 am

    Having my Tonsils and Uvula removed on Tuesday. Not really looking forward to it but the doc says it would reduce my Sleep Apnea from 29 to 15 or lower. I don’t read anywhere about downsides from having tonsils removed (besides pain) but I read a ton of downsides from having the Uvula removed. I would say my Uvula is normal size and my tonsils almost touch at times. Any words of advice from people who have had both done?

    • Andi permalink
      March 24, 2013 10:05 pm

      Why are they recommending that???

  30. jackey allen permalink
    April 12, 2013 12:34 am

    I had surgery done on yesterday. my throat is very bruised and swollen.I don’t know what I’m going to do. the pain is awful. I need help

  31. GNate permalink
    May 4, 2013 11:56 am

    I had rhinoplasty 4 days ago. During the procedure they apparently put something in my mouth to keep it open and keep my tongue from moving. Whatever it was damaged my uvula. It is stretched and white and has been so painful. I have had little pain from the surgery but a ton of pain from this. I can’t breathe through my nose so i think the process of breathing through my mouth has aggravated it further. I hope this heals as you guys have discussed. It’s terrible!

  32. GNate permalink
    May 19, 2013 3:34 am

    I want to update my earlier post. I had horrible pain for about a week due to an injured uvula during surgery. After a week, I felt significantly better. At around 10 days, I was nearly completely better. It’s really a waiting game with this thing!

  33. June 5, 2013 2:08 am

    Thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience. Unfortunately only day two for me and I have the same swollen and white uvula. I too was freaking out. The goods news is my wife found your post early and i will be religiously following your suggestions for care. Thx again.

  34. Amy McGowen permalink
    June 19, 2013 7:59 pm

    5 days ago I has sinus surgery that would’ve went perfectly had my uvula not been scratched by the intubation. This is the worst thing I’ve ever Ben through in terms of pain, and I have allot of post nasal drip which is making it feel worse.

    My question is does anyone else have jaw and upper mouth pain? Even my ears hurt when I swallow. ENT says its all from the uvula pain, but no one else is complaining about the same symptom, which has me worried.

    • Bob S permalink
      June 19, 2013 8:53 pm

      First let me say, just like the initial post on this board, that you will be fine in two weeks. I had the same problem as you where the post nasal drip made matters worse. It was the worse sore throat I ever had, including strep. I went to my GP doctor and he gave me antibiotics for the drip and lidocaine solution which numbs the uvula and throat (swab it with a q-tip or gargle). Worked great and made it bearable. Other than that I followed the warm salt water gargle and no taking rule. It will get better. I am currently at day 16 and back to normal. Relief started in earnest at day 7 and all better at day 14. Patience and Good luck.

      • George permalink
        June 24, 2013 11:47 pm

        Yep, it’s happened again… Day 5 post op went to see surgeon regards stitches removal and horrible sore throat. He ended up snipping the end of my uvula off there and then!!! Was elongated and white / cream half way up. The white bit was dead tissue and didn’t feel a thing when he cut it out.

        Painful week ahead. Thanks for the tips. PS we are all hard as nails for dealing with this pain. My ENT has had to admit people to hospital for morphine for this!!!

        10 mins to next batch of painkillers. Ahhhhhhhh

  35. Mac permalink
    July 22, 2013 3:23 pm

    I just had my appendix removed and was concerned about my Uvula as well. Finding this site was very comforting. I had a conversation with my wife after my surgery and we talked about the fact that 100 years ago this disease would have killed me at 43. Today it is so routine most recover. I will deal the hanging Uvula. Thank God for modern medicine, as well as the internet!! Best wishes to all!

  36. Dennis permalink
    July 28, 2013 3:47 pm

    I too have this issue. I wish I had found this site 2 days ago. I had shoulder surgery Friday morning nd got home at 1pm. I was told that I may have a sore throat after being intubated so I wasn’t too concerned at first. By 4 pm I felt as if I had a big glob of mucous in the back if my throat and coughed trying to bring it up. I couldn’t bring it up and gagged so badly and felt something stuck in my throat which was now making me feel like I couldn’t get air! I had to gulp water to get relief. This went on for a few hours and then I realized that this was NOT going to come up so I had my wife get a flashlight and look in my mouth as I was gagging on this. What she saw totally freaked her out , she said it looked like an upside down uvula coming up from the back of my tongue instead of hanging down from the top of my throat. It was standing up and vibrating as I gagged . We knew then something was terribly wrong so called the emergency number. After explaining to an advise nurse we were advised to go to the ER. Once there , my throat was looked at and no one could see this glob that we had a photo of untill I was able to,gag it up. Once I did this the nurse and resident were stumped and even tried poking it with the tongue depressor while I sat there gagging trying to keep it in view. A doctor came in and numbed my throat and stuck an instrument down there and still couldn’t figure out what it was . They called an ENT who would scope me the next morning. I spent the night In the ER. The morning shift came and the ENT arrived and took a quick look and said “it’s your uvula”. Good grief ! Then another doctor
    Came in and explained to my wife who had a hard time believing it was my uvula coming up from the back of my tongue instead of hanging down that it as so swollen it actually was down behind my tongue and flipping back up when I gagged. This was what she was seeing. I did get the scope down my nose which just confirmed it was a bruised uvula.
    I’m still very sore and depending on my position can still gag that dang thing up. So thankful for this site. I sure wish I had been told of this possibility and not just been warned of a sore throat. Also confused as to why no one looking in my mouth could tell that my uvula was at least twice it’s normal size.

    • gracett1 permalink
      August 8, 2013 2:07 pm

      Thanks for your post. I just had an MRI of my right knee with sedation because I’m so claustrophobic can’t tell you how many surgeries I’ve had and this was the first time my uvula was bruised. I even called the anesthesiologist to see what he would recommend and he said that this had never happened to him before. I agreed that it never happened to me either. I’m at my 4th day post op and the tip of my uvula is white and hanging, like most of you said. My throat is still red and a bit sore. However, not as red and score as the first day. It was hard to eat but it is better now. The anesthesiologist recommended that I rinse or gargle with hydrogen perioxide and see a doctor. It di d freak me out the first day but after doing research, I found this is not as rare as I was lead to believe. I have finally figured out that the uvula necrosis is not as serious when there is little pain. It appears to change each day. I guess until the white necrotic part falls off, it will be bothersome. So, I’m using a chloroseptic spray to take away the foreign body sensation in the throat.Also, I’m on a cortisone inhaler for asthma which may be helping to speed up the healing. Just take it slow. It has been an interesting experience and a rude awakening for a little piece of soft palate everyone takes for granted.

  37. Marci permalink
    August 8, 2013 1:46 pm

    Thank God for this site. I had outpatient surgery 8 days ago. Surgery was fine except right when I woke out of anesthesia I said, “There’s something in my throat.” They dismissed it and my friend took me home to recuperate. Next day when I wasn’t groggy anymore I noticed extreme pain in my mouth and a gagging sensation. I figured it was from the tube thing but it kept getting worse. When I finally looked inside my throat with a flashlight I freaked out. It was blood red with sores and blotches of yellow and white. It looked like a pizza! The uvula looked like it was 3 feet long and I got scared. I had the doctors cell phone number and called him. He wanted me to text a picture or FaceTime him but it was hard getting a clear shot. He thought it could be an allergy to the antibiotics and prescribed two replacement antibiotics. Between those and the steroids I became blown up and constipated. When it didn’t get better after 3 days he tried an allergy med which made me wired with dry mouth. I finally started researching on my own and figured it out. Everything has cleared up now except for the uvula which isn’t painful but really annoying. I’m just going to do the things in the posts above and know that “this too shall pass”. But I am going to ad

  38. Marci permalink
    August 8, 2013 1:48 pm

    My post got cut off. I’m going to advocate for developing a different kind of tube so that this trauma after surgery is not so prevalent.

  39. Randy permalink
    August 23, 2013 10:57 am

    Had sinus surgery Wednesday and noticed the uvula white tip touching my tongue, this was my first surgery and thanks to this website. It has brought me comfort and I am seeing the white on the uvula change so I hope it heals or falls off soon, thanks again I worry too much.

    • Randy permalink
      August 27, 2013 12:52 pm

      Day 6 after surgery and my uvula is still swollen but slowly returning to original size. Spoke with my surgeons nurse yesterday and he informed me this is not a common occurrence but does happen. Have hope and understand it will get better, like I said my is still not “normal” but is better. It was really miserable having sinus surgery plus my uvula which was touching the back of my tongue. Also the white tip on mine did not fall off as I have read has for many others. The white tip looks to be healing on mine. But to be honest it falling off would have been great so not to have it touching the back of my tongue, hang in there.

  40. Fredo permalink
    August 24, 2013 5:12 pm

    Outpatient surgery August 21, 2013 resulting in ER visit August 23, 2013. Like many of you I am suffering the same problem. My problem with the medical community is that you are not fully informed by them about this. At best it is vague. Then you have the expense of an ER visit or personal Dr. visit and accompanying drugs that may have to be purchased. Also most medical personnel you come in contact with want to say it has to do with an infection unrelated to the breathing tube. I was so incensed when presented with the bill for my $100 copay for the ER visit that I asked to have them record that I am paying under protest as this was same hospital as surgery 3 days prior and the damage resulting in infection was caused by the production line insertion/placement of the airway tube that caused injury and resulting infection. You all should complain and protest any additional expense related to sloppy surgery and anesthesiology procedures that result in additional uncalled for treatment.

  41. Rush permalink
    August 31, 2013 3:35 am

    I have the same problem after having my wisdom teeth removed. I was shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw my uvula all dismantled. I started panicking and called my dentist immediately. He told he it’d heal in a few days. My mom told me to gargle with warm salt water. That helps. I’ve been talking a lot so now I know I need to stop that. Your post have been helpful. It’s been 2 dys since my teeth have been removed. The discomfort from my uvula isn’t so bad now but I hate how it looks but I’m going to be patient. I agree that we should have been informed of this before or after our surgery and educated as to what we should and should not do.

  42. Ellie permalink
    August 31, 2013 2:28 pm

    I also am glad i found this post, I had surgery two days ago on the abdominal region, when i awoke from the anesthetic i complained to the nurse of a sore throat, which she said was normal but didn’t even look down my throat, It wasn’t until i got home and looked down my throat that i realized my uvula was actually hanging down my throat, making it feel like i had an object stuck down there.. and it was purple and extremely painful, this resulted in a trip back to to ER, as it was restricting my airways, and i had to wait for 4 hours in emergency to even been seen, after being seen 4 hours later i got told that it would still be another 4 hour wait, despite not being able to breathe properly, I ended up calling a night doctor out and he explained that it had been damaged due to the tube being put down my throat, It continued to get worse and the tip of the uvula has turned completely white and still hanging down my throat so i saw another doctor who prescribed me steroids to reduce the swelling in my throat.. I would not advise the steroids though as they interfere with your sleeping pattern and i can’t sleep at night.. Now i am just taking it slow and waiting to see what happens, as it is the most uncomfortable feeling constantly feeling like you need to cough something up, (every time i cough it actually gets stuck to the roof of my mouth), I am glad to know this is normal, but i think it is extremely unprofessional that they do not advise this side effect to you whatsoever! It’s only been 2 days for me, but i really am hoping it does heal soon!

  43. Sonja Myers permalink
    September 5, 2013 5:52 pm

    I just had outpatient surgery on Friday, and woke up with a severe sore throat. After going home I realized it was the pain was excruciating when I tried to eat anything. My husband looked in my mouth and said he saw three deep scratches in the roof of my mouth. A day or so later, my uvula got this white film on it. It is now Thursday and it is still painful to eat anything. Now that I have read the tips from this site, I will follow those. At first, I garbled salt water, then I bought some mouth rinse called Biotene. I went to my gp doctor and he prescribed a ‘magic mouthwash’ that contained Maalox and some kind of numbing stuff. I also noticed if I drink cold water and just sort of hold it in the back of my mouth for a few minutes, that helps, too. I have now stopped talking, too. I wear a CPAP at night, so I was afraid that was drying out my throat too much. I turned up my humidifier on my CPAP so hopefully it is putting more moisture in there to promote healing. I do plan on complaining about the negligence when I was intubated. This is what these people are trained to do…you would think they would be more careful. VERY frustrating to be trying to recuperated from my surgery AND having to dealing with the excruciating pain in my mouth. RIDICULOUS!

  44. Paul permalink
    September 6, 2013 9:46 am

    I had back surgery yesterday to remove a ruptured disk. My back hurts alot still but I would take that anyday over this damaged uluva. Im so glad I found this site and im not alone, I had tubes put down my throat before to look at my stomach, one time I even woke up in the middle of it and was gaging and choking. That damaged my throat from it trying to close around the tubes, but I find this elongated uluva way more irritating as I choke on it and want to swollow it constantly.

  45. September 7, 2013 10:01 pm

    Hi everyone, I too am suffering with a swollen, elongated uvula from the intubation process from my recent surgery. Since this has happened to me once before from a surgery, I Discussed this with my anesthetist team before hand. so now I question their competency… Did they try to be careful or just jam in the tube? Well either way the gagging feeling is worse than my surgical site. If I talk it worsens the gagging. The anesthesia team said steroids and Benadryl really won’t help, but they gave me both when I was still checked in the hospital The first time this happened I had an appendectomy while carring my baby (6 months pregnant) as I lied there after surgery thankful my baby made it through the surgery, my airway was getting blocked, I told the nurse I thought I felt like I was going to die, not breathing ok, she dismissed it, ” oh you’ll be just fine.” she never looked at it” Then icalled her in again in the middle of the night and made her look, she said ” oh my God” called in the doctor immediately. They gave me something and it knocked me out, when I woke up node more gagging at all. I dont know what they gave me. But need it now!
    . I’m supposed to have another surgery in a few months but am scared this will happen again. Besides ice water, not talking and gargling with salt water, does anyone have any suggestions to reduce the length, besides cutting it off, like I feel trying,

    • Andi permalink
      September 25, 2013 2:32 am

      Sorry, C, for your troubles! Good luck moving forward- and stay away from steroids, if you can!

  46. Fredo permalink
    September 10, 2013 6:04 pm

    As I pointed out in my first post, we should all be complaining about sloppy procedures in the Operating Room. The anesthesiologist, a M.D., upon completion of medical school and licensing swears an oath “to do no harm” while providing treatment. I did complain while in the Emergency Room getting treatment for this condition and point blank asked the ER physician if he was ruling out botched insertion or placement of the intubation tube. He backed up and said no he was not ruling that out. Case closed. Complain until no one else has to suffer this un-necessary condition.

  47. September 20, 2013 7:46 pm

    I agree Fredo-this could and should be completely avoided. I had a 6 hr surgery Mon, and although i have had many surgeries with no problem, this time my uvula is swollen and ulcerated, and my throat bruised and swollen. Still can’t eat solid food just lukewarm milk shakes etc-5 days later.
    A anesthesiologist friend of mine said the damage occurs because the tube is taped down too firmly and causes constant pressure on the uvula. Wouldn’t that be anesthesia 101?
    Surgeon said it was to be expected, without even bothering to look, and anesthesiologist said nothing at all happened! He said he’d swear his life on it-well there’s 1 less incompetent anesthesiologist to deal with !

  48. judi a permalink
    October 13, 2013 5:32 am

    Thank you all for your insight. I had a rotator cuff surgery repair on wednesday, Oct 9 and went home afterwith the throat miserably sore..then I noticed I felt like I had a piece of meat in my throat and would hack to try and get it out,
    After looking with a flashlight, I discovered, I had white coloring on the uvula tip, and it was longer than normal and red, it looked like it had been dipped in white out!. I called Kaiser hospital and they said they had no idea, and to call my GP, so I called my GP and had to go in for her to look, the day after my operation mind you! And she said it was trauma and they should of said so, but for some reason, all they care about is what a great job THEY DID and not really how well you are,
    They even called to ask how I was, and they asked me to rate their care individually!..anyway, long story short, 3 days on, my throat still hurts, the uvula is still white dipped and painful and all I got was a gargle of magic mouth wash, a negative result on the strep test, and an accusation that it was thrush? …why are surgery staff so unaware this happens, as obivously all of you had it too? thank god for your posts..cant wait till this feeling of a object stuck in my throat goes, and as a vet tech, I can tell you now, they obvioulsy jammed it in and hurt the uvela! Makes you wonder what else they do to you in there!

    • Kari permalink
      October 26, 2013 10:00 pm

      It will heal but its really bad that they don’t prevent this injury and that they don’t accept responsibility in many cases
      I referred my injury to the health care complaints commission here in nsw aus
      I am still awaiting the outcome but they have been very thorough to date
      However both the anaesthetist involved and the hospital were rather unhelpful at one point even suggesting that the photos I took of the injury may not be me !!! Lol I ask you ?
      Will post when I get an outcome
      But I think it’s important to complain as this should not be happening to anyone

  49. Arc permalink
    October 26, 2013 5:20 am

    tonsil biopsy. My uvula is bruised and so sensitive I can feel it on the back of my tongue and it folds forward when I brush my teeth and causes a gag reflex. 2 days out no improvement so far. The inside of my lower lip was rubbed raw from the tube and that is swollen too.

  50. November 5, 2013 1:13 pm

    Thank you for the post…it helps to know other have same things you do and that it will go away…don’t like the period (two weeks) but i guess don’t have many choices. Just out of the hospital today!!!

  51. Mark D permalink
    November 15, 2013 1:01 pm

    Good reassuring advice. I am suffering from a very sore and swollen uvula now in my 4th day since op. I can’t swallow anything other than cold.

    I do find milk very soothing.

    I will try the salt water but am fearful of it, as anything with the slightest amount of sugar or spice hurts intensely.

    • Mark D permalink
      November 16, 2013 12:43 am

      Just tried the salt water and it was soothing 🙂

  52. Connor permalink
    December 10, 2013 3:11 am

    So glad I found this page! Had surgery on my nose today and woke up afterwards with a very sore throat. I’ve been finding it very painful to swallow and it was only when I’ve tried to go to sleep, I noticed that ‘lump’ In my throat that turned out to be my uvula hanging down. (Feels like I’m going to choke on it!) However it’s reassuring to know that others have experienced the same problem.

  53. December 12, 2013 1:56 pm

    I had a catheter ablation the day before yesterday, and noticed immediately after coming round that there was something very peculiar going on at the back of my throat, and then realized that my uvula was swollen. They told me that they’d had to put a tube down (which didn’t happen when I had the same procedure a year ago). My surgeon told me yesterday that it would be OK in a couple of days, but I took that with a pinch of salt. My uvula, like someone else’s who commented above, is not red, but rather looks as though it has been covered with a whitish jelly-like substance. I don’t know whether that’s better or worse. The uvula itself doesn’t really hurt but my throat is pretty sore. Anyway, thanks for the post. It’s good to read about other people’s experiences and to have a more realistic prognosis, even if I don’t like the prognosis — my uvula is so annoying at the moment that the thought of having to wait two weeks is quite hard to imagine. But those two weeks will of course pass. It gives me an additional reason to look forward to Christmas.

  54. Judi permalink
    January 17, 2014 2:53 am

    My husband has not had any surgery but his uvula is swollen, has pus, and is causing him to violently cough. Pulmonologist has referred him to an ENT. In the meantime he’ll be trying all the suggestions found here.

  55. January 29, 2014 5:14 pm

    Thank goodness for this post. I was starting to freak out, thinking it was damaged and might stay like this. With a light at the end, I can sleep better now.

  56. Gus permalink
    February 10, 2014 4:03 am

    Three years later and still making a difference. Thanks Pennie!

  57. jake permalink
    March 5, 2014 5:30 pm

    This site is unbelievable. I had an appendectomy and hernia surgery 3 days ago. After I awoke I complained to the nurse that there’s something stuck in my throat and she said that it’s just a sensation from the breathing tube. During the first night I was going crazy and was trying to clear my throat as the nurse told me that it’s probably phlegm. When I came home I had my wife look down my throat and she noticed that my uvula is very long and white and is literally down my throat. This condition is extremely annoying but I’m happy to hear that it goes away on its own, I’m just upset that not one nurse seemed to know anything about this.

  58. April G permalink
    May 12, 2014 4:37 am

    Hi I had an endoscopy exam done on my upper GI on Saturday (may 10th) and I felt horrible when I got home. I have been taking motrin for the pain, and that has helped a lot. I am going to start vitamin c to see if that helps the swelling go down faster. Man this is crazy and oh so painful.

  59. alexa permalink
    June 1, 2014 5:16 pm

    5 DAYS AGO i underwent emergency appendectomy. After the surgery my throat felt inflamed and swollen along with a numb tongue. I cough as though there is something in my lungs. I feel as though the enesthesiologest was over worked . He told the Doctor and nurses he was red bulling it due to his 24 hour shift. I was given pain killers however quite coherent before I was sedated. I feel like he threw that instrument down my throat so fast it tore something in my windpipe. I will wait another 5 days before starting legal council. This could have been preventable with a smaller intabating device and an alert anesthesiologist

  60. Use permalink
    June 2, 2014 7:30 pm

    Had surgery on my nose 5 days ago and I still have this annoying issue, it feels exctly like I have a sore throughy except when I look at my uvula, the tip looks white, it acctually looks like it’s dead tissue. Ticks me off because I know for a fact the stupid anesthetist james the breathing tube down my thought without being careful. Makes me wonder what else try do too you whole you out cold in their. It sucks because I can’t breath through my nose, so it’s incredibly difficult to Breath normally. Heading down to my go today, Gona see what he says. hopefully he can prescribe me with some numbing meds so it just makes it easier eat, sleep, and breath . I’ll keep you guys updated.

  61. Nate permalink
    June 4, 2014 8:21 am

    Hi Guys,
    I’ve read a lot of your replies and I too had the same thing occur. The anaesthetist had forcibly inserted the breathing tub and scratched my uvula which in tern got heavily infected. I went in for surgery on a deviated septum, so whilst my nose was healing I was forced to breath through my mouth and left me in excruciating pain.

    My uvula swelled up, went black and purple, then went white from the infection. After a few days the first piece fell off, followed by another infected piece! Believe mw when I saw I have never felt anything so painful. I have it well documented with pictures, but when it comes down to it, you need time for it to heal. My ENT took one look at it, blamed the anaesthetist and said “it happens”. I will be making a formal complaint against the anaesthetist.

    What I can recommend is see a GP as soon as possible. I was already on panadeine forte which helped but you should try some anti-inflammatories like neurofen. More inportantly, gargle salt water or “Cepacaine” (you can get from any chemist). Cepacaine helps kill the pain as well as killing germs. Then wait, dont talk and eats lots of jelly.


  62. Barbara permalink
    June 11, 2014 1:46 am

    so glad to read all this Had EGT yesterday– the 5th one for me over the past few years. NEVER did I have a problem with my uviula until this time . Will go suck on some ice and gargle with salt water. So glad it will eventiually clear up, altho I am going to inform my ENT doctor tomorrow for the records there. Thanks so much for all the info!! It is reasuring.


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