Sleep Apnea: 1 month post UPPP surgery

Well, it’s been a month now since I had sleep apnea surgery and a septoplasty.  There’s a backstory too…

Anyway, today is May 23rd so I am just over a month – closer to 5 weeks actually.  And there’s still some notable issues from the surgery.

First – my throat just feels different.  Some foods are just not enjoyable anymore because of the way they go down.  I choked on a triscuit for about half an hour tonight – a little crumb got stuck in my throat forever.

Toast is not my friend anymore either – although I can eat it.  The crumbs though REALLY get to me.  I never have more than one piece of toast – and I prefer it with peanut butter since that tends to hold everything together.  In fact, anything that is in the “bread” group is a little hard for me to eat – I’m not really enjoying it.  Since it’s summer we’ve been grilling quite often and when we make brats (and by “brats” I mean “healthy turkey brats”, not really awesome real bratwurst) I’m just as likely to eat it without the bun as with a bun.

I got back into drinking citrus juices without any problem – I know a lot of people have trouble with those but I just waited quite a while before I tried and I never had a problem.  In fact, I hadn’t had any until this past week – about a month after surgery.

I haven’t had any real pain since about 3 weeks after surgery – but I was taking lots of drugs.   I did feel like I had a sore throat for a long time after the “real” pain subsided.  Also, if I ate anything rough my throat would hurt a lot the next day.

I think the biggest surprise diet-wise was hard candy.  I keep hard candy in my truck for when I drive – when I get tired I suck on it (usually a Life-Saver) and it keeps me awake.  Since I drive quite frequently I’ve gotten used to doing this.  However – I can’t do it any more.  When I suck on candy the back of my throat just feels WRONG.  I have a very bad gag reflex and it sets everything off.  However, that DOES keep me awake…

Of course everyone’s question is “Did the surgery work?” – up until my wife and I went on a trip this past week I’d been sleeping in a separate bedroom while I recovered.  During this trip she told me I still snored a little when I was on my back.  When I slept on my side she said I sounded very different -like a deep breathing.  She thinks it is an improvement but it will take some getting used to.

From my perspective I am sleeping better than I ever have.  I like it.  There was a lot of pain up front – hopefully it will keep paying off.

My septoplasty surgery does have a very noticable improvement for me though – for the first time in years (now that everything is pretty well healed) I can breath through both sides of my nose.  It’s fantastic.  Until you’ve experienced NOT being to do it and then being able to do it I can’t explain it to you – it’s just fantastic.


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11 Responses to “Sleep Apnea: 1 month post UPPP surgery”
  1. Peter says:

    William,

    How are you sleeping 6 months later? Any residual side effects?

  2. William says:

    I was on vacation – sorry for the delay.

    I am sleeping better than I ever have in my life. I still snore slightly from time to time – if I am congested with a cold or if I have some alcoholo too close to bed time. However, my wife can actually sleep through it. She’s a light sleeper so it must be pretty slight.

    On top of that there’s on long term effect I didn’t expect – I no longer can tolerate eating hard candy. I used to like Jolly Ranchers from time to time but now when I suck on anything for an extended period of time it just feels wrong. I can’t really explain it beyond that. All in all that’s a pretty minor thing though.

  3. Renee says:

    I had the UPPP, tonsils, adenoids and also a hyoid advancement and tongue stabalization done the 2nd of November. I’ve been back for my 2 week and 6week follow up visits. I have pretty much recoverd as far as I can tell, but my speech is impaired now. I sound like someone who has been deaf all their life. My doc promises me it will get better, but with it going on 3 months now, I’m begining to get a little skeptical. Did you have this problem or know where I can find more info on whether or not its “normal”?

  4. William says:

    My voice definitely changed slightly afterwards – I am slightly lower now – more of a bass than a baritone.

    That said – I’m no doctor but it certainly would concern me. My speech was normal after a couple of weeks after the major irritation and pain was gone. You might want to get a second opinion. I haven’t heard of that ever and I did a lot of research and reading before I went ahead with the surgery.

    Best of luck to you – please let me know what you find out.

  5. lori says:

    i just had uppp surgery on Monday and the Dr did some touch up on the turbinates in my nose. The pain is as dreadful as the taste in the back of my mouth. i can drink my boost and chicken broth, but the water is what i am having the hardest time with. I am only sleeping for about 2 hour increments (that is about the time the pain meds wear off). I hope this changes soon also. any advice?

  6. William says:

    I am not sure what pain killers you are on but the original ones my doctor put me on were no where near strong enough. If you are in serious pain even after taking the pain killers I would confer with your doctor.

    I got switched to Vicodin (liquid) and Torodal (pill form, not sure about the spelling) and those two took the edge off for the first week. You can only take Torodal for about a week because it’s really strong. Careful if you have Vicodin because I stopped cold turkey and went through withdrawal – you need to step down your dosage with that stuff.

    I literally ate almost nothing for 11 days. I did drink water but every swallow hurt.

    I had hernia surgery twice. I’d rather do that again than UPPP surgery.

  7. Lisa says:

    Dear William,

    I am 3 days out from my UPPP surgery for sleep apnea. I’m still on only liquids, and though the pain isn’t as horrible as other people seem to describe, I do usually drink things only after I take my pain meds to help it go down. I’ve had four neck surgeries due to thyroid cancer, so that may have something to do with the pain tolerance.

    However, I am having a very difficult time with sleep; of course I have to sleep elevated, and my nasal passages have become very congested. So to sleep, I have to breathe through my mouth; which makes me wake up about every 20 minutes with a painfully dry mouth/throat. I’m trying to stagger pain meds so that I can care for my 5 year old, as it seems that I am a zombie wtihin 1/2 hour of taking the meds. Did you experience any problems with congestion soon after your surgery? It scares me to read all the horrible things people write out there about the UPPP surgery…I’d just like to be able to feel rested after 8 or 9 hours sleep, instead of feeling like I only got 2. I think it’s hard for people that don’t experience that to understand.

  8. William says:

    I had the same problem but my surgery was slightly different. I had my deviated septum fixed at the same time so basically my entire nose was filled with dried blood for about a week.

    I did wake up a lot the first few days until my nose cleared out. You might want to ask your doctor if you can have a humidifier in the room you sleep in.

    I can’t imagine trying to take care of a child while recovering. My wife and I have a daughter who was two at the time I had surgery. It was all I could do to get up out of bed every once in a while and take some more drugs. It must be very difficult.

    I wish you the best during your recovery.

  9. Jim says:

    Thanks for starting this blog!!!!

    I am on day 8 after my laser assisted up3 surgery. I found the first couple of days were no problem at all. It actually gave me a false since of this is going to be a piece of cake. Day 4 came and it was like swallowing glass.

    I still am not eating solids or drinking the slimfast. I am strictly on water and chewing gum.

    I am active but the hydrocodone (spelling) makes me agitated.

    How long does it take for the pain to go away so I can eat again?

  10. William says:

    I think I started eating again around day 11 and then eventually got back to “normal” after about a month or so.

  11. RoseMarie says:

    I have read and read all the post op’s for UPPP. I wish I had read them before my surgery. I was falling asleep at my desk, while driving home from work…and was tired all the time….long story short,,,,ENT sent me for a sleep apnea test…results; I stopped breathing 379 times in 6 hrs.Some were 54 times a minute,,some for long periods of seconds…I was fitted for a CPAP, struggled with it for about 2-3 weeks…I kept finding it on the floor or on the bed in the morning…ENT…”Surgery is the answer”. Okay I said,,, I asked about the particulars and was told I could go back to work in two weeks…some pain but controled by drugs… and my breathing would be much..much better… HELLO….was he talking to me? The recovery is hell on earth, enough of pain to warrant the drugs..though did not work that great. I could not take any of my pills(b/p,diabetic,etc.).They had to be crushed and taken with (doesn’t matter nothing worked) apple sauce,pudding,jello,etc. Pill’s would get stuck in my throat for hours…I found myself trying to guide them down by massageing my throat. nothing worked..Well because of 5 weeks of already crushed pills entering my stomach, along with the liquid med’s for the surgery, I developed severe stomach cramps and a feeling of burning in my stomach. Stomach pains so bad I was in the ER twice..still have them…ER called this aggravated stomach lining. On top of all the other med’s I now have to take Previcid for that…..Back to my surgery… it is now 6 weeks post op and I feel like I have a tennis ball stuck in my throat. Still not able to take pills, many foods taste metalic…even my delicious well water tasts nasty….BUT…I am breathing better at night…sleeping 5-6 hrs waking up to a mouth full of painful dryness. Would I do this again….NOOOOOOOOO. I would have inquired about other options…I would have worked with the Sleep test center,,to adjust the pressures on CPAP….but hind sight now makes me furious… Well that is my story…I hope you guy’s do better than me…if not…misery loves company.