How to Overcome Dysphagia After Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery

Postoperation-dysphagia is a well-known complication of anterior cervical spine surgery. The cause of this symptom is still unclear, so the treatment to patients is uncertain. Research result mentioned that dysphagia significantly increase in degree 3 weeks after surgery. By final follow-up, patient swallowing ability recovered to the pre-operation condition in 1,5 years. The cause of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery still continue to be a matter of debate, recent studies help to explain why patients of anterior cervical (AC) surgery suffer from dysphagia.

Incidence Of Dysphagia After Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery A Prospective Study

To measure dysphagia, researcher using the Swallowing-Quality of Life (SWAL-QOL) survey. This survey provides data from patient’s perspective on: burden, eating duration, eating desire, symptom frequency, food selection, communication, fear, mental health, social, fatigue, and sleep. The questionnaire can be made in accordance to the thing that focusing to dysphagia.

The general cause to this symptom is improper intraoperation routine to patients. This improper intraoperation routine not means not in accordance with the standard routine, but the same treatment produces different results on people. When seen in the various report, the exact cause of dysphagia is still unclear.

Dysphagia after surgery generally associated with number of fused level, advancing ages, female sex and revision surgery. Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery degree hypothesized increase with people whose have larger neck. But this thing did not have correlation with increased BMI, Mallampaty score or difficult intubation.

Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery did not have significant differences between groups of age, sex, body mass index or length of surgery. Patient who undergoing AC surgery had increased degree of dysphagia 3 weeks after surgery. This could be due to AC procedure and not due intubation alone. Smoking, COPD, and female sex became a risk factor in development of dysphagia.

To minimize dysphagia after surgery, one should have pre-operative discussion with patient to inform this common complication, especially to female patient since they can will experiencing some degree of dysphagia, and 10% of them will suffer it at long-term. The older patients or someone who undergoing multilevel surgery and them who have pre-existing swallow dysfunction have a larger risk to this symptom.

To prevent this dysphagia, certain intra-operative routine can minimize the complication. The operation routine should be adjusted to patient’s physical condition to prevent any problem in surgery. The doctor should prepare appropriate action to prevent any flaw in surgery that will exacerbate patient’s condition. And that became the last explanation about dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery.