CSN Login
Members Online: 9

You are here

Hurt to swallow

omnedon's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2013

It has been about 3 weeks since the end of treatment the lymph node on my neck has totally disappeared but it hurts so bad to swallow so I am still taking everything through my tube. Any idea on how long this last?

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

Everybody is different.  I started getting soups down at about 3 weeks out....still had pain, but could do it.  At three weeks out you have probably just now finished cooking from the rads.  Improvement comes in weeks, not days.....I tried something everyday....water mostly to "test" to see how things were going.....also milk.  Be sure to swallow something everyday just to keep those muscles working....hurt or not....you don't want to lose your swallower. 

Patience is the key at this stage of the game.....Smile 


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Like P said, we are each different, but at only three weeks out, more than likely it's going to be a few more weeks woth some pain.

Just how much and how well you tolerate it will be up to you.

It's eventually get better little by little, but it's best to keep trying and exercising the muscles.




yensid683's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Apr 2012

It is hard to accept, but it is a matter of weeks and months rather than days to recover from rads.

I spent 2 months on prescription pain meds in the attempt to take in calories by mouth.  I found that I could control pain with just one tablet of hydroc/apap ever 5 hours, but if I wanted to really swallow something, I needed to take up to two every 6 hours.  I was able to get off of the pills by the end of the 2nd month after rads, but it was still very difficult to eat or swallow calories by mouth.  I drank a lot of Target brand nutrition shakes, lots of chocolate milk fortified by heavy cream and soup, but it wasn't until mid to late September (rads ended July 5) that I could actually eat solid foods.  It took that long for my throat to return to a more normal size. 

Not to discourage you, but it is a long recovery, here I am more than a year later and still have some issues with saliva, but it is slowly - and I do mean SLOWLY coming back.

give it time, it will get better

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


Welcome to the H&N forum.

I have an idea it will take time for your pain to subside, but you should notice (little) improvements all the time.  Patience truly is a virtue at this period in your recovery and  really patience for a few years as you learn your new normal.

As said take it slow, try various rinses and keep swallowing, it will get better.

I wish you well,


Subscribe to Comments for "Hurt to swallow"