Bilateral glossopharyngeal nerve palsy following tonsillectomy: a very rare and difficult complication of a common procedure

Trinidade, A and Philpott, Carl (2015) Bilateral glossopharyngeal nerve palsy following tonsillectomy: a very rare and difficult complication of a common procedure. Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 129 (04). pp. 392-394. ISSN 0022-2151

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Abstract

Objectives: Tonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed otolaryngological procedures. Bilateral palsy of the glossopharyngeal nerve is an exceedingly rare complication that can result in significant morbidity. This case report aimed to raise awareness of this complication and outline management strategies. Case report: A 31-year-old woman who underwent routine tonsillectomy presented with progressive numbness of the palate, dysgeusia, xerostomia, paraesthesia of the tongue and the feeling of something in her throat within 2 weeks of surgery. She reported the post-operative onset of snoring. Examination revealed a symmetrically low, 'dropped' soft palate. Over time, her symptoms have lessened, but dysgeusia and snoring remain. Conclusion: The position of the glossopharyngeal nerve in the tonsillar bed makes it prone to injury during tonsillectomy, especially if 'hot' methods are used. Bilateral injury can result in significant morbidity that can be difficult to treat. Patients should be warned about this risk and care should be taken to minimise it.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: glossopharyngeal nerve,tonsillectomy,dysgeusia
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2014 16:02
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 23:14
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/49412
DOI: 10.1017/S0022215115000080

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