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Uvular Necrosis after Endoscopy

This 28-year-old man presented with a sore throat 72 hours after undergoing upper endoscopy. The patient had a 6-month history of intermittent solid-food dysphagia; upper endoscopy revealed a Schatzki ring. A wire was placed endoscopically, and a 20-mm Savary dilator was passed over the wire uneventfully.
The patient felt well after the procedure and was discharged home. He noted a mild sore throat, starting 24 hours after the procedure. When it persisted, he presented for evaluation.
Physical examination revealed necrosis of the distal uvula. No specific therapy was given, and acetaminophen was recommended for discomfort. The patient reported that the tip of the uvula spontaneously sloughed off the next day, and the discomfort resolved completely. He has had no further solid-food dysphagia.

Uvular necrosis is a rare event that can occur after upper endoscopy or direct laryngoscopy. The symptoms are generally mild, and the recovery is usually complete. The mechanism of injury is thought to be impingement of the uvula by the instrument against the hard palate or posterior pharynx, leading to ischemia. Uvular injury has also been reported as a result of aggressive oropharyngeal suctioning.

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