Arvind Kejriwal to go silent for a while after tongue surgery

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal won’t be talking for a while. He underwent a surgery for chronic cough at Narayana Health City in Bommasandra, Bangalore, on Tuesday. According to his doctor, he suffered from “an enlarged soft palate and uvula in relation to a slight increase in the volume of the tongue”. Simply put, his tongue is, erm, too big for his mouth.

Kejriwal’s chronic cough has been the result of a series of anatomical abnormalities that included an enlarged tongue and a soft palate, along with other problems in the structure and positioning in his mouth and throat area.

“He was operated on Tuesday for persistent cough which has troubled him for over 40 years.

The surgery corrected an anatomical abnormality of his oral-pharyngeal (part of the throat) and palatal (top surface of the mouth) that was causing small amounts of saliva to trickle into his air passage whenever his nose-breathing was affected by allergy or other factors,” the hospital said in a release.

He was operated upon by Dr Paul C Salins, medical director and vice-president, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Narayana Health, who made the diagnosis initially on the basis of observing the pattern of his bouts of coughing.

“There was a restricted space for the movement of his tongue and an enlarged soft palate and uvula in relation to a slight increase in the volume of the tongue that caused kinematic problems in the function. The surgery involved correction of a significant septal spur and palato-pharyngeal (small muscle at the roof of the mouth) correction. There was repositioning of the tongue-base relationship along with the reorganisation of the chin area. The aim of the correction was functional restoration rather than that of a disease,” it said.

He has been advised not to talk for a couple of days and based on his recovery, further decisions will be taken. “The recovery for such a long-standing problem with its own functional accommodation will be gradual. Based on his recovery on Thursday, the doctors will advise him on when he can start talking,” a hospital spokesperson said.This is Kejriwal’s third visit to Bangalore for medical treatment. Previously, he had been to Jindal Nature Cure Institute, Tumkur Road, for 10- and 12-day periods to treat the cough, as also diabetes.

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