EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Silverman's doctor on the 'scary' surgery that saved the comedian's life

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Silverman's Doctor Details the Surgery that Saved the Comedian's Life


After Sarah Silverman's near-death experience, ET spoke with the doctor she credits with saving her.

Dr. Rob Huizenga told ET that Silverman had a life-threatening condition called epiglottitis, a bacterial infection of the upper part of the larynx, which required surgery.

WATCH: Sarah Silverman Says She Almost Died Last Week

"Epiglottitis can be a fatal disease, because this tissue is sitting right on top of your windpipe," Huizenga told ET. "If it swells from a burn or an infection, suddenly the whole mechanism of getting air from your mouth into your lungs is closed off unless you literally put a tube past that blockage into the lung."

See images of Sarah Silverman:

13 PHOTOS
sarah silverman
See Gallery
sarah silverman
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: 66th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: Comedian Sarah Silverman, winner of Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special for 'Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles' poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: 66th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: Comedian Sarah Silverman, winner of Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special for 'Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles' poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Writer/actress Sarah Silverman poses in the press room at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedian Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedienne Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedienne Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedienne Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedian Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Comedienne Sarah Silverman poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Writer-Comedian Sarah Silverman, winner of the Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Award for 'Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles', poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Sarah Silverman poses in the press room at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Sarah Silverman poses in the press room at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The procedure was especially stressful for Silverman as her blood pressure was too low for her to be fully sedated, meaning she was conscious through the ordeal.

"It can be very freaky and very scary because you're awake and alert, but because the tube goes through your vocal cords, you can't phonate," Huizenga said. "You can't make any sounds. You can't talk."

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Silverman said that she thought she just had a sore throat -- but was thankful she went to the doctor since it wound up being much more severe.

WATCH: Garry Shandling's Famous Friends Gather at His House to Play Basketball, Remember the Late Star

After leaving the ICU at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Silverman reflected on the people in her life that she's lost recently and asked "Why me?"

While it's not clear who specifically Silverman is referring to, the Wreck-It Ralph star lost several friends and loved ones within the past year and a half, including comedian Garry Shandling in March, former Parks and Recreation co-executive producer Harris Wittels last February and her mother, Beth Ann O'Hara, last August.

WATCH: Sarah Silverman's Mom, Beth Ann O'Hara, Dies: Read the Comedian's Touching Tribute

Silverman remembered her mother in an interview with ET last September.

"One time she said, 'Sometimes all you have to do is be brave,'" she said, "Meaning sometimes you have to just exist through things, and then they pass or you get to the other side."


Read Full Story

From Our Partners