US comedian Sarah Silverman has said she is “insanely lucky to be alive” after undergoing surgery and spending a week in intensive care due to what she called “a freak case of epiglottitis”.

Epiglottitis is a swelling of the cartilage lid that covers the windpipe. The condition can block the flow of air into lungs and is potentially life threatening.

The Jewish comedian wrote in a Facebook post that she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and could not be put to sleep for the recovery process due to low blood pressure.

She added that she had to have her hands restrained to keep her from pulling out her breathing tube. She did not say when the surgery took place.

Silverman said she owes her life to the hospital’s staff.