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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sore throat after surgery

10/27/2006

Question:

I had surgery on Thursday and woke with the worse sore throat I have ever had. They said it would go away within 24 hours. It`s Saturday night and I cannot eat, I have to force myself to drink. The pain is awful. I believe my uvula is very swollen. It`s just not getting better. How long before this goes away and what can I do? My throat hurts so much more that the incision.

Answer:

Sorry for the late response.  I would assume either you have spoken to your doctor or your throat is better.  I have had patients who have complained about a sore throat for up to one week after surgery.  It depends on how difficult it is for the anesthesiologist to place the breathing tube during surgery.  It tends to be worse in patients who have undiagnosed acid reflux.  In other words, your throat is already irritated from the reflux.  Then the breathing tube irritates the throat even more. It may take 7-10 days for your throat to feel better.

I hope you are better now.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati