Many patients complain of a sore throat for a few days after having surgery with general anesthesia. The soreness is caused by the insertion of the endotracheal tube through the mouth into the airway. The tube is necessary for the the patient to breathe during surgery. The pain is usually minor and is treated like a typical sore throat.
In rare cases, the vocal cords can be damaged when the breathing tube is inserted, or when the tube must remain in place for an extended period of time.