I just had surgery and my throat hurts, should I be concerned?
Your throat hurts after surgery for two reasons.
First, you may be dehydrated, since you weren't allowed to eat or drink before surgery and you are allowed minimal food and fluids after surgery.
Second, during general anesthesia, an endotracheal tube is put into your mouth and down your throat, a process called intubation. This tube is then attached to the ventilator to help you breathe during surgery.
The tube can be irritating to the vocal cords, both during the surgery and during the insertion process.
What do I do about my sore throat?
Normal sore throat care including minimal speaking, drinking lots of fluids and over-the-counter remedies should do the trick within a few days. If your sore throat persists more than a week, consider consulting your surgeon or another doctor. Permanent throat or vocal cord injury is rare, but it is one of the risks of anesthesia.
Sources: Patient Education FAQ, American Society of Anesthesiologists http://www.asahq.org/patientEducation.htm
Patient Education FAQ, American Society of Anesthesiologists http://www.asahq.org/patientEducation.htm