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PatriciaRN, Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 534
Experience:  35 years of nursing experience, 2 in ER, 1 at Planned Parenthood clinic
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Is it common to have hoarseness after surgery?

Resolved Question:

Is it common to have hoarseness after surgery?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  PatriciaRN replied 7 years ago.
If the surgery that you had required general anesthesia and you were knocked out and then intubated to give the anesthesia as a gas, then you may be hoarse from the tube that they put down your throat.
However this should go away in a few days. Try some honey and lemon in a bit of warm water, and sip.
If the problem does not resolve within a week, you would be wise to see your PCP.
I hope this is helpful to you. Please do feel free to ask a follow up question if you have one.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
His condition is pretty severe - has no voice at all. So I'm going try to contact his doc or an anesthesiologist. I am his sister. He is concerned about vocal chord damage.
Expert:  PatriciaRN replied 7 years ago.
That is a possibility. The vocal cords can be damaged by intubation.
What type of surgery did he have?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Neck surgery. Can the vocal cords repair themselves? How often is this a permanant condition?
Expert:  PatriciaRN replied 7 years ago.
Nerves that carry impulses to the vocal cords can be injured during head and neck surgery.
One example of this is the superior laryngeal nerve, or SNL, which carries nerve signals to the cricothyroid muscle, which in turn adjusts the tension of the vocal cords to control the pitch of the voice.
The damage may or may not be permanent. In any case, with this type of surgery it sounds like you would be wise to contact the surgeon for further consultation. There are several types of diagnostic tests that can be done to determine the scope of the damage including LEMG or laryngeal electromyography, and others.
Here's a link regarding this type of damage and what can be done:
I hope this is helpful to you.
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