You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on

This one is about: Post-Op Sore Throat

(c) 1996 Wide Smiles
This Document is from WideSmiles Website -
Reprint in whole or in part, with out written permission from Wide Smiles
is prohibited. Email:

Post-op Sore Throat:

Anyone can have a sore throat after an anesthetic. Part of it comes from breathing unhumidified oxygen and other gases, drying out the mucous membranes, and this can happen with or without a breathing tube.

There are also several things anesthesiologists do to keep the airway open which can be rough on the throat, like

  - suctioning out secretions
  - putting in an oral airway (this is a strip of plastic in the shape of 
    a question mark which is put into the mouth with the curved part over 
    the tongue and the straight part sticking out between the teeth. It 
    keeps the tongue away from the back of the throat so it does not 
    block the passage of air and also keeps the patient from biting down 
    on their own tongue or the breathing tube)
  - and the breathing tube itself can rub against the surfaces of the
    throat and make it sore.

This is worse if the person is doing a lot of swallowing, struggling, and crying as they are waking up, as is often the case with children. Using a humidifier, giving lots of fluids (IV or by mouth if you can get the child to swallow at all -- popsicles, ice cream, ice-cold juice are good things to try), and using Tylenol, Motrin, or other pain meds can all help.

Amy Beth Hilton, MD
Anesthesia Consultant - Wide Smiles

Wide Smiles depends on donations to continue to provide this resource for you.
Please help keep us online!

Cleft Links | Wide Smiles | Photo Gallery