Postoperative sore throat and hoarseness : clinical studies in patients undergoing general anasthesia

University dissertation from Örebro : Örebro universitet

Abstract: A common problem following general anesthesia is postoperative sore throat (POST) and postoperative hoarseness (PH). Symptoms directly correlated with less satisfaction according to the patients. The overall aim of this thesis was to describe patients' postoperative sore throat and hoarseness after general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation or laryngeal mask airway. As well as to investigate the risk factors that are associated with the symptoms, and to test methods that may prevent sore throat and hoarseness after a general anaesthetics. A total of 889 patients are included in the four studies. Incidence of POST varied from 21% up to 52 % depending on endotracheal tube (ETT) size in women (I-IV) and in men was the incidence 32-38% (III-IV). There were no gender difference in POST in study III and IV. The overall incidence of PH varied from 42- 59% (I-IV) in all patients, with no gender differences (III-IV). Following a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) 19% of the patients had POST and 33% of the patients reported PH. Patients with POST do seem to be able to localize their pain in the throat (IV). Different risk factors are shown to contribute to both POST and PH in men and women (II-III). To intubate with a smaller ETT size, 6.0 vs. 7.0 decreased POST in women in the early postoperative period as well as their discomfort from their POST (I). Only 6% of men who needed a laryngeal mask airway had POST compared to 26% of women. The symptoms are more discomforting after an ETT vs. an LMA up to 24 hours (IV). More patients have sore throat and hoarseness in the early postoperative period, but the symptoms can remain up to almost 5 days postoperatively (I, IV). In summary, sore throat and hoarseness following general anesthesia, affects many patients postoperatively. To intubate women with endotracheal size 6.0 decreases both sore throat and hoarseness postoperatively. Women are more likely than men to have a sore throat when a laryngeal mask airway is used.