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HomeAnswersAnesthesiologycoughI had my gallbladder removed after which I started to have cough. Why?

What is the cause for cough after gallbladder surgery?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Manu Kumar

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Nithila. A

Published At September 3, 2019
Reviewed AtDecember 7, 2020

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I had my gallbladder removed yesterday. Ever since I woke up from the anesthesia, I have cough. My stomach hurts as a result of the continuing cough. I called the surgeons office to find out why this is happening and to get stronger pain medicine. But they said I need to see my primary doctor for the cough as it is not related. I have read that people have coughs after surgery. It is causing so much pain in my stomach.

Answered by Dr. Manu Kumar


Welcome to icliniq.com.

In general anesthesia, a patient is put on ventilatory support as he cannot breathe during general anesthesia. To achieve this, we need to pass a tube, known as an endotracheal tube, down the throat to the lungs. This sometimes leads to some swelling or medically known as edema in the throat. Some patients are more sensitive than others, so they have the self-limiting cough till the edema subsides. You can take some throat lozenges apart from steam inhalation to help you. The cough will go once the edema subsides.

The Probable causes

Endotracheal intubation leading to airway edema.

Differential diagnosis

Upper respiratory tract infection.

Treatment plan

Symptomatic, with steam inhalation and throat lozenges.

Regarding follow up

Need to see an ENT specialist if not improving.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Manu Kumar
Dr. Manu Kumar


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