Postoperative sore throat after ambulatory surgery

Br J Anaesth. 2002 Apr;88(4):582-4. doi: 10.1093/bja/88.4.582.


Background: Sore throat is a common complication of anaesthesia that affects patient satisfaction after surgery.

Methods: We studied 5264 ambulatory surgical patients prospectively to determine the patient, anaesthetic, and surgical factors associated with sore throat.

Results: In 5264 patients, 12.1% reported a sore throat. Patients with tracheal tube had the greatest incidence, 45.4%, followed by patients with laryngeal mask airway, 17.5%, while patients with a facemask had a lower incidence of sore throat, 3.3%. Female patients had more sore throats than male patients (13.4 vs 9.1%). Airway management had the strongest influence on the incidence of sore throat. Sore throat in ambulatory surgical patients was associated with female sex, younger patients, use of succinylcholine, and gynaecological surgery.

Conclusion: Airway management, female sex, younger patients, surgery for gynaecological procedure, and succinylcholine predicts postoperative sore throat. Increased awareness of the predictive factors can help to avoid this combination and improve patient satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Laryngeal Masks / adverse effects
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents / adverse effects
  • Pharyngitis / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Succinylcholine / adverse effects


  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • Succinylcholine