Is It Ok to Use Salt and Water on a Sore Throat After Rhinoplasty?

I had rhinoplasty 5 days ago and my throat is SO painful (left side) it hurts to swallow and even breathe as my nose is blocked up. I was wondering what I should do? I've heard that salt water helps but will it increase swelling? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Sore throat after rhinoplasty

Gargling some salt water will not cause your swelling to increase. This close to your procedure suggests that the sore throat may be from the endotracheal tube used in the anesthesia. If the soreness persists or gets worse, then you should see your doctor.


Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Throat soreness is common after general anesthetic for Rhinoplasty Surgery.

If your sore throat has been present since you awoke in the recovery room, it's likely from the orotracheal tube used during your procedure. If your sore throat appeared several days after your surgery, you may have tonsillitis which may require antibiotics. In that regard, you may want to visit your surgeon for evaluation.

I like Chloraseptic red lozenges with benzocaine (follow package directions), for acute sore throat relief.

Hope this is helpful.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 421 reviews

Sore throat after rhinoplasty--what to do?

After rhinoplasty (or any surgery), a sore throat is usually due to the laryngeal mask or endotracheal tube used by your anesthesia provider to protect your airway and provide oxygen and sometimes anesthetic gases during surgery. Irritation can result from these necessary devices, and each patient may have different degrees of throat soreness ranging from none at all to severe.

Salt water gargles will cause no harm and can help to relieve mild symptoms. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large glass of warm water will do the trick, and will not cause more swelling. Sucrets or Cepacol lozenges have a topical anesthetic that can soothe sore and irritated tissues until they heal in a day or two.

Severe pain could be a sign of infection, either bacterial or viral. when in doubt, see your doctor. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Salt and water after rhinoplasty

Gargling with salt water after rhinoplasty is fine. The soreness may be from the breathing tube (if you had one), but it could also be a virus which can produce some throat ulcerations which could take 1-2 weeks to heal. If so the important thing is for you to make sure you don't get dehydrated. So, somehow you need to keep drinking electrolytes. 

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Salt water gargling after Rhinoplasty

Gargling with salt water to relieve a sore throat will not hurt anything. Most after surgery sore throats are related to having the Anesthesia tube there. However, to be sure please see your surgeon. You may have a throat infection. Which would need to be treated with antibiotics. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Sore throat after rhinoplasty

Sore throat is usually caused by the anesthesia during rhinoplasty, and salt water is very safe to soothe the discomfort. Cold air humidity can help, and you can also use lozenges, an old standby.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.