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How To Get Rid of a Cough Before Surgery

Are you getting ready for surgery but concerned a lingering cough could compromise the procedure? We understand how overwhelming and worrisome it can be to have a persistent cough just ahead of such an important medical intervention. That’s why we’ve put together this thorough guide detailing how to get rid of a cough before surgery, so you can concentrate on recovering smoothly with no added difficulties. Having surgery is a major medical event that needs proper preparation to guarantee a successful result.

A cough can make surgery and recovery more difficult, especially if it’s a result of a common cold, respiratory infection, or an underlying condition. This article will give you tips and remedies to alleviate your cough before surgery. Following these measures can reduce the risk of complications during the surgical procedure and ensure optimal healing afterwards. With these helpful suggestions in mind, you can feel confident about your upcoming surgery.

What is a Cough?

Coughs, caused by your body’s attempts to expel something from the lungs, can range from mucus to phlegm or even vomit. It is essential that the cough be tended to prior to surgery.

Coughing is a symptom seen in many illnesses, from minor colds to serious conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and even cancer. In some cases, the cough can last for extended periods of time, making it difficult to cope with daily activities or sleep. If you’re having this sort of issue, it’s important to consult a doctor to determine the cause; there are many over-the-counter medications available to help alleviate coughing, but if they don’t work or the underlying problem isn’t known, surgery could be necessary.

Causes of a Cough

A cough can have several causes, including allergens, the common cold, and drugs. If you don’t experience relief, it’s important to visit a doctor and determine why it persists. In certain cases, this could imply a more serious condition such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

If you’re scheduled for surgery, it’s crucial to manage your cough before the operation. Not only can a cough increase the chance of complications during or after the surgery, but it can also impede proper healing.

There are numerous OTC and prescriptions which can help soothe a cough; however, it is essential to consult your physician before taking any drug– particularly if you have an upcoming operation. Certain medicines might interact with anesthesia or other medications used during surgical procedures.

Reasons Why it is important to Get Rid of a Cough Before Surgery

It is vital to have a cough-free state prior to undergoing surgery for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Coughing can be troublesome for post-surgical patients as it increases the likelihood of bleeding at the incision. This is because when you cough, a force is created in the chest and abdomen which places tension on any weak vessels in the surgical area, resulting in rupture.
  • It is not uncommon for blood clots to form following an operation, particularly if you have been immobile for a prolonged period. If these clots become dislodged due to coughing, they can migrate to the lungs and result in a pulmonary embolism – a very serious and occasionally fatal affliction.
  • A cough can impede full breathing and, post-surgery, deep breathing is essential for your lungs to recover. This may be impeded if your coughing makes it difficult to take in a full breath, thus hindering the healing process.
  • Having a cough can make clearing secretions more difficult, which can in turn increase your risk of infection after surgery. It’s important to clear away any post-operative secretions you produce by coughing them up.
  • If your doctor identifies a cough before an operation, they may suggest taking medication to calm it. Alternatively, the procedure could be postponed until the cough is no more.

How to Get Rid of a Cough Before Surgery

If you have a cough before your surgery, there are methods to help reduce it. Drinking lots of fluids will thin out the mucus in your throat and make it easier to expel. Hard candy or lozenges can also provide lubrication for your throat and soothe coughing. Moreover, using a humidifier regularly throughout the day to maintain moist air can assist with loosening up the mucus. Avoiding smoking or second-hand smoke is important, as these will only increase irritation in your cough.

Home Remedies for Getting Rid of a Cough

Coughing is a common indicator of many diseases, such as the common cold, bronchitis, and sinus infections. This reflex can aid in the healing process; however, it may be annoying and hinder one’s rest or daily routine. If thinking about a surgical approach, it’s essential to banish that cough prior to going through with it.

Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief from coughing, but there are also several home remedies that can help to clear your throat and lungs. Consuming a good number of fluids is one way to aid in thinning mucus so it’s easier to expel. Additionally, warm drinks can be soothing and help liquefy congestion as well.

Inhaling the steam from a pot of boiling water with eucalyptus or peppermint oil can help loosen mucus and make coughing more productive. An alternative is to take a hot shower, where the steam fills the room and relieves your airways.

If your cough is the result of postnasal drip, gargling salt water can eliminate bacteria and irritants from the back of the throat. For a more natural remedy, apple cider vinegar works against bacteria and also serves to reduce congestion, whether ingested or used as a gargle.

Honey is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it an ideal remedy for coughs.

Over the Counter Medications to Help Clear up Your Cough

To prepare for surgery, there are several over the counter medications that can aid in clearing your cough. Mucinex is an expectorant that assists in getting rid of mucus while guaifenesin helps to make it easier to cough up by loosening it up. As a last resort, dextromethorphan is known as a cough suppressant which can quiet your cough with ease.

Medical Treatments to Clear Up an Unpleasant Chronic Cough

There are a number of ways to get rid of an unpleasant chronic cough before surgery. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following medical treatments:

  • Antibiotics may be recommended if your cough is due to a bacterial infection.
  • Corticosteroids can be effective in relieving airway congestion and inflammation, as they possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Bronchodilators can help facilitate respiration by widening the airways, easing breath.
  • If your cough is due to a certain lung condition, it may be beneficial for you to seek oxygen therapy. This could enable you to take in more air into your lungs and improve your respiration.
  • In rare situations, a surgical procedure might be required to eliminate an obstruction from the airway or address a structural abnormality of the lungs or respiratory tract.

When to Contact Your Doctor

If your cough persists for more than two weeks, you ought to call your doctor. Moreover, if it’s accompanied by shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest pain, seek medical advice as soon as possible; these could be warning signs of a more serious issue.

  • If your cough is disrupting your sleep or interrupting your daily activities, consider seeking medical help.
  • If you find yourself coughing up blood, it is important to seek medical attention right away.
  • If you have had a persistent cough for two weeks without any improvement despite home treatment, it is time to seek medical help.
  • If you have a temperature and a cough, these could be signs of a more serious infection.


Coughing is a common preoperative trouble for many patients which poses a risk of potential complications. Fortunately, there are remedies to mitigate and even eliminate the problem. Drinking additional water, steering clear of irritants in the air, having ample rest time and utilizing home solutions such as hot teas or honey-lemon drinks can help eliminate your coughing symptoms. Keeping this information in mind and considering how serious coughing could be postoperatively; taking care of your health now will guarantee you a secure recovery tomorrow.


1. How do I get rid of a cough before surgery?

There are various solutions to resolving a cough prior to surgery. Exploring over-the-counter medications, using a humidifier, or trying home remedies can be effective. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best option for you.

2. What over-the-counter medications can I take?

When treating a cough, many people turn to over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and expectorants. However, it is important to read package instructions thoroughly before taking the medication.

3. Will a humidifier help?

A humidifier can help loosen and clear away secretions so your lungs can fully expel them. Ensure you keep it clean on a regular basis to discourage the spread of mold and bacteria.

4. What home remedies can I try?

Various home remedies can be used to provide relief from a cough. Popular choices include honey, ginger, and warm liquids like tea or soup. It is still important to consult your doctor before attempting any new solutions.

5. When should I see a doctor?

If your cough has not improved or become worse, it is essential to seek medical advice immediately. Your doctor will be able to pin down the cause and prescribe any necessary treatments to bring relief.

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