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Is it normal to cough up light brown mucus a couple days after surgery?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15170 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 2 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Is it normal to cough up a small amount of light brown mucus a couple days after surgery?
I was wondering if this happened due to anethesia and the tube that is inserted at surgery.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Complications of intubation can be divided into those that occur during the procedure and those that are experienced after intubation has been completed.
One of the potential complications of endotracheal intubation is damage to the soft tissues at back of the throat such as the pharynx, larynx, epigiottis .
As a result of this minor damage a person may see blood tinged (the brown appearance) mucus.
It should resolve within a week of the procedure.

If it doesn't or it worsens, which would be unusual then you may want to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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