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Whooping cough.. gerd or cleaning lungs?



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Hi everyone,

I'm 5 days post op and I have been having a cough for the past 4 days that almost can be described as whooping cough. Are my lungs trying to clear themselves? I have ocassional phlegms and post nasal drips. I'm really worried that it's reflux. I'm on a liquid and puree diet and on 40 mg reflux meds as well.

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If you sound like a barking seal, call your doctor … I never sounded like that with reflux, but was distinctive when I had whooping cough

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On 08/09/2022 at 18:11, hellohalo said:



Hi everyone,




I'm 5 days post op and I have been having a cough for the past 4 days that almost can be described as whooping cough. Are my lungs trying to clear themselves? I have ocassional phlegms and post nasal drips. I'm really worried that it's reflux. I'm on a liquid and puree diet and on 40 mg reflux meds as well.


Oh no! It could be left over from anesthesia and the dry oxygen they push during your surgery. On another note… are you having any other symptoms of COVID? I know that sounds awful but you might think about checking with a home test kit just to be safe. If you were coughing from reflux, you would probably have the burning in your chest and throat. Does your doctor have you on a PPI? You could ask them for a prescription. I was on it for at least a month following my surgery. Just tossing a few ideas…. I hope you get better soon!😊

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Coughing after surgery isn’t that uncommon after abdominal because some patients build up mucus & then cough to break it up & bring it up. It’s important to cough & bring up the mucus to reduce the risk of an infection or pneumonia. Make sure you use a pillow against your abdomen to support your tummy when you cough. Breath exercises like breathing slowly & deeply can help.

Check with your surgeon though as the cough should be easing or gone by now.

Doubt it is reflux unless you are also experiencing more severe heart burn symptoms, burning in your throat, sour taste in your mouth, trouble swallowing or breathing. A 40mg PPI is a high dose so should be controlling any reflux or excess acid production you may have. But always best to check with your surgeon too.

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I was going to say that I never heard of it as a side effect but I have totally forgot about that until I read what @Arabesque said about clearing your lungs after surgery. They even gave me an incentive spirometer to bring home.

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8 hours ago, KimA-GA said:

If you sound like a barking seal, call your doctor … I never sounded like that with reflux, but was distinctive when I had whooping cough

Don't have the barking seal sound for sure but I do cough reaaaally bad!

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8 hours ago, Dogmom68 said:

Oh no! It could be left over from anesthesia and the dry oxygen they push during your surgery. On another note… are you having any other symptoms of COVID? I know that sounds awful but you might think about checking with a home test kit just to be safe. If you were coughing from reflux, you would probably have the burning in your chest and throat. Does your doctor have you on a PPI? You could ask them for a prescription. I was on it for at least a month following my surgery. Just tossing a few ideas…. I hope you get better soon!😊

Thank you so much! Oh, definitely not covid. Don't have any other symptoms at all besides this annoying cough. I don't have the burn in chest and throat but last night I did have the "something stuck in my throat" feeling. I'm on 40mg ppi's too!

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3 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Coughing after surgery isn’t that uncommon after abdominal because some patients build up mucus & then cough to break it up & bring it up. It’s important to cough & bring up the mucus to reduce the risk of an infection or pneumonia. Make sure you use a pillow against your abdomen to support your tummy when you cough. Breath exercises like breathing slowly & deeply can help.

Check with your surgeon though as the cough should be easing or gone by now.

Doubt it is reflux unless you are also experiencing more severe heart burn symptoms, burning in your throat, sour taste in your mouth, trouble swallowing or breathing. A 40mg PPI is a high dose so should be controlling any reflux or excess acid production you may have. But always best to check with your surgeon too.

Thank you so much. I use a pillow when I cough. Like you said, since it hadn't gone away after 5 days, it started to make me think if it was reflux since I have weird hunger pangs and for the first time last night in bed, I had a feeling something was stuck in my throat. It would be really upsetting to have symptoms 5 days post op already while being on liquid and purees. It makes me scared of the real food period

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If what you are coughing up starts to smell/taste REALLY bad (like spoiled cheese, rotting meat, etc), go to the hospital. I aspirated in my sleep about 2 months after my surgery and ended up in the hospital running a 104 degree fever with bacterial pneumonia. It's not something to play with, and the bad smell was what tipped my partner off that something was very wrong.

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