Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery
Do not give your child aspirin for a week before the
operation, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
Follow any instructions your doctor may give you. Your child
may eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before the procedure.
He or she shouldnot eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning
before the procedure. Do not even let him or her drink milk, tea, or water.
All the child's clothing , including the underwears should
be comfortable and made of cotton. Avoid tight and synthetic ones.
If it is you who is scheduled for surgery, plan for your
care and recovery after the operation. Allow for time to rest and try to
find people to help you with your day-to-day duties.
How long will it take to recover?
After removal of the tonsils and adenoids, your child may
lack energy and tire easily for several days. Your child may be restless at
night and not sleep well. These problems gradually get better in 3 to 14
days. Your child may have problems with constipation for several days
because of the codeine in the pain medication and because he will not feel
like eating much.
Discharge Instructions After Surgery
Diet. The most important thing for your
child to have in the first 2 days after surgery is liquids. This will
help lessen problems with fever, constipation, and healing. Make an
effort to give your child a drink (2 or 3 ounces) every hour during
waking hours for the first 2 days after surgery. Soft drinks, fruit
juice nectars, Jelly, custard, ice cream, Cream caramel,Yogourt or
Popsicles are good choices. Frequent small feedings of soft foods and
cool liquids usually are most comfortable. As your child's appetite gets
better, encourage him to eat solid foods. There are no limits to the
foods you may give your child. You can't hurt the throat by giving your
child the wrong foods. Let your child have his favorite foods.
Your child should not drink through a straw after surgery
until his throat is completely healed. This may increase the risk of
bleeding. Your child may feel sick to his stomach, throw up, or feel
tired and cranky after surgery. This should get better within a few
Pain Medicines. A very sore throat or ear
pain is normal after the tonsils are removed. Expect pain in the ears
between the 3rd and 7th days because the same nerve that goes to the
tonsils also goes to the ear. Give regular does of pain medicine (any
acetaminophen medicines, such as tempra) 4 to 5 times a day for a week.
If your child has severe pain, use the prescription pain medicine as
labeled. DO NOT USE ASPIRIN OR IBUPROFEN because these medicines
increase the chance of bleeding. You can use cool compresses or ice
packs on your child's neck to help your child feel more comfortable. You
can also have your child suck on ice chips or chew gum.
Fever Medicines. It is normal for
children to run a fever between 37°C and 38°C for the first few days
after surgery. The fever will be worse if your child doesn't drink
enough liquids and becomes dehydrated. Give acetaminophen for the fever.
Bad Breath. This is normal. It comes from
a white to yellowish scab that forms over the tonsil surgery site. The
scab breaks off during healing within 5 to 10 days and the bad breath
will go away.
Bleeding. There should be no bleeding
from the nose or mouth after your child returns home. Get up to check on
your child once or twice during the first night after surgery. If there
is any bleeding, take the child to the emergency room immediately. The
ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor on call will check your child.
Between the 5th and 10th days after surgery, the scab breaks off the
surgery site and your child may spit up some bloody mucus. If the
bleeding does not stop in 20 to 30 minutes, bring your child to the
Activity. It is best for your child to
rest at home for the first 48 hours after surgery. Activity may be
slowly increased as your child's strength increases. There is no rule
for the right time to go back to school, but a guideline is 7 to 10 days
after the tonsils are taken out. Rough play and contact sports should
not be allowed until 14 days after tonsil or adenoid surgery. Contact
your child's school for make up work.