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Tonsil and Adenoid Surgery

Preoperative Instructions:

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

  1. 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 hours. .


  2. 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.


  3. Fever Medicines. It is normal for children to run a fever between 37C and 38C 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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 emergency room.


  6. 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.