Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy Post Operative 


 

Activity

 

Vigorous physical activity should be strictly avoided for 14 days after surgery. Your child will be at home, on the couch or bed for the first several days. We recommend a time of reading, playing cards, movies or video games. Light activity is permissible the 4th or 5th day after surgery (e.g. a short supervised walk or a ride in the car should be fine - not a bicycle ride). Be careful to avoid activities which increase the heart rate to minimize the risk of post-operative bleeding.


Diet

 

The single most important aspect of the patient's diet is adequate fluid intake. Fever and dehydration will occur if your child does not drink enough. We recommend 4-6 ounces of fluids at least every hour for the first 2-3 days. Soft foods can also be introduced as tolerated. Foods that children seem to do the best with are: apple and grape juice, Gatorade, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, bananas, popsicles, and of course, chicken noodle soup. They can also use an Ensure type of drink, such as PediaSure poured over vanilla ice cream to get extra calories and protein. Remember, the body needs protein to heal itself. Please avoid sharp or crunchy foods like chips or popcorn.


Pain

 

Throat and ear pain can be severe after surgery. Keeping your child on a regular schedule of the prescribed pain medication is quite helpful. Offering meals about 30-40 minutes after a dose of pain medication will allow maximum relief while eating. Please avoid aspirin products and Motrin (Ibuprofen) as they may increase the risk of post-operative bleeding. Some kids may also experience a stiff or sore neck due to the position of the head during the surgery. Gentle massage to the shoulders or the back of the neck is helpful. If a severe stiff neck occurs limiting your child's head movement, please call our office ASAP. This may be a sign of something more serious.


Fever

 

Fever is quite common after surgery but should not exceed 101.5 degrees. Please contact our office if your child's fever is greater than 101.5 or if he/she becomes lethargic or dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include: fever, sunken eyes, pale skin, lethargy, dry mouth, dark urine, or lack of urine, and lack of tears when crying. Hospitalization post operatively for IV fluids may be necessary if dehydration occurs. Your child's throat will not heal if he/she is not sufficiently hydrated. We recommend restricting privileges (such as TV or video games) if your child is refusing to drink. Our staff is well trained on this difficult subject. Please feel free to call us for advice or ideas. Office personnel will be happy to speak with your child by phone to encourage him/her.


Bleeding

 

There is a risk of bleeding from the throat from days 1-14 following the surgery and rarely after 14 days. The most likely time for bleeding would be days 5-10, when the healing membranes (scabs) are sloughing off the throat area. If your child does start to bleed, please call our office IMMEDIATELY at 304-342-0124 and press "1" to indicate it is an emergency. If you call after normal business hours, our answering service will respond. Advise the answering service, there is bleeding xxx days following tonsil surgery, it is an emergency, and you must speak with the doctor on call RIGHT NOW!


Bad Breath

 

Bad breath or halitosis occurs after surgery from the healing membrane that forms over the tonsil and adenoid area. This membrane will look like a whitish/yellow coating and will eventually dissolve as the area(s) heal. A homemade gargle of 1/2 water and 1/2 peroxide will help to minimize bad breath. You will be given a prescription for antibiotics after surgery. We recommend that your child takes this medication as directed and finish the entire course. This will prevent any infection from developing during the healing process.


Office Visit

 

You will be given an appointment to return to the office in approximately 3 weeks. Your doctor will assess your child's throat and most likely release him/her to full activity at that time.


 

Please call the nurse at 304-340-2205 for any questions or concerns. 

For an emergency dial 304-342-0124 and press "1" to designate the call as an emergency -  

Our trained office personnel will respond to your emergency call.