Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy

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

The single most important aspect of the patient’s diet is adequate fluid intake. Fever and dehydration will occur if your child doesn’t drink enough. We recommend (4-6) ounces of fluids at least every (30) minutes 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 & Grape Juice
  • Gatorade®
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Popsicles
  • Chicken Noodle Soup

They can also use an Ensure®-type 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.

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. An ice pack applied to the throat may also soothe the symptoms. Pain medication containing a narcotic may be prescribed, and may be alternated with weight appropriate doses of ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil).  Some children may also experience a stiff or core neck due to the position of the head during surgery. Gentle massage to the shoulders or the back of the neck is helpful. If a severe stiff neck occurs that limits your child’s head movement, please call our office ASAP – as this may be a sign of something more serious.

Fever & Dehydration
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 degrees or if s/he becomes lethargic or dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include: fever, sunken eyes, pale skin, lethargy, dry mouth, dark urine, 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 is s/he 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, so please feel free to call us for advice, tips and ideas. Office personnel will be happy to speak with your child by phone to encourage fluid intake.

There is a risk of bleeding from the throat in days (1-14) following surgery and rarely after (14) days. The most likely time for bleeding would be (5-10) after surgery 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 that there is bleeding ___ days following tonsil surgery, that it is an emergency and that 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 ½ water and ½ 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 finishes 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 three (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 medical assistant at (304) 340-2205 with any questions or concerns.

For an emergency, dial (304) 342-0124 and press “1” to designate the call as an emergency, and our trained office personnel will respond to your emergency call.

EN&T Associates

500 Donnally Street, Suite 200
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 340-2200

Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.