Post-Op Instructions After Tonsillectomy and/or Adenoidectomy
Do not take aspirin, blood thinners, or anti-inflammatory medications (ie. Ibuprofen) for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Also, avoid herbal medications. These medications can thin your blood and increase your chance of serious bleeding. Tylenol use before and after surgery is not a problem.
Following surgery, expect some pain on swallowing and eating. Some patients may experience some ear pain (“referred” pain from the throat). Use the pain medications as prescribed usually 30 minutes prior to eating a meal. Be aware of the potential for constipation with the use of any codeine or narcotic medication.
Expect some nasal discharge and bad breath. A saline nasal spray from the local pharmacy can be used to clean the nasal passages several times a day as needed.
Call the office if there is marked bleeding (there is roughly a 1% chance of bleeding from the throat for the first 2 weeks post-op) or a temperature elevation of more than 38C or 100.4F.
Drink plenty of cold fluids and popsicles/Jello. Fluids are very important to stay hydrated. Moderate to severe dehydration may require a visit to the Emergency Department for intravenous fluids. Do not eat sharp, spicy or very hot foods. Avoid acidic drinks or foods and avoid straws for 2 weeks. Eat a soft diet for approximately 2 weeks with cold fluids and cold desserts. Ice cream can be given but milk products tend to thicken secretions and make them more uncomfortable. You may resume a regular diet as tolerated if you have only had removal of your adenoids.
Do not engage in any strenuous activity for at least 2 weeks. The first few days should be spent resting in bed or on the couch.
Do not blow your nose forcefully for 2 weeks following removal of your adenoids.
Do not smoke.
Keep your head elevated by sleeping on an extra pillow for approximately 48 hours.
Children may return to school 10 to 14 days after a tonsillectomy and 5 days after an adenoidectomy, but should not go to play period/gym class for at least 2 weeks.
Do not be alarmed if you see white patches at the back of your throat. These patches are indications that the surgical area is healing.