Post Op Instructions: Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy

Day 1: (At Home) Keep indoors and in bed depending on how the patient feels. Use a cool mist humidifier in the room the patient sleeps in to moisten the airway for two weeks. Diet: Ice, ice cream, cold milk, soft drinks, gelatin or Jell-O, custards, soft cereal and juices. Encourage children to frequently drink small amounts of fluids. The more the patient swallows the less sore the throat will feel. No crackers, potato chips, or breads with hard crusts, or any solids that might irritate the throat. 

Day 2: Diet: As above, plus soft-boiled eggs, well mashed potatoes, soft milk toast, warm soups. No hot, hard, sour or highly spiced foods. Children may chew gum if they are old enough not to swallow it. Chloraseptic or Spec-T lozenges 15 minutes before meals may help with pain. Use a small dose of Milk of Magnesia or Dulcolax suppository if bowels have not moved.

Day 3: The patient may go outside if the weather is nice. Diet: As above, plus start hamburger or soft meats (well chopped or blended), soft vegetables and bread without crust.

Day 4-6: Gradually add foods, including well cooked meat.


Pain Management: For pain in the throat use pain medication (contains Tylenol) and alternate with Ibuprofen to control or manage pain. Do NOT use Aspirin. Ear pain is also quite common during the first 2 weeks. This does not mean that the ear is infected, and it is usually controlled with the pain medication. A slight fever of 99°-101° degrees is normal for the first 10 days after surgery. For a fever over 101°, call Dr. Pearson.

Post Op Bleeding: Sometimes bleeding occurs after the patient has gone home. If spitting out only a few drops of blood, lie down and place an ice collar or a cold cloth around the neck. An older child may try gargling gently with ice water. If spitting up a lot of blood, or if the blood is flowing from the nose, or if vomiting blood, immediately bring patient to the E.R.

What to avoid: Avoid orange, lemon, grapefruit, tomato, pineapple, ketchup for the first several days as they will burn the throat. Do not drink from straws for two weeks. Sucking may cause blood clots to fall out, causing excessive bleeding. Please avoid sucking on anything for two weeks.

What to expect: Two white patches will form where the tonsils were removed. This is normal and is similar to scabs on the outside of the body. These scabs will start will start to slough off about a week after surgery. Days 3 and 5 after surgery can be the worst days for pain due to the sloughing off of the scabs on the throat.