Post-Operative Instructions: Pediatric Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy
  • Diet - It is important to keep your child drinking fluids to maintain hydration. Soft foods are generally best tolerated. Avoid scratchy foods with hard edges, spicy or acidic foods (such as orange juice). Suggestions: popsicles, applesauce, Jello, pudding, ice cream, cooked cereal, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, etc.
  • Activity - Children may take up to 2 weeks to “be themselves” in terms of resuming normal activities. Older children should refrain from strenuous physical activities, exercise, or sports for two (2) weeks.
  • Pain - Your child will experience a sore throat (and often ear pain) for up to 2 weeks after the operation. Children who have adenoidectomy may also complain of neck stiffness. Use TylenolĂ“ or Ibuprofen to relieve pain. Your doctor may prescribe other pain medications. Do not use aspirin containing products as these can cause bleeding.
  • Fever - Your child may run a low grade fever (100 to 101°) for a few days after the operation. This should be treated with Tylenol.
  • Bad breath - Your child may have bad breath after the operation. A white, shaggy appearance of your child’s throat after tonsillectomy is normal and does not indicate infection. Teeth brushing and oral rinses may be allowed; check with your doctor.
  • Speech changes - Your child’s voice may sound different immediately after surgery. This will slowly improve over the next several weeks. If your child drinks very quickly, fluid may be felt in the nose. This sensation will pass after a few weeks.
  • Bleeding - This occurs rarely, but when it does, it can be frightening and potentially dangerous. Bleeding of significance can occur up to two weeks following tonsillectomy. Should this happen, do not panic. Call your doctor’s office immediately or proceed to the nearest Emergency Room.
  • School: Your child may return to school in two (2) weeks.