1. Rest quietly at home for the first several days after surgery. Then, the patient may resume normal activity as tolerated, but should avoid exertion. Do not go out of town for 2 weeks following the surgery so we can help with any issues that may arise.
  2. Drink cool water or suck on ice chips as soon and as much as possible the day of surgery. A cool, soft diet with plenty of liquids is best during the first week. Avoid citrus fruits, spicy, hot or crunchy foods that might irritate your throat.

After Your Tonsillectomy

  1. ­Nausea is common for 24­-48 hours after surgery. If vomiting persists more than 48 hours or is severe, call our office.
  2. Fever above 100 degrees is normal for 48­-72 hours after surgery and does not imply infection.
  3. Pain radiating from the throat to the ears is common after tonsillectomy.
  4. Increased pain around the 7th and 10th day following surgery is expected.
  5. If bleeding occurs, it will typically do so between 6-­14 days after surgery.
  6. It is normal for the throat to look white with a cheesy coating and for the patient to have bad breath, but this is temporary and a normal part of healing process.
  7. If bleeding from the throat does occur, the patient should suck on ice chips and stay quiet. If bleeding is severe or continues more than 20 minutes, call our office at 704.289.­8220 or go directly to the Emergency Room.
  8. Throat pain may last up to 2­3 weeks with symptoms occasionally worsening about 7­-10 days after surgery due to the natural process of healing.
  9. Make sure that the patient drinks plenty of fluids after surgery. Staying well hydrated can help lessen the pain.
  10. Ibuprofen can be used safely for pain control starting the day after surgery.
  11. Prescription pain medication, if recommended, should be given as prescribed.
  12. For the first few days following surgery pain medication should be given on a regular schedule unless the patient is clearly pain free. After the first week pain medication should be given, or resumed, as needed.
  13. Expect the patient to complain more about pain in the mornings and at bedtime.
  14. If the patient is not drinking regularly due to pain, or not able to tolerate the pain medication, please call our office to discuss alternative plans.

Post-Tonsillectomy Pain Control

All ages

  • ­Acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours at weight appropriate dose.
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) at weight appropriate dose every 6 hours, beginning the day after surgery.
  • Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be safely given together every 6 hours or you can alternate between the two medications every 3 hours (Tylenol 3 hours after Ibuprofen 3 hours after Tylenol, etc)

Ages ≥ 6 years:

  • ­A prescription pain medication may be given to replace Tylenol if pain is severe.