Post-operative instructions following tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) for Dr. Greg Rohn and Dr. Brad Gamble of Otolaryngology Specialists of North Texas. Offices are located in Plano-Frisco and Dallas.
Recovery: Recovery from anesthesia is usually about 2 hours. Nausea/vomiting occur in about 10% of patients the day of surgery. If this persists, call the office for a prescription anti-nausea medication. Adults may NOT drive home from the surgery facility.
Diet: Fluid intake/hydration is the most important requirement following T&A. Any liquid is fine, any temperature, just drink to the point of urinating about every 2-4 hours, with clear pale yellow urine. There is a vast difference in what liquids and foods patients prefer, but there are no dietary restrictions after T&A.
Activity: Activity may be increased as tolerated, with a return to school after normal eating and drinking resumes, narcotic pain medication is no longer required, and sleep quality is good. Avoid contact sports and coached athletics for 2 weeks following surgery; avoid heavy exertion in adults. Adults may not drive while they are taking narcotic medication. Travel away from a medical facility is not recommended for two weeks following surgery.
pain: Expect a sore throat and, in some cases, ear pain. The pain level varies immensely between patients. A spike in pain around day 5-7 is not uncommon. Use medication(s) as directed. If you have any questions about your pain, or difficulty controlling it, please call the office.
fever: Variable, but expected as a response to healing. Call if fever is > 102.
snoring: Snoring may occur or persist for up to 14 days following T&A. Also,
A temporary change in voice can occur due to resonance in the throat. This will resolve with time.
eschar or “scabs” The tonsil area heals by forming eschar or “scab”. This is whitish-gray in appearance. The uvula is often swollen. The tongue can be swollen, numb, or irritated for a few days. The tonsil areas will be pink when fully healed.
bad breath: Occurs in most children for 1-2 weeks after surgery. This will resolve.
bleeding: It is not uncommon to have a little bit of bloody saliva or mucus on the day of the surgery. Please call if you have any frank bleeding from the mouth that can take the form of spitting blood, coughing blood, or throwing up blood. Call your surgeon if you have any bleeding, day or night.
Medications: Pain medication(s) as per your surgeon’s instructions. Commonly used medications include acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and prescription acetaminophen/hydrocodone. Antibiotic if prescribed by your surgeon.
Follow-up appointment: A routine follow-up visit is usually made for about 2 weeks after surgery. This appointment is usually made when the surgery is scheduled.