Postoperative Instructions

Postoperative Instructions Following Tonsillectomy With Or Without Adenoidectomy


For Children

  • Avoid heavy lifting (>15lbs) and strenuous activity for two weeks. For children, non-strenuous play during this time is appropriate.
  • Avoid hard, sharp, crusty, or crunchy foods or hot foods/liquids for two weeks; most important is to drink plenty of fluids (1-2 liters per day).
  • Avoid nose blowing for two weeks.
  • Call our office at 952-832-5252 for a fever over 101.5 degrees F, bleeding that lasts longer than five minutes, no urination over a 24-hour period, inability to tolerate liquids, or any other questions or concerns.
  • The patient will need to have a responsible adult who can drive them home from the surgery.
  • The patient will need to have a responsible adult with them for 24 hours following this surgery.

Post-Tonsillectomy Pain Control

  • Throat pain is greater the first few days following surgery and may last up to two to three weeks.
  • It is not abnormal to experience ear pain following surgery.
  • Encourage your child to communicate with you if he or she experiences significant throat pain, because pain that is not expressed may not be recognized promptly.
  • Discuss strategies for pain control with your healthcare provider before and after surgery; realize that antibiotics after surgery do not reduce pain and are not given routinely for this purpose.
  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, Gatorade®, or popsicles, after surgery. Staying well hydrated is associated with less pain.
  • Ibuprofen can be used safely for pain control after surgery. Pain medicine should be given as directed by your healthcare provider. For the first few days following surgery, it should be given often.
  • Many clinicians do not recommend waiting until your child complains of pain. Instead, give the pain medication on a regular schedule.
  • Expect your child to complain more about pain in the mornings; this is normal.
  • Rectal administration is an option for children refusing to take pain medication orally. Call your healthcare provider if you are unable to adequately control your child’s pain.

Protocol for Post- Tonsillectomy Pain Control in Children

Dosing based on weight

Pound (lb) to kilogram (kg) conversion: 1kg=2.2lbs. Divide the child’s weight in pounds by 2.2 to get the weight in kilograms. For example, a child weighing 35 pounds has a weight of 15.9kg (i.e. divide 35 by 2.2 to calculate weight in kilograms).

Call (952) 832-5252 to speak with a triage nurse during normal business hours. There is also a physician available for after-hour emergencies.