Postoperative Instructions

Postoperative Instructions Following Tonsillectomy With Or Without Adenoidectomy


For Adults

  • Avoid heavy lifting (>15lbs) and strenuous activity for two weeks.
  • Avoid nose blowing for two weeks.
  • Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. aspirin, Advil®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, MOTRIN®) for two weeks following surgery.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®), available over the counter, is appropriate for use after surgery, to be taken as directed.
  • Your surgeon will also prescribe a narcotic pain medication to be used as directed after surgery.
  • Please follow the instructions on the prescription bottle.
  • 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

  1. Throat pain is greater the first few days following surgery and may last up to two weeks.
  2. It is not abnormal to experience ear pain following surgery.
  3. Discuss strategies for pain control with your healthcare provider before and after surgery; realize that antibiotics after surgery do not reduce pain and should not be given routinely for this purpose.
  4. 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).
    • It is normal not to want to eat solid foods due to discomfort.
    • Soft foods including applesauce, pudding, rice, mashed potatoes, soft noodles, jello, ice cream, scrambled eggs are easier to swallow.
  5. Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, Gatorade®, or popsicles, after surgery. Staying well hydrated is associated with less pain.
    • Colder liquids/foods help with reducing discomfort.
  6. Pain medicine should be taken as directed by your healthcare provider. For the first few days following surgery, it should be given often.
  7. Many clinicians do not recommend waiting to take pain medication until you are in pain. Instead, give the pain medication on a regular schedule.
  8. Expect to have more pain in the mornings; this is normal.

Feel free to contact our triage nurses at (952) 832-5252 during normal business hours Monday-Friday with any questions or concerns.

A smiling doctor

There is also always a physician available at (952) 832-5252 for after-hour emergencies.