After Tonsillectomy / Adenoidectomy


The most important thing is to drink liquids, otherwise dehydration can sometimes occur. Solid foods are not as important to take as are liquids for this reason especially in the first 2-3 days. Initially your throat maybe too sore to swallow solids. Stay away from foods which are sour, salty, hot or crunchy since this may cause pain and discomfort. After the first few days if still very sore add smoothies or  milkshakes.

Suggested liquids: Apple juice, grape juice, milk, Hi-C, Gator Aid, sodas (you may want to let the “fizz” out first), popsicles, sherbet, apple sauce, pudding, smoothies, soups, etc.

Suggested solids: Oatmeal , rice,  jello, mashed potatoes, pasta.

Not Recommended: Toast, chips, orange juice (any citric drink), spicy foods. These are only guides. The important thing is to have your child swallow liquids. Whatever works is the best thing to give. Milk products are fine to give. 


There is usually not too much bleeding during the operation, but there is always a chance of bleeding when you come home after the operation. Sometimes bleeding may occur in the first 24 hours after the operation. Usually this early bleeding occurs within the first 6 hours. However, bleeding can occur at any time, until everything is healed, which takes about two weeks. A small amount of bleeding is fine but if more than 2-3 tbsp you should go to the Emergency Room for evaluation, preferably the Emergency Room where surgery was done or if a large amount of bleeding or you are far from that hospital then any hospital will be fine. Most of the time the bleeding will stop but you should be monitored for a few hours.  Occasionally we  need to return to the OR to stop the bleeding. For this reason it is recommend that patients should not travel for 2 weeks post op.

Managing the Pain

The things that make pain go away are taking Celebrex twice a day and liquid Tylenol every 4 hours as needed. You will get a prescription prior to surgery.  It helps the pain to take the first dose of Celebrex  the morning of surgery and bring it to hospital. Staying well hydrated also helps. Celebrex in a liquid form is more comfortable to swallow post op but it needs to be made up at a compounding pharmacy. It is helpful to have this made up when the prep antibiotic prescription is filled so it is ready to go the day of surgery.


A small fever (100 or 101 degrees) is common after surgery. If it goes above 102, call and we will discuss it. Often, fever goes away in a few days. You may give Tylenol to decrease the fever but DO NOT overdose this medication if you have given Tylenol for pain. Stay away from aspirin, Advil and other non-steroidal pain relievers since they can increase bleeding.

Make sure you are giving the pain medicine often.

What about Antibiotics

Antibiotics the week pre op helps to decrease intraoperative bleeding. Start the antibiotics one week pre op. If you have been scheduled for a last minute surgery date and do not have a week then start the antibiotics the day you are called and continue for a week from that date. If you are having an adenoidectomy as well then you will be on a steroid nasal spray a minimum of 1 week preoperatively as well. You can discontinue this the day of surgery.


You should rest for the first few days. You can be in a car, and they can go with to the store but they will be tired for the first several days. Avoid strenuous activity. You should stay in town for 14 days after surgery in case there is delayed bleeding. There is no school or daycare unless it is one on one for the first week. For the second week school is allowed but no recess or gym. There is no sports allowed for 2 weeks after surgery.

Check Ups

If you did not have a post op visit prescheduled, please call the office for a follow up appointment .  It is usually scheduled within the first 3 weeks after surgery.

If you have any questions, please call our offices.