Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy Post-Operative Instructions

For the next 24 hours:

Begin with liquids and light foods and that is mostly cool or cold.

Rest on the day of surgery, no strenuous activity.

Take antibiotics as indicated.

Drink, Drink, Drink, a lot of liquids.

Use narcotic pain medication as needed every 4-6 hours. Take Tylenol elixir every 4 hours when not using narcotic pain medication, however, do not take both Tylenol and narcotic pain medication, as this may lead to excessive Tylenol ingestion.

Expect the uvula to swell, it may be difficult to blow your nose.

Arrange for a responsible adult to remain with you for 24 hours.


Cold liquids and soft diet on day of surgery.

Avoid hard or crunchy foods. Recommend popsicles, yogurt, eggs, mashed potatoes, applesauce and similar soft foods.

Avoid citric acid juices such as orange or tomato, they can burn.

Maintain hydration, the most common complication after tonsillectomy is dehydrations.

Special instructions:

Ear pain is common after tonsillectomy and is related to the surgical site in the throat. Treat ear pain the same as throat pain after surgery.

Swelling of the uvula can be expected for 7-10 days. This can lead to difficulty when blowing the nose.

Bad breath is common for 4-6 weeks.

External cold packs may be helpful.

Expect temporary loss of taste after surgery. This includes salty and sweet foods.

This is temporary and typically recovers in 2-6 weeks after surgery.

Avoid throat clearing or coughing as is possible. Chloraseptic or Cepacol lozenges may be helpful.

There will be white patches where the tonsils were 4 approximately 4-6 weeks.

Brief episodes of bleeding should be closely observed. For persistent bleeding contact your physician.

No exercise for 2 weeks.

General information:

Do not drive or operate machinery

Do not consume alcohol

Avoid making critical legal decisions

Contact your physician for fever greater than 101°F, pain not relieved by medications, persistent nausea or vomiting, inability to urinate, or excessive bleeding.

Contact 911 for shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of vision, double vision or loss of consciousness.

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