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Tonsillectomy / Adenoidectomy

Why Do I Need Surgery?

Two primary reasons for a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy are (1) recurrent infection despite antibiotic therapy and (2) difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. Tonsillitis is an infection in one or both tonsils with signs and symptoms of one or more of the following: swelling, redder than normal tonsils, white or yellow coating on the tonsils, sore throat, painful swallowing, fever and bad breath. The most common problem affecting the adenoids is significant enlargement or obstruction that causes breathing problems and in return causes snoring, mouth breathing, and sleep disturbance.

What Happens During Surgery?

Children may be given a mild sedative to help them to relax. Vital signs will be monitored continuously. Once in the operating room, you will be put to sleep and then a tube will be placed in the trachea to assist breathing. The tonsils and/or adenoids will then be removed. Following surgery your anesthesia will be reversed and you will begin to wake up. This surgery is usually done at a day surgery center so you will be able to return home the same day. You’ll be moved into the recovery room for your vitals to be monitored and you become fully awake to return home.

What to Expect After Surgery:

You may feel temporarily drowsy and nauseated from the anesthesia. You may experience some vomiting which should subside without difficulty. Expect throat and ear discomfort. Antibiotics may be prescribed to limit infection. Fever over 101° F is not unusual. Bad breath is normal for up to two weeks following surgery. You can usually return to normal activities ten to fourteen days following surgery. Your post-op appointment will be scheduled with your ENT two weeks after surgery.

Post-Op Instructions:

• Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor.

• Chewing gum can help ease the ear discomfort.

• Report to nurse or physician if fever goes above 102° F.

• Push fluids to maintain hydration.

• Do not take any products containing ibuprofen for the next 2 weeks or until after your post-op exam.

• Watch for bleeding. A little bleeding on the day of surgery is normal. If bleeding persists and blood is bright red, contact office immediately or go to the emergency room.

• Coughing and clearing of the throat should be avoided. Cough suppressants can be purchased over the counter.

• The patient may sit and walk as desired following surgery but should not run for the first week.