An adenotonsillectomy is an operation to remove both the adenoids and tonsils.

Drinking and Eating:
Drink plenty of fluids after the operation; children may need to be encouraged with this. Try to avoid acidic and fizzy drinks as well as hot drinks as these will sting.  Fluids will help ease the sore throat making swallowing easier and preventing dehydration. You may find ice blocks helpful. Try normal food from Day 1 even if it is a small amount.

Pain relief:
You will be given a prescription for pain relief from your surgeon before you leave the hospital. You may need regular pain relief for between 10 days and 2 weeks. It is important to take the pain medication regularly. Do not take Aspirin or medications containing aspirin as this may increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.  Pain is often worst on Day 4-5 after the operation.

There is a slight risk of bleeding in the first two weeks after surgery, most commonly around day 7 to 10. It usually starts as spitting or coughing up some blood, if this occurs suck on some ice immediately. If it does not stop after 5 min or if the bleeding is brisk call your surgeon immediately or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency clinic. In an emergency call 111 for an ambulance.

You may feel tired for the next 1- 2 weeks, it is important to rest. Avoid sports and swimming for at least 2-3 weeks to reduce the risk of bleeding. Your surgeon will advise you when you can return to daycare, school, or work.  It is usually 10-14 days after surgery.

It is common to experience earache after tonsillectomy; chewing gum can help.

It is common to have smelly breath for 1 -2 weeks and the tonsillar sites will appear white for 2 weeks, this is normal. You may be prescribed antibiotics but this is not always necessary.

If you have any concerns after your procedure, please contact the following:
  • Auckland ENT Group on 09 522 2226
  • Your Family Doctor / GP
  • After hours – 24 Hour Medical Centre
  • In case of an emergency – dial 111 for an ambulance.

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