POSTOPERATIVE INFORMATION FOR TONSILLECTOMY IN ADULTS
Adenotonsillectomy requires an overnight stay. 2 weeks will be required off work or study. Travelling, heavy physical activity, or exercise should be avoided for 3 weeks.
There is significant pain in most adult patients, lasting for up to 2 weeks.
Unlike most surgery, where pain is greatest in the early postoperative period, the peak of pain after tonsillectomy is often at a significant delay.
Characteristically the peak of pain will occur between day 5 and day 10 after surgery. Referred ear pain is quite common at the peak of symptoms.
It is usual for the tonsillectomy wound to become swollen, with a yellow sloughy appearance.
Even with optimal pain relief, it can still be a struggle. We recommend the following regime
REGULAR PARACETAMOL- 1g 4X day
REGULAR NON STEROIDAL ANTIINFLAMMATORY eg Nurofen 200mg 3X day
ENDONE 5mg up to 6X day, as required by symptoms
In the event of sensitivities or allergies to medications, there are other alternatives available.
Opiate medication such as Endone can contribute to constipation. It may be worth discussing a laxative with your pharmacist if there is difficulty opening your bowels.
If pain relief is not sufficient, please contact us at any time for further advice, as there is almost always something further that can be done.
If pain is unmanageable, to the point where oral intake is impossible, admission to hospital will be necessary.
A script for antibiotics is usually given.
In the event that bleeding occurs from the mouth or throat that does not immediately stop, present to your nearest emergency department.
There is a chance that further surgery may be required to stop the bleeding.
This will usually be 2-3 weeks after the operation
POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADENOTONSILLECTOMY IN CHILDREN
HOSPITAL STAY AND RECOVERY
Adenotonsillectomy requires an overnight stay.
Recovery requires 2 weeks away from school, kindergarten or daycare.
Travel, or heavy physical exercise should be avoided for 3 weeks after the operation.
This is usually a painful procedure, with pain lasting up to 2 weeks. Often the peak of pain is delayed, occurring at a 5-10 days.
It is usual for the tonsillectomy wound to to become white/ yellow and sloughy, and there may be associated bad breath.
Regular paracetamol, requiring up to the maximal daily dose calculated by your child’s weight.
Regular Nurofen, requiring up to the maximal daily dose calculated by your child’s weight.
Nurofen had traditionally been avoided because of theoretical risks of bleeding.
The recent concensus of paediatricians and ENT surgeons is that Nurofen is an appropriate first line pain medication in children after tonsillectomy
Oxycodone syrup is given frequently during the postoperative hospital stay.
Oxycodone is not usually necessary for ongoing pain mananagement following discharge from hospital.
It remains a useful safety net if your child has more pain than average.
If pain control is not adequate with the supplied medications, please call our office for further advice as there is often more that can be done as an outpatient.
In the event that severe pain is an issue after hours, or if oral intake cannot be maintained,please present with your child to the nearest emergency department.
There is a chance that admission, and intravenous rehydration may be necessary.
A script for antibiotics is usually given
Please present to the nearest emergency department if there is any sustained bleeding from your child’s mouth, nose or throat.
The postoperative visit will be 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Please contact our office if you have concerns prior to this.