Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy

Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are hospital procedures with the surgery done under general anesthesia. However, most of our patients go home the same day and the total hospital stay is usually less than six hours. Recovery takes 7- 10 days. Rest is suggested during this period.


  • All tonsillectomies are done using a technique called Coblation.
  • Coblation is an advanced technology that combines gentle radiofrequency energy with a natural salt solution to quickly and safely remove tonsils and adenoids.
  • The advantages of this technique are less pain, faster healing, and less post-operative care.

Prior to surgery:
Prior to surgery, you need to make your physician aware of the following information about you, your child, or any other immediate family members:

  • A history of complications with prior anesthesia if any
  • A history of bleeding problems
  • Symptoms of upper respiratory infection (cold, runny nose, flu, croup, fever) within one week of surgery
  • Exposure to chicken pox or other illness within the previous two weeks
  • Medication currently being taken by the patient, both prescription and over-the-counter
  • Any allergies or existing medical problems that the patient has

These medications interfere with blood clotting and may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Cilostazol (Pletal)
  • Ticlidopine (Ticlid)
  • Fondaparinux (Arixtia)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)

What should I expect after surgery?

  • NAUSEA AND VOMITING: Some patients may experience nausea and/or vomiting from the general anesthetic during the first 24-36 hours following surgery. Contact your surgeon as directed if nausea or vomiting is experienced for more than 24 hours.
  • FEVER: Patient may run a low-grade fever (99-101 degrees) for several days following surgery.
  • PAIN: You should expect to have a sore throat anywhere from a few days to about two weeks. Usually children get over it more quickly but do not be alarmed if your child requires up to two weeks to recuperate. The back of your throat might be covered with a white or yellowish coating. This is normal and will clear up in about two weeks. Keep your throat wet by drinking small amounts of liquids frequently. Try a vaporizer in the room to humidify the air. Do not smoke for 10 days following surgery. Earache is common after surgery and does not indicate an infection.
  • BAD BREATH: Bad breath is common and should disappear in about two weeks.
  • DIET: Avoid foods that scratch the throat (such as potato chips or pretzels) and foods that irritate the throat (such as hot or spicy foods). Some thickened foods like Jell-O™, apple sauce, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, Flavor-ice™, Italian ice, and fruits like watermelon have a lot of water content in them and are easier to swallow with a painful throat. You may want to avoid orange juice or other citrus drinks and hot broth for the first few days because they may be less comfortable on the throat.

Please call your physician if you notice any of the following:

  • Report any bleeding IMMEDIATELY: Bleeding usually happens between days seven to 10 after surgery when the wet scabs in the back of the throat are sloughing off. Ninety-eight percent of the time this is a brief bleed that is not significant. However, in one in 100 children, this bleeding can precede more severe bleeding and is a warning sign.
  • Report a temperature of more than 102° F
  • Report ear pain that lasts more than three days.
  • Report neck pain associated with a stiff neck or fixed head position

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