Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before your tonsillectomy.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may:
Do a physical exam of the tonsils, throat, neck, and possibly other parts of the body
Order blood tests and perhaps a urine test
Review your medical history and current medicines
Leading up to your procedure:
Talk to your doctor about your current medicines. Certain medicines may need to be stopped before the procedure such as:
or other anti-inflammatory drugs for up to one week before surgery
Blood-thinning drugs such as
The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
is most commonly used. You will be asleep for the procedure. If necessary, the surgery can also be done with sedation and local anesthesia.
Description of the Procedure
The anesthesia will be given through an IV or by a mask. The doctor will grasp each tonsil with a special tool. The tonsils will then be cut away from the surrounding tissues and removed. The tonsils may be cut out with a scalpel or hot knife. An electrical current or clamps and ties will be used to stop bleeding at the site.
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. After the procedure, you will find it difficult to swallow due to throat pain. You may also experience ear pain.
Your doctor will either give you pain medicine or recommend over-the-counter products to relieve pain.
Average Hospital Stay
This procedure is most often done in a hospital setting. It may be possible to leave the hospital on the day of the procedure. Some patients may need to stay in the hospital for up to two days. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
At the Hospital
You will be monitored for any negative reactions to anesthesia or other complications.
Once you are fully awake, alert, and stable, you may be able to leave. An adult should accompany you and drive you home.
When you return home, take the following steps to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Be sure to follow your doctor's
Take medicines that are prescribed as directed
Avoid talking, coughing, and singing for one week.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Avoid spicy, acidic, and hard-to-digest foods.
Eat soft foods, such as gelatin and pudding, for 3-4 days after surgery. Gradually return to a normal diet.
Avoid swallowing hard items such as crackers and hard cookies. They may injure the back of your throat.
Bathe or shower as usual.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the site where the tonsils were removed
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given, especially if it prevents you from drinking water
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a