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Post-Operative Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy Instructions

You must remain on a soft diet and restricted activity for a FULL 10 days after surgery because bleeding can occur up to 10 days after surgery!

  1. Diet
    1. Day 1: Clear cold liquids (water, 7up/Sprite, Gatorade), ice chips, jello, lukewarm chicken broth, Popsicles.

      Day 2: Add dairy products including ice cream, pudding, fudgesicles, cooked cereal.

      Day 3-7: Advance diet as tolerated including mashed potatoes, applesauce, pasta, chicken noodle soup, milkshakes, Ensure, Carnation instant breakfasts, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, soft vegetables.

      Day 8-10: Continue to advance diet including baked chicken (without crusts), macaroni & cheese.

    2. Avoid hot liquids to prevent blood vessels from opening.

    3. NO potato chips, Doritos, tacos, pizza, toast, crackers, hard cookies, or anything that will scrape the back of the throat for 10 days.

    4. No red jello or red liquids to avoid confusion with bleeding.

    5. Drink as much fluid as possible to avoid dehydration.

    6. Avoid straws, gargling, excessive coughing, spicy foods, and foods with citric acid (orange juice/oranges, lemons, grapefruit).

  2. Activity
    1. No activity more strenuous than walking for 10 days, i.e. no exercise, strenuous housework.

    2. No heavy lifting or bending over.

    3. No smoking for 10 days!

    4. Avoid excessive talking, especially if you go back to work sooner than 10 days.

  3. Medications
    1. Start antibiotic liquid (ampicillin or clindamycin usually) on the evening of the same day of surgery. Continue taking as instructed until gone.

    2. Take narcotic liquid (hydrocodone or Tylenol with codeine usually) as directed and as needed. If the pain is not severe or having nausea, try plain liquid Tylenol. DO NOT use any other over the counter pain relievers including aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin,and Advil because these can cause you to bleed (by inhibiting platelet function)! For the first few days, take the pain medication every four hours to keep the pain under control.

    3. Phenergan suppositories may be prescribed for nausea and vomiting. Nausea can be caused by blood in the stomach, anesthesia or the narcotic pain medication.

  4. Bleeding: Blood-tinged saliva may be seen for the first 12 hours. Bleeding is NOT normal after tonsillectomy. My office should be called for any signs of active bleeding.

  5. Oral Thrush: Patients will often get a sore tongue and whitish coat on the tongue after tonsillectomy. If this is severe, please call my office for a prescription of an antifungal agent. It is normal to have a white coat on the tonsils; this is not thrush.
Please call Dr. Emdur's office for:
  • Bleeding
  • Fever >101.5
  • Dehydration
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Things to get: cold liquids and soft food, liquid Tylenol, thermometer, books videos, magazines, prescriptions filled

If you have severe bleeding, go immediately to the nearest Emergency Room.