Adenoidectomy Post Operative Instructions

What to expect after surgery?
An adenoidectomy takes about 20 minutes to perform and your surgeon will talk with you as soon as the surgery is over.  At that time you will receive prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medicine.  Your surgeon will also discuss any relevant findings and specific instructions for the post op period.  Use the area below as a guide for the few weeks after surgery.  If you have any questions, please call our office. 

Can my child go home after surgery?
Most children can have this procedure done as an outpatient, meaning they can go home the same day after surgery after spending a few hours in the recovery unit. 

How bad will it hurt?
Your child may have some discomfort for a few weeks after surgery but this does not tend to be severe.  Children also tend to have some neck pain or stiffness which can last a few weeks.  It is not uncommon to have an earache as well.  The one thing most parents do notice is that their child has really bad breath.  This tends to last about 3 weeks and then slowly disappears. 

What can my child eat after surgery?
If just the adenoid has been removed ( not the tonsils too), your child should only have a mild sore throat and should be able to eat and drink normally within a few hours after surgery.  An upset stomach and vomiting are not uncommon during the first 24 hours after surgery so it may be prudent to offer lighter meals during the first few days. 

When can my child return to school?
Your child should rest at home for the first two to three days.  Vigorous activity should be avoided for the first three to four days.  Some slight bleeding can result if your child becomes overactive too soon.  After four days, your child’s activity level can be gradually increased to normal.  Most children can return to school after just one week. 

What are some reasons I should contact the doctor?
1.Any fever over 102.5 F.  A low grade fever is common for the first few days after surgery.  Keeping your child well hydrated will help but if fever persists or it goes too high, please contact your doctor.
2.Nausea and vomiting may be present but if it is severe or interferes with fluid intake please let us know.  There are medicines which can be used to help this problem. 
3.If your child refuses to drink or you suspect your child is dehydrated.
Any bright red bleeding from the mouth or nose should be reported to your doctor immediately.

What else do I need to know?
1.Please do not give your child any pain medicine not prescribed by your doctor.  Never use aspirin in children.  Most pain can be controlled quite well with regular doses of Tylenol® or Motrin®.  Your surgeon may give you a prescription for narcotic strength pain medication to use for severe pain.
2.You may notice that your child’s voice sounds different after surgery. Most usually have a slightly higher pitched voice.  This tends to resolve with time.
3.Constipation may be noted for several days after surgery.  Any narcotic pain medication will make this problem worse.
4.If neck pain becomes severe or it does not get better in 48-72 hours after regular pain medication, please notify your doctor.
5.Plan on making a follow up appointment in 3-4 weeks after surgery. 

Pediatric Otolaryngology