Kevin T Kavanagh, MD FACS Cumberland Otolaryngology Consultants 

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Tonsillectomy Care

After your tonsillectomy, you should usually be seen back in the office in one to two weeks.

Do not eat foods that are sour, acidic, salty, hot or very cold.  These can cause pain and discomfort.  Foods such as Jell-O, puddings, cool scrambled eggs, applesauce and gatorade to drink are good to give the child the first few days.

There should be no heavy activity for four weeks.

Bleeding may occur after the operation.  The peak time is four to eight days later.  Blood flecks may be treated by swallowing ice water, but any significant or persistent bleeding should be regarded seriously and the child taken immediately to the emergency room. 

Your child's speech may be abnormal for a few weeks after surgery since it hurts to talk.   Also, the sides of the throat will have white patches.  This is a normal finding.

You should call our office or the ER if any persistent or high fever -- greater than 102 degrees occurs. 

If your child is not drinking well or not urinating or urinating with dark urine you should contact the ER immediately.  Dehydration from poor fluid intake is a very serious problem and can be very dangerous, especially in young children. 

Tonsillectomy Complications

1.  Bleeding occurs in 1 to 4% of patients.

2.  Poor speech (hypernasal speech) occurs in 1/3000 patients.

3.  Nasopharyngeal stenosis.

4.  Chipped Teeth.

5.  Electocautery burns.

6.  Death.

7.  Allergic reactions to drugs, bleeding, infection and even death.