After Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy

After Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy

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After Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy

Girl drinking water.

Your child has had surgery to remove tonsils and/or adenoids. Your child will need time to get better. Below are guidelines for your child’s recovery.

Pain and activity

  • Expect your child to have some throat or ear pain for 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Limit activity for 1 to 2 weeks or as advised.


Make sure your child gets enough fluids and nutrients. Food and drink guidelines include:

  • Give lots of fluids. Good choices are water, popsicles, and mild juices. (Do not give citrus juice or other acidic juices.)

  • Give soft foods to eat. These include gelatin, pudding, ice cream, scrambled eggs, pasta, and mashed foods.

  • Do not give spicy, acidic, or rough foods. These include fresh fruits, toast, crackers, and potato chips.


Give only medicines approved by your child’s healthcare provider. Follow directions closely when giving your child medicines:

  • Your child may be prescribed pain medicine.

  • Do not give your child ibuprofen or aspirin. They may cause bleeding. If needed for discomfort, you can give your child acetaminophen instead.

When to call your child's healthcare provider

Mild pain and a slight fever are normal after surgery. The surgical site will turn whitish while it is healing. This is normal and not an infection. But call your child's healthcare provider right away if your otherwise healthy child has any of the following:

  • Persistent fever:

    • In a child 3 to 36 months, a rectal temperature of 102°F (39.0°C) or higher

    • In a child of any age who has a temperature of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher

    • A fever that lasts more than 24-hours in a child under 2 years old, or for 3 days in a child 2 years or older

    • Your child has had a seizure caused by the fever

  • Severe pain not relieved by medicine

  • Bright red bleeding. This includes fast bleeding, spitting, or coughing up a large clot, or blood-tinged spit that continues

  • Trouble breathing