Postoperative Care of Adult Tonsillectomy/UPPP

*No Aspirin or Ibuprofen for two weeks prior to surgery and one week after surgery.

  1. Normal activity can be resumed after the first week depending on the patient’s comfort level. For the first week there should be no heavy lifting or exertion.
  2. Diet: You may have soft foods such as oatmeal soups pureed fruits and vegetables jello ices and ice cream in the first few days following surgery. Avoid hard foods that cause straining or pain. It is extremely important that you drink sufficient water/liquids to avoid dehydration. You should drink at least six glasses of water each day. Sufficient pain medicine should be administered if pain is preventing you from taking in enough fluids. You may not want to take in any food — this is acceptable.
  3. It is necessary to keep the mouth and teeth clean after a tonsil operation. The teeth should be brushed gently two or three times a day. If you have a humidifier it should be used.
  4. Many patients complain of earache after a tonsil operation. This is normal and frequently the ear pain is worse than the throat pain. This pain is coming from nerve fibers in the throat. This is not an ear infection. Usually the pain is most intense on the third to sixth postoperative day.
  5. Some fever is expected. If it is over 102 degrees F call my office. There will be a white covering/scab where the tonsils were. This is normal.
  6. It is expected that there will be some bloody secretion. Should there be a significant amount of bright red blood call our office immediately. If the phone is answered by the answering service the doctor will be notified immediately. Should there be any problem or difficulty with contacting the doctor report to the emergency room. The emergency room physician will have to see you in this situation and contact the covering surgeon as necessary.
  7. Call the office for an appointment two weeks following surgery. School or work may resume as your energy level increases. This is usually one to two weeks after surgery. It is not unusual to have difficulty swallowing throat discomfort and a feeling that there is something in your throat for several months after the procedure.
  8. Medication for pain: Tylenol with Codeine OR Percocet. They should be taken as prescribed and not both at the same time.
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