Tonsillectomy Care

Learn what care is required for the Tonsillectomy procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Tonsillectomy Details


Alternate Names for Tonsillectomy:
Surgical removal, tonsil

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may:

  • Do a physical exam of the tonsils, throat, neck, and possibly other parts of the body
  • Order blood tests and perhaps a urine test
  • Review your medical history and current medicines

Leading up to your procedure:

  • Talk to your doctor about your current medicines. Certain medicines may need to be stopped before the procedure such as:
    • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs for up to one week before surgery
    • Blood-thinning drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.

Anesthesia

General anesthesia is most commonly used. You will be asleep for the procedure. If necessary, the surgery can also be done with sedation and local anesthesia.

Description of the Procedure

The anesthesia will be given through an IV or by a mask. The doctor will grasp each tonsil with a special tool. The tonsils will then be cut away from the surrounding tissues and removed. The tonsils may be cut out with a scalpel or hot knife. An electrical current or clamps and ties will be used to stop bleeding at the site.

How Long Will It Take?

About 20-60 minutes

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. After the procedure, you will find it difficult to swallow due to throat pain. You may also experience ear pain.

Your doctor will either give you pain medicine or recommend over-the-counter products to relieve pain.

Average Hospital Stay

This procedure is most often done in a hospital setting. It may be possible to leave the hospital on the day of the procedure. Some patients may need to stay in the hospital for up to two days. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

Post-procedure Care At the Hospital
  • You will be monitored for any negative reactions to anesthesia or other complications.
  • Once you are fully awake, alert, and stable, you may be able to leave. An adult should accompany you and drive you home.
At Home

When you return home, take the following steps to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
  • Take medicines that are prescribed as directed
  • Avoid talking, coughing, and singing for one week.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid spicy, acidic, and hard-to-digest foods.
  • Eat soft foods, such as gelatin and pudding, for 3-4 days after surgery. Gradually return to a normal diet.
  • Avoid swallowing hard items such as crackers and hard cookies. They may injure the back of your throat.
  • Bathe or shower as usual.

Learn

Learn what Tonsillectomy is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Tonsillectomy
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Tonsillectomy Complications
Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Tonsillectomy Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Tonsillectomy Results
Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Tonsillectomy
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO