Postoperative Instructions For Tonsilectomy and UPP

The following guidelines should help during the first week after surgery. Although individual responses vary widely following any operation, you (or your child) can expect to return to normal in about ten (10) days.

ACTIVITY: For the first day or two (2), it is wise to restrict the patient to either couch or bed rest, but he/she may be allowed to go to the bathroom. Plenty of sleep is necessary and naps are often advisable. For the first few days, public places where the patient might encounter infection should be avoided. Strenuous activities should be limited for two (2) weeks. Patients usually return to school/work in one (1) week.

PAIN: Pain and discomfort varies with each patient after surgery. Earache is almost always present, and is rarely of any significance, since it is referred from the throat. General discomfort is often worse from the fifth to the ninth days and can frequently be relieved by use of chewing gum. Medication may be prescribed to help control pain, take as directed. You may also use Tylenol or Acetaminophen.

BLEEDING: This occurs occasionally and is rarely serious. Bleeding typically occurs between days five through nine (5-9) postoperatively. Gargling or rinsing the mouth with ice water should stop the bleeding. If it does stop, nothing further needs to be done, except limit activity for about twenty-four (24) hours. If bleeding persists more than fifteen (15) minutes in moderate or large amounts, please contact us for further instructions. See contact information.

FEVER: Very slight elevations of temperature during the first few days are usual. If the temperature goes above 101.5 degrees, please contact us. See contact information below.

VOMITING: Nausea and vomiting may occur following anesthesia and usually clears after the first day. If persistent nausea and vomiting occurs after the first day at home, please contact us. See contact information below.

INFECTION: This occurs rarely, typically five to nine (5-9) days after surgery. It is noted by a combination of cough, crusty yellow or green nasal drainage and fever. If this occurs, please contact us. See contact information.

MEDICATIONS: Medication may be prescribed to help control pain, take as directed. You may also use Tylenol or Acetaminophen. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, take as directed. You may resume any other medications that you use regularly. If taking pain medications, avoid drinking alcohol or other dangerous situations.

DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ASPIRIN CONTAINING MEDICATIONS FOR AT LEAST THREE (3) WEEKS.

POST OPERATIVE DIET: After discharge from the hospital or surgery center, adequate fluids are essential and may be given in almost any form such as water, jello or popsicles. Encourage fluids for at least ten (10) days. This diet is non-irritating to the throat. It is used following tonsillectomies and throat surgery. Cool, clear, liquid foods are given, as well as some mild milk products. Soft foods are tolerated best at first and should be encouraged. Foods and beverages containing red or orange coloring are not to be given because they may mask hemoptysis (blood sputum). Milk and mild products provide substantial nutrition in this diet; however, these can cause excessive mucous production and may need to be limited. Drinking water may help thin secretions from milk products. Avoid highly seasoned, sharp/scratchy foods like pizza, potato chips, hamburgers, etc. Refrain from eating hot foods. Drinking citrus fruit juices, pineapple and tomato juice may sting due to the acid, and should be discouraged. Normal diet can be advanced as tolerated.

Sample Menu:

Apple Juice
Jell-O
2% Milk
Custard
Iced Tea with Sugar
Macaroni and Cheese (Room Temperature)
Mashed Potatoes
Cottage Cheese
Chilled Bouillon
Ice Cream
Sherbert
Popsicles
Gatorade
Malts
Applesauce
Smoothies

NIGHTMARES: These can occur and are usually handled by reassurance from the parent or caregiver.

FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO THE OFFICE: If a postoperative appointment has not been made for you, please call the office the day after surgery to arrange an appointment within one to two (1-2) weeks following the surgery.

PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS: For any problems that arise, or to ask any questions, please call the office during regular business hours at (772) 398-9911, (772) 464-6055, (863) 357-7791 or contact the Answering Service after hours by dialing (772) 320-0400. Drs. Berghash, Lanza, Wright or Zeiders are on call after hours and weekends for emergencies.

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