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Laurence O’Halloran MD
Timothy Egan MD
Sarah Blank MD

After Tonsillectomy


Drink plenty of cool liquids, otherwise dehydration can occur. Do not worry about nutrition or calories during the first 2 weeks. Solid foods are not as important to take as are liquids but if you feel up to it you can begin a soft diet immediately after surgery. Stay away from foods which are sour, salty, sharp or hot since this may cause pain and discomfort.

Suggested liquids: Apple juice, grape juice, Hi-C, Gator Aid, sodas (you may want to let the “fizz” out first), popsicles, sherbet, apple sauce, Jell-O, pudding.

Not Recommended: Solids, orange juice (any citric drink), spicy foods. These are only guides. The important thing is to have your child swallow liquids. Whatever works is the best thing to give. Milk products may increase mucus secretions but if the child will only drink a milk shake and eat ice cream then it is OK to give them.


There is usually not too much bleeding during the operation, but there is always a chance of bleeding when you come home after the operation. The most common time for bleeding after tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is 7 to 10 days after surgery. Bleeding may occur during the first 24 hours after the operation. However, bleeding can occur at any time, until everything is healed, which takes about two to three weeks. If bleeding occurs, have the patient gargle and swallow ice water. If the bleeding persists please call out office at: 703-534-3314. One of our doctors is on call at all times to help you. Depending on the severity of the bleeding we may ask you to go to the emergency room.
Manage the Pain


Recovery from a tonsillectomy usually takes 10-14 days. The most common complaints patients have is a sore throat but it is very common to have ear pain as well. The best way to control the pain is to take your pain medications as directed and to drink plenty of cool liquids.


A small fever (100 or 101 degrees) is common after surgery. If it goes above 102, call and we will discuss it. Often, fever goes away in a few days.


It is important to avoid strenuous work, heavy lifting, exercise and gym for 3 weeks after surgery.

Most children are out of school for 10-14 days. Adults are usually out of work for 10-14 days but may be longer if your job involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity.

Follow Up:

The first visit should be made for  3 weeks after surgery.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 703-534-3314