Fact Sheet:

Tonsillectomy (with or without Adenoidectomy)

  • Pain is common and requires medication
  • Avoid hot foods, or foods that are spicy or acidic.  
  • Rough or chewy foods are fine. 
    • Children::  
      • regular paracetamol
      • regular ibuprofen
      • Follow dosage guidelines to avoid overdosing these can be continued for as long as required
      • Oxycodone syrup may be required intermittently

    • Adults:  
      • regular paracetamol and ibuprofen.  
      • Chewing gum can ease the pain 
      • Oxycodone tablets may be required intermittently

  • Encourage normal diet – although “grazing” rather than full meals may be the norm.
  • Ensure adequate fluid intake – Icy Poles are a good trick in children.
  • Antibiotics may be required in some instances, although after not often required.
  • Expect to be home from school/kindergarten or work for 10 days.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and swimming for 2 weeks.

  • If you are live away from the Adelaide metropolitan area, you should remain within an hour of the Adelaide CBD for 2 weeks post operatively due to potential for bleeding.  
  • It is normal:
    • To have a fever in the first 24 hours after surgery
      • Any longer/later please contact rooms
    • Note an increase in pain between days 3 – 5
    • Note bad breath and a white or yellow/green debris  (also called “slough”) where the tonsils were is normal (this is not a sign of infection).
  • It is NOT normal:
    • To have bleeding:  Any bleeding more than a tablespoon in size should present to the nearest Emergency Department.
    • To have a sudden increase in pain or fever after 48 hours post surgery – please call the rooms if this occurs. 

  • Follow up appointments are usually at 6 weeks.  Please call the rooms if you have any other questions.