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Tonsillectomy & Adnoidectomy

What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. You have two tonsils.

What is an adenoidectomy?

An adenoidectomy is a procedure to remove the adenoids.

Prior to the procedure:

  • Do not give your child any aspirin or medicines with aspirin if they are less than 18 years old.
  • Nothing by mouth after midnight the night before surgery.
  • If you or your child takes medications, talk to the doctor who prescribed the medications about which ones to take and which ones that should not be taken until after the procedure.
  • If you become up to five days before surgery, please call the ENT office and tell the nurse about your symptoms.
The day of your procedure:
  • Plan to arrive two hours before your surgery time for pre-operative procedures.
  • The anesthesiologist will discuss types of anesthesia with you and answer any questions you have.
  • You or your child will be taken into the operating room and be given general anesthesia by the anesthesiology team.
  • The tonsils and/or adenoids will be removed through the patient's mouth. There are no external incisions.
After the procedure:
  • You or your child will be taken to the recovery room.
  • If your child had a procedure, you will be called back to the recovery room to sit with your child until he/she is fully awake. Your child may go home at this point.
  • Your child's surgeon will update you on how the procedure went.
  • At home you or your child may experience pain which can fluctuate during recovery. It may even increase on day five.
  • Take pain medications as prescribed.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. No sodas or acidic fruit drinks.
  • Get lots of rest. Most children miss 5-10 days of school.
  • You may see a white covering in the throat. This is normal.
  • Keep your follow-up appointment.
Contact your provider if you have or your child has:
  • A fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Difficulty swallowing liquids.
  • Nausea and vomiting that occurs more than three times after the first 12 hours since the procedure.
  • A small amount of bleeding. Limited to one occurrence.
Seek care immediately in the ER if you have or your child has:
  • Bleeding that does not stop in 5 minutes. A large amount of blood on patient's pillow during the night.
  • Signs and symptoms of dehydration: Patient has not urinated at least twice in a 12 hour period, lethargy, not taking in any fluids.
  • Sudden onset of severe pain.

Please call our office at 919-350-1630 during business hours Monday-Thursday, 8 am-5 pm with questions or concerns. After hours or on the weekends, please contact the on-call doctor by calling 919-350-8000 and asking to page the ENT doctor on call.