Adult Tonsillectomy Post Op

Adult Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy tends to be more painful in adults than children. However, pain perception and tolerance are different for everyone. Key is “stay hydrated” and “effective pain management”.


If your surgery is under general-anesthesia, you will be not allowed to eat or drink or smoke for minimum 6 hours before surgery start time, and you won’t feel any pain during surgery.

Normally tonsillectomy takes half an hour to 45 min on an average.

When you wake up you may be slow and clumsy for initial few hours

You will be kept with your head low and lie to one side post-operatively.


As pain reception varies from person to person, nurses usually give you pain medication. You can put ice-packs around your neck that reduces pain. You may ask your doctor about adequate pain relief before going for surgery so that he plans your pain-management accordingly.


Ice cream is an ideal first meal after surgery because it is soft and offers comfort for a sore throat.

    • Have lots of cold water.
    • For first 24 hours, you can have cold yogurt, jelly, and pudding.
    • For one week have soft, bland diet not very hot like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, soups
    • Avoid acidic, spicy and rough food.
    • Lot of chewing-gums helps.


Antibiotics are often prescribed for 5-7 days to improve healing, along with analgesics.

Bad breath

Oral-hygiene is very important so you do gargle every time you eat something. Take plenty of fluid.

    • You may have mild soreness of throat for 7-10days, mild earache for one week or blood mixed mucus for one week.
    • You may have the mild fever for few days and nausea or vomiting.

Work and physical activity

For desk job, you may start working in 7 to 10 days. Heavy physical work is to be avoided for 14 days after surgery.

When to call/visit a doctor?

If significant bleeding, high fever or signs of dehydration are present consult your surgeon. Have a thorough discussion with your surgeon including whether to proceed with surgery or go for nonsurgical options and what to expect of surgery.