Post Operative Care for Children
What to Expect
- All children experience pain after a tonsillectomy. Some experience earache due to referred pain. Discomfort tends to peak on day 4 or 5 and then improves. It is important to continue pain relief for your child as required.
- Adenoidectomy (without tonsillectomy) is not particularly painful. Children may complain of throat or ear pain.
- The general anaesthetic, surgery and medications may cause your child to feel fatigued. It is important they rest at home for the first week after surgery and begin with gentle activity in the second week. Children will need up to two weeks off school to recover from a tonsillectomy and usually one week off school following adenoidectomy alone.
Nausea and vomiting
- Some children may experience nausea and may vomit after a general anaesthetic.
What to Do
- Children need to rest at home for 1 to 2 weeks. It is important they continue to drink fluids and eat as normally as possible. If they are having difficulty eating, you may like to try soft or cold foods but try and encourage them to at least continue to drink fluids. If your child is unable to eat or drink by the second post-operative day contact your surgeon or GP.
- If your children develops any bleeding that does not stop after one or two minutes you should go to your nearest emergency department to be assessed.
- Bleeding may occur up to two weeks following surgery.
- Your child will be given a prescription for pain relief (usually oxycodone syrup) to be taken in addition to regular paracetamol.
- Paracetamol can be taken every 4-6 hours up to 4 times a day.
- In children who are refusing to take paracetamol orally, another option may to give it PR (per rectum).
- Your child will need an appointment about 3-4 weeks after surgery unless otherwise arranged.
You can download a .pdf version of this information here T+A in Children Post-operative care