Recovery after tonsillectomy

You will be advised to lie flat but to keep your head in an elevated position. Place a few pillows under your head to do so.

You will be given painkillers during this time. Any pain that you do experience will ease after the first week or so.

It is difficult to swallow or chew after a tonsillectomy but try and eat especially solid foods at this time. This will help your throat to heal. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid sugary, acidic drinks as they will cause your throat to sting.

Remember to clean your teeth during the recovery period. Still follow a daily dental hygiene routine such as cleaning your teeth twice a day and using dental floss. It is important to do so not just because it protects your teeth against decay but also reduces the risk of an infection.

What you will notice is that your throat has a white coating over it which develops after the tonsils have been removed. A new lining of the throat has formed underneath this coating which will disappear after a couple of weeks.

If you are the parent of a child who has undergone a tonsillectomy then keep them away from school for a week or two until they are fully healed. This also reduces the risk of them picking up an infection.

Risks of tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy is a safe and common procedure which carries very few risks but they do occur in a small number of cases. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse reaction to anaesthesia

Bleeding does often occur after a tonsillectomy which is usually minor. But if it persists or becomes serious then seek medical advice.

Infection is another risk although this is also quite rare.

An adverse or poor reaction to anaesthetic is a rare occurrence. The anaesthetist will discuss the use of anaesthesia with you before surgery and will ask you about your medical history.

The risks of tonsillectomy will be discussed with you beforehand.

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