Tonsillectomy, Adult

Care After

ExitCare ImageRefer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.


  • Obtain proper rest, keeping your head elevated at all times. You will feel worn out and tired for a while.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. This reduces pain and hastens the healing process.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications increase the possibility of bleeding.

  • Sometimes the use of pain medication can cause constipation. If this happens, ask your caregiver about laxatives that you can take.

  • When eating, only eat a small portion of your food and then take your prescribed pain medication. Eat the remainder of your food 45 minutes later. This will make swallowing less painful.

  • Soft and cold foods, such as gelatin, sherbet, ice cream, frozen ice pops, and cold drinks, are usually the easiest to eat. Several days after surgery, you will be able to eat more solid food.

  • Avoid mouth washes and gargles.

  • Avoid contact with people who have upper respiratory infections, such as colds and sore throats.

  • An ice pack applied to your neck may help with discomfort and keep swelling down.


  • You have increasing pain that is not controlled with medications.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You feel lightheaded or have a fainting spell.

  • You develop a rash.


  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You experience side effects or allergic reactions to medications.

  • You bleed bright red blood from your throat, or you vomit bright red blood.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.