Home > Patient Information > Tonsillectomy (& Adenoidectomy) - Children

Tonsillectomy (& Adenoidectomy) - Children

This is an operation to remove the tonsils for recurrent infections or for obstruction to the airway. In children the adenoid (at the back of the nose) may be involved and need to be removed.

The patient will usually be in hospital one night after the operation. Some children may be suitable to go home the same day. The patient will need to remain in Perth for at least 10 days, or if you need to return home, out of the metropolitan area, please be sure medical assistance is available. This is because of the slight risk of delayed haemorrhage from the tonsillar bed.

Post-operative instructions:

  1. Your child’sthroat will be sore for up to 2 weeks. Typically the pain improves slowly until about day 5or 6when it becomes worse and then starts to improve again. The medications below can be obtained from your chemist without prescription. DO NOT TAKE ASPRIN OR DISPRIN.
    • Panadol liquid for mild pain.
    • Painstop Day for stronger pain.
    • Painstop Night may be helpful to enable your child to sleep at night.
    • Oxynorm (a narcoticmixture) will also be prescribed for stronger pain.
  2. The best way to avoid pain building up is by using the throat. Eating, drinking and chewing (chewing gum etc) will normally speed up the healing process. Your child will need pain relief about half an hour prior to eating.
  3. Your child will develop yellow slough (like a scar) on your tonsils. This is not an infection. You may also develop earache, which is referred pain from the tonsils.
  4. Your child will develop halitosis (bad breath). This will clear up in 7-10 days. Eating and chewing will help. Your sense of taste may also be affected. This usually settles after several weeks.
  5. Some children develop nasal speech immediately after the surgery. This is especially so if they had a large adenoid. It may take 2-3 weeks for this to settle.
  6. Bleeding post-operatively is the most common complication. Most patients will have some bleeding which will be minor. Approximately 5% of patients will have some bleeding when the scabs fall off after 5-10 days following the operation. However, 1 -2% of patients have significant bleeding and will require treatment. Occasionally there is a need to take the patient back to theatre to stop the bleeding.


  7. Occasionally some children will not eat or drink enough and dehydrate themselves. They may need re-admission for re-hydration.

If you have any concerns after discharge, please call our rooms on 9388 7474.


« back to patient information

site by Café Media