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Adenoidectomy for Children: What to Expect at Home

Your Child's Recovery

Adenoidectomy is surgery to remove the adenoids. These are small areas of tissue at the back of the nose and throat. Your doctor did the surgery through your child's mouth.

Most children have throat pain for a few days after an adenoidectomy. After the surgery, your child may have bad breath, a stuffy nose, and voice changes for a few days. Your child may feel tired. Your child should be able to go back to school or day care in 2 or 3 days.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Have your child rest when your child feels tired.
  • Your child can do normal activities when it feels okay to do so.
  • For about 7 days, keep your child away from crowds or people that you know have a cold or influenza (flu). This can help prevent your child from getting an infection. You and your child should stay close to medical care for about 2 weeks in case there is delayed bleeding.
  • Your child may bathe as usual.


  • Your child can eat a normal diet. If your child's stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • If it is painful to swallow, start out with cold drinks, flavoured ice pops, and ice cream. Next, try soft foods. Avoid hard or scratchy foods and other acidic foods that can sting the throat.
  • Encourage your child to drink fluids to prevent dehydration and to make the throat more comfortable.


  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 18. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, be sure your child takes them as directed. Your child should not stop taking them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has severe bleeding.

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.
  • Your child bleeds from the mouth or nose.
  • Your child has new or worsening pain.
  • Your child is unable to keep fluids down.
  • Your child is unable to drink fluids.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.