Most children have quite a bit of ear and throat pain for up to 2
weeks after a tonsillectomy. They usually have good days and bad days. Your child's pain may get worse before it gets better. A fever
up to 38.9°C is common on the day of surgery and the next day. Your child may
also have bad breath for up to 2 weeks.
Your child will feel tired
for several days and then gradually become more active. He or she should be
able to go back to school or daycare in 1 week and return to full activities
in 2 weeks.
There will be white scabs where the tonsils were.
These usually fall off in 5 to 10 days, and you may see some blood in your
child's saliva at this time.
Your child may snore or breathe
through his or her mouth at night. This usually stops 10 to 14 days after
surgery. The mouth breathing can cause mouth dryness and pain. Place a
humidifier by your child's bed or close to your child. This may make it easier
for your child to breathe. Follow the directions for cleaning the machine.
Your child's voice may also sound odd after surgery. Your
child's voice will return to normal in 2 to 3 weeks.
children, even thin ones, lose weight after the surgery. As long as your child
is drinking liquids, this is okay. Your child will probably gain the weight
back in 2 to 3 weeks.
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.
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 call line 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.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example,
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be
sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter B103 in the search box to learn more about "Tonsillectomy for Children: What to Expect at Home."
Current as of:
July 29, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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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.