Having your tonsils removed can be a little scary. But we have found that the best way to address your anxiety is to give you the complete information on what you can expect from your tonsillectomy. We want to eliminate the fear of the unknown that makes you uneasy. This is what you need to know about having your tonsils removed.
What are the reasons for Tonsil Surgery?
Your tonsils play an important role in your immune system. We don’t remove them unless they are enlarged and causing a dangerous condition like sleep apnea or if you are having a recurring throat or tonsil infections. Your tonsils may also be removed for recurring tonsillar abscesses, tonsillitis leading to febrile seizures, persistent or frequent bad breath from chronic tonsillitis, tonsil stones or a suspected tonsillar tumor.
If your Ear Nose and Throat Doctor has requested surgery, you can rest assured that they have looked at alternative treatments and procedures and determined that this is the best course of action for you.
What to expect during your Tonsillectomy
When tonsils are removed, it’s a procedure called a tonsillectomy. The surgery is performed as an outpatient. An overnight stay is not required. You will be asleep during the entire procedure.
We will give you instructions to follow the night before your surgery. You will need to fast from food and water. This is to eliminate the risk of vomiting from the anesthesia. You will also need to stop smoking and chewing gum.
Arrive at the surgery center in comfortable clothing. Bring a comforting toy or blanket if needed. Bring extra clothing, diapers or underwear. Make sure if you are the one having surgery that you have a friend or family member to drive.
What should I expect after tonsil surgery?
You might be given medication before the anesthesia wears off to relieve any anxiety. After your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. This is where the nurses will monitor you. If the surgery is for your child, you will be able to be with them in the recovery room. We encourage the patient to drink right after surgery. This should begin the recovery process.
Once you are stable, you will be released to home care. We will give you instructions for what to do after surgery. It is important that you follow the instructions closely to ensure the fastest and least painful recovery.
Home Care after a Tonsillectomy
It is important to follow those instructions carefully. Drink plenty of clear liquids. If you hare nauseous after the surgery, you can eat soft food if it’s easy to swallow.
We will prescribe medication for the pain. Always follow instructions for dosage and timing. Take pain meds as prescribed. Don’t wait for the pain to return before taking the medication.
Sleep with your body elevated. This helps to reduce swelling and it will help with snoring as well. Snoring after surgery is normal but keeping your upper body elevated will help to reduce this problem.
Call the doctor or go to the emergency room if you have a fever, chills, bleeding with bright red blood, extreme pain or are unable to urinate 12 hours after your surgery.
Don’t return to work or school until pain medication isn’t necessary and you are able to sleep comfortably all night.
If you have additional questions or concerns about your tonsil surgery, please make sure to ask one of our ENT specialist at Colorado ENT and Allergy. We will be more than happy to answer your questions and ease your fears.