Post-Operative Surgical Instructions

Please refer to the links for your procedure for more information on what to expect after surgery. You will be discussing specifics with your ENT Doctor. Should you continue to have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us and the doctors will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Medications

Pain medication will be given in the recovery room, and you will be instructed when the next dose may be given at home. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach (will cause nausea). Use of narcotic pain medication can lead to constipation and may require the use of stool softeners.

Antibiotics should be started the evening following surgery. Steroids should be started the morning after surgery.

Eating

Avoid hot and spicy foods for 5 days. Be sure to maintain hydration with adequate liquid intake.

Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first three days. Sleep with your head elevated on pillows.

Wound Care

Place ice packs (frozen peas, crushed ice in zip lock, etc.) on your nose, eyes and cheeks as much as possible for the first three days.

Change the gauze pad under the nose as needed depending on drainage. You may remove it and keep it off when the drainage subsides.

You may begin irrigating your nose with a bulb syringe and distilled water 2 – 4 times/day starting 1 week after surgery. This will wash out debris from inside the nose and help relieve congestion.

Activity

Avoid all heavy physical activity / exercise / straining / lifting for 1 week following surgery. Light exercise may be started in the second week.

Check Up

You will require your first follow-up visit one to two weeks after surgery. During this visit, the inside of the nose will be cleaned. A topical numbing spray will be applied to minimize discomfort. However, you may wish to take your pain medicine prior to this visit.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 847-888-9000.

Eating

The most important thing is to drink liquids, otherwise dehydration can sometimes occur. Solid foods are not as important to take as are liquids for this reason. Also, there may be too much soreness to swallow solids. Stay away from foods which are sour, salty, sharp or hot since this may cause pain and discomfort.

Suggested liquids: Apple juice, grape juice, Hi-C, Gator Aid, sodas (you may want to let the “fizz” out first), popsicles, sherbet, apple sauce, Jell-O, pudding.

Not Recommended: Solids, orange juice (any citric drink), spicy foods. These are only guides. The important thing is to have the patient swallow liquids. Whatever works is the best thing to give. Milk products may increase mucus secretions but if the patient will only drink a milk shake and eat ice cream then it is OK to give them.

Bleeding

There is usually not too much bleeding during the operation, but there is always a chance of bleeding when you come home after the operation. The most common time for bleeding after tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is 7 to 10 days after surgery. Sometimes bleeding may occur in the first 24 hours after the operation. Usually this early bleeding occurs within the first 2 hours. However, bleeding can occur at any time, until everything is healed, which takes about two to three weeks. If this occurs, have you or your child swallow some ice water. If the bleeding persists, you should go to the Emergency Room for evaluation.

Manage the Pain

The two things that make pain go away are taking liquid pain medication (you will get a prescription to take home with you), swallowing lots of liquids and keeping a humidifier by your bedside.

Fever

A small fever (100 or 101 degrees) is common after surgery. If it goes above 102, call and we will discuss it. Often, fever goes away in a few days. You may give Tylenol to decrease the fever but DO NOT overdose this medication if you have given liquid pain medications. Stay away from aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin and other non-steroidal pain relievers since they can increase bleeding.

Make sure you are giving the pain medicine often (every 4-6 hours).

Activities

The patient should rest for the first few days. They can be in a car, and they can go to the store but the patient will be tired for the first several days. Avoid strenuous activity. The patient should stay in town for 2 weeks after surgery in case there is delayed bleeding.

Check Ups

Ask your doctor when you should come back for a checkup; usually the first visit should be made for 2 weeks after surgery.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 847-888-9000.

There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. One of the surgical options is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. This involves trimming the soft palate and uvula and removing your tonsils.

EATING

The most important thing is to drink liquids, otherwise dehydration can sometimes occur. Solid foods are not as important to take as are liquids for this reason. Also, there may be too much soreness to swallow solids. Stay away from foods which are sour, salty, sharp or hot since this may cause pain and discomfort.

Suggested liquids: Apple juice, grape juice, Hi-C, Gator Aid, sodas (you may want to let the “fizz” out first), popsicles, sherbet, apple sauce, Jell-O, pudding

Not Recommended: Solids, orange juice (any citric drink), spicy foods

These are only guides. The important thing is to swallow liquids. Milk products may increase mucus secretions.

BLEEDING

There is usually not too much bleeding during the operation, but there is always a chance of bleeding when you come home after the operation. The most common time for bleeding is 7 to 10 days after surgery. Sometimes bleeding may occur in the first 24 hours after the operation. Usually this early bleeding occurs within the first 2 hours. However, bleeding can occur at any time, until everything is healed, which takes about two to three weeks. If this occurs, swallow some ice water. If the bleeding persists, you should go to the Emergency Room for evaluation.

MANAGE THE PAIN

The two things that make pain go away are taking liquid pain medication (you will get a prescription to take home with you), swallowing lots of liquids and keeping a humidifier by your bedside.

FEVER

A small fever (100 or 101 degrees) is common after surgery. If it goes above 102, call and we will discuss it. Often, fever goes away in a few days. You may take Tylenol to decrease the fever but DO NOT overdose this medication if you have taken liquid pain medications. Stay away from aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin and other non-steroidal pain relievers since they can increase bleeding. Make sure you are giving the pain medicine often (every 4-6 hours).

ACTIVITIES

You should rest for the first few days. Do not drive while taking narcotic pain medication. Avoid strenuous activity. You should stay in town for 2 weeks after surgery in case there is delayed bleeding.

CHECK UPS

Ask your doctor when you should come back for a checkup. Usually the first visit should be made for 2 weeks after surgery.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 847-888-9000.

After surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored by a nurse. You may be invited into the recovery room as your child becomes aware of their surroundings and starts looking for you. Your child should be able to go home the same day as the surgery once they have fully recovered from the anesthetic. This usually takes less than one hour.

Your child may resume a normal diet after he or she has fully recovered from the anesthetic. Even though they may be hungry immediately after surgery, it is best to feed them slowly to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting. Occasionally, children may vomit one or two times immediately after surgery. If vomiting persists, your doctor may prescribe medication to settle the stomach.

Tympanostomy tubes usually stay in place from 6 to 18 months. If they stay in longer than three years, they may need to be surgically removed. It is important to have an ear check-up about every three to six months during this time period. An audiogram is usually obtained at some point after the ear has healed. The tubes eventually fall out of the eardrum on their own as the ear heals. Some children may have mild discomfort or bloody drainage at this time. The small hole in the eardrum at the old tube site usually heals within several weeks.

While the tubes are in place you will be instructed to place ear plugs in the child’s ears when going in pools, rivers, lakes and oceans. This is to prevent dirty water from getting into the middle ear and causing an infection. If you notice drainage from the ears at any point after the tubes are placed, call our office. Your child does not need to wear ear plugs while taking a shower or bath. Your doctor will instruct you when it is safe to allow water in the ears.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 847-888-9000.

During the First 24 Hours

After surgery, you may have a drain (a tiny piece of plastic tubing), which prevents fluid and blood from building up in the wound. This is removed after the fluid accumulation has stabilized, usually within 24 hours after surgery. Most patients are discharged later the same day or the day following the procedure. Complications are rare but may include:

  • bleeding
  • a hoarse voice
  • difficulty swallowing
  • numbness of the skin on the neck
  • vocal cord paralysis
  • low blood calcium

At Home

Following the procedure, if it is determined that you need to take any medications, your surgeon will discuss this with you, prior to your discharge. Medications may include:

  • thyroid hormone replacement
  • calcium and/or vitamin D replacement

Some symptoms may not become evident for two or three days after surgery. If you experience any of the following, call your surgeon:

  • numbness and tingling around the lips and hands
  • increasing pain
  • fever
  • swelling
  • wound discharge

If a malignancy is identified, thyroid replacement medication may be withheld for several weeks. This allows a radioactive scan to better detect any remaining microscopic thyroid tissue, or spread of malignant cells to lymph nodes or other sites in the body.

Check Ups

You will be asked to follow up 1 week after surgery to examine the incision and remove the stitches.

You may be given an ice pack to minimize swelling.

Do not eat or drink anything for about 2 hours or until you are able to swallow without choking. Start with sips of water and progress to a normal diet when you feel ready.

Do not clear your throat or cough hard for several hours.

If your vocal cords were affected, rest your voice completely for 3 days. Minimize speaking but when you do speak, use your normal voice. Whispering puts more strain on your voice than speaking normally.

You can gargle with salt water or use throat lozenges for your sore throat.

You may sound hoarse for a few weeks or spit small amounts of blood if tissue was removed. Call us if you experience a lot of bleeding.

If nodules or other lesions were removed from both vocal cords during the same procedure, you may have to follow total voice rest (no talking, whispering, or making any other voice sounds) for up to 2 weeks. Your doctor will give you specific instructions at the time of your procedure.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 847-888-9000.