Postoperative Instructions For Oral Surgery

Although individual responses vary widely following any operation, about ten days are required for return to normal after removing tonsils.

ACTIVITY: For a day or two (2), it is wise to restrict the patient to either couch or bed rest, but he/she may be allowed to go to the bathroom. Plenty of sleep is necessary and naps are often advisable. For the first few days, public places where the patient might encounter infection should be avoided. Strenuous activities should be limited for two (2) weeks. Patients usually return to school/work in one (1) week.

DIET: After discharge from the hospital or surgery center, adequate fluids are essential and may be given in almost any form, such as water, soda, Jell-o, Popsicles or juice. Encourage fluids for at least ten (10) days. Drinking citrus fruit juices, pineapple and tomato juice may sting due to the acid and should be discouraged. Soft foods are tolerated best at first and should be encouraged. Highly seasoned or very scratchy food should be avoided. Diet can be advanced as tolerated.

PAIN: Earache is almost always present, and is rarely of any significance, since it is referred from the throat. General discomfort is often worse from the fifth to the ninth days and can frequently be relieved by use of chewing gum or any pain medication suggested by your doctor. AVOID ASPIRIN FOR TWO (2) WEEKS. Liquid Tylenol or suppositories may be used as needed.

BLEEDING: This occurs occasionally and is rarely serious. Bleeding typically occurs between days five and nine (5-9) postoperatively. Gargling or rinsing the mouth with ice water should stop the bleeding. If it does stop, nothing further needs to be done, except limit activity for about twenty-four (24) hours. If bleeding persists more than fifteen (15) minutes in moderate or large amounts, call the office or answering service for further instructions.

FEVER: Very slight elevations of temperature during the first few days are usual. If the temperature goes above 102F, please contact us.

NIGHTMARES: These often occur and can usually be handled by reassurance from the parent.

VOMITING: IF any persistent vomiting occurs after the first day home, please contact us.

FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO THE OFFICE: If a postoperative appointment has not been made for you, please call the office during the first few days at home to make an appointment for a postoperative checkup.