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How to Prepare for Tonsil Surgery

Family with Kids on Couch

Your tonsil surgery, also known as a tonsillectomy, is a common and relatively straightforward procedure. However, it’s not uncommon to have some anxiety about any kind of surgery. Here, we’re going to outline the steps you can take in preparation for your surgery.

Avoid anti-inflammatory medication

For two weeks before your tonsil surgery, you should stop taking any kind of anti-inflammatory medication, also known as NSAIDs. Some examples of anti-inflammatory medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and celecoxib. This is a common precaution for all kinds of surgeries, as anti-inflammatories can increase the risk of bleeding before and after surgery. Your ear, nose and throat doctor needs a thorough grasp of your medical history before your tonsil surgery, so don’t neglect to mention any pills, herbs, supplements, or vitamins that you are taking, even if you’re not certain how they would be relevant to your treatment.

Eating: before and after

It’s wise to fast after midnight of the day that your tonsil surgery is scheduled. This means that you shouldn’t eat any food or drink anything, either. During your surgery, you will be under an anesthetic, and having an empty stomach makes you less likely to be nauseous when under its effects. Stock foods that you will be able to eat after the surgery, too. Prepare soft, cool foods that won’t agitate the back of the throat or cause bleeding. You will also want to avoid dairy for up to 48 hours, as these foods can leave an irritating residue in the back of the throat. Don’t forget to remain thoroughly hydrated during your recovery, as it plays a key role in the healing process.

Make sure you have plans for transportation and recovery

It’s wise to have someone come with you when you’re undergoing surgery as well as to transport you home after. Tonsil surgery is relatively simple and does not require a lot of time to recover from. However, for the first two-to-three days, you will need someone to help you around the home, as you will need to get plenty of rest. You may experience a sore throat and some pain in your jaw, ears, or neck after the surgery, but this should fade with time. It’s recommended you plan to take a week off school and work in advance to make room for your recovery. Don’t make any major plans, such as traveling long-distance for work or taking a vacation for up to two weeks after the surgery.

Ask your ear, nose and throat doctor about pain relief

As mentioned, you can have a sore throat after surgery. Before it gets better, you may feel some discomfort. You can manage the pain with the help of your ear, nose and throat doctor. They may prescribe NSAIDs or prescription pain medication. In the cooler months of the year, consider using a humidifier to prevent dry, cold air from irritating the throat further.

If you have any questions about you or your child’s upcoming tonsil surgery, don’t hesitate to ask your ear, nose and throat doctor. They will be glad to help you stay informed and get more comfortable about any of your decisions under their care.