Children’s and Young People’s Surgical Day Unit
This leaflet has been produced to give you information about the care of your child after their operation.
How do I manage pain?
Your child will have a sore throat for several days after the operation (it may last for up to 2 weeks). Your child will need to take pain medicine at home following the operation. This is to help with pain symptoms they may experience.
This works best when given regularly. Please follow the instructions on the bottle and do not give more than stated doses.
Try to time the doses of the pain relief medication for 30 minutes before mealtimes.
Even with the pain relief medication it may still be sore.
The most painful time after having the tonsils removed is the 3rd to 6th day after the operation.
Your child may experience the following normal side effects:
- Blocked or runny nose after having their adenoids removed.
- Bad breath after having their tonsils removed. This will settle once they are eating and drinking well.
- Pain: Your child will have a sore throat for several days after the operation and it may last up to two weeks. They may also complain of pain in their neck and, or ears.
What will my child’s throat look like?
The throat may have a white or grey coloration after having their tonsils removed. This is normal and part of the healing process.
If your child has had their adenoids removed, they may have yellow, smelly discharge from their nose for 2 weeks. This is normal. These are not signs of infection.
Eating and Drinking
You should encourage your child to eat and drink as much as possible after the operation. It is important that they are given solid foods which need to be chewed for example, crisps, toast, sandwiches.
This will help to keep their throat clean and help with healing. Chewing and swallowing will also help with the pain.
- Your child should stay at home or close to home for the first week and avoid crowded places.
- We advise that your child has 2 weeks off nursery or school after the operation.
- Your child should not go swimming for at least 2 weeks after the operation. This will help avoid infection.
- Avoid having friends and family to visit if they are unwell and have coughs and colds in the first week after the operation and avoid coming into contact with cigarette smoke or vapes.
What signs and symptoms do I need to look for?
Sometimes bleeding can happen after having tonsils or adenoids removed. This can happen up to 14 days after the operation and is most commonly due to infection.
It is important to observe your child for bleeding. They may have fresh red blood coming from the nose or mouth or swallow more than usual.
When your child is asleep signs of bleeding may be:
- Trickling of blood from the corner of the mouth whilst asleep
- Fresh blood on the pillow
- Swallowing or gulping more than normal
- Restless, pale or clammy
All children that experience bleeding after surgery will be admitted for antibiotics and observation on the ward. In extreme cases some children will need to have a further operation to stop the bleeding.
What should I do if I think my child is bleeding?
- Contact the ward for advice immediately or dial 999
- Go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department or Children’s Young Person’s Accident and Emergency.
If you think your child is bleeding please DO NOT attend a walk in centre, out of hours treatment centre or GP practice.
Who can I contact for advice?
If you are concerned in any way about your child you can contact us on the telephone numbers below for advice.
- Ward 22
Telephone: 01642 854522 (24 hours)
- Children and Young People’s Surgical Day Unit
Monday to Friday – 7.30am until 19.00pm
Telephone: 01642 854927
Email: [email protected]
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.