Home Care after Removal of Adenoids
After removal of the adenoids, a period of approximately 2-5 days is required for the return of appetite, relief of sore throat, and general recovery. Since there is also a wide individual variation in the time required for complete recuperation, no hard and fast rules can be laid down. The following remarks should be used only as a guide.
Usually, a liquid or soft food diet for the first 24-48 hours followed by return to normal diet is acceptable. Some patients may not eat solid food for several days. This is okay as long as they drink plenty of fluids.
During the first 24 hours at home, fluids should be offered every hour when the patient is awake. Adequate fluid intake is very important.
If the throat is very sore, do not expect the patient to drink a large glass of fluid all at once. It is better to give small amounts frequently and in a small glass.
Usually, the fluids most easily taken are water, milk, ginger ale, and coke (which may be diluted in half with water). Ice cream, Jell-O, custard, soft boiled eggs, and cooked cereals can often be taken early.
Orange juice, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice usually causes stinging, but some patients like them well enough that they can drink them anyway. They will not hurt the site of surgery!
CARE OF THE THROAT:
Other than the frequent administering of liquids, usually no special care is required after adenoidectomy. Chloraseptic spray may be used to help with throat discomfort. Tylenol or Motrin, in appropriate dosage for child’s age and weight, may be given for any pain.
If the patient has not had a bowel movement by the end of the second day at home, a mild laxative such as milk of magnesia or mineral oil may be given. IF THE PATIENT HAS ABDOMINAL PAIN, DO NOT GIVE ANY LAXATIVE BEFORE CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR.
Patient may resume normal activities as soon as he/she feels like it after the first 24 hours. Foul odor or an unpleasant odor from the mouth or nose is common for 1-2 weeks after adenoidectomy. This does not require special treatment and will go away on its own.
As in any other operative procedure, certain minor events occasionally follow removal of adenoids. Those occurring most frequently are listed:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose- not unusual for the first few days and will usually resolve with no treatment.
- Pain in the ears- can occur spasmodically and usually clears up quickly. The child may wake up at night, briefly complain of his ears and soon go back to sleep; or, the swallowing of food and liquids may cause momentary discomfort in the ears. This causes no permanent discomfort in the ears. This is of no permanent significance and should disappear within a few days.
- Vomiting- If this occurs on the first day after the patient has returned home, nothing should be given by mouth for an hour or so. After this time, small amounts of fluid should be given until larger amounts can be tolerated. IF VOMITING PERSISTS, CALL OUR OFFICE OR GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.
- Night Terrors- Occasionally, a child will have some difficulty sleeping because of nightmare or night terrors. These can usually be controlled by reassurance at bedtime. If this does not resolve in two or three days, call the nurse at our office.
- Fever- Most children will have a slight elevation of temperature at some time during the day for several days after returning home. If recovery is otherwise normal, a rectal temp of 99.9 to 100.8 is not uncommon during the first three to four days. If an elevation persists, get in touch with our office.
- Bleeding from nose or throat- This event occurs in about 1% of all patients, and it is well to remember it is rarely of serious nature.
There are certain points which if observed, will make the handling of a bleeding patient much simpler for all concerned and is far less frightening for the child.
Maintain a calm and reassuring manner and your child will usually respond with similar behavior. Sit the patient up in bed and forward over a basin which is placed in the patient’s lap. If the bleeding either lasts longer than ten minutes or measures more than 2 tablespoons, go to the emergency room. With any bleeding, please let us know.
We will call on the day after surgery to check on the patient. We appreciate your call to our office with any questions that you may have.