Adenotonsillectomy – Child

Return to normal activities

It takes 7-10 days for most children to fully recover. You will need to keep your child away from day-care, kindergarten and school during this period.

General activities can be resumed when your child feels up to it. Please avoid active sports, rough play and heavy lifting for 2 weeks.

Pain Relief

Children will experience some throat pain and discomfort for up to 10 days following surgery.  Ear pain, jaw pain and neck pain may also occur. This can be improved with pain relief but may not entirely disappear. During this time, it is recommended your child take some regular pain relief.


Please avoid the use of Ibuprofen (Nurofen) following surgery unless other measures are insufficient. While it can aid pain relief, it is also associated with a slight increase in the bleeding risk and hence is best avoided if possible.

If pain relief requirements exceed this please contact Dr Morrissey

Non- Medication Pain Relief

There is some evidence that the following measures may aid in pain relief after tonsil surgery:


There are no restrictions on diet. Children are encouraged to drink as much as required, to avoid dehydration. Icy poles and paddle pops are a good option as they are cold, have good calories and contain fluid.

If your child refuses solids but is maintaining good fluid intake, then this is acceptable.  At least 80mls per kilo body weight per day is recommended.

Please contact Dr Morrissey if your child is not drinking or eating enough. They may need to be re-admitted to hospital for intravenous fluids.


In certain circumstances, children may be prescribed antibiotics following surgery. Please take as instructed if advised. For most children, antibiotics will not be necessary. 


It is common to have a mild fever for the first 24-48hrs after the operation.  Please call Dr Morrissey’s rooms or see your GP if there is a persistent fever greater than 38.5°C.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is expected following removal or tonsils and even more so if the adenoids are removed. It is part of the normal healing process. This usually settles after around 3 weeks, if not sooner.


If there is any sign of fresh bleeding from the nose or mouth greater than a teaspoon in volume please present to the nearest Emergency Department for assessment.

It is important to stay within 1 hour of a health service with an ENT surgeon for 7 days after tonsillectomy due to the risk of bleeding. While extremely rare, a severe post-tonsillectomy bleed can be a life-threatening event and will require an adequately staffed hospital to address.

Follow Up appointment

A follow-up phone call is usually made 4-6 weeks after surgery in most cases. Where an appointment is needed you will be advised by Dr Morrissey. If at any stage you wish to see Dr Morrissey his staff will be happy to arrange an appointment.

How to contact Dr Morrissey

For non-emergency issues please call 07 4646 4275 for further instructions.

Dr Morrissey shares ‘on-call’ arrangements with other ENT surgeons and one is usually available to answer questions. After hours the "on call" ENT surgeon can be contacted via Toowoomba Hospital on 07 4616 6000.

Should your concerns not be addressed via a phone call please present to your nearest Emergency Department.

In the event of an Emergency call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.