Healthy Living

Recovery for a Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy, and Septoplasty

Recovery for a Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy, and Septoplasty

Tonsillectomy Recovery

Tonsils located in the back of your throat help to fight infections but sometimes tonsils themselves get infected. Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove tonsils. If you intend to have a tonsillectomy, it is likely that you desire to know the duration that you will stay out of work or school for scheduling purposes. 

Unfortunately, the exact recovery time can’t be established because each body has its own recovery pace. Besides, the method that will be used to lift away your tonsils will influence the time that you will take to recover. There are many factors to consider, but we can provide you with approximates that might assist you to plan before the surgery day. Although tonsillectomies are usually outpatient procedures, it would be incorrect to assume that you are going to resume work the following day.

Have a question aboutAdenoidectomy (Tonsillectomy)?Ask a doctor now

Even though your doctor will prescribe you some pain relieving medicines to make you feel comfortable, you are still likely to be sore, nauseous, fatigued, dizzy, and you may lose your appetite after the removal of your tonsils. Additionally, you shouldn’t drive in the course of taking pain relieving medicines.

Your overall health, age, and post-surgery self-care will determine the type of method that your surgeon will use for your procedure as well as your recovery time. Adults will take a longer time to recover from tonsillectomy as compared to children. Therefore, we will focus on the recovery times in terms of age groups of the patients.  

It is also worth remembering that any surgical operation, tonsillectomy included, takes approximately a year to heal completely.  Although your condition will improve before the period, your cuts will take a long time to heal. 

2-5 Year-Old Children

  • They normally feel better in a couple of days after receiving the surgery.
  • They can resume their usual activities 14 days following the procedure.

5-12 Year-Old Children

  • They normally feel better within seven days following the procedure.
  • They can eat solid foods two weeks following the procedure.
  • They normally resume their usual activities 14 days following the surgery.
  • They take one year to heal completely.

12-19 Year-Old Children

  • They normally feel better within 14 days following the surgery.
  • They can eat solid foods two weeks following the surgery.
  • They normally resume their usual activities 14 days following the surgical operation.
  • They take one year to heal completely.

Above 19-Year-Old Healthy Adults

  • They normally feel better within 14 days following the surgery.
  • They can eat solid foods 14 days following the surgery.
  • They can resume their usual activities 14 days following the procedure.
  • They take one year to heal completely.

For those who recover from tonsillectomy may experience some pain. They might have a sore throat after the surgery. They might experience pain in the jaw ear or neck. In the first two to three days after surgery get plenty of rest. This will help the body heal properly. Strenuous activity will increase the risk of bleeding from the surgical site.

During the recovery period individuals need to avoid lifting anything heavier than 25lbs. Limiting activity means resting; avoid exercise and absence from school or work.  To stay hydrated sip water or eat ice pops. Staying hydrated helps decrease pain in the throat, keeps the scab moist and prevents constipation.

In order to decrease the possibility of nausea and vomiting avoid any milk products for the first 24 hours following surgery.  First few days begin with clear liquid diet such as water, gelatin and popsicles. During early recovery ideal food choices are warm, clear broth and applesauce. After this you can move up to a full diet which includes cream soups, yoghurt, and ice cream.

Once the throat begins to heal then you can eat soft foods such as pudding, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and other soft food. This will not irritate the surgical site which is tender. After a tonsillectomy do not eat anything hard, crunchy or spicy food. Take pain medication exactly as prescribed by the doctor. This helps to decrease potential side effects of tonsillectomy.

Antibiotics help the throat to heal without developing an infection. They also help decrease bad breath which is associated with the healing scabs. After the procedure snoring for the first two weeks is normal.

If you have trouble breathing two weeks after surgery, then call your doctor. Mostly those who have a tonsillectomy have got lesser throat infections in the future. Eat enough because eating decreases the feeling of nausea from pain medication and also speeds up the process of healing.

You may be tempted to eat solid foods but it is best if you wait 2 weeks after the procedure to do so. Waiting two weeks ensures that you avoid the vulnerability to bleeding which is very high 7 to 10 days following the procedure. Don’t lose hope if your recovery time is longer than the approximated time.

Nevertheless, contact your doctor if you experience a bright red bleeding, extremely high body temperatures, pain that is uncontrollable, or any other serious issue. The recovery period of people suffering from health problems, like diabetes or weak immune system, is usually longer than for people without issues. 

Complications may also arise following a tonsillectomy surgical operation including difficulty breathing, clotting of blood, bleeding, or infections. Although these problems are uncommon, they will extend your recovery time.

Recovering from Adenoidectomy

Adenoids help filter germs from our body. But sometimes they can get infected with bacteria. If they are infected they get inflamed and swollen giving rise to a condition called adenoiditis. It is commonly seen in children. Adults too can get affected by it. Usually it is treated with antibiotics. However, if the child has frequent infections of ear and sinus infections or antibiotics are not helpful or if the child has breathing problems then adenoidectomy may be needed in order to remove the adenoids.

A checkup should be scheduled 10 to 14 days after the operation. It is not abnormal for children to have stuffy noses after the operation but it may go away a couple of months while the swelling reduces. You can use saline drops to assist in dissolving any clots as well as reducing edema. The patient may snore consistently or louder for a couple of weeks. Your child may have sore throat for even unto ten days following the procedure. Eating might become uncomfortable. The voice will also change temporarily after the surgery but it will be back to normal after a few months. 

After the surgery your child may have low fever. Call the doctor if the fever gets higher than 102F and the fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and headache.  When the adenoids are removed thick white scabs will develop. This is normal, as the scabs fall off in small pieces within 10 days after surgery. Your child should not pick at those scabs. These scabs cause bad breath.

The majority of patients don’t experience bleeding after the operation but they may notice slight bleeding from their noses. Pediatric Neosynephrin nose drops may be prescribed to minors. Nevertheless, contact your doctor if the bleeding is endless or has a bright red color. Sometimes, you may notice some blood in the eye’s corner. Taking a leave from school or work for 7 to 10 days is required. The patient can swim or perform exercises again three weeks following the surgery. Stay in a place where you can easily access postoperative care if bleeding occurs for 21 days.

Tips to ease child’s recovery:

  • Give your child soft food to eat such as Jell-O, soup, scrambled eggs and popsicles. First 24 hours following surgery do not give anything to eat or drink milk products. After that you can give your child ice cream, pudding and yoghurt.
  • To avoid dehydration, give your child plenty of fluids to drink
  • For the first few days following surgery let your child get plenty of rest. Only once your child is able to eat regular foods again, is no longer on pain medications and is getting sound sleep at night then only let him or her go back to school

Call your doctor If:

  • The amount of nasal bleeding suddenly increases and persists even after trying home remedies such as the use of ice and pressure, as well as an elevation of the head. Small spots of blood may be expected in the saliva or in the nose.
  • The patient’s body temperature exceeds 101.5 degrees F and doesn’t reduce even after increasing fluid intake, taking cool baths, and acetaminophen. Ensure that a child experiencing a fever drinks around one and half cups of liquid each waking hour.
  • Constant sharp headache or pain which doesn’t cease even after taking the prescribed medication. 
  • The eyes become more swollen or reddened.
  • If there is difficulty breathing, then call the doctor.  If the child is wheezing, then seek medical attention. This might be due to excessive swelling in the surgical area and should seek medical care immediately.

Septoplasty Recovery

Septoplasty is a surgery which aims at correcting the defects or abnormalities of the nasal septum. One can have septal defects upon birth or develop them after having an injury. Mostly, a deviated septum shows no symptoms. The remarkable symptoms normally occur only when the septum is seriously deformed. In such cases, surgical interventions are necessary. The majority of Septoplasty procedures are carried out during rhinoplasties, which are mainly meant for cosmetic purposes.

Recovery time are as follows:

Within several hours: usually septoplasty happens on an outpatient basis. The only reason why the patient has to wait back is for the anesthesia to wear off so that they can go home.

From 7-10 days- during this duration the person should not travel, do exercises, lift heavy weight, blow the nose or do anything that might cause injury to the nose. Only then the patient can be healed.

After 3 weeks- if all bleeding has stopped the person can begin exercising and even swimming.

In the absence of serious complications, people who have received septoplasty can be allowed to go home on the procedure day. They’ll have a swollen, painful nose which will be packed with cotton to minimize bleeding. The cotton will be lifted away one to two days following the operation. If necessary, your physician will prescribe you some pain medicines. You will probably be asked to avoid taking ibuprofen, aspirin, and other blood-thinning medications to reduce chances of developing bleeding complications following the surgery.

Additionally, you should remain less active for a couple of weeks after the operation to reduce the swelling and boost healing. Avoid intense activities like lifting weights and running since they can lead to increased blood pressure which can trigger heavy bleeding. You can try out the following to boost your recovery rate:

  • Keep your head raised while sleeping at night to minimize the swelling.
  • Avoid blowing your nose for three or more days after the operation
  • Avoiding pulling clothing over your head by wearing tops with front buttons. 

Shorten recovery time

Manage swelling: after surgery your face will definately swell. To help relieve this you can use ice in the form of frozen vegetables such as bagged peas.

Deal with bleeding: during the first several days there might be moderate bleeding. The gauze protection that is the mustache dressing is meant to catch the blood so that you are comfortable. If you are saturated, then the dressing can be changed in every hour during the first day. Ice against the nose will help deal with bleeding problem.

Do nasal irrigation: to promote healing and prevent infection rinsing the nose is very important. When the packing is removed, first use a saline spray. This is to prevent any crusting in the nose. As long as directed use the irrigation.

Lubricate your nose: peroxide helps with lubrication. In order to soften crusts and promote healing doctor will direct you on how to use Vaseline on a Q –tip. Do not try to remove the dissolvable sutures. As you recover they will come out on their own.

Limit physical activities: to promote healing, avoid exercises for several weeks. Avoid any contact sports, lifting weights, running and other exercises. Anything that can make your blood pressure rise should be avoided.

Home care: proper home care will shorten the recovery time. It can be done in the following ways:

Since you have lost lot of blood you may need time to become stable on your feet again. So have someone around you who can help you move around during those first few days.

If you feel constipated ask doctor for a stool softener. Do not strain since it can make bleeding worse.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Dust and fumes might irritate the nose and also cause infections hence avoid second hand smoke.

Wear contacts only after the swelling has resolved.

Other tips: no diving for at least two months and no facial tanning for at least six months after the surgery. Use a strong sunblock when in the sun. The process of healing may take a year or more as the septum has to return where it is supposed to be.

You may feel better a few days after the surgery, but your nose’s tissues and cartilage can take a maximum of one year to recover completely. Although the majority of people who receive Septoplasties don’t experience any ongoing symptoms following the operation, nasal tissues and cartilages keep on shifting with time and finally block the nose’s air passage. The recurrence of the defect necessitates a second operation to restore the normal shape of the septum and nose.  

Risks Associated with Septoplasty

The risks that occur following a septoplasty are the same as the ones associated with other facial surgeries. These risks include swelling, depigmentation, or bruising. Allergic reactions to anesthetics are also present in a few cases. Nevertheless, the surgery itself is quite low-risk since no crucial organ or main blood vessel is involved. If done properly, the operation may not cause infections but cerebrospinal fluid leak may occur in extremely rare cases. Bed rest, use of antibiotics, and proper nasal picking can be effective treatment methods for the cerebrospinal fluid leak. Further surgery may be needed in case the nose develops the defects once again after the first septoplasty.


Some of the benefits of septoplasty include better breathing and flow of air via the nostrils and a good-looking exterior shape of the nose. In most cases, the symptoms improve significantly after the operation.