A tonsillectomy, or removal of the palatine tonsils, is indicated in patients who experience an infection of the tonsils three or more times per year or when inflammation of the tonsils causes airway obstruction.
Gargling with warm saline may lessen a patient’s discomfort after surgery. Vigorous gargling should be avoided, as it could increase the risk of bleeding.
Patients may eat ice chips after surgery to decrease throat discomfort. Fluids should be limited until the patient is completely awake, and there are no signs of bleeding.
Patients should be monitored for bleeding or hemorrhage after undergoing removal of the tonsils. Frequent swallowing after surgery may be a sign of bleeding in the throat.
Patients should be monitored closely for bleeding during the first 24 hours after surgery. If there is noticeable bleeding the in the patient’s throat, the patient should seek medical attention immediately.
Patients may notice bloody mucus or saliva five to seven days after surgery, as tissue sloughs from the surgical site, which can cause minor bleeding.
Soft foods such as jello and soup should be encouraged. Dairy products such as ice cream and pudding are not recommended. Dairy products may leave a film in the throat, causing the patient to clear their throat, which could lead to bleeding.
Patients should avoid coughing, clearing their throat, and blowing their nose during the immediate postoperative period. These activities may cause trauma to the surgical site, which could cause bleeding.
The use of straws should be avoided after a tonsillectomy, as they can increase a patient’s risk of bleeding at the surgical site.
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