Tonsilectomy Pain

Patient

Q: My 12 year old son just had a tonsilectomy 7 days ago. He started to eat a little bit day 5 and 6, but last night he was in a lot of pain and lost part of the scab on one side of his throat. Today he has not been able to eat anything at all and continues to be in a lot of pain, he is also bleeding a little bit. Is this normal? What can I do to help him, and when can I expect him to get better and start eating.

Doctor

A:   It is not unusual for children to have some discomfort when swallowing after tonsillectomy. Most surgeons prescribe topical medications that can be sprayed into the mouth along with oral painkillers to ease the discomfort.  You should try to give him these medications at regular intervals and not only when he is in pain. Encourage him as much as possible to eat as this will aid the healing process and hastens his return to normal. You may try giving him cold foods such as jello and ice cream as these tend to have a soothing effect. Small qaunities of blood are not a cause for concern, however, if bleeding persists you should return to your surgeon.

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