Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toddler Tonsillectomy Recovery

Before Dallin's tonsillectomy I had a hard time finding information that would really help me be ready. It seemed like there were just way too many horror stories posted and not enough usable information. So here are a few things I learned.

1. Lortab burns like crazy going down!! I made a bunch of Jello shots with his meds and labelled them: LOR, IB, Tylenol so that he could take them with less burning. It worked great for the first two days and then he started just swallowing it by himself.

The makings for the medical jello shots...
2. Don't let the meds wear off for 7 days. It is worth it to wake your child up and stick to the schedule with their painkillers. If they wear off they won't be able to swallow.

3. Humidify! I put two humidifiers in his room and it helped keep his throat moist at night. He woke up in much less pain this way.

4. Rootbeer Float Pops are the best. We found that all the fruit flavored pops had too much citric acid- which burns! His two favorite pops were: Rootbeer float bars (fresh and cool on the outside smooth and soft on the inside) & homemade pops using the syrup from canned peaches and pears.

From the Schwann's site
5. Jello drinks are easier to swallow than juice and koolaid. I just dissolved the jello in warm water and then made it into a koolaid type drink. This was his go to drink for the first 4 days.

6. The scabs start to fall off between days 5-7 and the pain is worse than it was days 1-2. During those days we rotated IBprofen and Lortab. We found it was best if he didn't touch solids at all during this period. Also, be prepared for some bleeding on sheets and shirts during this time.

7. Soggy Rice Krispis make a great meal! hehe! Funny, but this is still the only solid we can get him to eat and he is on day 13.

8. Breathe through your mouth! The smell of cauterized flesh is putrid!!! Imagine something dead lying in the road on the hottest day of Summer...and that's what you get with post-tonsillectomy breath!

I am sure you can find much more info out there, but these are a few of the things that helped us deal with his recovery. It is a hard long road, but often necessary. I would definitely not take the decision lightly. Surgery is surgery- there's no such thing as easy surgery.

Best of luck to you and your little one!


  1. Wow, I wish I had this advice when my daughter went through her recovery. She had a very hard time, what a great idea to share this with others!

  2. Thanks! I wish I had figured some of this out with my oldest son.