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What is a tonsil-adenoidectomy like?

My child is having her tonsils and adenoids out. What will the surgery and recovery be like?
Submitted by Parents Team

Tonsil-adenoidectomy is done under general anesthesia and usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. These days it's mainly performed on an outpatient basis, which means children go home after a few hours in the recovery room. However if your child is under 2 or you live more than 30 minutes from the hospital, your child may need to spend the night. After surgery, the pain can be anywhere from mild to awful. Your child won't want to eat or drink much -- but be prepared to push liquids in order to avoid dehydration. Giving your child acetaminophen can make swallowing easier (but avoid ibuprofen after surgery because it increases the potential for bleeding). You should also be ready for your child to vomit, since pain medication often causes tummy turmoil. --Amy Linn

Copyright © 2003 Amy Linn. Reprinted with permission from the October 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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