Recovering from an adenoidectomy 

It's perfectly normal for children to have a sore throat after an adenoidectomy. Your child will usually be given painkillers while in hospital to help ease discomfort.

Your child may also feel groggy and sleepy as a result of the general anaesthetic. They will normally need several hours in a hospital ward after the operation to make sure they are recovering normally. Once the doctor is satisfied, you'll be able to take your child home.

Pain relief

Once your child has returned home, they may still have a sore throat, earache or a stiff jaw and they may need painkillers in the days after the operation.

Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, will normally be suitable. Younger children may find it easier to take liquid or soluble paracetamol, particularly if they have a sore throat.

Make sure you always follow the dosage instructions on the packet. You should never give aspirin to a child who is under the age of 16.

Eating and drinking

Your child will normally be able to start drinking liquids two to three hours after the operation. They can begin eating several hours after that.

Because an adenoidectomy can leave your child with a sore throat, they may struggle to eat their normal diet. Encourage them to eat soft or liquid foods, such as soups or yoghurts, that are easier to swallow.

You may want to try giving your child a dose of painkillers about an hour or so before they eat, as this may make it easier for them to eat and swallow their food.

It is also important that your child drinks plenty of fluids, so they do not become dehydrated.

When can my child return to school?

Following an adenoidectomy, your child will need to rest for several days and will normally not be able to return to school for a week. It is important to keep your child off school to limit their contact with any viruses or infections.

The skin and tissue where the adenoids used to be will take a while to heal. So it is important to try to prevent the wound becoming infected, because an infection could lead to complications.

Try to keep your child away from smoky environments and from people with coughs or colds. It is also advisable for your child not to go swimming for three weeks after their operation.


Page last reviewed: 28/07/2014

Next review due: 28/07/2016