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Old 10-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #1
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Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

I have compiled a list of most of the advice from the current ENT threads in preparation for my own surgery, on October 17th. I have broken it down into the recovery stages defined in LisaMP's thread as well as subdivisions on the most inquiries: pain management and recovery, food, and sleep patterns. Since I had it, I thought I would post it for all to view. Whenever possible I will link the advice to ENT board member call signs.
I hope you all find this helpful. Using the STAGES Defined in LisaMP's Adult Guide for Family and Friends. STAGE 1: MODERATE PAIN (Days 1-3, post op), STAGE 2: MODERATE TO SEVERE PAIN (Days 4-9, post op), STAGE 3: MODERATE TO MINOR PAIN AND DISCOMFORT (Day 10 (or thereabouts), post op)
These stages matched well with my 3 year old son's recovery progression as well as many of the adult postings here.
Respectfully Yours,
MG

STAGE ONE:

Pain and Recovery Advice:
LisaMP's Advice :
1)cold water - see if you can find water fortified with electrolytes. (General: fortified water, gatorade, or pedialyte)
2)popcycles - NOT RED - can make it difficult to determine if there's bleeding; ice chips
3)stool softeners - give to patient right from the get-go to avoid it becoming a problem.
4)humidifier - to keep the throat moist while the patient sleeps
5)gravol (for the nausea) EnoughWithIT: Then took some Gravol in suppository form because I wasn't keeping anything inside... That helped a lot.
6)rent movies - have their favourite books and magazines, crossword puzzles.
7)keep visitors to a minimum
8)recognize that they might not need a lot of assistance in this stage - so take your cue from them.
9)ask them at least 3-4 times a day how they are doing and if there is anything you can do for them.
10) YOU DO the laundry, dishes, etc., if they say they can handle a chore, then let them, but don't assume that if they can do the dusting one day, they can handle it the next day.
11) Keep the kids at bay - make arrangements before hand for neighbours, friends, family to help care for the kids.
ENT and General Advice:
Preop Advice by KFEN: One word to other folks getting any work done in their mouth: Make sure not to have any natural vitamins or things like ginko biloba 3 weeks before the surgery, because they can thin your blood and increase your chance of bleeding.
1)Highest period for bleeding risks, arrange for care/companionship at this time; if bleeding starts and can not be stopped; you will need an escort to the hospital.
2)DO NOT DRIVE. mkgbrook(0.02$) One your post op and highly medicated... two if you start bleeding and throwing up blood on your dash and windshield, you are not just a danger to yourself, but everyone else as well.
3)Avoid the heat. No hot soups or food. Don't use a scarf on your neck.
** luke warm baths or showers, avoid excessively hot bathing can cause bleeding***
4)Minimize quick changes in position, dramatic shifts in your position increase blood flow sharply, thereby increasing the risks of bleeding.
5)Take your pain med's routinely. Ask for med's in liquid form.
6)20 min on 20 min off cold packs... remember a frozen peas suggestion from somwhere to help with swelling and throat pain.
7)If you push it and start bleeding in such a manner that additional cauterization surgery is necessary, your recover period will be reset, take it easy and take care of yourself.
Mkgbrook:
8)Make/buy protien powder to fortify home made smoothies or shakes. Keep your strength up.
9)Force yourself to drink water in small amounts every 20 – 40 minutes. Keep your scabs moist and the pain will be minimized.
10)Keep the throat cool apply cold compresses to help with jaw pain and swelling.
11)Saline nasal spray rinses, mucus production will increase and be extremely thick. To minimize this effect rinse regularly with saline nasal spray. If adult versions sting, try using the infant/child saline nassal sprays.
12)Sleep on an incline, recliner or put rolled towels under you matress to aide in producing a gradual incline.
13)Glycerine suppositories for those exit issues that can not be resolved with stool softeners.
Mandylou:

14)I've also developed an addiction to Ricola Honey Herb Cough Drops. Very soothing.
General Census:
Foods to Eat:
1)soup broth, oatmeal, cream of wheat, jello, Ensure, pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy, Kraft Dinner, smoothies, shakes, graham crackers, applesauce, creamed corn, babyfood, ANYTHING you can get down.
2)General warning from many recovering T&A sufferers. Food will get stuck in the tonsil beds (noted by most as very painful), watch what you eat and drink plenty of fluids with your food.
Sleep patterns as observed by mkgbrook:
Sleeping irregularities will start to improve and then get worse... My son's (3 years of age) sleep habit time-line:
Day 1 - after surgery my son sleep in power nap burst 30minutes -1 hour
Day 2 - sleeps in full round the clock nap mode 1-2 hour bursts.. wakes up an cries due to dry throat pain... keep water handy near you, sip frequently.
Day 3 - a few naps during the day, 3 hours blocks at night... with painful wake up episodes.
Day 4 - about like day 3, but ears are beginning to hurt more, and he can not eat as well as the previous days.

STAGE TWO: (see list for stage one in addition to the list below)

Pain and Recovery Advice:
LisaMP:
1)WATER - room temp. (General: fortified water, gatorade, or pedialyte)
2)warm liquids - tea, broth.
3)kleenex - for the crying fits
4)anti-nausea medication
5)peroxide and water - to gargle if bleeding starts; also ICE cold water to gargle to seal the wounds
6)mineral or baby oil to heat and place in the ear canal and sealed with a cotton ball for the ear pain - which gives the throat pain a run for its money.
7)more movies
8)lots of hugs and kisses and validation of pain and discomfort.
9)keep visitors away - send a fresh bouquet of flowers to your loved one - remember this stage is extremely depressing and feels like it lasts forever.
10) let them vent their little hearts out - they need to get it out. Remember "This too shall pass in the fullness of time"
mkgbrook:
11) lydocaine based ear drops, “oticaine”. Numbs and relieves ear pain for 3-4 hour periods, allowing for almost normal food and fluid intake. Provided almost instantaneous relief for my three yer old.
12) Avoid acidic foods and sauces (tomato, ketchup, etc.)
13) Try sucking on those soft pastel dinner mints to help improve the taste in your mouth.
14) Try using the chloroseptic throat spray, diluted approximately 50:50 as a mild throat numbing breath freshening gargle. It will sting a little at first but it realy helped my son out.
Kfen:
15)I've also been taking aloe vera juice 1 oz. 4 times a day because my nurse told me that she did it when she got hers taken out at age 35 and did WAY better than most people.
Sleep patterns as observed by mkgbrook:
Day 5 – My son's scabs are drying out, he doesn't want to sleep much or stay still much, food consumption lowest yet. "It hurts and Mommy can not make it better."
Day 6 - scabs begin to come off, throat hurts, ears hurt... sleeping bad at this time. Only tylenol and octicaine ear drops provide brief periods of relief. He would only eat apple sauce and PLAIN graham cracker sticks and drink pedialyte on this day.
Day 7 - same as Day 6, but easily frustrated and overall grumpy. Sleep minimum, food intake minimum, tries to refuse fluids... dry throat promotes coughing and crying and screaming aggrevaiting the issue. Tylenol and Octicaine Ear drops help for 2 hours out of every 4.
Day 8 - feeling a little better... screamed and coughed the last of his scabs off. Begins sleeping in 2-3 hours bursts around the clock, wakes up with a dry sore throat.. crys drinks and eats a little something, takes meds... and back to sleep.
Day 9 - feeling like a new little man... still needs to avoid Ketchup and acidic stuff , but chowing down like a dog with Thanks Giving left overs. Two 4 hr sleep session at night with a couple of naps during the day.
Basically, you will start to be able to sleep in longer burst as the swelling due to surgery goes down; THEN, WHAM! scabs begin to come off and it is the pain more than the swelling keeping you from sleeping. Once those scabs come off you will crash and recover, but the area will still be irritated, when you allow your throat to dry out. After this things will just beging to get better and better.

STAGE THREE:
Pain and Recovery Advice:
General:
Your taste buds have suffered some colateral damage to allow the ENT access to perform the surgery as a result you may have suffered/be suffering from a temporary lost of taste. Your sense of taste will return. Recovery seems to be dependent on the individual and last anywhere from 1 – 3 months.
LisaMP:
1) things are looking up! Keep pushing the water.
2) do not seek sex (seriously let them tell you when they're ready)
3) encourage light activity - going for a walk, etc.
Food:
Whatever you like, however acidic foods may still cause you discomfort. My son avoided ketchup for three weeks.
Sleep patterns as observed by mkgbrook:
Day 10 – My son slept for a whole 6 hour period that night. Woke up dry and sore, but rested. Took two 3 hr extreme power naps. Have trouble keeping him calm and from over exerting himself.
Day 12 - 14 - Sleep schedule almost back to normal... eating and playing as normal. Minimal throat and ear pain.
Day 15 - Unstoppable, been couped up to long!

If anyone wishes to add things that I have missed please fill free to post here. I will be adding my own personal experience to this post after my surgery October 17th.

Best Wishes to All. Hope this is useful to you.
Sincerely, MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 10-13-2006 at 12:54 PM.

 
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

I had a preregistration session in preparation for my upcoming surgery October 17th. They wanted to know the standard stuff: allergies, disabilities, past surgical history, current medications, and family history. Try and have a list handy so that you do not forget something important when put on the spot.

Talk to your parents and even grandparents, if applicable. Note any strokes/heart attacks, BP issues, bleeding issues, anesthesia complications... I was suprised by what I didn't know because my mom didn't want to worry me. This write up can be stored and saved and it is just a little something to have handy and that can be passed on to your children and grand children for future family medical history information.

Also herbal remedies, and vitamins must be carefully checked because they can increase one's chance of bleeding complications during surgery by thinning your blood.

Preop advice given to me. Check your multi-vitamins; if it contains Vit. E the medical recommendation is to cease taking it 5 days preop. Vit. E acts as a blood thinner... this was new to me.

Respectfully Yours,
MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 10-13-2006 at 01:10 PM.

 
Old 10-13-2006, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

I find that with three days and some odd hours left until my surgery, that I am having to fight the urge to pig out just cause... a little voice in my head is saying you are going to lose it all back anyway. Anyone else get these strange urges preop? I am blaiming it on nerves and anticipation of the big day, and trying to remain strong.

I plan on stocking up and various foods and supplies for my family for the next two weeks. I don't know what will be worse the throat pain or inability to bend over due to my endoscopic window insertion. I know my newly four year old is going to miss Mommy time and my husband is going to be swamped with the extra duties and care involved with a young one. I have been talking about the procedure with my son, trying to explain that Mommy is going to be out of it for a while... so he gets used to the idea. I think it helps that he has had the T&A just recently as well. He likes to show and tell everyone "My throat was broken now the doctor fixed it, see?"

Any ideas with helping young ones understand? I am sure that other parents with younger children about to go through this or having gone through this might be able to help. Any advice would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 10-13-2006 at 01:08 PM.

 
Old 10-13-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

I guess things have changed a lot since I had mine out in 1972. They gave me a gel-like pain killer (some sort of novacaine) to gargle with that was great! Really helped deaden the throat. I haven't seen anyone here post about using somethng like that. Wonder if they've done away with it? Sure did help me! In fact, I ate a steak about 4 days after having mine out.

 
Old 10-13-2006, 11:49 PM   #5
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Titchou,

I had something similar when my tonsils got infected and very swollen.. My throat hurt so bad I was unable to eat and drink for two days... then I wen to the doctor and they prescribed the nasty tasting stuff... I wonder if I still have it stashed away. It tasted aweful, but I will try anything once.

Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 10-14-2006, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

MG: I do recall that it tasted pretty nasty! But, at that point I was willing to try anything. And it did help. Good luck!

 
Old 10-14-2006, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Titchou,

I found my old bottle( Lidocaine viscous 2% Oral Solution ), does this sound familiar? I will probably ask for a new script, because this one is a year old and I know not the shelf life of the solution.

Alright I am adding to the post. October 15th.
Tried my old gargle last night. Tasted just as nasty as I remembered, but still worked. Numbed my throat for a good 4 hrs. I am going to check with my doctor on tuesday to see if the gargle is acceptable to use... may need to get a fresh script for it; but if given the a-okay I am going to use it to get me through the tough spots.


Respectfully Yours,
MG

Last edited by mkgbrook; 10-15-2006 at 11:49 AM.

 
Old 10-15-2006, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Gosh, MG....it was back in the '70's! But if it works, that's fine. Glad you found it. Maybe this info will help someone else.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 07:50 AM   #9
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Today I have to stop eating and drinking at 10:00pm, I have not decided on what my last good meal will be for a while... but I am leaning toward steak and splurging on choclate cake for dessert. Well tomorrow at 5:15 am I will check in and my surgery preparation begins... at 7:30 am I will begin the actual procedures to remove my tonsils and adnoids and insert windows endoscopically into my sinuses. The procedure should take about 1 and a half hours. So I should be in the recovery room at 9 am and maybe home by early to late afternoon. I will try to post as soon as I can get comfy with my laptop on my lap.

This weekend and today, I have been trying to get the house clean and all errands taken care of to make the transition of care for my son into my husband's hands go as quickly as possible. My son knows something is up and that mommy is going to feel very VERY bad, so hopefully all will go well with that and he will help mommy by being a big boy.

My son's words of wisdom this morning were, "Why do doctors break you to make you better?" Anyone got a good answer? He is relating to the ENT removing his tonsils 4 months ago. If things don't work right they are broken and his throat didn't work right for a good ten days. I will let you all know if I feel broken tomorrow.

Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 10-17-2006, 01:34 PM   #10
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

To Whom It May Concern, I am alive and well.
My Procedure
Well I am lighter my tonsils, adnoids, and have newly restructured sinuses. Procedure was coablation where they are able to use a liquid plasma removal technique at approximately 70 C. This method is less distructive than some of the older techniques which use a 140 C electrocartary method to seal the wound. Coablation carterizes as it cuts reducing bleeding and speeding recovery. In addition to the coablation technique, my ENT used a Bismuth Sulfate chemical carterization method. A bismuth paste, yellow is pack into the wound. It slowly washes off over time, but acts to keep your surgery sight sealed and prevent microbleeding before scabs form. Sinus surgery intailed scraping of membranes, widening of my sinus drainage passages and punching holes from my front sinuses into my back sinuses. My sinuses as a result could not be packed and I am not allowed to bend over and have to wear a pad under my nose to catch blood drainage, as a result.
Recovery and Current Pain Management
1) I am drinking a lot! The head nurse refused my ice chips and water. In her experience the extra sugar in soda (Sprite) helps counter act the nausea side effects of anesthsia. Ther first few sips burned a little, but after that a continual sip regime is doing well for me. IV fluid and about 48 ounces of sprite have keep me going to the potty, but I am not dehydrated. I have no nausea or stomach ailement as a result.

2) I am being a little bad... my mom-in-law and husband are having to constantly tell me to sit down. I am suffering from my standard anesthia response... it is weird, whatever they give you to wake you up keeps me up for at least 24 hours. I have no desire to sleep at all. After my c-section I was up for 48 hours straight... has anyone had this problem?

3) I did have a mild case of bronchittus and was working up to a new sinus infection; however my doctor cleaned out my sinuses removing additional tissue in all my sinus cavities, packed mucus, and they gave me extra IV anti-biotics before, during , and after the surgery. He didn't prescribe oral anti-biotics, because of this... but I am to keep an eye out for signs of infection and uncontrolable coughing. Currently, my sinus headache and pain are gone... probably because I am empty up there.

4) For my sinuses I am applying simply saline nasal spray every two hours. It doesn't burn me at all and keeps my sinuses moist and an added bonus it seems to help sooth my tonsils and adnoid sights as the mildly salty thinned lucus slids on down.

5) I was having some ear pain, due to mild inflammation and presurgery fluid getting trapped in my ears. However, the oticaine ear drops are liquid gold. They suppress my ear pain for about 4 hours... Highly recommended by me, and they do require a prescription.

6) Using ice packs on my throat to help reduce the swelling (two small packs of frozen peas, rolled in a silk scarf and tied to my neck loosely) Has been heavenly and is really helping with the swelling. Bought and labelled six different sm. bags this will allow for continued recycling... marked so that I don't actually cook with them later. Not sure of the safety issue of using thawed/frozen/rethawed/refrozen peas.

7) For pain I was prescribed liquid lortab. I also bought liquid tylenol. I am setting myself on a rotating schedule where I take tylenol/lortab/tylenol/LT... every three hours. This is covering the pain well.

8) Eating? Well I have had a smoothie from smoothie king, frozen light chocolate pudding (divine), and some apple sauce. I am being a little cautious right now, because I don't want to catch food in my wound sight a spark a hacking fit.

Well I will be keeping a detailed listing of my care methods here for all to see.

Wishing the other sufferers, well and grinning and bearing it.

Respectfully Yours,
MG

 
Old 10-17-2006, 08:57 PM   #11
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Best of luck to you mkgbrook. I really appreciate the detailed list of events post-op. I may be in your shoes in the near future. Tonsillectomy is my ENT's next tidbit of advice. I hope this provides the relief you've been searching for. Keep us informed, and keep yourself in high spirits.

-Lee

 
Old 10-18-2006, 03:55 AM   #12
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Sleep

Finally beginning to get tired. Maybe I will be able to take a few naps today. This inability to sleep varies greatly from that of my son after his tonsillectomy. He was able to sleep a good bit after his surgery.

Food

I was able to eat cream of chicken soup (allowed to cool to almost room temperature), 2 servings of apple sauce, some oyster crackers, two servings of frozen protien powder laced chocolate pudding, and popcycles, and corn pop cerial. I could have propbably ate more, but it was odd when the food would settle on my wound sights. Liquids... lots of them. 104 ounces of ice water and 36 ounces of sprite. The more I drank the better the tonsils and adnoid wounds sights felt.

Medication


Took my zrytec easily, plus the lortab, liq. tylenol, saline solution, lydocaine gargle, and sudafed. Continually rotated out frozen pea bags, for my throat and jaw. Only have a fever of about 99 on average.

That's it for now, I will you know how my first nap goes. I do not have a humidifier, so I am going to sleep with a damp wash cloth over my mouth to create my own humid air.

Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 10-18-2006, 07:43 AM   #13
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Wink Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Hope you feel better MG, and thanks for posting your experience.

Did they ask you about what kind of antibiotics you wanted? I can't handle Zithromax. My tonsils are still really infected as is, but I was not put on anything before the surgery. Hopefully that won't cause a problem.

Just 5 days before my surgery--not going to be fun, but can't wait to have my tonsils out.

Eleora

 
Old 10-18-2006, 07:47 AM   #14
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

We are starting day 9 (20 year old son's recovery). Last night was the worst so far. He was awake most of night, severe pain. Has pushed big, athletic jock beyond his limits. I have call in now to Dr. to see how much pain med I can give without actually overdosing him. He never expected this much pain!

 
Old 10-18-2006, 08:38 AM   #15
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Re: Compiled Tonsillectomy Care and Recovery Tips for Young and Old.

Hi mkgbrook, sending you well wishes for a speedy recovery. Sounds like you are doing pretty well!

 
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