Childr Health Information

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy (T&A procedure)

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

Your child is scheduled to have his or her tonsils and adenoids removed. This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked by parents and children regarding this procedure and home care. If you have any questions after reading this handout, please talk to the outpatient nursing staff, the anesthesiologist or your child’s doctor.

You and your child need to arrive two hours before surgery so we can perform all the necessary tests and procedures. These tests and procedures include:
1. Admittance to the day surgery unit – When you get to the hospital, you and your child will go to the day surgery area on the second floor. You will check in with the receptionist at the desk. The receptionist will take you and your child to the child’s room. Please remember that no siblings (brothers or sisters) are allowed to stay in the day surgery area. If you must bring siblings, an adult will need to stay with them in the waiting room on the second floor. Only two visitors may be at the bedside.
2. Admitting procedure – The admitting clerk will ask for information about you and your child, including insurance information. She will also make your child a name bracelet. This bracelet must be worn by your child during the entire surgery stay. Please be sure to check the bracelet for the correct spelling of your child’s name, correct birth date and doctor’s name.
3. Blood work – A complete blood count (CBC) may be drawn on your child. This will be done by drawing blood out of your child’s fingers or arms. You can stay with your child while this is done. If blood work has been drawn on your child in the last seven days, please let us know. This might keep your child from being stuck for the lab work again. Urine tests are done on all girls who are 10 years of age or older.
4. Being seen by a nurse – A nurse will admit your child to the unit. She will take your child’s temperature, count his or her breathing and heart rate, and take his or her blood pressure. She will weigh your child and have you dress him or her in hospital pajamas. Your child can leave on underwear and socks for now, but may need to remove them later. The nurse will also ask you to help fill out the needed paperwork. This includes signing the operative consent form and filling out a medical history form. The operative consent form is signed after you have talked with both the surgeon and the anesthesiologists. These doctors will answer your questions and explain risks/benefits and alternatives to treatment. Remember, the person who has custody of the child must sign the operative consent form.
5. Being seen by the anesthesiologist – The anesthesiologist is the doctor who will put your child to sleep for surgery. This doctor will answer any questions you have about the medication that will be used to put your child to sleep and how long your child will be under anesthesia. Please feel free to ask the anesthesiologist any questions.
6. Preoperative medicine – The anesthesiologist will look at your child and ask for information about your child’s health and physical condition. The doctor will look at the lab tests and decide what kind of medication your child will need before surgery. Your child may receive medication to drink. This medicine is usually given 30 minutes to one hour before surgery. The medicine will make your child drowsy. His or her face may be flushed and he or she may complain about a dry throat. These are all normal for this kind of medicine.

You will be able to stay with your child until he or she goes into surgery. For safety reasons, we ask that only two adults stay at each child’s bedside. One parent must stay in the child’s room or waiting room at all times while the child is in surgery.

This surgery takes about 30-45 minutes. As soon as your child’s doctor has finished the surgery, he or she will come out and talk to you. Make sure that you ask your doctor about instructions for home care, such as diet; when the next appointment should be; if any antibiotics should be continued; and when your child can return to school.

When surgery is over, your child will be in the first stage recovery room for about one hour or until he or she is awake. Some children take longer to wake up from the anesthesia than others. This is common. When your child is awake, he or she will be moved to the room where you can stay with him or her until discharge. Most children are still very drowsy and dizzy after this surgery. They need to return to sleep with the comfort of their parents at their bedside. The nurse will offer your child fluids to drink and an ice collar to decrease throat pain. Sometimes, children are sick to their stomach. This happens often from the anesthesia and this type of surgery.

DOES MY CHILD NEED TO HAVE AN IV? (Fluid through a vein)
Yes, your child needs to have an IV for surgery. It will be used to give your child fluids and medication. Children under the age of eight usually have their IV started in surgery after they fall asleep from the anesthesia. The IV must stay in place until your child is able to drink fluids without vomiting.

The nurse will be checking your child often (every thirty minutes) after surgery. She will be doing this to make sure your child is recovering well and to help decide when your child can be discharged from the hospital. Most children will stay in the outpatient area for at least two hours or longer if the doctor believes there is a need. Usually, your child can be discharged to home after he or she:
1. Is fully awake
2. Is able to drink fluids
3. Has stable vital signs (This means his or her temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure are in their normal range)
4. Is not having sharp pain (We can give your child pain medicine if he or she complains about his or her throat hurting)
5. Is not bleeding from the throat or nose

The nurse will give you specific instructions for home care. After you have read these instructions, the nurse will answer any questions you may have. Your child can be carried or taken down to the front door in a wheelchair. It is preferred that one adult bring the car to the front entrance for your child’s convenience. The day after surgery you and your child will receive a follow-up phone call from one of the nurses. Please let us know how everything went after surgery. Feel free to make any comments. We are concerned about your child and how things are going.

This handout is for general information only. It should not be considered complete. For further information about tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, please ask your doctor.


Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Preparado: 1990
Corregido: 1993, 1999, 2003

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Formulated: 1990
Revised: 1993, 1999, 2003


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