Caring for your Child after Pharyngoplasty
What is a Pharyngoplasty?
Pharyngoplasty, also called a pharyngeal
flap, is surgery to reduce the opening in
back of the throat. It helps to decrease air
loss through the nose during speech. This is
done to make your child’s speech clearer.
What to Expect after Surgery
A sore throat for a few days, most often
ξ An intravenous line (IV) will provide
fluid for your child for the first day or
two, since she will not drink as much as
ξ A 1-2 day hospital stay.
Pain Relief after Surgery
Your doctor will order pain medicine to
keep your child comfortable. It will be
given every 4 hours for the first day or two.
Pain medicine will also be prescribed for
home. It may help to give it ½ hour before
meals to ease pain with eating. You should
not give your child ibuprofen
(Advil /Motrin ) for 1 week. It is okay to
give acetaminophen (Tylenol ) the week
after surgery, if you are not using the
prescribed pain medicine.
ξ After eating, water should be used to
rinse the mouth of leftover food. It will
also help to prevent a bad taste in the
mouth and bad breath.
ξ Do not use mouthwashes.
Give your child soft foods that are easy to
chew and swallow. Do not give foods that
are rough or crunchy like cold cereals,
cookies, chips, pretzels or popcorn. These
foods can damage the new surgical area.
Give your child plenty of liquids. Be careful
when using a spoon not to touch the surgical
Foods Allowed Foods to Avoid
Milk All milk and milk drinks, milk
soups. Soft pudding and custard.
Plain ice cream.
Milk products with nuts or
Meat Pureed meats and meat soups.
Soft cooked eggs.
Whole pieces of meat. Peanut
Fruits and Vegetables All fruits and vegetable juices. All
pureed fruits or vegetables.
Mashed vegetables with added
Fruits and vegetables that are
not purees. Thick gummy
Breads and Cereals Any thinned cooked cereal.
Macaroni and cooked noodles.
Breads and crackers. Thick
gummy cooked cereal and dry
Fats Butter and oils.
Miscellaneous Gelatin desserts and plain sherbets
or plain yogurt.
Gum and lollipops.
Seasonings Sugar and small amounts of salt. Other spices.
Do not allow straws, or sticks (Popsicle), or
other objects in the mouth that might hurt
your child's surgical area.
Your child should stay on this soft diet until
the clinic visit with the doctor. Your doctor
will let you know at this time if your child
needs to stay on a soft diet.
Quiet activities and extra rest helps with
healing. Expect your child’s energy level to
be less for several days. Plan for your child
to be out of school for 1 week. Your child
should avoid tiring physical exercise or
lifting more than 25 pounds.
Often there is a fair amount of swelling in
the throat. This may make it harder for a
child to blow her nose or clear her throat.
The nurses may gently suction the mouth as
needed. Your child may drool until healing
Comfort and Support
Before surgery your child needed your
comfort and support. After surgery you are
the child's most important security. It is
common for children to regress (go back to
younger behaviors) after being in the
hospital. For example, if your child was
outgoing, he may now be shy. If your child
was potty-trained, accidents may occur.
This is normal. Be patient; it is
Your child may have her first clinic visit
with the doctor about 5-7 days after surgery.
The second visit should be about 2 weeks
When to call the Doctor or Clinic Nurse
If you have any questions or concerns about
your child or there are any problems such as:
ξ Bleeding from the mouth
ξ Temperature over 100 θ F when taken
under the arm, over 101 θ F when taken
in the ear, or over 102 θ F when taken
ξ Not drinking liquids
ξ Frequent vomiting
ξ Pain not controlled by medicine
AFCH Pediatric Specialty Clinic, weekdays
8:00 am to 5:00 pm: (608) 263-6420
After hours and weekends, the clinic number
will give you the hospital paging operator.
Ask for plastic surgery resident on-call.
Leave your name and phone number with
the area code. The doctor will call you
If outside the Madison area, call toll-free:
Your doctor’s name: ______________
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4774