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Post-operative care

The most important ingredient of post-operative management is careful observation for signs of bleeding during the first few hours after the operation. Bleeding in the throat is extremely hazardous. Control of bleeding at operation must be meticulous, and any haemorrhage starting early in the post-operative period (reactionary haemorrhage) must be diagnosed properly. Not only is the patient at risk from blood loss, but also from obstruction of the airway due to bleeding. The situation is particularly hazardous in small children, where 10% of the blood volume may easily be lost through a bleed in the throat, the blood being swallowed as the child sleeps and the bleeding not being apparent externally.