Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

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Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy introduction

Your doctor has recommended a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for you, a loved one, or your child. The following information is provided to help individuals prepare for surgery, and to help those involved understand more clearly the associated benefits, risks, and complications. Patients or caregivers are encouraged to ask the doctor any questions they feel necessary to help better understand the above procedure.

The tonsils and adenoids are masses of immune cells commonly found in lymph glands (lymphoid tissue). These tissues are located in the mouth and behind the nasal passages, respectively. Infected or enlarged tonsils may cause chronic or recurrent sore throat, bad breath, dental malocclusion, abscess, upper airway obstruction causing difficulty with swallowing, snoring, or sleep apnea. Infected adenoids may become enlarged, obstruct breathing, cause ear infections or other problems. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgical procedures performed to remove the tonsils and adenoids.

These instructions are designed to help you, a loved one, or your child recover from surgery as easily as possible. Taking care of yourself the individual having surgery can prevent complications. The doctor will be happy to answer any questions that you or the person having surgery has regarding this material. If you or your loved one, or child is having ear tube surgery (myringotomies and tympanostomy tubes placed) in conjunction with his/her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, please read information on these procedures as well.

Return to Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Surgical Instructions

See what others are saying

Comment from: Cian, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: July 06

The day of the tonsillectomy and the day after were a walk in the park, I told the doctors I was a 10/10 for pain so they'd keep me loaded with the strongest painkillers they had. I'm about to go into day 6 tomorrow, the pain the last 3 mornings have been like nothing I've ever experienced before, truly character building stuff. I've been sleeping about 6 hours a night then waking up in excruciating pain (actually 10/10), literally feels like my whole head is going to erupt; toothaches, headaches, earaches, jaw aches. It's been so bad that I can barely open my mouth to take painkillers. I normally try and have a spoonful of yogurt or two so I can take the medicine without it hurting my stomach too much, once I take them I fall asleep for another 4 or 5 hours and wake up again in pretty bad pain. I really hope tomorrow is going to be better but I doubt it. This being said, the days are pretty ok, pain is minimal and I've been eating fairly solidly throughout, it's just the mornings that are bad. Also, I've been drinking maybe 5 liters of water a day, keeping everything from drying out. I was only prescribed Solpadeine for pain which in my opinion isn't strong enough. I know it's going to be worth it because I've suffered with tonsillitis 13 plus times this year and it ruined my life so I'm looking forward to being healthy again. Surgeon also said my tonsils were huge so this might be contributing to all the pain.

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Comment from: Hailey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

Good news! I am currently on the 13th day of my recovery from tonsillectomy and am pretty much fully recovered. I haven't had the need for any pain killers over the last couple of days. My ENT doctor actually told me due to the severity of my previous infections my tonsils were very difficult to get out and I should expect some severe pain. While it was pretty sore for the first couple of days it was nothing as unbearable as I have read so many people say, just a pretty sore throat but the painkillers took it away apart from when swallowing. I made sure to drink regularly and eat soft foods straight away (I think this really helped). Tylenol 3 made me feel pretty woozy so I moved onto ibuprofen and found that to be perfect after 4 or 5 days. It controlled the pain and I only really felt it when eating or when the painkillers were wearing off. I was out shopping after 4 days and even managed a night out for dinner and a couple of drinks with friends 7 days after surgery. Although I felt good at the time I did feel pretty lousy the next morning. I think the key is to recover slowly. I am writing this because I read so many horror stories (my husband, even more) about the procedure I canceled it once and doubted ever going through with it. I know this is just my experience, although another colleague of mine recently had it at another hospital and she also recovered speedily, but I hope this will let those that are overwhelmed with negativity know there are some positive experiences too. All the best! My top tips are: Don't believe all the negative things you hear, if you do you have lost the battle already. Eat and drink as regularly as you can. Don't rush back to activity but do try to keep busy, it really helps take your mind off it. Be positive about it. (It's just a sore throat. right!)

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