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: Megan, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I got my tonsils out, deviated septum fixed, and also a biopsy in my cheek all at the same time. I prepared for the worst reading every one's stories about the recovery after a tonsillectomy. I had requested 2 weeks off work hoping that was enough. The first couple days were the worst, I had to go to the doctors and get stronger medicines. After getting those, it made a huge impact. I must have got extremely lucky because exactly a week after the surgery I was going out and doing things. My advice to you is to get a humidifier because that helped when waking up in the mornings because your throat is so dry. I literally stayed in bed for a week straight except to get up and shower. And if stood up or walked around for more than 5 minutes, my throat would hurt a lot. Also my medicine said to take every 4 to 6 hours. I was on the dot every 4 hours with my medicine. Jell-O and applesauce helped. Also Top Ramen but it had to be lukewarm temperature and also the noodles had to be cut up. I lost about 10 pounds in a week and after the first week I started to get an appetite again. I couldn't talk the first week without a lot of pain. Talking would make it worse. I only noticed one of my scabs falling off when I was eating but it luckily didn't bleed. It has now been exactly 2 weeks since my surgery and I am back at work and it hurts to swallow but not as bad as it did and also yawning hurts. Hope every one's recovery goes smooth.

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Comment from: B, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I had tonsil stones and an inflamed right tonsil for several years. I could not stand another day of disgusting stones, using a flashlight every day to clean them out, and dealing with being insecure about my breath. I decided to have them out. I'm on day 6 of recovery after my tonsillectomy. Today has been the worst in terms of pain. I thought that days 1 to 5 were painful but bearable as long as I stayed on top of the pain medications. Day 6 I woke up feeling like I swallowed razor blades. This recovery is unusual in that way. You are deceived into feeling ok by day 4 or 5, and then all of a sudden, the pain is significantly worse. I have been managing by staggering amounts of ibuprofen and Vicodin by taking a 600 mg dose of ibuprofen, then 3 hours later a dose of Vicodin. I am worried that my stomach and liver are going to be damaged by all of the pain medications but I cannot remotely function without them at this point. Ice packs on my neck help a lot especially after I wake up in the morning. A lot of people said to set alarms when sleeping to wake up and take medicines on time but I felt that it was better to let myself get all of the uninterrupted sleep possible since a great deal of healing occurs while you're asleep. But I pay the price upon waking up; waves of pain wash over me, and I quickly get an ice pack on and take my medicines and then just wait it out until they kick in. I'm glad I will never have to deal with tonsil stones again, but man, am I ready for this pain cycle to end. I wish everyone else well and a speedy recovery. Hang in there!

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