Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: VicVic, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I am 48 years old and had a tonsillectomy due to chronic throat infections I have been having for the past few years. My ENT doctor warned me that this was not an easy procedure for an adult and I was going to feel miserable. I didn't really think much of his warning as I kept thinking, I am sure the pain medication will help me through the procedure. Oh, how I was so wrong! The first few days were ok, as the medicines they used for the surgery seemed to help me get through swallowing soft foods and water. I was also given liquid Tylenol 3 with codeine for the pain. Once the pain medication from the surgery started wearing off, that was when everything started going downhill. The liquid Tylenol 3 did not help much with managing the pain. The ENT nurse said I could mix it with Motrin. I used the children's liquid Motrin formula. I was so nauseated from the mixture of the pain medication, that I started to break out into a cold sweat and almost passed out. Then to make it worse, the medicines started giving me awful anxiety where I wanted to jump out of my skin and I started going through a panic attack because I thought I wasn't getting enough air. I ended up on day 6, after my surgery, in the emergency room (ER) for dehydration, throat and ear throbbing pain. The IV that was given to me at the hospital contained liquids for my dehydration, cortisone for swelling and medication for pain. I felt wonderful when the drugs started kicking in, however 6 hours after I was given the IV, I developed severe anxiety again from the medicines. I took a prescribed anti-anxiety pill that took away my anxiety and helped me sleep for a few hours. I was then told by the ENT nurse to take 1000 mg extra strength Tylenol and then 600 mg Motrin to help with the pain. The Tylenol needed to be taken 4 to 6 hours apart and the Motrin could be taken 2 hours after I took the Tylenol to help with the swelling. I have been doing this for 3 days and I it has helped me manage the pain. Drinking liquids has been such a challenge as my salvia is so thick that I feel like I am drowning every time I swallow. I found it to be helpful to breathe in to inhale the water and breathe out when drinking the water to avoid the drowning feeling. Stay away from any milk product as it makes your salvia more thick. Some people have mentioned that anything cold has helped with the pain when swallowing. Anytime I drank or ate something cold, I felt agonizing pain even with the medicines. Anything room temperature helped me. My go to foods are creamy macaroni and cheese and scrambled eggs. Lastly, I was constipated for 5 days due to the medication. You need to take some type of liquid fiber to help with the constipation. I am on day 9 now from my surgery. I am really not feeling any better. I only had one surgery prior to my tonsillectomy and it was a C-section when I had my first child. A tonsillectomy is 10 times worse than a C-section.

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Comment from: EJB312, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 02

I'm 30 years old and on day 8 of recovery from tonsillectomy. Today I feel amazing. I have not used any pain medication today. It just feels like a sore throat from a cold. Day 3 was the hardest for pain, it was very painful to do any swallowing. It overall is just like having a bad case of strep throat. I've been able to talk pretty normally throughout the recovery and coughing and sneezing are nothing to be scared of. Yawning is actually the most painful thing. I could describe the pain as being like when you are all choked up and trying not to cry, but slightly stronger. It wasn't too bad. I could do it again if I had to, and I managed to take care of my 3 young children during the healing process.

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Comment from: No ibuprofen, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 27

My daughter recently had a tonsillectomy and the pain was unbearable for her. She made the mistake of going to the emergency room (ER) on the seventh day because the ear pain was off the charts. They told her to take Ibuprofen 800 mg and within 5 days she was vomiting blood and had to have her rushed to the ER. She had to have her throat cauterized to stop the bleeding without anesthesia; and had to go back to day one. She lost over 12 lb. and was terrified to even cough.

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Comment from: pam, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 27

My 26 year old daughter had her tonsils out 11 weeks ago. She had horrible throat and ear pain for at least 6 weeks after surgery. She is still not able to eat anything but soup, Jell-O, yogurt, whipped potatoes. She has lost 20 plus pounds. She feels like she is choking and her throat is closing in when she attempts to swallow anything else. It is hard for her to even drink water normally. They are now saying it may be reflux. She has no heart burn or other symptoms of reflux. I am afraid that something was damaged during surgery.

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Comment from: S, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

On 11/2 I had a tonsillectomy and it is now 17/2. Since my surgery I've had no serious pain however on 16/2 I had to return to the emergency department of the hospital because my throat had been bleeding fresh blood. After 5 days, it is normal for a few streaks of old blood in your saliva. But mine was fresh, there wasn't much until I had got to the hospital and it would not stop bleeding. I had to gargle peroxide until my saliva was clear. They gave me a blood test and put me on a cannula. I had to stay at hospital that night in case the bleeding reoccurred and if it did I would go straight back to theatre. Last night was the first night I actually got any sleep. I'm feeling fine and the blood has stopped but there is still a chance it may happen again. Last night I woke up with a strange feeling in my throat and I think it is the feeling of scabs. I cannot open my mouth wide enough to see my tonsils yet. I've started to eat thicker foods. I feel as though I'm starting to heal.

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