Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: themattbrown20, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I wasn't aware of the pain and I wasn't told. Today is the end of day 4 after my tonsillectomy and it is midnight. I bled very slightly a few minutes ago, but nothing to be worried about. My tongue is numb in the back on both sides. I didn't realize I would have to deal with these disgusting scabs. I am usually a no pain no gain kind of person. This is by far the worst pain I have lived through. Day 1 (day after surgery) was decent. Then day 2 came holding hands with vomit. I couldn't keep any substance down. Over and over I threw up. I tried to sleep through the day, but would awake with projectile vomit. Day 3 and 4 were a tad more manageable. Those days I gargled salt water every 4 hours. I spit up excess scab. I took medicine and chewed on ice from sonic. Rested with ice on my neck. All this made it tolerable. I'm afraid to sleep tonight because I awake every 3 hours in horrible pain. Sleep seems to be my arch villain. I am angry I wasn't prepared for this. It came upon me as a shock and I feel hopeless. People talk of a 20 day recovery and I am just starting the 5th. I pity any soul that has this procedure done. Do your research before you make the decision. I hate this.

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Comment from: caitlynforkz, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

On Wednesday September 24, I had my tonsillectomy. I'm 22 years old and was told this was going to be the worst day/time ever but it was totally going to be worth it. I was told numerous things like 'keep your stitches moist', 'I woke up feeling like I was choking', and 'I couldn't stop vomiting'. So with all these 'helpful' tips from people who have had this done I prepared myself for quite possibly the most pain that I will ever feel. During recovery I finally woke up, did I feel like I was choking? Nope. Did it hurt? A little. A few hours after surgery I was asked to rate my pain from 1-10 and I said it was about a 3. Yes, it was sore, but I've had a sore throat almost the same as this, it was tolerable. Swallowing things sucked yes, but push through it, it only hurts for a second. Sleeping was probably the worst of it, sleep at a 30 degree angle and you'll be laughing, you don't wake up feeling like you swallowed your tongue; and I actually had a pretty decent sleep my first night. Day two, they say it gets worse. Has it? No. Yeah it's still sore but I have eaten applesauce, popsicles, chicken noodle soup and lots of water, just sip it. I haven't got sick yet. Take your medication, crush it up and stick it into your applesauce, does it taste nasty? Of course. But it makes you feel better afterwards. I can't wait to try ice cream.

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Comment from: Susan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

Ouch! Tonsillectomy is a difficult surgery for myself, I must say. I am 45 years old and just had my tonsils removed on 08/11. The actual procedure was fine and I went home and was fine really. Tired, but fine. And day 2 was okay also. The hard times hit on day days 3 and 4. Horrible pain... I just lay in bed and cried for 2 days straight. My ears hurt, my tongue was so painful, even my teeth hurt. Couldn't eat, drink, talk or sleep. Everything hurt! I lost about 10 lb. total since the procedure - all I could tolerate was ice chips. I also had a terrible case of thrush that I am still dealing with. After 3 weeks, I can finally say that I am feeling better. I can eat finally and am off all of my pain medications. I am glad that I had the procedure but very thankful that the whole thing is almost over! Good luck!

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Comment from: vocalmajor, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I am a 21 year old female and I am on day 11 of my tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Reason for the surgery was I was diagnosed with mononucleosis in May which caused my tonsils to flare up, and they never returned to their natural size. My adenoids were considered to be abnormally large which caused breathing issues. I had my surgery in the afternoon and while in recovery I coughed and that created a nose bleed. I was then admitted to the hospital overnight for observation. I was released the next afternoon where I spent the next 4 days resting, thank goodness for my loving family who was home taking care of me. I ended up getting sick from the pain medicine that was prescribed to me, due to lack of food I was able to consume. (Throwing up after surgery is not fun at all.) Day 4 was the worst day for me, I couldn't eat, sleep or do anything because of the nausea I was experiencing. After a rough night of tossing and turning I woke up on day 5 and felt much better. I was able to eat a little bit of cooked pasta with butter. Food had a nasty taste, pasta made my tongue feel numb. Swallowing became easier everyday but was still very, very painful. I have been hydrating with Gatorade instead of water because I need the electrolytes and water seems to leave a terrible after taste in my mouth (because of the scabs). Sleeping with ice packs on my neck seemed to help immensely. I also suggest sleeping with a cough drop in your mouth at night so that your mouth doesn't dry up. I am hoping that I will be able to eat normal, crunchy food soon instead of just soft foods. I have lost 10 pounds since surgery and I am craving all of my favorite spicy, crunchy foods. Overall, I know that the surgery will be worth it but it truly is a painful recovery, especially as an adult.

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Comment from: cra2, (Patient) Published: August 22

I am an adult in my early 40s. I had my tonsils taken out yesterday morning. In the recovery room I was still under the effects of the nausea/pain medicines the doctor used. So I just felt a little weak which they said was probably from the anesthetic. Anyway, I started on ice and water immediately and never stopped sipping right up till bedtime. I was feeling fine by yesterday afternoon on simple Tylenol and started drinking broth, apple juice and even apple sauce. Sleep wasn't good last night, felt like I kept getting heartburn. I don't know if it's from the blood in my belly or the lack of food or what. I tried sleeping on an incline. I tried some Pepto-Bismol. Didn't help. So I got cruddy sleep last night. Today, however, I feel even better. The pain's only that of a sore throat and even then only when I swallow. I don't have any other symptoms and I'm up and about doing chores, etc. (but nothing too strenuous). I'll probably just pop some more Tylenol before bedtime to make sure the swallowing doesn't keep me up any more than necessary at night. I keep hearing that this is just the calm before the storm and that in the next few days it will actually get worse. Gosh I hope not - it's been easy so far.

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