Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Jeremy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 13

I'm sure many who are about to have their tonsillectomy procedure are nervous enough, let alone being scared further. Still, it would be misleading to tell them that everything post operation is hunky-dory. I got mine out last February and it was not fun. I can describe the pain in the first few days only as akin to having strep throat. My breath was rank from the scabs forming in my throat, and drinking water was a chore, though it helped. Only after the scabs fell off around day 10 did the pain decrease significantly. The soreness remained for about three-weeks afterward. If you eat any dairy post operation, eat rainbow sherbet. Ice cream is still fine in moderation, but in excess will form a film in your throat and make your breath stink even worse. Plus, it doesn't do any favors to your already sore throat. Fruit ice-pops and Jell-O are the best way to go. Again, water is your best friend, despite the extreme soreness while drinking it. Use a straw. It helps. Be prepared to spend 5 to 7 days at home. Watch TV, play video games, chat on Facebook, etc. Take a nice hot bath. Drink virgin daiquiris. Pamper yourself. You are entitled to at least a week's worth of rest and recuperation considering the procedure you have had. In fact, it's imperative that you relax. You may not feel much improvement, but it will speed up healing and the ordeal will be a lot easier to get through.

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Comment from: Texas, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I am a 41 year old female and this is day two of tonsillectomy. I referenced this site, multiple times, before my surgery so I wanted to leave feedback that may be helpful to someone preparing for surgery. My tonsillectomy was related to chronic tonsillitis/tonsil stones. Everything I read sounded horrific. Here is my experience in a nutshell. I checked in at 7:30 am, surgery at 8:30, out of recovery and home by 11:30. Day 1, I was prescribed 20 ml acetaminophen/hydrocodone every six hours for pain and penicillin 3 times a day to prevent infection. I started drinking water from the time I got home and I basically sipped water every two hours and more when the pain medicine was in full effect. I haven't stopped fluids. I found sports drinks and juice to be more irritating to my throat so opted for water, Popsicle (melt in microwave for 10 to 15 seconds makes a slush), sherbet and pudding. I was prepared for all the worst pain I read about, sharp pains in my ears, exploding head, etc. I have been fortunate in that my pain has remained in my throat, albeit, very sharp at times, bearable but not fun. My doctor said if I pushed heavy fluids and took the medicine around the clock as prescribed, I would most likely avoid the worst symptoms. I did not have any nausea or vomiting with anesthesia side effect. But when I woke up from surgery my throat was 10+/10 sore. The nurse gave me oral and IV pain medicines and that level of pain has not returned as of yet. It is the evening of day 2 of my surgery now. My throat vacillates between a 6 and 8 on 10 in pain, 10 being the worst. It starts to creep near 8 when I am an hour or so out from taking my next dose of pain medicine. I am sipping about 64 ounces of water per day with Jell-O, ice cream, and pudding, and today I had room temperature chicken broth, all in small servings (3/4-1 cup) at a time. I am still very tired. Also, I have slept upright/inclined with pillows on the couch since I have been home and I have worn an ice pack (provided by the hospital) around my neck almost nonstop. It is not that cold but it keeps my neck cool and I have read it helps with swelling. I thought this experience would be a nightmare while I would not wish it on anyone else or volunteer to do it again. Bearing in mind everyone has a different experience it has been bearable for the first two days.

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Comment from: StillHurting, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 26

I had my tonsillectomy surgery done ten days ago and I'm still in a crazy amount of pain. The first couple of days didn't seem too bad, but starting day 4, the pain because so bad. I took numerous pain medicines, I still wake up in the middle of the night. I'm healthy, not a drinker or a smoker, and the pain is awful. It depends on the person, but going into this, know that it hurts unbearably for about a solid week. Don't bother with any kind of popsicles, most just burn. What I found helped the most was frozen Gatorade crushed up. Because I wasn't eating for those days I needed calories and Gatorade seemed to help. Also, ice chips and Jell-O. It's still hard to swallow and I'm hoping that it will only get better considering it is the holiday season. Good luck to anyone getting this done and I hope your post-operative recovery goes better than mine!

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Comment from: ErinH, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I am currently on day 5 (5:30 am) and the worst pain I have experienced so far was when I woke up in the middle of the night. I had shooting pain both through my neck, in my jaw, facial muscles, and even my tongue hurt. It was a struggle to swallow water and my liquid pain medicines. I've heard mixed things saying days 3 to 5 are the worst, so hopefully this is as bad as it will get. Applesauce has been my best friend the past few days.

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Comment from: sore throat 66, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 23

I am a 22 year old male who had my tonsils removed recently. I am on day 4 after surgery. After the procedure I felt good. As time went by the anesthesia wore off. By day 2 I had a fever over 102 and could not swallow. I went to the emergency room and I was found to be dehydrated. They gave me fluids and sent me home. Day 3, I was eating and starting to feel better. I woke up day 4 and am sorer than I have been the whole time. I don't know what's going to happen but I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

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