Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: guest1994, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I am 21 years old and had my tonsillectomy last Thursday. When I woke up from the operation I felt excruciating pain, so I was given the maximum dose of morphine, which calmed me down a lot and helped relax me. I was kept in hospital overnight which I was grateful for as I woke up in the middle of the night in more pain, and the doctor gave me more morphine, and oxygen tube (as she said I was having a panic attack from the pain) and some intravenous anti-inflammatory drugs. I wasn't able to get back to sleep but I felt a lot better; pain medicines are your best friend! I am now on day 5 of recovery, and this morning I woke up in the most pain I have been in so far. I have barely been able to eat a thing, sticking to ice cream, yoghurt, soup and jelly, and tiny portions at that. I know I need to eat, as I'm taking codeine four times a day, but it's so incredibly painful to swallow that I'm barely eating enough for one meal throughout the entire day. I can definitively say that drinking water helps you feel a million percent better. I didn't realize that it was a dry throat at night that made the pain so severe in the mornings, but now I keep water by my bed and drink it whenever I wake up, which is several times throughout the night. I also slept with a fan on for the first few nights, as that is what I normally do at home, but this obviously dehydrates you and I have slept slightly better since realizing this and turning off the fan. I am hoping that the pain will not exceed much more than its current level, being on day 5, but I know that the next five days are going to be pretty much unbearable and am not looking forward to them at all. Though I should probably start weaning myself off the codeine, I can't bear to do it just yet, and I'm going to wait for day 8/9 when hopefully most of the scabs will have fallen off and the pain should start to decrease. Good luck to anyone going through this recovery, it's honestly so much worse than I had anticipated but the prospect of not having recurrent tonsillitis several times a month and the weight loss from my inability to eat anything are getting me through the pain!

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Comment from: 1941, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I am on week 2 of recovery from tonsillitis. I am wondering if I smell odd because of the medicines. I guess so thanks to someone on here with same condition. I am a 74 year female and had a large infected looking tonsil. It turns out not a tumor (I had both removed). My breath is improved. I had to go back the same day for a second surgery to stop a serious bleed. I wonder why the Lortab Elixir hurt worse than anything! But it did make it easier to swallow food. I haven't had bad pain after the Lortab worked. I am off it now as it made me goofy. I'm just weak and have no energy but don't expect that to last much longer. Doctor says recovery takes 4 weeks.

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Comment from: sunny1ne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I had my tonsillectomy last Tuesday, so I'm on day 6 of my recovery. I had to ask my doctor for a stronger medication for pain on Thursday, since the liquid acetaminophen with codeine was not helping much. I'm now taking hydrocodone with acetaminophen and it definitely helps with the pain, although it causes me to feel nauseous. I'm having a lot of ear pain and my tongue is still sore. In the past couple of days, I noticed that ice pops and anything really cold now hurts my throat. I'm drinking tea and eating more soup to soothe my throat. Long story short, halfway you may have to make some adjustments to your recovery routine.

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Comment from: Lynne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

I'm 36 years old and on day 5 after having my tonsillectomy. The day of the operation was easy, I had no problems. I woke up feeling a bit of an irritated throat but nothing serious. I had lunch and some juice, no problems. Day 2 and 3 were ok, yes, a bit of pain and some constipation from the medicines. In the evening of Day 3 I had a terrible experience. I coughed in the kitchen and suddenly my mouth was full of blood, I spat it into the kitchen sink and then started gagging and vomiting blood and pieces of flesh/scabs, who knows what! This went on for ages and there was so much blood and guts in the sink. My husband raced me to the emergency room and they said the bleeding had stopped and it was perfectly normal to experience that. My ENT doctor only said there might be some bleeding and as long as it stops it is fine. It was a scary experience and I really think they should have told me something like that could happen. It was disgusting. Day 4 and 5 have been terrible. I can't eat and I can barely even get water down. Any food I do manage to eat seems to get stuck in the wounds and I can't get it out which is really disgusting too. Until I gag on it a while after eating and manage to spit it out. My throat, ears, jaw and neck are sore. I am at a big disadvantage here too being a drug addict and alcoholic in recovery. The medication I can take is very limited. I can't have any 'good stuff' like codeine or morphine, just paracetamol which barely makes a difference. I've heard a few people say days 5 to 7 are the worst. Here's hoping the worst days hurry up and move on.

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Comment from: zooroo, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I had my tonsils out on June 22 after suffering from chronic strep/tonsillitis for about 12 years. I am currently on day 8 post-tonsillectomy and figured I would share my experience as I found this thread helpful during my recovery. I'm currently 19 (20 next month) and am female. My surgeon used the cauterization method to remove my tonsils. Immediately following the procedure, I had minimal pain-due to strong pain medications. I was given two prescriptions: one for Percocet and one for an antibiotic. The first two days after surgery were not that bad. I mainly stuck to popsicles, Freezies, and ice cream. On the third day I was very nauseous and was sick multiple times, so I've been taking anti-nausea medications every 4 hours with my pain medicine since and the nausea is gone. Days 4 to 7, my pain was very bad. I found that my medicine was barely touching the pain and I could barely eat. I had some bleeding on day 6 but it stopped on its own. Nights were definitely the worst pain-wise. Today (day 8), I feel much better than yesterday. During the day, I have only used Tylenol for my pain and I have been eating soft foods. I find that my pain gets worse at night so I am taking Percocet tonight for hopefully the last night. Some tips I would share: set alarms at night for medication, you will wake up in pain throughout the night if you don't. Drink lots of water and try and swallow through the pain. Avoid all dairy products to avoid excessive phlegm. Take anti-nausea medicine when taking strong pain medicines. I also used a humidifier in my room to help keep the air moist because dryness hinders healing. Now that I am (hopefully) through the worst of the recovery, I hope that I won't be sick as often! I've already noticed how much easier it is to breathe with them gone (mine were huge). It took me a lot longer to bounce back than my younger brothers who were back to normal after about 4 days, but I finally feel like I'm on the home stretch! Good luck to everyone else with their surgeries and recoveries.

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