Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Simon, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I'm 39 year old male and had my tonsils out 3 weeks ago now. The recovery from tonsillectomy is very painful, and I still have a mild soreness when swallowing and my voice isn't itself, sounds clammy. The hospital gave me a sandwich to eat straight after the operation, which was no fun! I enjoyed eating ice cream most as it goes down well, is cold and tastes nice. Water with ice too and porridge made with water. Avoid tomatoes! And make sure you take all the painkillers they give you. Don't be a warrior with the medicines, food or exercise, do as the doctor says. I heard of a friend's friend who went for a walk on day 2 and had a hemorrhage and nearly died from it; low risk of this I'm sure, but take it easy!

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Comment from: missyhaze, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I am 24 years old and had tonsillectomy done approximately 12 days ago. I'm not going to sugar coat it; this was the worst pain I have ever experienced. But I am sure it will be worth not having strep throat numerous times a year and the amount of work I was missing because of it. I highly suggest having someone to look after you for the first 3 days. I live alone and was lucky to have my mother fly down for days 1 to 3. Also, it is important that they start you off on your medication schedule since you will be out of it. It is super important that you chart your medicine. You don't want to end up taking too much and ultimately get sick and throw up from doing so. Go shopping several days prior to your surgery. Things I was able to eat were tapioca pudding, Ensure (important for nutrients), applesauce, Jell-O, lots of Gatorade, Odwalla or Naked smoothie drinks, etc. Do not drink anything acidic, and stay away from dairy, it will cause you to produce more mucus and want to swallow more. After about day 5, I suggest drinking warm chicken broth to help with the scabs. Days 1 to 3: Pain level was at about a 6 out of 10. This is because most of the anesthesia is still in your body. Don't let this fool you. Days 4 to 7: The absolute worst of recovery. Your scabs will start to fall off here. Make sure you are constantly drinking water so your throat doesnt dry out. I set my alarm every 30 minutes after lying down to sleep, to wake up and drink water. Sleep is your enemy, as much I hate to tell you. I suggest doing as I did and also sleeping with an ice pack as much as possible. Make sure you take your medicines throughout the night. You will regret falling asleep without doing so. Days 8-10: Scabs are all gone and you can finally eat things of substance. Try to wean yourself off the pain medications. I only take them for sleep at this point. My follow up appointment is tomorrow. I lost a total of 10 pounds (now at 104 pounds, yikes) from not eating. Make sure you are drinking Ensure or something similar to keep your body nourished. Good luck with your surgery and remember it will all be worth it in the end.

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Comment from: Sher, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I am 33 years old and had a tonsillectomy last week Wednesday (May 13th). I feel as though I am not getting better. I felt as though they did not give me enough pain medicines so last Friday I had to get some other medicines (Percocet) and those didn't last me too long either. I cannot drink anything. I have to force myself to take the medicines that are crushed up in Gatorade, every 4 to 5 hrs. I am constantly told to drink as much water as I can but I cannot! The pain is too much; to even swallow my saliva is a big deal. I am on day 6 and have cried many times as my ears hurt and it feels like someone took an iron to my throat. I miss food very much but for now just sticking to soup broth, popsicles and some Jell-O. I hope the pain goes away fast as I am due back to work next week. I see the surgeon on Thursday, hope he prescribes some more medicines. Good luck everyone.

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Comment from: reza, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

Today is my second day post operation. I had tonsil stone on the right side which I used to think was just one, and a cyst hurting me especially during cold or allergic congestions. I was very obsessive regarding cleaning my tonsils and finally after three years of trying useless ways to remove tonsil stones I decided to have them removed. A few days before the tonsillectomy procedure I was very anxious that I couldn't even sleep. Whenever I was reading others' experiences I was about to cancel my operation. Finally I decided to go for surgery and I did it yesterday. Before surgery I prepared myself mentally. I told myself that two or three weeks of misery is part of my life and I can pass it behind. After operation my doctor told me the right tonsil was full of stones and the one that I was worried about was just one of them. And also the part of the cyst on the left side was just tip of the iceberg and the much larger part was behind the tonsil. Though I don't have a fun time now I think I will pass this period successfully. I have pain on swallowing even my own saliva, let alone ice cream! I can't sleep very well now. But these are ok not very intolerable yet.

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Comment from: gio81, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

I'm on day 5 after my tonsillectomy surgery; what can I say it's been pure agony, not being able to swallow anything including fluids, without extreme pain. I have been given a couple of different pain killers, the most powerful of which is tramadol; now this is an extremely powerful painkiller. I have used it before when I bruised my ribs and it worked a treat, this time however to my shock it has hardly had an effect. Now I will say that I probably have more neck muscle than the average patient, and I was told this would most likely make the recovery more painful. Now if you are thinking that I am a person with low pain tolerance think again, I've been known not to need local anesthesia for dental work. So to the doctors in the 80s who thought removing my adenoids and not my tonsils was okay, think again.

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