Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Kitten82, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 23

As a 26-year-old female, my tonsillectomy was the worst pain I have ever experienced. When my doctor told me it was going to be worse than strep throat I thought, “How could it be worse?” Well it is. I am on day five, and I can't swallow, I can't eat, my ear hurts, and I can't keep myself hydrated. So I have a smell from my pores coming through my skin from the medicine. It's a lot to go through as an adult.

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Comment from: SoHungry, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I"m 19 years old and I had my tonsils taken out on 4/13/2014. It"s the 6th day after I got them taken out and I still sound horrible. I"ve dropped from 155 pounds to 140 in only six days. Yikes. The doctors gave me oxycodone for the pain, but it was really hard to get down. I can finally drink soda and get the ice pops down, but I"m still in a lot of pain.

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Comment from: kareleg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

Day 7 of adult tonsillectomy, age 47. One of the most excruciating experiences ever; and I"ve had 5 kidney stones. Rash with burning hydrocodone but must take it. It hurts too much. Even the cold ice cream and popsicles hurt - feeling like ripping tear in throat as it touches. My advice- don"t do it unless absolutely necessary.

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Comment from: Male Patient 25, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I am 25 years old. I had my tonsils out approximately 4 months ago. I was in an excruciating amount of pain until about 10 days post-surgery, and this was with 2 different pain medicines. After 10 days, pain subsided and healing really took off pretty rapidly. I am glad they were finally removed, but the pain was definitely a 10 plus.

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Comment from: nrwing, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I"m 28, I recently had my tonsillectomy on March 12, 2014. I'm on post operation day 5. I never in my life thought my tonsils and adenoids needed to be removed. Now I think it was the best decision I"ve made despite the pain. I"ve dropped nearly 10 lbs since I weighed in before surgery. I haven"t been able to eat much, tried sherbet, macaroni and cheese and Jell-O. After a while I have to stop because the taste in the back of my throat is so nasty that everything makes me sick.

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Comment from: Bartone, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

It is day two after my tonsillectomy. I have been told to eat crunchy foods to aid healing. However, this is really difficult! I"m wondering how much physical activity I can do as I actually feel slightly better than when I had tonsillitis. I"m finding ibuprofen works well.

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Comment from: alexandrac, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I found what helped for me with pain and swelling after tonsillectomy was eating sorbet rather than ice cream. Because ice cream is made with dairy it caused mucus. To reduce pain and swelling for the tongue, chewing on ice chips, and even letting ice chips melt in your mouth really helps!

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Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

Today is day 6 post tonsillectomy, I woke up at 5am from the pain! I ate ice to reduce the pain. It is day 6 and I still am not able to eat anything but cold liquid stuff. It is the worst pain I have ever felt!

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Comment from: YoungMommy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

This has been the worst recovery of my life. After the tonsillectomy, every muscle in my body was sore and only got worse the following day. I"m on recovery day 3, and my sore body is giving me more trouble than my throat. I feel desperate, and my husband returned to work today and I am left here with a very active 2 year old. I can hardly move and hardly swallow. I have dropped 4 pounds and I am drained. Do not go through with this surgery unless you absolutely need it!

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Comment from: Hoopsmom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I am 47 and have a high threshold for pain but if I knew then what I know now, I would still have my tonsils. After 5 sinus surgeries, I thought "tonsillectomy will be a piece of cake" wrong. That was a messed up deal. I still feel like I'm swallowing a mixture of glass, razors, and a pinecone. I would rather have my toenails ripped off one by one than go through that again. My throat laughed at the liquid Lortab I attempted to swallow for the pain. The only nourishment I could attempt was cold water for 3 days straight. I still have scabs in the back of my throat almost a month after surgery, gross.

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Comment from: Harleychicksrock, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I am on day 4 of my tonsillectomy. My friend had hers out in June of this year and I have listened to all her advice. The pain is awful. I think yesterday was worse. I have been taking my medication, using an ice pack, and trying to keep drinking. This is day 2 with no food, but I'd rather be hungry then go through the pain of trying to eat.

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Comment from: blkrod85, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

I am a 47 year old male. The pain is bad but I force myself drink. My stomach hurts from the medicines and I only have cat naps. I have head, ear and neck aches. I am scheduled to see the doctor this week. I don't think I will be ready for work by Monday.

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Comment from: Chuck, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

I am a 49 year old male, this is my second day of the surgery and I must say it was nowhere close to what I've been readying for. I've only taken 2 pain pills since I've been home, it just hurts a little to swallow, not much worse than strep throat.

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Comment from: Katiea1992, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I'm on day 8 of recovery. The last few days I haven't slept for more than 4 hours through the night as days 5-10 I've heard are the worst due to scabs tightening. Today I woke in agony. I got up and brushed my teeth and spat out something yellow. It made my throat hurt less with it gone. Now I'm feeling okay, with only pain when I swallow. I've found chewing gum constantly is good for ear pain. Keep hydrated and try some tea with honey. Soft foods are my best friend.

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Comment from: Gem_2580, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I am a 21 year old female and had my tonsils removed a couple of months ago. The reason I am writing this now is because throughout my experience I found the information on forums such as these extremely useful, and it was nice to know other people were experiencing the same thing as me. One thing I would like to say is that having my tonsils out was the best decision I have ever made. My doctor strongly advised me against it but I went ahead with it anyway, and am so glad I did. It was not as painful as I thought it would be and certainly not as bad as my worst bout of tonsillitis. If anything it looked worst than it actually was. The best advice I can give anyone who has just had the operation is to eat! The more you eat, the quicker you will get better. I was up and about again within a week due to my non-stop eating! It may hurt at first but it is totally worth it. Toast is the best thing to eat as it is rough and hard to swallow and takes any bacteria down with it. 2 months after my operation and I am a healthy happy student again!

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Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I am on day five of my tonsillectomy and must say it wasn't as bad as I had hyped myself up for! The thing that I struggled with was the morphine after the surgery. I have been keeping up with my pain medication every four hours no matter what even if the pain has subsided. I also found that sucking on ice cubes was very helpful and am still doing so. I am unable to have any dairy products because they are making me very phlegmy, but popsicles and other soft foods such as scrambled eggs and baked potatoes have kept me from starving! So my suggestion for those who are getting ready for the surgery is take the pain medication no matter what, suck on ice cubes right out of the surgery to help you stay hydrated, have an ice pack handy for around your neck and try and eat something just to have in your stomach and get a lot of rest.

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Comment from: tonsil, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

This is my fourth day out of surgery. I had a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy. I am 36 and have to say, the pain is worse than I thought. However, the biggest thing is that my nose is stuffed up, and I cannot breathe well enough to sleep. I am gargling and using a nose rinse. I'm seriously tired of pudding and all the soft food. I tried more substantial stuff like oatmeal, but it tore up my throat. Prednisone tastes awful.

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Comment from: Byebyetonsils, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I'm 22-years-old, and I had my tonsillectomy last Thursday, so five days ago. I read all the horror stories online and kind of freaked myself out. So, I am here to write an uplifting, positive story. It really is not as bad as people have described it to be. As long as you stick to your dosage schedule, you'll be fine. Drink tons of water and don't sleep for long periods of time. I set my alarm for every two hours; that's when I took my meds and stocked up on my fluid intake. Needless to say it was hard to wake up in the middle of the night, but given a choice, I'd rather be tired than in pain. I also kept ice packs around my neck for the first two days. The ice helps with the swelling and pain. Honestly, to me it felt like a really bad sore throat. You want to keep your throat moist because when it gets dry, it does hurt and it helps to be hydrated when it comes to scabbing, and you'll heal faster. So, I hope this was helpful to anyone who is getting their tonsils out soon. Good luck!

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Comment from: Marcia, 0-2 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 06

My 2 1/2 year old son is one week and one day post surgery (tonsils and adenoids). He's still struggling so much. He developed a horrible hacking non-stop cough a couple days after and nothing helped for 3 days (that finally subsided). He's still running a mild fever. His pediatrician says he has an ear infection. He was 29 lbs when he went in for surgery on Friday, by Tuesday he was down to 26! I felt reassured by reading a website. Apparently this is all normal. His surgeon said he'd recover in "no time" but now we're realizing 2 weeks is more likely.

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Comment from: Travis, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 01

It is day two out of surgery. I've been able to remain hydrated so far. Today something odd is happening with my tongue, it is turning white with spots and swelling. Not sure of what might cause that other than maybe the salty/sugary foods I've been consuming. Jello, pudding, ice cream, etc. Still difficult to swallow and the pain goes to my ears as well. The uvula is seriously swollen and is filled with a clear liquid, it sometimes makes breathing difficult and it catches much of the mucus from nasal drip, compounding the breathing problem. Last night I rolled over in my sleep and thankfully most, if not all, of the mucus ran out of my mouth while I slept. I woke with the usual pain, but a completely open airway. I expected a quicker recovery, but in reading the comments I suspect I'll be out of the game for a few weeks.

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Comment from: Ashley, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

For the first week post-op from my tonsillectomy, I felt pretty tired and had a mild sore throat. I was able to eat and drink all kinds of stuff; it didn't seem so bad. Now being in week two, I feel worse than ever. I can't hardy swallow; even water is painful. I have started to lose weight this week. I have only been able to eat fruity popsicles. I can't have anything with milk because it causes phlegm and makes it even harder to swallow.

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Comment from: Bill M, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

I"m 64, I had my tonsils out on the 24th of April 2013. I still can"t stand the taste of sweets or chocolate.

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Comment from: Bartone, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

I spoke too soon about the pain. Earache is now killing me! It is day three after my tonsillectomy.

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Comment from: JPinReno, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

I just had tonsils and adenoids removed today. So far, my pain level is about a 3 to 4. I"ve been warned it will get worse but I am so glad they are out.

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Comment from: Haley, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

I just had my tonsils out this morning and the whole thing has been fine so far. The pain killers are working and I haven't had any trouble sleeping except a few minutes ago I woke up with a throbbing pain in my butt like from a steroid shot. I didn't remember getting one and it just now started hurting so I have no clue what it could be!

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Comment from: Masha, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I am on day 6 after the surgery, had a very sharp pain last 2 nights, as well as some bleeding. It was the worst experience ever! I can't wait to feel better.

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Comment from: Mich30, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I'm a 30-year-old who recently underwent a tonsillectomy. Iwas fine for the first two days, but then was in quite a lot of pain which I thought was the normal healing process. On day five I had a hemorrhage and was rushed back into theatre twice, as the bleeding couldn't be stopped. I nearly lost my life. I knew the risks before having the operation. I just didn't think it would happen to me.

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Comment from: cinmn, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

33yrs old, Day 9 post-tonsillectomy Needed it due to recurring tonsillitis and strep. The tonsillitis alone got so severe I needed Percocet for the pain (which I had only had previously after a c-section for about a week). The surgery wasn't bad. That whole process was actually pleasant. First time under general anesthesia, no problems. Worst day for me was Day 3 because of my swollen uvula. I couldn't swallow anything that day for about 10 hours. Liquids came out my nose instead. Pain was manageable and still is. Not quite as bad as my worst tonsillitis. Very heavy scabbing (similar to if you've had a bad case of mono) I've avoided ice cream & dairy products except in very small amounts. They create too much mucous, etc. that can't be cleared. I'm taking Percocet every 6 hours. I also have kept my head/neck rested most the time and I sleep elevated. I have not lied down flat at all. SOOO Glad my tonsils are gone.

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Comment from: kkjj123456789, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 17

My 11 year old had a really hard time with this. She was not eating and then when she finally was she started to get worse and cry. Now she is feeling a bit better but still won't eat. What do I do???? She is out of pain medicine!!!

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Comment from: HHHHLLLL, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I am a 23 year old female, and I had a tonsillectomy 6 days ago. The recovery has been moderate. I heard nothing but bad things about this and got very scared. By the second day I was able to move around, but did have significant pain. I had trouble the 3rd day with keeping any food or liquid down because I was pumping pain meds with no food in my stomach to pad it. Once I got that under control, I was able to drink and eat soft foods. Drinking constantly helps! On my 6th day, the pain seems a bit worse then the first week because of the scabs falling off. My ears hurt a lot but the pain definitely subsides with pain meds every 4 hours. I haven't experienced any bleeding. My advice is to drink and force yourself to eat soft foods no matter what! That will help you recover best! I enjoyed mashed potatoes and mac and cheese the most. Also, applesauce, jello and Popsicles. I'm attempting going back to work in a few days.

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Comment from: diana, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

The tonsillectomy is brutal. At least the recovery is. I'm 47 years old, and I'm miserable. I can't sleep at night because of the pain. I want to cough and do because I feel my throat itching. But I have to control the force of the cough because I'm scared I might cough out something and start bleeding. I'm drinking cold water all day because that's the only soothing thing for me. The elixir that I was given for pain makes me nauseated. So instead of taking that, I take Tylenol sore throat daytime. Today, I will start taking Halls cough drops. And I'm hungry all the time. The ice cream is getting old. This is just miserable. But every day is one more day closer to complete recovery and a double meat-and-cheese juicy burger.

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Published: May 20

I am a 41-year-old female. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed this past Tuesday. It has really been a nightmare for me. I have been to the emergency room twice since the surgery because of dehydration and severe pain. I have to see the surgeon on a daily basis. The effort it takes to swallow is so painful; however, I find the sucking on ice and sipping water really helps along with some warm green tea. I personally would not have done this if I had had an inkling it would be this painful. Childbirth was much easier. Do this only if you're young or it's very necessary.

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Comment from: Kristin, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 01

My 4 year old daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed, along with ear tubes put in. She has been a real trooper and it is hard to tell she had surgery yesterday. We keep her hydrated, and make her rest, along with icing her neck every hour for 10 minutes. We also set an alarm at night to wake her for the Tylenol w/Codeine. We actually cut her down to every 6 hours today because she doesn't like the taste and is doing well. I think this goes to show that kids recover a lot faster than adults and every person is different. You can't go into the procedure thinking one way or another. We are prepared for next week when the scab falls off for some throat pain.

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Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I'm on my seventh day after having my tonsils removed. When I woke up the day after, I felt surprisingly good, but it went downhill from there. The Lortab I was taking upset my stomach to the point that I couldn't even urinate. I threw up about 20 times, which was really hard on my throat. I got off the Lortab, which helped my stomach, but the new pain medicine doesn't seem to be as effective. The pain is worse in my ears. Hopefully, it'll all be over soon.

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Comment from: Heather, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I had also read all the horror stories and prepared myself for the worst, but I can tell you that it has not been as bad as I expected. I am 37 and am on day seven of my recovery. I took the advice to keep on drinking fluids, and I must say, I think that has helped me recover without too much pain. Yes, my throat hurts when I swallow, and yes, the ear pain is constant but tolerable. I have kept up with my pain meds every four hours, and I am not doing my normal activities. I can sit, watch TV, read, catch up on emails, do laundry, help kids with their homework, etc. I am also sleeping through the night, which I never did in the past with strep. I am normally a huge water drinker, but it has not tasted good this last week, so I am drinking a lot of flavored water and warm tea. Also, the vitamin/energy water tastes good. When you get to the point of eating food, macaroni and cheese goes down easily and provides substance beyond Jell-O and popsicles.

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