Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: TonsilFree, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I am a 38 year old female who opted to get a tonsillectomy via electrocautery on 12/31. I am on day 5 and I would say everything I've read is pretty accurate. Pain at times when swallowing has been a 7 or 8. When I had kidney stones that was worse pain, a 10. I am in good health and thought I might do better than average but this does appear to be a 7 to 10 day recovery. My advice is to plan for the down time. A caregiver if possible is helpful. Stock up on soft foods like applesauce, mashed potatoes, Gatorade, and popsicles. You will need your medications to manage pain and you will need a lot of rest. It will be difficult to speak (I have hardly spoken in 5 days). You will want to constantly take sips of water or ice chips to stay hydrated. Overall it will be worth it but important to manage your calendar for the recovery time. Good luck!

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Comment from: caseelynn, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I am 21 years old, and am on day 12 of my tonsillectomy recovery. Day 1 to 3 were fine for me, then when the scabs started to harden during days 4 to 8 it was extremely painful and I had no appetite. On day 8, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital as I was bleeding uncontrollably from one side of my mouth. They kept me overnight in observation saying that if it didn't stop bleeding, they would have to re-cauterize it. Thankfully, it clotted by itself, and I was released the next morning. After that, it was smooth sailing. My advice is to do exactly as directed by your doctor. Stay in bed for the full two weeks, drink lots of ice cold water, and try not to talk as much as possible. Just remember it is all worth it in the end!

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Comment from: Relief, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 30

I must be lucky, I rarely needed any pain relief other than Panadol and was able to eat almost everything after three days. I did get ear pain day 8 and increased throat issues until day 12, however I put that down to being stupid and going for a swim (as it is summer in Australia) on day 8 in a local pool, probably not the smartest thing to do. Headaches were a small part but I just made sure I drank at least 2 liters of water a day. I found ice cream didn't help nor did anything cold. I stuck to room temperature water, scrambled eggs on toast and soups. Managed a couple of pizza slices after 7 days too. My advice, force yourself to drink water. Good luck to all.

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Comment from: Allisgood, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I am on day 12 of tonsillectomy. Day 1 there was no sleep to be had because of drugs from surgery. Two Tylenol 3 tablets were taken every 4 hours as per doctor for first 4 days and then downgraded to 2 extra-strength Tylenol one hour before trying to eat. Ice water was a must around the clock. If I fell asleep for a few hours towards morning and the throat was very dry and not able to swallow then I would get directly in the shower and the steam would loosen up the throat. Cream of wheat made with water and a little brown sugar was my best friend for the first couple of days and it also does away with the constipation. A Popsicle was a must after each attempt to eat. Every day after day 4 was a better day. I have not had the scabbing fall off, which is actually cement painted on during surgery, it is just gradually fading away. The worst part of the whole surgery was the palate being so swollen that it caused sleep apnea. Use the ice packs and the ice water and the swelling goes down nicely. I was mentally prepared for much worse. I had the surgery on December 16th and spent December 24th and 25th preparing and enjoying Christmas with my family. I am on vacation, so nothing was going to hold me back. I am still not eating anything tomato based because it stings, but swallowing water and food was all back to normal by day 8 and 9, just nothing too scratchy yet (rice Krispies squares, pizza crust, etc., as per the doctor). Remember you need to keep your energy up by eating little bits of food as tolerated or the healing process is slowed down. Good Luck! I would have it done again in a minute. The road to get the doctor to agree was the longest because I am 52 years old. I had huge issues with my one tonsil, but nothing could be diagnosed until after surgery because there was an abscess hiding behind that tonsil. Both are gone now and I look forward to life without a sore throat and low grade fever all of the time.

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Comment from: Caoimhe, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I got my tonsillectomy on the 18th of December 2015. Days 1 and 2 were a piece of cake for me, I think I was so drugged up from the constant flow of drugs in the hospital and medication at home that nothing would have stopped me. Day 3 is when it all started to go downhill, when I say I was in pain I was on codeine tablets and crying twice a day. I was put on stronger tablets which then made me sick. My tongue was extremely swollen as well as my throat of course, and I was lucky to be able to drink water. Days 4 and 5 were the same, day 5 supposedly being the worst but when you feel that pain everyday feels the same. I was starving and barely able to swallow scrambled egg, all you want to do is sleep but dread waking up for the simple fact your mouth and throat have dried out. Day 6 I didn't wake up in pain and could actually talk. I am still taking my medication but I'm trying to swap codeine for aspirin. It is day 7 since the day I actually went for my operation and I don't want to speak too soon but I feel like a new person. I woke up with no pain this morning and was actually able to eat my Christmas dinner. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day so I don't cause anymore irritation but if I feel like this tomorrow I'll be a happy woman! Felt like I've been sick about 3 or 4 weeks now and it is only the end of the first week so be prepared for a long recovery if you're going to go through with this, as I'm still not back in work for another 2 weeks. All I will say is you will need someone to help you, and you must drink a lot of water. I've been getting constant care from my mam and she's been helping with me everything.

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