Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Erikka90, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

Okay, let me be the person to assure you that not everyone has a terrible time! I am 25 and had my tonsils removed on December 17 (that's right, over Christmas). Day of surgery went smoothly, I had enough pain when I was in recovery to ask for IV pain medications. I was supposed to stay overnight in the hospital, that wasn't going to happen, so I left the hospital around suppertime and went home to my own bed! Day 1, I slept a lot, by sleep I mean waking every 20 minutes to drink water; you must hydrate! Super important! I took Tylenol 3 (2 tabs every 3 hours) for pain management. I honestly didn't like how it felt to eat popsicles, so I didn't. I drank room temperature water, tried some soup broth. I had nausea on day 2 and vomited twice. Day 3, I had same amount of pain, like a 3 or 4 on scale to 10. Mostly the sides of my tongue and definitely my ears hurt. End of day 3 I stopped taking the Tylenol 3 because I thought maybe that was why I was vomiting, and it worked. I now just take Tylenol 1 (over the counter product in Canada). Day 4 to day 7 I ate Kraft dinner, blueberry muffins from Tim's, Lipton Cup of Soup, and Alphagetti (although the tomato sauce was irritating), and I attended my husband's hockey game (day 5). Sometimes my pain was a 0 or a 1, when I swallowed it turned into a 2. Not bad at all. Day 7 was Christmas Eve; I ate a little potatoes and gravy, stuffing, carrots, turkey was hard but I ate a bite or two. I even ate some cherry cheesecake! All the while drinking massive amounts of water to get all the food down! Day 8 is today, it is Christmas! My tongue is the worst, feels like someone took a bite out of the back of it and it is sore down the sides, my ears hurt but what else is new, and still pain remains at a 1 or 2. I ate basically the same as day 7, added on a shortbread cookie! Overall this experience hasn't been as awful as everyone described it to be, my pain has been minimal except for when I wake up. I just drink a bunch of sips of water and it alone reduces the pain back down, pop a Tylenol 1 and I'm fine in 10 minutes. I keep on top of the medications, I sleep with a humidifier as well!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: TJH, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I am a 20 year old girl, who is on day 5 of her tonsillectomy recovery and have found the whole process to be incredibly surprising (not in a good way) and painful! I went to my doctor today because the pain had been getting so intense that I couldn't eat food, swallow medicines, talk or even drink water at points. Now I am on the hard stuff (codeine tablets and others) the pain is a lot more bearable but I have noticed a rather annoying side-effect; bad breath! I guess it's understandable that bad breath would occur due to the healing wounds and horrible icky white scars at the back of my throat, but no matter how many times I brush my teeth, chew gum or rinse with antiseptic mouthwash, the smell is never gone for long. I guess I am just hoping that others have had the bad breath issue before and can tell me it goes away after a while!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Maria, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I am 58 and had the tonsillectomy procedure 4 days ago. I can feel the swollen tissue but dare not look after seeing my 16 year old daughter's last year. It was nasty and I'll pass out if I see that in my mouth. I itched for 3 days after seeing that in her throat. I took Lortab on schedule every four hours until today so pain was minimal except for a brief second of burning when swallowing it. I ate ice cream, Popsicle, cold juices, etc. But Ramen noodles were fabulous today! I also had potato soup and well done broccoli. Even with the medicines I could not sleep! I propped up on pillows but if I lay back the swollen tissue would collapse and feel like a balloon. I laid on my side and leaned my head forward for a few moments of stolen shut eye. But soon all the gurgling would wake me again. I'm sleepy and dizzy from this crazy narcotics. It has been about 6 hours and no pain. I'm aiming for some sleep tonight so I'm going back with the medicines. My tongue does seem swollen. I think it has been since the surgery but I never noticed until now. The years of tonsil stones were horrible. I think the surgery was worth it. And on this Friday, I plan to eat a small piece of Christmas ham!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Far, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I suffered from chronic tonsillitis all my life. I had to get the surgery done now, it was high time. I had read that it is going to be too much painful, but the tonsil aches were so much painful and frequent (it was always pain, only sometimes I was free of pain, sometimes!) that I had to take the decision of undergoing the surgery. First 3 or 4 days were extremely painful and every morning when I woke up, I felt the pain was only increasing. But after 4 or 5 days of the surgery, the pain started to reduce and I noticed I could swallow without much pain. But after the 5th/6th day, the pain looks different. It feels like I have my tonsils again. Everyone in the family is laughing at me when I say this, but I feel the exact pain which I've always felt with my tonsils. How on earth it is possible, I don't know. I'm on the 11th day today and lost. Let's hope this is also just a part of recovering and that the pain will be over soon. Good luck everyone.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Hlh77, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I'm a 38 year old woman who really didn't have throat problems until about 5 months ago when I had recurring strep for 4 months straight. Obviously it was time to do something. I read a lot of testimonials about other people's experiences and am so glad I did; otherwise I wouldn't have been prepared on what to do. So here were some things that were helpful for me. Wake up every 30 to 60 minutes to drink or suck on ice. Your throat will thank you. Eat warm liquid Jell-O, sounds weird, but tastes yummy and coats the throat beautifully. I found that frozen things actually hurt me a little, so warm liquids were my best friends. Take it easy. I know this is an outpatient surgery and most people think this is minor, but you need to rest up. The pain medicines caused serious constipation issues so try to stay ahead of that if you have issues with that. The doctors can give you some advice of what to use. When my ears started hurting (because they probably will) a heating pad became my other best friend. My pain has been lasting longer than some of the other people's, but it is less on day 14.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Tonsillectomy - Risks and Complications Question: What was the cause, risk, and complication of you needing a tonsillectomy?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.