Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Jonesy, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 15

I'm on recovery day number 7 after tonsillectomy and the pain isn't too bad. My ears hurt the most when trying to get liquids down so I remained hydrated with ice chips. I didn't have the easiest recovery though. I was rushed to the emergency room due to one of my scabs falling off prematurely. And I was bleeding profusely. There was a blood clot and the doctor had to use suction to get the clot out! I'm a 21 year old man in the military with an extremely high tolerance to pain and that there was the most painful thing I've ever encountered. I had to hold my fiancee's and the medical assistant's hand throughout the process. I never let the doctor see me cry even though when he left tears were just a flowing! Not fun at all! But for the most part you'll get used to the pain. I'm still wanting a full night sleep and a full meal. I'm scared to get on a scale to see what it might say! Have someone who can tend to you as much as possible you'll never know what you'll need. Good luck!

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Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I'm a 54 year old woman who has had a swollen tonsil for nearly 2 years. Being absolutely terrified of the tonsillectomy surgery I finally decided to do it. I'm on day 7 of recovery and while I'm happy it's over I'm having some issues. My diet has been green and strawberry Jell-O and water. I was given liquid hydrocodone which had to be downgraded to liquid codeine. It burned terribly. I threw up twice before leaving the recovery room and several times for the first 2 days. They give you all these medications, pain medicines, steroids, antibiotics, a medicated mouthwash and anti-nausea pills which made me nauseous. Days 1 and 2 not much sleep, very dry throat and it was hard to exhale through my nose while lying flat. Day 3 I could no longer take antibiotics or steroids, they made me vomit and cry. I tried eating some stuffing yesterday and it felt like it got stuck in there. I tried big gulps of water to dislodge it but it got worse this morning and bled a little. It actually feels like I'm back on day 3. I am not taking the steroids or antibiotics and I have cut back on the codeine. I am not having any other pains. So the deal is, it hurts awfully for a few days, you see some light at the end of the tunnel then it hurts exactly the same as day 3 for a while! Force yourself to drink water or be dehydrated which is awful. Thankfully my husband forced me to drink, I'd cry but I did it. Looking forward to spending my summer on the boat with my little grandkids. Good luck everyone!

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Comment from: dee1789, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I had my tonsillectomy surgery done on February 23/16. I am currently on day 8 of my recovery. Prior to my surgery I read a lot of recovery stories and I have to say they were all mostly accurate. Day 1 to 6 for me were the absolute worst. The pain was unbearable, and I suffered from lack of sleep, and lack of eating and drinking due to pain. Ice chips saved me, they were the one item I tolerated best. Keep up with the pain medicines, don't wait until 4 hours approaches, take them every 3 hours, never get to the point where you feel the pain starting again. Also I couldn't swallow the pills so I was grinding them to powder and putting them in ice cream, yogurt, and pudding. The constipation is horrible too, took me one week before I started going. Buy laxatives and stool softeners and take them every day, it helps. It is one experience I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Make sure you keep hydrated, sleep as much as you can, use beverages full of protein, and have someone who can spend a few days with you. My mom was my savior, if I didn't have her I don't know what I would have done. Time does pass by quickly even if it feels like a lifetime, before you know it a week will pass by. Good luck to you all!

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Comment from: Alice, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 29

I on day 5 after having my tonsils out and so far I'm managing. I'm 26 and have taken a full week off work but I think to be safe I'll work from home for a few more days after that. It's been ok so far. My surgeon stressed that I had to eat and drink. He said it's just so important to keep drinking and eating as this keeps away infection and helps the healing process (even though it seems counter intuitive). So I've been doing that and feel a lot better already. It's still sore to swallow and still hurts to talk so I've got a way to go. The worst was when I vomited on day 2 after taking codeine. But even then I survived. I've tasted a bit of spot bleeding maybe twice which is apparently normal as long as it goes away quickly. It's not a pleasant experience but you can get through it as long as you keep eating and drinking I think. It's worth it in the end.

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Comment from: janaltekia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I had my tonsils removed on 2/11 and it has been the worst experience ever. The pain is almost unbearable. Days 1 to 8 were awful, I could not eat or swallow anything but Jell-O or pudding. Water had to be room temperature or I got shooting pains down my neck. Then there is the ear pain which makes it feel as if your head is going to pop off. I had to sleep sitting up because the pressure would hurt so bad if I tried to lie down. My doctor prescribed me Norco but it did not help because I could not swallow it. I asked him to call me in a liquid medication and this man called in Tylenol 3 in pill form. Needless to say for the first 2 days I was in so much pain that my mother gave me a fentanyl patch. This took away some of the pain but I still was unable to eat. I ended up losing 15 pounds. Now this is day 12 and I still have pain in my ears. I can only eat small bites of soft foods. I am going to my follow up appointment sometime this week. If you have to have this procedure, please request liquid pain medication. I think my recovery would not have been so bad had I not been in so much pain.

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