Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: sore throat, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

I had the tonsils out 10 days ago. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but I must say this has been very unpleasant. I am 51 and they told me it was not much fun, I figured sore throat for a few days and back to work. Boy, was I wrong. They cut away a bunch of extra tissue so my wounds were pretty large and deep. I have slept maybe 5 hours in the last ten days. Sleeping has been the worst because when you wake up your throat is dried out and the pain is at a 15. I have not been able to eat anything. Popsicles and cold water have been it. Finally getting a little relief today, hoping I am turning the corner. I hope it is all worth it in the end because right now I do not think you could get me to do it again. Good luck to all of you having the same fun.

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Comment from: rae, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 05

My daughter had a tonsillectomy on 12/22. She has had all of the typical pain symptoms, etc., until yesterday. She developed swollen neck glands, intestinal issues, blackish/greenish diarrhea, and sometimes a nauseous feeling. She does not have a fever, she is urinating, and she is eating some and drinking fluids. The doctor's office is closed until 1/4 or I would call.

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Comment from: Young Adult's Mom, 19-24 (Caregiver) Published: January 05

I am writing this on behalf of my 22 year old son. Before he had his tonsils and adenoids removed almost 3 weeks ago, I read many posts of people's experiences and I was scared after reading about so many painful recoveries. But now that he is 95 percent healed, I decided to post about his experience that wasn't nearly as bad as some of what we expected. From the 1st time I saw him in the recovery room, he was talking (never lost his voice). He was sipping water and sucking ice immediately following surgery. The same night, he was eating yogurt and Jell-O. Days 2 to 4, he was still eating soft foods. He took medicines around the clock so the pain was always manageable. His nose would drip blood when going from sitting to standing position. By days 5 to 7, scabs were beginning to fall and the pain changed to more of a burning sensation. But he noticed that if he drank water (no Gatorade) and soft foods that were as bland as possible, the burning wasn't too bad. By day 8, he did not need to take any more pain medications. By the way, he didn't even need all of the pain medications that were prescribed. He was given 4 different meds and he has leftovers of all of them. He had a follow-up visit with doctor, who released him to go back to work (no lifting). By Christmas day (day 10), he ate almost everything that was on the menu. The meats were a bit challenging to swallow. But everything else was a breeze. At this point (day 19), he feels good enough to go back to the gym but is still waiting for 2nd follow-up visit to get clearance. So I hope that this post will ease the minds of some people. After reading from some women that childbirth was easier than having a tonsillectomy, I was ready to panic. But my son's experience wasn't nearly that difficult. My best advice is to stay on top of medicine.

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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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