Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Stef_Ann92, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I just had surgery yesterday for the removal of my tonsils and adenoids. Today is basically day 2 of recovery after tonsillectomy. I'm 20 years old, and I have to say, take the medicines the doctor gives you. The pain is really bad, my uvula is incredibly huge, I can barely swallow water or watered down baby food. Hopefully swelling goes down soon and the pain dies down. Drink a lot of water and get plenty of rest.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Shy, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

This forum helped me a lot while I was/am recovering from tonsillectomy, so therefore I thought I'd talk about my experience. I'm a 20 year old male, huge into exercising, and I love to eat. Today marks day 10 of my surgery, and boy, were the past week and a half awful up until yesterday! Day 1 (after the surgery), I had no pain up until night time, where I woke up multiple times due to dry throat and inability to swallow. I barely ate the first day, I had all popsicles. Day 2, awful. A lot of pain, scabs began forming, I couldn't even down a smoothie or a popsicle without being in a sharp type of pain. Day 3 to 5 where all the same, painful to eat and waking up multiple times in the middle of the night. I had a slight bleeding in the back of my throat on day 4 due to just too much exercise I guess (walking around too quickly), but if that happens just gargle with ice water and put an ice pack on your neck. Day 6, I started feeling better, day 7 I had a little bit of a relapse with minor pain, then day 8 I was finally able to start talking again and functioning and eating more than I was able to. Day 9 and day 10 have been the best so far, mild sore throat, no more pain killers. My best advice for everyone, drink a lot of water, chew on a lot of ice (constantly had ice in my mouth), constantly have an ice pack on your neck to keep the swelling down, and honestly force feed yourself because you are going to lose a lot of weight (I lost 12 pounds of muscle that took a while to gain). Just know that when the pain gets to its worse, that's when you'll start feeling better the next day. Get this done sooner rather than later if you're debating it, because the older you get, the longer and harder it is. I took 2 weeks off from work as well for the recovery, I thought before maybe I would need one week but I was wrong, you definitely need more than 7 days to recover. Good luck!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: michelle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 11

I had my tonsils and tissue remaining from adenoids on Friday, June 5, 2015. I stated reading all these forums before and was about to cancel my surgery. I get strep at least 4 times a year and have tonsil stones. All I can say is drink and drink. I swear cold water and tons of it is the key. I started drinking nonstop as soon as I got home. I tried Gatorade but it didn't taste good. I think worse part was drinking the antibiotic, it tastes so bad. I only took 3 pain pills, one each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. Not because I was in pain but I was afraid to wake in pain. I only take children's Tylenol and I didn't even take today. I am so happy I didn't experience what other people have. I am certain it was due to all the fluid. Yes, I have a sore throat but that's expected. . I'm still not talking because it feels like it strains my throat. Just the same as when you have a bad sore throat I have been drinking chicken broth, butternut squash soup and tons of ice pops. I tried yogurt but it made me so phlegmy. Let's hope it gets better each day. I did make the mistake of cooking and please don't do the same, it made me very nauseous. Today I had eggs and they were yummy. Please just drink a lot, it seems to be the key. Sleep with your head propped up. Do not look at your throat, it is horrible to look at.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Simon, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I'm 39 year old male and had my tonsils out 3 weeks ago now. The recovery from tonsillectomy is very painful, and I still have a mild soreness when swallowing and my voice isn't itself, sounds clammy. The hospital gave me a sandwich to eat straight after the operation, which was no fun! I enjoyed eating ice cream most as it goes down well, is cold and tastes nice. Water with ice too and porridge made with water. Avoid tomatoes! And make sure you take all the painkillers they give you. Don't be a warrior with the medicines, food or exercise, do as the doctor says. I heard of a friend's friend who went for a walk on day 2 and had a hemorrhage and nearly died from it; low risk of this I'm sure, but take it easy!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: missyhaze, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I am 24 years old and had tonsillectomy done approximately 12 days ago. I'm not going to sugar coat it; this was the worst pain I have ever experienced. But I am sure it will be worth not having strep throat numerous times a year and the amount of work I was missing because of it. I highly suggest having someone to look after you for the first 3 days. I live alone and was lucky to have my mother fly down for days 1 to 3. Also, it is important that they start you off on your medication schedule since you will be out of it. It is super important that you chart your medicine. You don't want to end up taking too much and ultimately get sick and throw up from doing so. Go shopping several days prior to your surgery. Things I was able to eat were tapioca pudding, Ensure (important for nutrients), applesauce, Jell-O, lots of Gatorade, Odwalla or Naked smoothie drinks, etc. Do not drink anything acidic, and stay away from dairy, it will cause you to produce more mucus and want to swallow more. After about day 5, I suggest drinking warm chicken broth to help with the scabs. Days 1 to 3: Pain level was at about a 6 out of 10. This is because most of the anesthesia is still in your body. Don't let this fool you. Days 4 to 7: The absolute worst of recovery. Your scabs will start to fall off here. Make sure you are constantly drinking water so your throat doesnt dry out. I set my alarm every 30 minutes after lying down to sleep, to wake up and drink water. Sleep is your enemy, as much I hate to tell you. I suggest doing as I did and also sleeping with an ice pack as much as possible. Make sure you take your medicines throughout the night. You will regret falling asleep without doing so. Days 8-10: Scabs are all gone and you can finally eat things of substance. Try to wean yourself off the pain medications. I only take them for sleep at this point. My follow up appointment is tomorrow. I lost a total of 10 pounds (now at 104 pounds, yikes) from not eating. Make sure you are drinking Ensure or something similar to keep your body nourished. Good luck with your surgery and remember it will all be worth it in the end.

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.