Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Liz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

The worst thing I've done is to have this tonsillectomy. I don't know if it is the level of care after the operation that has been bad. I was given no antibiotics afterwards or painkillers, just paracetamol. I then bled out a week after the operation and had to have another operation. I had stitches, however I am left with a constantly swollen throat still 9 months after the operation. It is not sore, but red and swollen, that's because I think all my throat nerves are damaged. My doctor won't refer me yet as it is too soon. I wished I'd never had it done, I'm depressed with it. The feeling something is in the back of your throat all the time, my taste is not normal and I cannot get words out correctly. I have to really concentrate when having a conversation, though talking is not painful. My doctor told me to drink ice cold water to make the swelling go down, that's all they've told me to do.

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Comment from: Shey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I am on day 5 from my surgery and am doing ok. On day 3 I started bleeding and had to go back into surgery. Day 3 was definitely the worst so far, which may have been due to the bleeding. The ear pain is definitely there but tolerable. I did not drink much the first several days but since I had the second surgery I have drunk lots and it has helped the pain tremendously. I am having trouble eating much of anything but can get apple sauce and instant potatoes down. I have done my best to stay on top of my pain medicine and that helps keep the pain manageable. I don't regret having it done. I had the initial surgery done on Thursday, second surgery done on Sunday and am back at work (desk job, minimal talking) on Tuesday.

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Comment from: Inafets, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I am a 43 year old mother of 4, and underwent tonsillectomy 2 months ago as a result of chronic, lifelong sinus troubles, inner ear problems, and tonsil stones. Pain was manageable with prescribed pain medicines, no problem up to about day 5, then just alternating between acetaminophen and ibuprofen (keeping a log) from about day 6 to 17. Ice chips helped keep me hydrated and numb the pain. Best advice is to follow doctor's instructions and listen to your body. I made sure to stay hydrated (water, sports drinks), nourished (smoothies, chicken noodle soup, and scrambled eggs were my staple foods), and very well rested. Chewing gum helped keep throat moist and jaw exercised. I even kept sugar free gum or a cough drop in my mouth while sleeping (worked for me) as well as a humidifier and essential oils diffuser with doTerra On Guard drops. Best kept secret is finding alcohol free sore throat spray to numb the throat as well as On Guard beads and lozenges (also numbing).

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Comment from: Gemgem, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I am in day 4 post tonsillectomy and am really struggling. I've had allergic reactions to 2 types of antibiotics and have now found one, and the ear pain has set in. I just want to know how long it goes on for. The throat pain I can handle, this ear pain is something else though! I can't take really strong pain killers as I am too sensitive to them and they make me feel like I can't breathe. This ear pain is unbearable. I'm trying the gum chewing, taking Co-codamol and ibuprofen, both prescribed. I am just feeling really down in the dumps. I'm 32, had a child and everything, had no idea the pain would be so bad.

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Comment from: WD, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 03

I am a 38 year old Dutch guy and had my tonsils removed 18 days ago due to big tonsil size and sleep apnea. This site has been helpful to me (especially in the middle of the night when I could not sleep due to excruciating pain from the tonsillectomy), so I would like to share my experience with you as well. Overall, the stories described here really correspond to actual reality of what is happening after you have your tonsils removed. For me, it really was terrible. Before I underwent surgery I thought it couldn't be that bad, but it is. Expect at least 10 days of awful pain and ask for enough paracetamol, NSAIDs and definitely morphine, you will need it. After 12 days the pain slowly subsides and I could start eating normal food again. I lost 4 kg in 12 days. The pain is worst in the early morning and evening. Take your medicines on regular time so blood levels are optimal. Now, on day 18, it still feels as a mild tonsillitis, so I expect total recovery time will be around 3 weeks. Take your time for that, as you will need it and don't underestimate the pain as I did. Eventually I am happy that my tonsils are out, but the pain I gave gone through were the worst I have ever experienced. I would only advise to undergo tonsillectomy if you really, really, really have to. Good luck!

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