Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Alex, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

I am on day 10 post tonsillectomy. For the most part, the pain has been pretty manageable with paracetamol. The pain peaked on days 6 to 9 and was worst at night, but manageable with Endone. What helped was sleeping with head elevated, drinking loads of ice cold drinks and sucking on ice chips. I have been able to eat normal food such as toast, but anything acidic like tomato caused pain.

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Comment from: dianna15, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I am a 21 year old female. I received a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy three weeks ago. I am going to be honest, the recovery period is not fun. I received the surgery and felt pretty decent after surgery. Days 1 and 2 I was very tired, but able to eat pancakes and some harder foods, it actually felt good on my throat. My appetite was hardly there though. Days 3 to 7 were the worst. My throat felt like I was swallowing razor blades. I was taking an antibiotic and it was making me very nauseous. I had the worst stomach pain. I finally called my doctor on the 6th day because I couldn't take it anymore and he told me to stop taking them. I started to feel better! But then, on day 7 I woke up with the worst ear pain I had ever had. My ENT had told me this could happen, but I had no idea that it would be this bad. I couldn't sleep more than 4 hours without waking up. I was extremely tired. I had stopped taking pain killers around day 5, but I had to start taking them again at day 7 because they were the only thing that could keep me asleep. I didn't open my mouth for a week. I also had very bad breath and my tongue had so many canker sores. I chewed gum to help move my mouth without actually speaking. I returned to work on day 11. But, I did not feel fully better until day 12. I am almost at three weeks and I still have some soreness when I wake up, but I am not fully back to normal and healed fine. This recovery for adults is not fun, but it overall helped my health, so I say it is worth it.

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Comment from: Patricia, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I received a tonsillectomy and had my adenoids removed on a Friday around lunch/evening. At first it didn't seem bad and the pain seemed to be very tolerable. Right after the surgery I went to a local cafe and had a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese and I felt pretty good. The first few days were really easy, it wasn't until day 3 and 4, and so on where the pain became unbearable. The ENT doctor never prepared me for the pain I was to endure. The night of day 3 and day 4 the pain was an 8/10. It wasn't until day 5 when the pain became excruciating. I had developed this awful pain in my ears and throat; that was an unfathomable pain. It woke me up every single hour of the night and I would wake up in a pool of my own sweat and drool from the pain. That pain persisted to day 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. There is no pain like this. This will bring you down to your knees and have you bargaining your life. I am currently on day 11 and while the pain has gone down to a 9/10 maybe an 8/10, it still persists. If there is one thing I regret in my life, it's having this pointless surgery. When I met up with my doctor post-operation he told me they were the biggest tonsils he had ever seen. While I did have difficulties with my tonsils, if I had the choice to go back in time and decide if I needed this surgery I would absolutely say no.

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Comment from: Kelly, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I had my tonsils taken out 4 days ago and I've lost 15 pounds since my tonsillectomy. I've been drinking cold water like crazy. I have a huge 64 oz Hydro Flask and that thing is my best friend, constantly filling it up nonstop, and urinating every 15 minutes. I think since I've been keeping my throat moist all the time my recovery has been quite pleasant. I've been reading forums on the recovery process and I was terrified of the pain. But the best advice is keep on drinking cold water. The only thing I've been eating is protein drinks I bought from Costco and chicken broth with egg drop soup. Ice cream is ok, I didn't really care for it though. At night time make sure you take your pain medication, and drink frequently because you will feel your scabs at the back of your throat. I would wake up usually around 3 to 4 am and take more pain medicines.

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Comment from: Hailey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

Good news! I am currently on the 13th day of my recovery from tonsillectomy and am pretty much fully recovered. I haven't had the need for any pain killers over the last couple of days. My ENT doctor actually told me due to the severity of my previous infections my tonsils were very difficult to get out and I should expect some severe pain. While it was pretty sore for the first couple of days it was nothing as unbearable as I have read so many people say, just a pretty sore throat but the painkillers took it away apart from when swallowing. I made sure to drink regularly and eat soft foods straight away (I think this really helped). Tylenol 3 made me feel pretty woozy so I moved onto ibuprofen and found that to be perfect after 4 or 5 days. It controlled the pain and I only really felt it when eating or when the painkillers were wearing off. I was out shopping after 4 days and even managed a night out for dinner and a couple of drinks with friends 7 days after surgery. Although I felt good at the time I did feel pretty lousy the next morning. I think the key is to recover slowly. I am writing this because I read so many horror stories (my husband, even more) about the procedure I canceled it once and doubted ever going through with it. I know this is just my experience, although another colleague of mine recently had it at another hospital and she also recovered speedily, but I hope this will let those that are overwhelmed with negativity know there are some positive experiences too. All the best! My top tips are: Don't believe all the negative things you hear, if you do you have lost the battle already. Eat and drink as regularly as you can. Don't rush back to activity but do try to keep busy, it really helps take your mind off it. Be positive about it. (It's just a sore throat. right!)

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

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