Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Caoimhe, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I got my tonsillectomy on the 18th of December 2015. Days 1 and 2 were a piece of cake for me, I think I was so drugged up from the constant flow of drugs in the hospital and medication at home that nothing would have stopped me. Day 3 is when it all started to go downhill, when I say I was in pain I was on codeine tablets and crying twice a day. I was put on stronger tablets which then made me sick. My tongue was extremely swollen as well as my throat of course, and I was lucky to be able to drink water. Days 4 and 5 were the same, day 5 supposedly being the worst but when you feel that pain everyday feels the same. I was starving and barely able to swallow scrambled egg, all you want to do is sleep but dread waking up for the simple fact your mouth and throat have dried out. Day 6 I didn't wake up in pain and could actually talk. I am still taking my medication but I'm trying to swap codeine for aspirin. It is day 7 since the day I actually went for my operation and I don't want to speak too soon but I feel like a new person. I woke up with no pain this morning and was actually able to eat my Christmas dinner. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day so I don't cause anymore irritation but if I feel like this tomorrow I'll be a happy woman! Felt like I've been sick about 3 or 4 weeks now and it is only the end of the first week so be prepared for a long recovery if you're going to go through with this, as I'm still not back in work for another 2 weeks. All I will say is you will need someone to help you, and you must drink a lot of water. I've been getting constant care from my mam and she's been helping with me everything.

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Comment from: Erikka90, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

Okay, let me be the person to assure you that not everyone has a terrible time! I am 25 and had my tonsils removed on December 17 (that's right, over Christmas). Day of surgery went smoothly, I had enough pain when I was in recovery to ask for IV pain medications. I was supposed to stay overnight in the hospital, that wasn't going to happen, so I left the hospital around suppertime and went home to my own bed! Day 1, I slept a lot, by sleep I mean waking every 20 minutes to drink water; you must hydrate! Super important! I took Tylenol 3 (2 tabs every 3 hours) for pain management. I honestly didn't like how it felt to eat popsicles, so I didn't. I drank room temperature water, tried some soup broth. I had nausea on day 2 and vomited twice. Day 3, I had same amount of pain, like a 3 or 4 on scale to 10. Mostly the sides of my tongue and definitely my ears hurt. End of day 3 I stopped taking the Tylenol 3 because I thought maybe that was why I was vomiting, and it worked. I now just take Tylenol 1 (over the counter product in Canada). Day 4 to day 7 I ate Kraft dinner, blueberry muffins from Tim's, Lipton Cup of Soup, and Alphagetti (although the tomato sauce was irritating), and I attended my husband's hockey game (day 5). Sometimes my pain was a 0 or a 1, when I swallowed it turned into a 2. Not bad at all. Day 7 was Christmas Eve; I ate a little potatoes and gravy, stuffing, carrots, turkey was hard but I ate a bite or two. I even ate some cherry cheesecake! All the while drinking massive amounts of water to get all the food down! Day 8 is today, it is Christmas! My tongue is the worst, feels like someone took a bite out of the back of it and it is sore down the sides, my ears hurt but what else is new, and still pain remains at a 1 or 2. I ate basically the same as day 7, added on a shortbread cookie! Overall this experience hasn't been as awful as everyone described it to be, my pain has been minimal except for when I wake up. I just drink a bunch of sips of water and it alone reduces the pain back down, pop a Tylenol 1 and I'm fine in 10 minutes. I keep on top of the medications, I sleep with a humidifier as well!

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Comment from: TJH, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I am a 20 year old girl, who is on day 5 of her tonsillectomy recovery and have found the whole process to be incredibly surprising (not in a good way) and painful! I went to my doctor today because the pain had been getting so intense that I couldn't eat food, swallow medicines, talk or even drink water at points. Now I am on the hard stuff (codeine tablets and others) the pain is a lot more bearable but I have noticed a rather annoying side-effect; bad breath! I guess it's understandable that bad breath would occur due to the healing wounds and horrible icky white scars at the back of my throat, but no matter how many times I brush my teeth, chew gum or rinse with antiseptic mouthwash, the smell is never gone for long. I guess I am just hoping that others have had the bad breath issue before and can tell me it goes away after a while!

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Comment from: Maria, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I am 58 and had the tonsillectomy procedure 4 days ago. I can feel the swollen tissue but dare not look after seeing my 16 year old daughter's last year. It was nasty and I'll pass out if I see that in my mouth. I itched for 3 days after seeing that in her throat. I took Lortab on schedule every four hours until today so pain was minimal except for a brief second of burning when swallowing it. I ate ice cream, Popsicle, cold juices, etc. But Ramen noodles were fabulous today! I also had potato soup and well done broccoli. Even with the medicines I could not sleep! I propped up on pillows but if I lay back the swollen tissue would collapse and feel like a balloon. I laid on my side and leaned my head forward for a few moments of stolen shut eye. But soon all the gurgling would wake me again. I'm sleepy and dizzy from this crazy narcotics. It has been about 6 hours and no pain. I'm aiming for some sleep tonight so I'm going back with the medicines. My tongue does seem swollen. I think it has been since the surgery but I never noticed until now. The years of tonsil stones were horrible. I think the surgery was worth it. And on this Friday, I plan to eat a small piece of Christmas ham!

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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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