Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: Emma, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 19

I had a tonsillectomy at 23. A lot of stories I read before my operation were awful but after months of continuous infections and the damage from this putting me in continuous pain whether infected or not, I decided it was the best option. Overall, although my recovery has not been particularly pleasant, I have never wished I hadn't had it done. In fact, I have actually felt better than during the times when I had tonsillitis. After waking up I ate a sandwich and some biscuits with no problem, and when I was given some tablet pain killers to try it was actually easier to swallow them than before the operation due to the lack of obstruction that my tonsils had been causing. Since leaving the hospital I haven't lost any weight as I've been able to keep a very normal diet (just cutting out spicy or acidic things) and have been taking standard headache dose painkillers. I have had pain in my ears which has been manageable and I found the pain in my throat gets much better the more I use it. I had a small increase in pain day 5 to 7 but still very manageable and by the end of day 7 most scabs were gone. No bleeding and mostly they had just gone down with food rather than spitting up. Not an operation to have done unnecessarily but if you're really suffering it isn't something to be afraid of doing.

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Comment from: RCH2288, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 05

I had my tonsillectomy on 9/21/16, and currently at day 13. The recovery is no joke, not for the faint of heart. I'm a 47 year old male and have always had a high tolerance for pain. Not with the tonsillectomy. I've never felt pain like this. As others have said, the first couple days aren't too bad so you get lulled into a false sense into thinking maybe your recovery will be easier than most. Day 3 to 5 hit and you start bargaining with God. My body shook with the pain and crying tears was not unusual. The pain medications help slightly for couple hours but all you do is look forward to the next round to stop the excruciating agony in your throat and ears. Every time you swallow it feels like gargling shards of glass with an acid chaser and the ear pain is like a screwdriver being jammed into your ear drums. I actually went to the emergency room and was put on a morphine drip on day 5 and I didn't want to leave the hospital. I would say the pain finally began to let up around day 10. I came back to work yesterday and while I am still nowhere near 100 percent each day is a little better. I am back to eating regular foods but everything tastes bland and awful. I lost 15 pounds from the surgery so that is the only benefit I can say I had. If I had to do it over again I would definitely not do it. I know everyone says in the long run I will be better off because my tonsils were extremely large, but they weren't bothering me, just unusually big.

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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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