Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

Comment from: andnepo, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I am on day 6 after tonsillectomy and uvulectomy. It hurts terribly. Typically, for the post-surgery recovery the worst day is day 3. In my case, every day after day 3 was the worst. Everything seems to be in pain; my tongue, my throat, my jaw and even teeth. The tongue remains all swollen and looks like a jelly. The painkillers do not seem to be helping too much although they make me drowsy so I can sleep. My pain cycles go like this: I start feeling a bad pain from my throat dried out despite the fact I drink a lot of water. I drink a glass of water. The process itself seems to be making micro-cracks in the throat that makes the pain virtually intolerable. At this stage, the painkillers do not seem to help. While having my throat, tongue and teeth on fire I apply ice packs and start walking in circles as staying still is even worse. About 5 to 15 minutes later the pain starts to fade. I have about 45 minutes of pain free time. Then everything goes to the phase 1. During the daytime, such pain cycles are ok. However, at night it is very bad because if under painkillers' influence I sleep a bit longer, I wake up in a horrible pain so that even drinking water feels like swallowing burning coal. Meal consumption is also quite tricky. Of course, I cannot eat any solid food so everything goes through blender. Then 40 minutes before the meal, I take the pain medicines. Then I have about 1 or 2 minutes of quick food swallowing before my throat goes on fire. Then I just follow with the steps above. I am so glad the doctor prescribed me 2 weeks off work. Initially I thought he was exaggerating but now it seems like even 2 weeks will not be enough. I knew this was a painful procedure but I did not expect it to be that painful.

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Comment from: B, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I had tonsil stones and an inflamed right tonsil for several years. I could not stand another day of disgusting stones, using a flashlight every day to clean them out, and dealing with being insecure about my breath. I decided to have them out. I'm on day 6 of recovery after my tonsillectomy. Today has been the worst in terms of pain. I thought that days 1 to 5 were painful but bearable as long as I stayed on top of the pain medications. Day 6 I woke up feeling like I swallowed razor blades. This recovery is unusual in that way. You are deceived into feeling ok by day 4 or 5, and then all of a sudden, the pain is significantly worse. I have been managing by staggering amounts of ibuprofen and Vicodin by taking a 600 mg dose of ibuprofen, then 3 hours later a dose of Vicodin. I am worried that my stomach and liver are going to be damaged by all of the pain medications but I cannot remotely function without them at this point. Ice packs on my neck help a lot especially after I wake up in the morning. A lot of people said to set alarms when sleeping to wake up and take medicines on time but I felt that it was better to let myself get all of the uninterrupted sleep possible since a great deal of healing occurs while you're asleep. But I pay the price upon waking up; waves of pain wash over me, and I quickly get an ice pack on and take my medicines and then just wait it out until they kick in. I'm glad I will never have to deal with tonsil stones again, but man, am I ready for this pain cycle to end. I wish everyone else well and a speedy recovery. Hang in there!

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Comment from: Megan, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I got my tonsils out, deviated septum fixed, and also a biopsy in my cheek all at the same time. I prepared for the worst reading every one's stories about the recovery after a tonsillectomy. I had requested 2 weeks off work hoping that was enough. The first couple days were the worst, I had to go to the doctors and get stronger medicines. After getting those, it made a huge impact. I must have got extremely lucky because exactly a week after the surgery I was going out and doing things. My advice to you is to get a humidifier because that helped when waking up in the mornings because your throat is so dry. I literally stayed in bed for a week straight except to get up and shower. And if stood up or walked around for more than 5 minutes, my throat would hurt a lot. Also my medicine said to take every 4 to 6 hours. I was on the dot every 4 hours with my medicine. Jell-O and applesauce helped. Also Top Ramen but it had to be lukewarm temperature and also the noodles had to be cut up. I lost about 10 pounds in a week and after the first week I started to get an appetite again. I couldn't talk the first week without a lot of pain. Talking would make it worse. I only noticed one of my scabs falling off when I was eating but it luckily didn't bleed. It has now been exactly 2 weeks since my surgery and I am back at work and it hurts to swallow but not as bad as it did and also yawning hurts. Hope every one's recovery goes smooth.

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Comment from: Just A Mom, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 05

My usually very active 6 year old son is on day 11 of his recovery from a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy due to recurrent tonsillitis over the last 3 years (5 plus per year). We have managed his pain with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. He has had an average recovery in my opinion. I really thought he would be back to his old self by now since I was told that children tend to recover more quickly than adults. He is still having moments of sharp pain and is on a mostly soft diet. He does love the ice packs on his neck but is overeating ice cream, imagine that! Warm items seem to increase his pain so we stick to cold and room temperature foods; juice, eggs, yogurt, apples, crackers, etc. I really hope he feels better soon. It is so hard to see your little one in pain. We are running out of movies, books, Legos, and board games.

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