Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

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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Comment from: Cara76, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I am on day 7 after a tonsillectomy and I am 40 years old. This is a tough operation and the pain has peaked for me over the last 3 days, so day 5 to 7. Rather than repeat what others have said, I am going to note a few tips that are helping me to manage through it. Firstly, the first few days are ok, pain is very manageable so I suggest lots of rest, take your painkillers and eat as much as you can. It is very helpful to chew chewing gum. It exercises the throat through the chewing and produces saliva which is helping with pain and healing. The pain is worst first thing in the morning because you have not been using your throat. Grin and bear through it to get the medicines down. Once I have swallowed the medicines, I chew a piece of gum to generate saliva, it hurts but once you get the chewing going, it helps. The best of the painkillers I have been prescribed is Difene but I can only take this twice a day so I take it in the morning to allow me have breakfast and in the evening to allow me have dinner. This also gets me more or less through the day without much pain. Once I have taken my medicines in the morning, I eat a good breakfast, I find even when the first few bites are painful, if you persevere, the pain will ease and you can enjoy the food. Recovery is going to take 10 days, you need to plan to rest as much as you can for the full 10 days. I am hoping I am getting over the worst of it now and looking forward to getting back to myself next week. I have also been told (and I believe it) that nobody regrets getting the procedure, yes, it is 10 days of hard work but I am so happy they are gone and looking forward to years tonsillitis-free and without antibiotics!

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