Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

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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Comment from: Cian, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: July 06

The day of the tonsillectomy and the day after were a walk in the park, I told the doctors I was a 10/10 for pain so they'd keep me loaded with the strongest painkillers they had. I'm about to go into day 6 tomorrow, the pain the last 3 mornings have been like nothing I've ever experienced before, truly character building stuff. I've been sleeping about 6 hours a night then waking up in excruciating pain (actually 10/10), literally feels like my whole head is going to erupt; toothaches, headaches, earaches, jaw aches. It's been so bad that I can barely open my mouth to take painkillers. I normally try and have a spoonful of yogurt or two so I can take the medicine without it hurting my stomach too much, once I take them I fall asleep for another 4 or 5 hours and wake up again in pretty bad pain. I really hope tomorrow is going to be better but I doubt it. This being said, the days are pretty ok, pain is minimal and I've been eating fairly solidly throughout, it's just the mornings that are bad. Also, I've been drinking maybe 5 liters of water a day, keeping everything from drying out. I was only prescribed Solpadeine for pain which in my opinion isn't strong enough. I know it's going to be worth it because I've suffered with tonsillitis 13 plus times this year and it ruined my life so I'm looking forward to being healthy again. Surgeon also said my tonsils were huge so this might be contributing to all the pain.

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Comment from: slowlydying, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I am now on my fourth day out of tonsillectomy surgery and this has probably been the worst few days of my life. My last meal was the night before surgery (Tuesday) and since then I have had four popsicles, a couple bites of potatoes, applesauce, and baby food. I want food so badly but I know that not only can I not eat, but I can barely swallow. I started having an earache today and it's been miserable. My doctor have me all my medicine in pill form, which is just cruel. I did throw up the day after surgery and had to go back into the hospital from dehydration and extreme pain. I can't even open my mouth far enough to look at my throat, but hopefully it'll get better. Good luck my friends, this is awful.

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Comment from: JAC, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I was terrified after reading others' experiences after adult tonsillectomy. It was not that horrible for me. Basically day 1, 2, and 3 almost no pain. Day 3 I had a follow up and he offered a steroid/Toradol shot. I accepted but didn't feel overwhelmed by pain. That got me about 24 hours of absolutely no pain. When that wore off, the pain was evident, but I never even took my pain medicines. I did, however, go back and got another steroid/Toradol shot, which got me through another 24 hours. The pain probably peaked day 6 and I was surprised that it lasted through about day 10, but my ENT was awesome and gave me a 3rd shot. For this reason, I never needed my pain medicines. I did set an alarm to take Tylenol and ibuprofen around the clock. Day 11 I started feeling better. Today is day 14 and I can eat whatever I want and am totally better. I drank a lot of water throughout the 14 days and used a humidifier. I cared for my 2 year old the whole time with no help and I was ok.

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Comment from: guest, Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I am currently 7 day post tonsillectomy. I suffered from tonsillitis for years and at the end of last year had it constantly over a 3 month period, I was bed ridden, and in extreme pain. The day of my surgery I woke up in pain and was given morphine I drank some water which stung quite badly. That night I attempted to eat, and only got down a couple spoonsful of jelly. The next day I ate scrambled eggs and pears for breakfast and was released from hospital. That night I had KFC (Kentucky fried chicken) for dinner which was painful to eat. The next day I ate a lot of custards and some fruit. The day after that I ate chicken carbonara and managed some pizza apart from the crust. While it was painful I managed to eat fairly normal till day 6. Since then I haven't been able to eat anything really, it has been excruciating pain trying to swallow food, and again today all I've eaten is some yoghurt and custard. I am absolutely starving! I have horrible ear aches which are relieved a little with heat packs. I am taking Endone 3 hourly, ibuprofen 3 times a day and also Panadol when needed as well as an antibiotic to avoid infection. I wake up all through the night in pain, I get 2 hours sleep maximum at a time so I am fairly tired! I am hoping in the next few days the pain subsides a bit. Last night I slept with a vaporizer on and I also sleep sitting up on 3 pillows. I have found this experience quite painful but I know in the long run I will no longer deal with serious bouts of tonsillitis.

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