Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with tonsillectomy.

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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Comment from: Sheena, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

I had tonsillectomy when I was 30. I had suffered on and off with tonsillitis since I was a child and I had reached the stage where they felt they were infected more often than not and that I had to have them removed. The best way I can describe tonsillectomy is that it felt like I had tonsillitis again. I had a pain at the back of my throat. The nurses insured that I had ibuprofen and paracetamol at the right intervals to keep the pain at bay. I felt this was sufficient for the level of pain I felt. At the start I could hear a crunch in my ear but that disappeared after a few days. Honestly it was not that bad. The sorest days for me were days 5 to 7. I was told the pain could get worse as it knitted together. Again it was bearable, it just felt sore when I swallowed. In the end I took a few painkillers over these days just to ensure the pain did not get worse. My eating was normal but I ate soft foods like omelets and pasta at the start. I am now 2 months after the operation and I couldn't be happier with deciding to go through with it. I feel I have more energy but mostly it is the weight that is off my shoulders now. The worry of tonsillitis is gone.

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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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