Patient Comments: Tonsillectomy - Risks and Complications

What was the cause, risk, and complication of you needing a tonsillectomy?

Comment from: T.C., 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I am 34 and have had sleep apnea forever. My tonsils were between the size of grapes and golf balls. They produced tonsil stones and had massive cracks in them. Still most surgeons didn't want to take them out! I finally found a great surgeon who used the forceps method to remove them. I don't know if that's what has made all the difference or not, but I feel pretty good. I took OxyContin for the first 24 hours, Tylenol the next 24 and haven't needed anything else since. The lidocaine lollipops were a big help those first days. Now I eat sherbet prior to oatmeal or eggs or swallowing pills. I tried to stay hydrated, sleep at a 30 degree angle and didn't have dairy for the first 72 hours as per doctor's advice. I felt like my tongue was pretty swollen the first few days and I couldn't move it but now it is fine. I could already breathe easier driving home from the hospital! I'm glad I had the procedure!

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Comment from: S2s44, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 06

I had several reasons to get my tonsils removed. I have horrible sinus problems and the drainage would always run to my throat and cause it to be sore and I would cough up a lot, all through the night and all day. It was bad. Starting in 2012 I had been introduced to tonsil stones. Ironically it was right after college and I freaked out when I saw them. I thought it was an infection but later found out my brother and sister had them. I managed them for two years easily enough on top of the other issues. I also have ridiculously large tonsils. No one ever told me to get them looked at until I was an adult. The past year I have been to the doctor at least 8 times for my tonsils. This past time they were so swollen and infected, though I have never had strep throat, and they were cutting off my air supply. That was the last straw for me. At that time I scheduled my tonsillectomy surgery. I am now tonsil free as of 11.3.15.

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Comment from: Mandyrenee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I am a 32 year old female and had sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils. I had mine removed a week ago and this is terrible. I feel like I've swallowed glass. I have an autoimmune disease that causes overall pain, and so I have a pretty high pain tolerance. But this pain is different and seems never ending. I can't eat very much and when I do it isn't enjoyable because it always feels like food is stuck in the back of my throat. All I can say is keep rinsing with warm salt water and keep your mouth very clean. Also lozenges with benzocaine help tremendously.

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Comment from: Alex, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I've had my tonsillectomy done at a private clinic in London, UK. I was anxious but happy to get rid of the recurring tonsillitis I've have had for the past 3 years. The last I had 2 month ago was the worst: quinsy. My tonsillectomy was performed yesterday. I have been lucky so far. My only pain was swallowing, no blood loss, nothing extra. Having ice cream was a challenge as it triggered the pain, however eating hard stuff was fine. I slept well last night, apart from hearing myself snore which is not nice. The only pain I've got is swallowing. All the best!

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Comment from: Mark, Male (Patient) Published: August 26

I've been told I have severe sleep apnea. I've been using CPAP for 7 months but have recently stopped using it. I felt it wasn't helping and always felt suffocated. I just went to the ENT and was told I have a large tongue. He explained the process would be to remove uvula and tonsils (even though there's not an issue with them) then use RFA (radiofrequency ablation) to reduce the back of my tongue. Also the RFA would need to be done from time to time over my lifespan (though he didn't specify how often.)

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Comment from: Megra, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 26

Tonsillectomy is the worst pain I have ever had! The first 3 to 4 days were better than day 7! Have to hydrate all the time. Bring some water with you everywhere you go. And I suggest setting the alarm to drink and take pain medicines. Don't be a hero! I hope this was worth it.

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