Adult Tonsillectomy Recovery – How to Recover Faster

Recovery From Adult Tonsillectomy

adult tonsillectomy

Adult Tonsillectomy

Adult tonsillectomy and in particular, adult tonsillectomy recovery, is quite different than tonsillectomy for children. The methods employed for tonsillectomy in adults and children are generally the same, (See Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Methods page), and the risks for tonsillectomy in adults are similar to the risks for children, (See The Tonsillectomy Risks

Adult Tonsillectomy Recovery and Risks

Most studies indicate a two to four percent risk of delayed hemorrhage [severe bleeding]. Where adult tonsillectomies differs most from tonsillectomy in children is in the recovery. Recovery from childhood tonsillectomy generally takes five to seven days. Recovery from  tonsillectomy in adults usually requires at least ten days and more often two weeks.

Before deciding to get an adult tonsillectomy, it’s important to choose a time frame in which you have the time and the support. Recovering over your favorite Holiday might be a good choice in terms of time, (eg holiday leave from work or school), but it may not be a time that people will be available to help you.

The pain associated with adult tonsillectomy recovery, by almost all accounts, is more intense than that experienced by children. Some theorize that children haven’t had as much time without pain as adults and thus their frame of reference is different than adult tonsillectomy patients. Others assume that children may be less able to articulate their discomfort. Having read the accounts of THOUSANDS of adult tonsillectomies in the forum,(See Tonsillectomy Forum page), I can say with some confidence that generally, the younger the patient, the easier the tonsillectomy recovery. There are of course exceptions. I’ve read from many middle aged adults who had a fairly smooth recovery. Perhaps they read up on this website and prepared well. Perhaps they had good genes.  In any case, many time an adult tonsillectomy recovery is better than the horror stories we hear about.

“If I could recommend one item to buy before tonsillectomy, it would be this Honeywell humidifier. My readers know how important moist air is to a healing throat. I bought one of these years ago and still use it daily” -Greg

I’d like to take a moment here to make a suggestion. As you read through the people’s accounts in the various chat rooms, message boards, and adult tonsillectomy forums, consider this: People having a harder time, may be more prone to seek out information and share their experience in these venues. Adults experiencing milder tonsillectomy recoveries, might be less apt to be posting. I don’t want to drag Richard Nixon into my website, but this silent majority may be quietly recovering and you’ll never hear from them.
My advice is to research as much as you can, talk with your doctor, talk with your family and friends, and talk with your employer before scheduling your adult tonsillectomy. I wish you all the best.

I’ve put together a collection of items that I think would be helpful, if not essential, to making tonsillectomy recovery a little more pleasant. Check out the Tonsillectomy General Store.

Before you schedule an appointment to have your tonsils removed do a little research.
-Greg Tooke 

241 thoughts on “Adult Tonsillectomy Recovery – How to Recover Faster

  1. Lynn

    I am day 11 after surgery. Before surgery I was so worried after having read many horror stories about tonsillectomy’s.
    In fact a few nights before the surgery I was ready to cancel, I was so nervous. I am glad I didn’t !
    I can honestly say it wasn’t the easiest to recover from but I am feeling so great today that I am glad I did it.
    My advice to everyone is to be prepared. I had a humidifier, icepacks for throat, essential oils (lavender and melaleuca), gatorade, popsicles, ice chips, throat sprays, movies, etc.
    The first few days- 1-5 were the worst for me. I had complications during the procedure and needed oxygen to breath so I went home with oxygen. I was able to get off it by day 4.
    I ate ice chips and jello for the first two days. The cold felt amazing! Numbed my throat. I set my alarm to wake me up every 30 mins and made myself drink ice water and ice chips- the more I drank the better I felt.
    I put the lavender on the outside of my neck with the ice packs.
    Many comments I had read said they had severe pain in their ears and neck. The ice packs helped with that and I never had horrible pain because of it.
    Once I started feeling the scabs coming off- day 5-8 I started gargling with cold salt water with a drop of the melalueca oil in it to get rid of infection.
    Around day 6 or 7 I couldn’t drink cold anymore and just drank room temp water. Just remember to drink!!
    I can say that it is easier if you realize that you will be in pain for 2 weeks. If you are lucky like I was in feeling better on the 11th day then that is great.
    Everyone heals differently. But if you are prepared and sleep and take your pain pills you will do fine!!!
    Oh, my last advice to you. My pharmacist friend gave me the advice to cut my oxycodone in half and take it every 2 hours instead of every four hours and that helped a lot! It was the same dose just got into my body faster each time.
    I also used my phone to wake me up and my notes in my phone to tell me what times i took my pills.
    Good luck! You will be happy you did it!

  2. Allison

    If you’re thinking about getting a tonsillectomy I highly recommend getting a coblation tonsillectomy. Coblation tonsillectomies damage less healthy tissue than other methods. Many people go into the surgery not knowing what method their doctor is going to use, and the methods vary greatly and can affect how well your recovery goes. I had a smooth recovery with minimal pain, no bleeding and no complications. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

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