Tonsillectomy in Adults

 Tonsillectomy Adult – What to Expect

Tonsillectomy as an adult 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 adults are similar to the risks for children, (See The Tonsillectomy Risks

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Tonsillectomy – Adult Recovery and Risks

Most studies indicate a two to four percent risk of delayed hemorrhage [severe bleeding]. Where tonsillectomy in adults 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.

Tonsillectomy Adult

Tonsillectomy in Adults

“If I could recommend one item to buy before tonsillectomy, it would be a 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.

480 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy in Adults”

  1. I am 8 days post tonsilectomy today. I am 35 year old man from Nigeria. Surgery went on well and lasted about 20 minutes. Immediate post operative was smooth as I had the tonsilar bed soaked with local anaesthetic and was placed on strong pain killer. By day 2 I was moving about every where and everyone was marvelled at my recovery. Alas!! Day 3 up till today has been the worst day of my life. the pain has being coming in session whenever the pain killer wears off. I was not informed by the ENT surgeon that the pain will be this horrible . The comments I read on this platform gave me some relief and has encouraged me to share my experience.Wish every other patient reading this a speedy recovery. Hang-on dear the pain will soon be over.

  2. Hi i need some help please. I had a tonsilectomy 2 weeks ago in the uk. The first 10 days were the worst of my life, i was in so much pain. The pain is better now i just have a slight sore throat but i have a long black thread hanging in my throat and its so uncomfortable. It keeps moving and everything i eat is gets stuck around it and it gets to the point where i have to dig the food out as it chokes me. I have been eating ok, the first few days i would take my painkillers and force myself to eat as i thought it would heal faster. Has anyone else had this thread problem? Does anyone know what it is?? I wasnt aware that i had any kind of stitches.

  3. Hi… I’m day 7 post op. My doc told me how brutal this would be and I have to say I thought I was tough and would sail through this. Boy was I wrong. If you have kids be sure to have family help out as much as possible as my husband had to take care of me the first two days. The pain is far worse than child birth. Ice on the neck and gargling with salt water helps a lot as does chewing on gum and heat on your ears. I had significant ear pain which they say is common after removal. I’m on a liquid oxy which I feel does nothing for the pain as well as liquid Tylenol and ibuprofen. Drink as much water as you can.

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