Tonsillectomy Scabs- How and when do they fall off?

Regardless of the tonsillectomy method used, some sort of scab is going to form over the the area from which your tonsils have been cut, coblated, and/or cauterized.

It’s normal. It is normal.  People often become obsessed with the appearance of the tonsil beds as they recover from tonsillectomy.  Almost like a recently lost tooth, it can be hard to resist the temptation to explore the new landscape.  This too is normal.  I strongly advise against molesting the area with foreign objects.   Those scabs will fall off on their own.  Touching, poking, or scraping on them increases the risk of hemorrhage and you don’t want that.

Tonsillectomy Scabs Fall Off
Tonsillectomy Scabs Fall Off around day 7 or 8

Many Otoraryngologists, or ear, nose and throat, (ENT) specialists recommend eating a somewhat rough diet, (think dry toast), to keep the affected area clear of excessive tonsillectomy scab build-up.  This advice is most often given in the United Kingdom and Australia. Most ENT’s in the United States advise a soft diet.

Which ever route you take, there will likely be formation of tissue that covers the tonsil beds.  I recommend following the advice I give in other pages of this site; keep the throat moist, avoid sharp foods, stay hydrated, take pain medications on schedule, sleep upright if possible, and leave those tonsillectomy scabs alone.  They will normally begin to slough of at about day seven or eight of your recovery.

What Happens When Tonsillectomy Scabs Fall Off

You may feel a sharp pain occasionally as the tonsillectomy scabs fall off. This is common. This is normal. There is a slight increase in risk of bleeding while tonsillectomy scabs fall off. If you do have some bleeding, try gargling with ice cold water. This will usually stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t work, and bleeding becomes profuse, call 911 or get to a hospital immediately. Don’t panic. In there relatively rare cases, health care professionals have great success at stopping the bleed.

Daily Photos of Throat After Tonsillectomy. Caution: Scabs

423 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Scabs Fall Off

  1. I still can not eat anything and today is my day six. When I did eat some broth yesterday I threw it all up. I’ve now lost 18lbs. I’m still in so much pain, and I can’t talk. Is anyone else experiencing this?

    1. Have you tried anti-nausea pills? They’re what keep me going! I’ve been eating and drinking since day 1 and only vomited the night of day 2. Also… Try doing jaw exercises (opening/closing mouth) very slowly and a little bit at first, gradually working up to opening your mouth all the way.

  2. My ear pain is so painful. I had my surgery on May 4 and it is the worst pain I have ever felt in 30 years of life. Does any else have any issue with not being able to open the jaw wider than entering a toothbrush?

    1. Hi Nia. Yes that’s common. During the surgery the doctor wedges the jaw open. That seems to stress the joint. Should improve soon. I know it’s hard Try to remember this is temporary.

    2. Hi, yes and I feel like they towed a car with my tongue. What meds did they prescribe you? I received liquid Lortab and it works great if you can get it down. I’ve actually mixed liquid Tylenol with the Lortab. Makes it easy to take.

    3. Possible try chewing some fruity gum to loosen those muscles!

    4. I had my surgery on the 5th of may. I feel the same as you. My jaw and ears and under my chin hurt so bad. It’s worse then the throat pain. I haven’t eaten anything accept water since Thursday at midnight. If lost 15lbs. I’m in so much pain and the pain meds just seem to barely take the edge off… I’m ready to feel better.

  3. Someone please help. I cant swallow my scabs and they are stuck im almost 2 weeks in….no solid foods will stay down. The scab bring stuck is making me vomit. Im trying to drink as much as possible. These scabs are being stubborn. How can I soften them up to fall off. PLEASE HELP

    1. Gargle with diluted hydrogen peroxide

  4. Day 5 including day of my surgery, felt significant pain the day after i got home, however i no longer need pain killers at night. make sure you sleep with your mouth CLOSED! and drink water!! on day 2 i was already eating mashed potatoes. you will be fine

  5. Hey everyone, so I when I first got my op, which was Tuesday 2nd of may (I’m Day 7 if you include op day), on day 2 I was reading all of these and freaking out because of the crazy blood stories and bought all these liquid foods that were recommended and stuff like that…
    My BIGGEST advice, as much as it hurts EAT SOLID FOOD AND CHEW CHEWING GUM. Doesn’t matter what food, as long as you chew it! Because using those muscles strengthens the area and heals quicker!

    Day 1- woke up, slept a little, had a salad sandwich and two icy poles whic hurt but I was okay. I got home around 3.30pm? The anaesthetic made me really drowsy and weird, so I slept on and off and pain was about a 2/10.
    Day 2- woke up still feeling weird, ate eggs for breakfast and a boost smoothie. Read all these things and anxiety hit me like a train as I prepared myself for what was to come. I also hadn’t had any pain meds yet either, no Panadol, I’m not medications biggest fan. I had a warm shower, and apparently heat makes your blood pump, and then I had a little bleed so we went to ER but it stopped before we got there.
    Day 3(Thursday)- was in a bit of pain had one panadol, got a boost juice, ate some jelly, feeling quite sorry for myself and a bit sick in the belly. Went to sleep, slept on and off, woke up at 1.30am with this intense tickle in my right tonsil area, had water, felt quite strange and sick in the belly. Got up and had water, then coughed and felt blood on my tongue, checked, then I pulsed and raced to ER (dad was so unhappy at 2am) and they had to thicken my blood through IV, ENT specialist called in at 4 am and he pulled off and burnt a blood clot. Kept me in that night, Friday and Friday night to give me anti biotics and fluids. Scariest night of my life so far!!
    Day 4- Friday I woke up in hospital, I was fasting in case of surgery. It was a blurry day. Ate liquid lunch and liquid dinner… pain.
    Day 5- they let me out at 11! ENT saying “solid food!!” So I had hungry jacks! Chips and a burger mmmm. It hurt yes, but moving that muscle is amazing. Solid dinner… chewing gum! I also got a humidifier, it’s pretty. Started regular panadol, but it’s been manageable pain.
    Day 6- macdonalds banana bread for brekkie yum! Woke up dry and stiff but fine after water. Went to the shops quickly for an outing, KFC wrap for lunch, pizza roll with chicken for dinner… pain about a 3/10? I also eat A Lot of cookies!
    Day 7- woke up after a two hours sleep then a solid four hour sleep, dry but relatively okay. Ready for breakfast! Really hoping that things are getting better!

    Good luck to everyone recovering and anyone reading these about to get the op done! Eat solid food! You won’t die I promise xoxoix

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