Scary Hemorrhage After Tonsillectomy

Lucky to Be Alive – Tish’s Story

I never imagined I would say the phrase ‘I almost died from a tonsillectomy’, yet here I am. My surgeon has been in practice over 20 years, performing approximately 20 tonsillectomies a week, and says she has never encountered a post op bleed like mine. I said I wanted a plaque displayed prominantly in her office waiting room.

That being said, my situation is CLEARLY not common, and is not meant to scare anyone away from having the procedure. I am sharing it so others understand the importance of taking it easy!

I am a 41yr old mom of 2, and I knew what I was signing up for when I signed up for this surgery. My surgery was last Wednesday, 4/4/18, at 9am. I had chosen to have the surgery due to peritonsillar abscesses that developed after strep. This has been happening 3-4 a year for the last 15 years, and I was done! The procedure itself was unevenful and I was home by 11 am. The pain was a little more than I wanted, but not horrible, so I queued up Netflix and hopped in bed!

At 9pm my husband got home from the store, and as I sat up im bed, I felt it. It felt like someone had poked my throat with a needle, and a constant spray of blood was hitting the back of my throat. I ran to the bathroom to check on the amount, and when I opened my mouth it shot straight out across the mirror! Within minutes I had filled up both sinks and a bucket, and 911 was called. Minutes later I was being zipped into surgery with people everywhere trying to find a spot for an iv, trying to find my vitals (I had no bp), cutting off my clothes, etc…
I woke up in ICU 24hours after my orignal surgery, and 10 of those had been on life support. Over the next 3 days I received multiple blood transfusions, and was allowed home Saturday 4/7/18.

Today makes it day 7, and I feel great! The pain is much worse since I had to be intubated, and also because I got a lot of blood in my lungs that makes me cough, but I am on sufficient pain meds that keep me high enough I don’t mind! I have been told repeatedly that I am lucky to be alive, and had my husband been home 5 minutes later, I wouldn’t be. Not sure almost dying was worth no more sore throats, but as an adult having this procedure I knew the risks and am glad it worked out this way!
Tonsillectomy bleeding
My biggest tip? Listen to your body and your gut. My surgeon had originally said not to go to er, that it looked like more than it was, until she saw me- she said ‘thank you for hanging up on me and dialing 911 instead’. Here’s to hoping that the worst is over, most of my scabs are off now so the bleeding risk is low, because I am STARVING and want nothing more than to eat mac n cheese and a lasagna!!

1 thought on “Scary Hemorrhage After Tonsillectomy”

  1. I honestly think what happened to you will save the life of someone else in the future. I say that because I don’t believe that doctor will ever encourage someone to ignore their instincts again. I’m so happy you’re feeling better! <3

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