Tonsillectomy Tips From Patients

Tonsillectomy Tips

As I’ve written, there was much that I did not know as I planned, experienced, and recovered from my own tonsillectomy. My Ear Nose and Throat doctor, (ENT), and his nurse gave me some general information about the surgery. We talked about how tonsillectomy surgery was performed, what the risks were, and what to expect after my adult tonsillectomy surgery.

In addition to this information, I tried to arm myself with as much information from other sources as I could. The internet is filled with medical information and advice. Some of it related to tonsillectomy. Some of it is accurate. Some of it is valuable to a person considering or recovering from tonsillectomy surgery. Most of it is not. Some of the scariest information I got was from my family and friends. Everyone seemed to have some horror story about an adult dying from tonsillectomy, or having a near-death experience from bleeding or anesthesia. As if I wasn’t nervous enough!  Fear and anxiety are usually born of uncertainty   The more we know about what to expect, the better we are able to execute a task without irrational fears.

I’ve read thousands and thousands of comments on the various pages of this website. One message is expressed again and a gain: Knowing what to expect helps enormously! This is your chance to do others a great service. Take your wisdom, born of personal experience, and help others. When you shine a light for others, you also light your own path.

For a live discussion about tonsillectomy and tonsillectomy recovery, join us in the Tonsillectomy Recovery Forum

Tonsillectomy Tips

Tonsillectomy Advice

The doctors, nurses, bloggers, publishers, family and friends all helped shape my expectations about what to expect before, during and after my tonsillectomy. None of it compares to the value of actually experiencing it. I learned more in the weeks before and after my adult tonsillectomy than I could have learned from years of research. This website is filled with over 50 pages of that wisdom.

If you are reading this, you probably have some experience yourself. How would you like to help someone who is trying to decide whether to have a tonsillectomy? Help someone planning or recovering from tonsillectomy surgery? By answering this one question, you may be able to save someone from a struggle you had:


94 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Tips From Patients”

  1. My surgery was 12/18/12. This may sound crazy but for the last 2 days my worst pain has been when I take my pain meds! It’s excruciating!! It only lasts for 10 minutes but I can hardly stand it!! The whole back of my throat is covered in thick – looking white stuff not like the pictures I’ve seen of a little white stuff on each side of the throat! I’m ready to start feeling better!!

    1. My surgery was 12/19/12. I am on roxicet, and am currently taking 5ml every 3hours. It was like battery acid going down. Last night hubby had the great idea of mixing it with 10 ml of ensure ( chocolate epwas on hand) it worked amazingly well. The creaminess coated my throat and covered the taste of the roxicet.

      I don’t knw about your “white stuff”. It could be normal, and could be thrush. You’ll want to check with your doctor if your concerned.

      Hope you feel better soon and have much less pain in the days to come 🙂

      1. I was noticing a lot of secretion as well on day two and three (I’m on end of day four now) and it was driving me nuts. Feels like I need to hurl a loogie.. which I know cannot help my throat, but having the phlegm there is annoying!

        few tips that helped me get rid of SOME of it and in general– 1: try gargling with water and peroxide (I used mouth wash) or water and salt, swish it around up front and lightly gargle in the back and then let drip out of your mouth or lightly spit. 2: non-stop drink water… until your pee is clear. sorry thats gross, but then you’ll know you’re hydrated. 3: SLEEP WITH A HUMIDIFIER! I feel I have been VERY lucky with my recovery (not having much pain so far aside from a bad sore throat and some discomfort), but I’ve been religiously sleeping with a humidifier and even put VICs menthol liquid stuff in it to help with breathing/sleeping. Last night I slept for a straight 6.5 hours!

        1. I’m going into day 6 now and still seem to have an excess of mucus. However I was unlucky enough to cough up a lot of it this afternoon (brushed my teeth with toothpaste and started gagging and coughing uncontrollably). It was not fun and hurt a lot, but I’m breathing easier now 🙂

          I’ve been drinking about 2 gallons of water a day, and that doesn’t count smoothies, slishies, juice, and ensure. Urine had been clear for months, so that’s definatly not my cause to the mucus.

          The humidifier I was using didnt seem to work very well, so hubby ent out and got me another one last night.

          Off to bed now, so we will see how it goes 🙂

          Merry Christmas and hope you have less pain today 😉

  2. Hi I’m 13 yo, and had a tonsillectomy on 17th Dec. On my day 4 post-op, and the recovery has been cruel.. I know it’s different for adult and child, but are my scabs supposed to fall off now? Because this morning I woke up and I found some white things on my tongue. Isn’t it a little too fast for to scabs to fall off?
    The pain seems to getting worse every day, the good thing is my uvula’s not swelling anymore. Swallowing has been hell, like forcing a razor blade inside your throat, trust me. I’m sorry I haven’t found some tips from my experience, but drinking lots of fluid DO HELP. Stay dehydrated and sleep, A LOT.

    1. Hey I had mine out on the 11th, I couldn’t even drink water at first, I found that milk is really soothing, the scabbing falling off sounds normal as it’s different for everyone, I took a photo of mine everyday and its crazy what a difference a day makes!:) the pain is worst days 4-7 at which point icwas put back in hospital due to a blood clot and infection, but after that it honestly feels so much better! Hope you’re feeling better now

  3. 22-year-old here. Only on day 2 so the worst is probably still ahead of me, but I figured I’d share what I’ve discovered so far.
    -Drink, drink drink! It seems counter-intuitive, but the more you force yourself to drink, the less everything begins to hurt. Ice water has been my staple, but hot teas and the occasional cold Gatorade have been agreeable, too.
    -Chew gum. I popped a couple pieces as soon as I was out of the PACU and it’s helped tremendously. It produces saliva and keeps everything moist while forcing you to swallow and loosen up the jaw muscles. Plus the minty flavor helps mask any bad taste in your mouth.
    -Humidifiers are your friends. So is cranking the hot water in the shower and inhaling the steam. It just helps keep everything moist and loosen stuff up.
    -Soft foods are great, so eat while you can stomach it. I’ve dabbled in Popsicles, applesauce, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and plain overcooked pasta. My uvula’s so swollen that I have to swallow more than once to get everything down, but having some real food in your stomach definitely helps ward off nausea.
    -Keep up with the pain meds. I haven’t touched any of the narcotics I was prescribed (yet), but last night I set an alarm to wake myself every couple hours so I could drink and pop more Tylenol.
    -Ask your ENT if you can get a prescription for a steroid. Mine put me on Prednisone to help with the swelling, and it feels better than it did yesterday already.
    -Get a couple hot/cold neck wraps to help with neck stiffness and pain. I bought 2 from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they can be either frozen or heated up in the microwave. Where have these things been all my life?!
    -Get up and shower, brush your teeth, and generally take care of yourself. I find that if I look decent, it helps me feel decent, too.

    Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. I’m 37 years old and had my tonsils out 12/12/12 – so we are 5-6 days in. Do’s: keep up with your meds, no matter what. With the lack of food, it’ll make you nauseous and not want to – do it anyway. Call the doc to get anti nausea meds. I waited until day 5 and I could have saved a lot of agony for myself if I would have asked sooner. I invested in a humidifier and lots of Popsicles and my husband made tons of homemade chicken broth and froze it ahead of time. I recommend all these things. Also, find a comfy place to lay that has your head propped up because by day 4 (for me) I couldn’t lay down. I’m still in pain, but these things help. Hopefully it helps anyone who reads this

  5. I had my tonsils taken out on 12/12/12 and right now its 12/17/2012 5 days after the surgery. Today I feel pretty good, pretty much not a lot of pain, did have some earlier in the day. I still can’t eat much, and when I do eat I have to try to force myself to eat but i’m only able to eat about 3-4 teaspoons of soup and I’m done. Some Doctor’s recommend taking tylenol or your pain meds about 30 mins- 1 hour before you eat to help you swallow food more easily. I’m reading alot of these horror stories and haven’t experienced any of them, atleast not yet, kinda got me scared though. I read one story where they say when the scabs start to come off its very painful, day 3 was by far the most painful for me, mainly because of the ear aches. The first day was hard to swallow the pain pills and antibiotic pills, but it got easier each day. I haven’t eaten much and yesterday was the first time that I actually got hungry since i had the surgery. Slushies will become your best friend lol. I was looking forward to eating Ice Cream, but you never really feel like eating it

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