Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy Recovery | Adult Tonsillectomy

Tonsillitis,Tonsil Stones, and Tonsillectomy Recovery


Tonsillectomy recovery can be a long dark tunnel. With all the anxiety leading up to tonsillectomy surgery, and all the challenges of recovering from a tonsillectomy, a patient can easily become overwhelmed. The best weapon a tonsillectomy patient can arm them self with is information. Knowledge is truly power. Going into surgery unprepared is the most common mistake made. Your doctor, while trained in treating tonsil problems like tonsillitis, strep throat, and tonsil stones is an excellent resource. If you and your doctor decide that a tonsillectomy is the right choice, your job is to arm yourself with the best information you can and, perhaps more importantly, tonsillectomy recovery. I’ve maintained a forum for patients recovering from the surgery for several years. Most patients report that their Doctor’s attention quickly wanes after discharge. Many people complain that after their tonsillectomy, their doctor was pretty hard to get a hold of. The key to successful planning is self advocacy. Planning for tonsillectomy must begin weeks before surgery. Get support from your health care provider, your job, your family, your friends, and other tonsillectomy patients. We’ve built an amazing community of adults considering, anticipating and experiencing tonsillectomy recovery.

Tonsillectomy for me was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. After a lifetime of chronic tonsillitis, strep throat, tonsil stones, and sleep apnea, a couple weeks of pain and anxiety were a small price to pay. Three years ago, when I finally made the decision, there wasn’t much support for patients considering a tonsillectomy or recovering from one. The internet was like an ugly landscape of random horror stories and snake oil salesmen with cures for tonsil stones, bad breath, and belly fat. I decided to create a one stop resource for adults considering or recovering from tonsillectomy.

Tonsillectomy Recovery Resources is a place you can research topics relating to tonsils and tonsillectomy. I’ve experienced and researched topics like tonsil stones, tonsillitis, strep throat, tonsillectomy methods, oral thrush, and tonsillectomy recovery time.

I learned a great deal about tonsillectomy as an adult. In particular, I learned that it would have been better to undergo the surgery as a child. Tonsillectomy recovery as an adult is much tougher. There are however numerous tonsillectomy recovery tips that can make the experience a little easier. Simple practices like drinking and drinking and drinking can have profound positive impact upon your tonsillectomy recovery.

Tonsillectomy recovery tips like chewing gum to alleviate referred ear pain are not obvious or intuitively logical, but can make all the difference when nothing else seems to help. I’ve collected, researched and shared many of these morsels of wisdom and published them all here in one place to help others.

Tonsillectomy recovery questions like yours may have already been asked and answered. Try searching the site using the Google search box at the right side of the page. Type in a term like, “tonsil stones, ” or, “tonsils,” and see what you find. Feel free to comment on most of the pages of the site. Open and active communication is what makes this community such a valuable resource for everyone considering tonsillectomy or in the middle of tonsillectomy recovery.

Relax and be yourself. Ask questions, share concerns, and offer support. It’s our community. Thank you for joining us!

-Greg Tooke

Tonsillectomy Recovery |  Recovery From Adult Tonsillectomy

Greg Tooke, Author

From Our Readers

Read what our Facebook friends had for advice to adults preparing for tonsillectomy:

I posted another question for our Face Book friends. This is a group of about 350 adults who have had a tonsillectomy within the past five years. It’s an amazing community of supportive and thoughtful adults without tonsils.

Tonsillectomy Recovery

Tonsillectomy Recovery For Adults

I wanted to assemble a collection of tips for new patients who are planning tonsillectomy surgery- particularly adults since they have a more difficult recovery, but also because they would typically be the ones doing preparation for themselves or a child.

Tonsillectomy Recovery For Adults – How to Prepare

So here is the question:


If I could recommend one product to someone preparing for tonsillectomy it would be___________.

And here are the responses;

Grace- Water!

Mari Re- A snow cone maker-a must!!

Dayna – Humidifier!

Dee- Do a lot of good deeds before so when ur praying for relief he will help ya. Seriously. Water is great and a humidifier helped me greatly.

Shiva – Coma

Sarah -Ice chips… if morphine isn’t available

Katie-DONT DO IT!!!!!

Shannon – Toradol

Jean – Water, a recliner, and a humidifier.

Meghan- Percocet.

Misty – After pain meds it would be pudding for me.

Donna- water

Kate-Several big flexible ice packs–always keep one in the freezer so it’s ready to go whenever you need one.

Kierstin -If you live in the US sonic crushed ice saved my life ! You can purchase it in a bag like at the grocers, and it’s tiny enough to lodge between the back of your tongue and scabs, and just rough enough when you swallow it, it scratches the back of your throat just delicately enough to semi relieve irritated ears ! Seriously I cried for this ice over a few day period haha

Bethany -My brother-in-law owns an amazing gelato company. He made me the most delicious mango sorbet. Even when my throat hurt bad and I really didn’t want to eat before taking my meds, I could always get excited for some delicious sorbet

Jean -I would agree with the flexible ice packs! Ice was my life saver!

Karen -Cool mist humidifier

Vickie -Straws

Hollie – Liquid medications! Tablets just wouldn’t go down

Doug -water

Kiersten- Instant mashed potatoes! I know….gross but a lifesaver

Kiersten -Lol-I thought pain meds and water was a given!!!!

Jayne-Hard drugs!!

Diana – 2 weeks to recover

Rhiannon – Pop ice and a cool mist humidifier

William -A humidifier

Rosie – Jello, peaches, netflix, and hot bathes.

Christy-After pain meds, the magic mouthwash, mashed potatoes after you can somewhat eat. Go to an urgent care if you are starting to get dehydrated. I lost 14lbs in 7 days.

William -Magic mouthwash?

Tonsillectomy Resources Wow! Great stuff. Thanks everybody!

Brandi – Pain meds and Sonic ice chips – I think I would have died without both!

Chente-Pain meds.

Crista – Ice packs!

Chente -Also- Thought I would pass along something re: magic mouthwash just to make others aware so it doesn’t happen to them. At one point after using the wash and I swallowed to pass saliva, my mouth and throat were numb and the saliva just kinda sat in my throat and I couldn’t pass it and then I choked and started coughing really bad. That isn’t what you want to do after a tonsillectomy. So just be careful and swallow with caution!

Beth Ann – Ensure or Boost drinks

Jina -Humidifier, ice packs, crushed ice with water. Boost drinks in the beginning for energy.

Kitty – An alarm to remind the next med and note pad to write down the meds as taken. It was hard to remember in the middle of the night. Both help to keep meds on board and the pain at bay.

Christina -Ice and pain meds

Chente -Pain med journal!

Rachael – Pain reliever in liquid form.

118 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Recovery | Adult Tonsillectomy

  1. Valerie

    I had a partial tonsil and adenoidectomy that was on November 4th and things weren’t too bad for the first 5 days or so. The heavy pain medicine I’m on really helps and I’ve had no ear pain as of yet. The scabs seem to be fading on my right side of my throat and everything feels great there. But now all of a sudden starting day 6, the left side of my throat is in excruciating pain.The pain medicine doesn’t even rid it completely. I just don’t get what caused that, and why my other side is doing so well. Maybe it has something to do with that side always had the much larger tonsil. There was some dried blood there not too long ago, so I don’t know if something irritated it or not. Anyone else experience one side healing slower than the other?

  2. Russ C

    April,

    I hope you are feeling better by the time you read this. i did not have the tight feeling in my throat. I had mine out on April 14th. Now on day 14 of recovery and just about back to normal but for me day 4 was one of the worst days. If I am counting correctly you should be on day 10 or so or your recovery and for me that was when i turned the corner. Just continue to try and get food in your stomach and stay hydrated and take the meds. You should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by now. Hope you are 100% soon.

    1. April Schotts

      Thanks Russ. Im getting there. Its tge reffered ear pain that is killing me. I had to stop the T3s because they were burning my stomach. Im feeling better now that im off. Man do i want real food lol.

  3. April Schotts

    Im 32and just went through my tonsillectomy on April 17. It has not been a fun ride. The first few days were ok with minimal pain meds but then on day 4 all hell broke loose. When the scabs started coming off I got the most horrific reffered ear pain that hasnt gone away. I have been able to swallow and have been drinking water like crazy. I am on tylenol3s…they make me feel aweful. Now i have weird tightening spasms in the bsck of my throat, has anyone else had this? I am soooooo ready to be well.

  4. Mary

    Thought I’d take a trip back to this forum since it was very helpful when I had my tonsils out last year. I also feel the need to come back and share my story, because I had a very easy experience compared to many, and I feel like sometimes only people who have horror stories feel compelled to share.
    First of all, I’m 34 years old and I had my tonsils out due to the fact that I kept getting SEVERE strep throat (I was once hospitalized with a fever of 106 and couldn’t eat for a week… so strep was not kind to me). Also had tonsil stones – yuck. Anyway, before I got them out, I did lots of research on how to ease my recovery.
    I decided to follow the “European” recommendations that I’ve read where you should try to eat soft but somewhat scratchy foods from Day 1 to help speed recovery. From the research I’ve done, it seems like docs here in the US tend to recommend soft foods only.
    About 30 minutes after taking my meds, when my pain was the lowest, I would eat some Ritz crackers, applesauce, and mac and cheese. I also drank a TON of ice water constantly, and based on recommendations of people here I set an alarm at night to wake up, drink ice water, and take my meds every few hours in the middle of the night. The one night I forgot to do this was the only time I was in significant pain.
    I took the 2 full recommended weeks off of work, but I was fine after the first week. On Day 5 I went out to dinner with my husband and managed to have a full, but slow, seafood dinner with wine (had stopped taking prescription meds at that point).

    Like I said, I just wanted to point out that it’s not all doom and gloom. Having my tonsils out was about 1/10 as painful as my last bout of strep throat. I am so thankful every day that I did it. It’s funny, I was just commenting to my husband the other day that I can’t believe I waited so long.

    So hang in there! DRINK YOUR WATER! take your meds! Be sure to eat frequently when your pain is at its lowest. Oh yeah, and one of the things that helped the most was gargling with mouthwash (obviously needs to be alcohol-free). I forget what day it was… maybe day 4 or so, but when the scabs started coming it started to get pretty uncomfortable. I was terrified to even try gargling, because everything was so tender and I thought it would hurt, but I did it and it felt soooooo good. Just do it VERY gently.

  5. Ky

    I am 24 yr old female. Going in for my SECOND Tonsillectomy on Friday. My first was done in 96 when i was a kid, now i have infected tonsil tags. I remember the pain as a child was pretty nasty. I am also having a deviated septum fixed, same time. Other than pushing fluis pretty much consistantly and keeping on pain med schedule are there any other tips to help with recovery as an adult? I would like to be back to work ASAP and appreciate Any advice for handling this now as an adult!!

  6. Dan

    I’m a 20 year old male who just got my tonsils out a few hours ago. The pain so far is bearable but I have so much mucus/phlegm I feel like I’m choking. In the hospital they told me not to clear my throat and try to get it up. Can anyone recommend something?

  7. Chantal

    Hi everyone,

    I’m a 26 yr old female, and had my tonsillectomy 6 days ago. I’m shocked to hear that some people had minimal pain and could still speak in the first couple of days following their surgeries – I felt like a truck hit me as soon as I woke up from surgery.

    My surgeon said that while my tonsils were small/average sized, they appeared to have suffered a lot of infections over the years and were swollen and very cryptic. She warned me that my chances of post-op bleeding are slightly higher since the blood vessels in the tonsil bed area were a bit more swollen than some others.

    Perhaps that bit of info above is why my recovery hasn’t been as up and down as most. Unfortunately for me it’s been mostly down. I’ve slept a lot this past week, and had to cut down on my pain meds right away due to nausea and constipation. I’ve never been constipated before in my life – and let me say to all you chronic sufferers out there – I’m SOOOO sorry for your discomfort! This experience has been awful!

    I’ve lost about 10 – 12 lbs so far, but I was heavy set to begin with so I’m sure that contributes to the proportion of weight loss. I haven’t been able to eat much of anything. On day 2 or 3 I was able to eat some mushy mac and cheese and some oatmeal, and thought I would be ok. But ever since, it’s been worse and I haven’t been able to even eat soup without my throat burning or aching (note that the soup was room temperature, not hot). Today I’ve only been able to drink some water, diluted apple juice (to mix my crushed pain meds into), and maybe half a cup of ichyband noodles. I tried to eat some mashed potatoes, mashed yams, and mashed squash tonight – but just made me nauseous and stung my throat.

    I’m seriously contemplating going to the hospital tomorrow and asking for IV fluids, since I know I haven’t been drinking as much as I should.

    Aside from the expected throat and ear pain, my tongue is really messed up. It’s numb all the time and continues to be swollen. I feel like perhaps my teeth are clamping down on it all the time, so I make a conscious effort to keep my teeth away from my tongue, but yet it continues….anyone else have this problem?

    I feel generally discouraged that my eating habits, and discomfort haven’t improved any…I have a number of events coming up in the next few weeks and I’m really worried I won’t be healed in time. In a week and half, we have reservations to go to a dinner/theatre venue to celebrate my birthday, and three weeks from now I’m supposed to be singing in my Christmas choir concert (and I have a solo to sing!).

    I keep praying and hoping this will subside soon and that I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel, but only time will tell.

    I’m worried about the scabs coming off since my surgeon warned of the risk of bleeding. :( Please, oh please, do not let me hemmorrage and delay my healing further.

    To top things off, I’m supposed to be back to work in 2 days. I knew I wouldn’t be fully recovered in a week, but figured if I could stick to emailing and such at work (office position), that I could get by with minimal talking, etc. I can barely keep the nausea away without frequent naps/lying down, and my focus is completely off while on these meds and fighting the pain…not sure yet what I’ll do. I had things that needed to get done when I went back to work, that unfortunately others cannot help me with if I take more time off. Yikes – talk about stress!

  8. Doug

    Hi,

    I just turned 50 and had my tonsillectomy done this past Friday. I’m on day three and things aren’t near as bad as I had feared. There are a lot of horror stories about how bad the recovery can go, so I’m real happy with the progress so far. I did have to go get a blood vessel re-cauterized yesterday, since I was experiencing some bleeded at night. Besides that, the doctor said everything else looked great and he couldn’t believe it had only been 24 hours since the surgery.

    Thank you so much for all your tips and suggestions. I picked up a humidifier, am using frozen peas as regular ice packs, and drinking lots and lots of cold water and popsicles. For protein, I am eating plain egg salad. It seems to go down easy. I’m also trying to stay away from dairy as that seems to gunk things up. I would attribute my smooth recovery (so far) to the tips I found here.

    Thanks again, Greg (and everyone here who posted their experiences).

    1. Doug

      Just want to drop a quick note on how things have progressed. It’s been a little over a month and I’m OK. At a follow-up visit with my doctor, he told be a few specifics about the operation.

      1. I had the biggest tonsils he had ever seen.
      2. When he went to grab them during the operation, they shredded apart and disintegrated. He said this was due to the years of infection.
      3. Usually, 2/3 of the tonsil is exposed and 1/3 is below the surface of the throat. Mine were so large that a full 2/3 were buried under the surface and he had to dig them out (with a melon baller, I presume).
      4. A usual tonsillectomy takes him about 20 minutes. My operation was over an hour.
      5. With my abnormal circumstances, there’s no telling how long the recovery time will be.

      I went back to work after ten days, but needed the pain medication for about three weeks. Not so much for pain, but I would have wild coughing fits when I stopped the meds. Luckily, my doctor prescribed the Oxy freely, in fact I’ve still got a full bottle leftover.

      Everyone says it, but it bears repeating: Drink plenty of fluids. After that, drink twice as much. I also had a humidifier blowing toward me while I slept, so I didn’t find the need to wake up every few hours. After the first couple of days, I pretty much was sleeping through the night, although elevated via three pillows. It was 2 weeks before I could even think about eating regular food. Between the intense tonsillitis prior to the operation and the operation/recovery, I lost 30 lbs.

      After this much time, I’m only experiencing a few problems. I still have the occasional coughing fit, but they are not too bad. The main problem is that my throat always feels dry. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink, it still feels dry. It’s not actually dry, it just *feels* that way and can be very annoying. I imagine that it is simply part of the healing process and the nerves will get back to normal at some point.

      So, add my experience to the “it’s not as bad as they say” column. This is coming from the guy with the biggest tonsils ever and two ginormous holes in his throat.

      1. Miriam

        Hi Doug,

        Thanks for posting this. I am getting mine out in the morning, and am very nervous. I’ve been reading through this site religiously for about a month. Your comment just eased my nerves in the 11th hour. If you did so well with such preparation I have high hopes.

        Thanks for posting!

        1. Doug

          Good Luck, Miriam! Drink lots of water. Apple juice is good too. And Popsicles! I couldn’t have made it without my Big Sticks.

          One thing I didn’t mention: Drinking through a straw was absolute agony. Especially if it was thick liquid like a smoothie.

          1. Kate

            Try using biotene products for that dry feeling. I realize you posted this a month ago but if anyone else is experiencing the same thing biotene toothpaste, spray and mouthwash is really helpful.

  9. Nicky M

    Hi Gregg, firstly thankful so much for creating this website, I am finding it both really helpful and really comforting as I endure this awful process of recovery. I wanted to ask you a specific question if I may? Last night I had what I can only describe as a panic attack , I was trying to clear my throat in a way I did when I had tonsils, but of course it didn’t work, and it it felt really odd. In addition the back of my Tongue area felt strange really really dry, and as I tried to swallow to make it moist, I couldn’t get the swallow reflex for a second. This really freaked me out and I has to sit constantly sipping water and swallowing for about 15 mins until I calmed down. I have never had a panic attack in my life and wondered if it could be my medication causing me to get anxious, or if it is just part of the recovery process? I had really bug tonsils by the way, and there feels like a huge empty cavern at the back of my mouth now which feels a bit scary, now the swelling has gone.

    1. Greg Tooke Post author

      Hi Nicky- glad you find the site helpful. You know, I read of LOTS of people having panic attacks during their recovery. I don’t think that I did, but many have. I guess I assumed that they may have had a history of them, but you bring up an interesting question. I think I’ll research whether there is an increase in panic attacks or anxiety for people on pain killers. Thank you and best of health to you

      1. NickyM

        Thanks Greg for replying, I have never had them before, but I think the route of is it my mouth is making no saliva at all and therefore dry as a bone this past two days. This is meaning i can’t swallow properly and this is then making feel anxious and want to swallow all the time . I am doing all the things I can such as sipping and drinking water,sucking ice and chewing gum. I had the doctor come this morning ( extremely unusual for me) He changed my medication and has prescribed some diazepam, however I am reticent to take it just yet as has never been on anxiety medication before and I am 46!
        I just hope my mouth eases a bit which I think may help. Any further info you have , would be very much appreciated , if you find anything. Thanks again Nicky.

  10. eryn_85

    I am on Day 5 post-op after having my tonsils out on September 4, 2013.
    Waking up from anesthesia was interesting. All I remember is the amount of pain that I was in and how dizzy I was from the anesthesia. Not only does the back of my mouth hurt, but you can clearly see distinct lines on my tongue where they clamped my tongue down. Sometimes I wonder which one hurts worse, where my tonsils used to be or my tongue. I am having a little bit of referred pain to my ears but it’s not bad at all.
    The first day or two I was great and didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. However, on the 3rd day the pain hit me and I was pretty much stationed on the couch all of that 3rd day. The pain was the worst on the night of the 3rd day. It was never unbearable but it did get to the point that it brought me to tears once. My suggestion would be to NOT try to be a tough person and stop taking scheduled pain medication. TAKE THE PAIN MEDS ON A TIMED SCHEDULE even if you have to set an alarm to wake you up.
    The most helpful thing to me was my Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. It got me through several nights that I slept longer than I was supposed to without drinking water/ice. The next most helpful thing was my Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver. It made just the right size of ice that melts quick and fits in my mouth. The foods that I found were helpful (but you will be completely sick of by the end of this) is jello, mashed potatoes, sherbet and shaved ice (any flavor). I added macaroni and cheese on day 4, although it does take me a long time (about 30 minutes) to eat a small bowl and I am exhausted after that.
    There are only two annoying things that I found weren’t mentioned on here prior to my tonsillectomy:
    1.) was that foot gets stuck in the pockets, where my tonsils used to be, when I eat anything semi-solid like macaroni and cheese. I have to go to the bathroom after I eat and use a q-tip to get the food out so it doesn’t start to stink. As far as the scabs go, I think the scabs are just starting to form. I have always had a white colored, thick scab-like substance covering these spots though. I’m not exactly sure what the scabs exactly look like.
    2.) That there constantly feels like there’s a huge ball of phlegm sitting right behind my uvula. I’m not allowed to cough or ‘hack’ or do anything to get it out, and I have tried drinking water, water and more water to try to get it to go away. However, nothing helps. I’ve finally just given up.

  11. Paul12

    I am a 19 year old male. I had a similar problem to a few others who have posted previously. I would get strep consistently at least once a year and as much as 3 times in one year. However, it never was a problem to the point that my doctors thought I should get my tonsils out until this year when my strep infection in early March triggered an autoimmune skin rash called guttate psoriasis that I am still fighting to this day. I decided to get my tonsils out to decrease the chance of getting strep throat in the future and having my guttate psoriasis re-flare. My surgery was August 7th, so today is day 7. Overall, I did very well with the surgery and recovery. I scared myself before the surgery by reading all of these posts, but my experience was far from all of these horror stories.

    Day 1 I only ate a couple apple sauces and hard boiled egg whites, but I continuously pounded ice water.
    Day 2 I found that buttered macaroni noodles with small chunks of rotisserie chicken tasted really good and went down very easily. I also bought Gatorade Recovery which has 18g of protein and lots of sugar. I highly recommend incorporating both of these into your post-op diet.
    By day 3 I was eating Perkin’s pancakes and fried rice.
    Day 4 and on I pretty much ate anything soft that sounded tasty, McDonald’s hamburgers, hot dogs, LeAnn Chin’s chinese, etc…

    My biggest advice is to constantly drink ice water! Whenever my cup ran out I would fill it up. Also, stay on top of your pain meds. I would wake up in the middle of the night four hours after my last dose of lortab and drink a glass of ice water and take more lortab. Also, return to normal foods at whatever pace you can as it will only help with recovery.

    Best of luck to any of you dreading your tonsillectomies!

    1. Paul12

      Another note: For me the pain was never unbearable. Other than day 1, it was basically equivalent to having strep throat. My ear would make a clicking noise when I moved my jaw, but that has pretty much stopped as of today. I had a slight headache when I woke up on day 5, but that might have been due to stopping the pain meds.

  12. smbevers

    I had my surgery on the 7th of August, and am having a lot of trouble with the pain, both from my throat and my ears. I really would like some tips to help me, as thebig issue is that I can’t take the pain meds they gave me due to breastfeeding my 6 1/w month old, and am only able to take Tylenol. I am losing a lot of sleep and energy due to the pain. the nurses and doctors were not really helpful. Please someone help me.

    1. Greg Tooke Post author

      Oh my goodness. That’s awful. Can you ask your doctor if there is a better pain med that’s safe for breastfeeding? Maybe a lactation consultant could advise a strategy to “bank some milk” In the meantime, chewing gum can relieve ear pain. Icing and gargling with ice cold water are all I could suggest for that pain.

      btw do you have a humidifier running? That helps alaot.

      Best of luck dear. Sorry you’re having such a rough time. :(

    2. cldobbins

      You should be able to take Vicodin or Lortab. Those meds were considered safe when I was breast feeding, about 18 months ago. I don’t know how you are making it without something stronger than Tylenol! I am post op day 6 and am in the most severe pain of my life. I would rather give birth to a third child than continue with this pain! Good luck to you!

  13. smbevers

    I had my surgery on the 7th of August, and am having a lot of trouble with the pain, both from my throat and my ears. I really would like some tips to help me, as thebig issue is that I can’t take the pain meds they gave me due to breastfeeding my 6 1/w month old, and am only able to take Tylenol. I am losing a lot of sleep and energy due to the pain.

  14. haley1976_99

    Well it’s almost here, surgery is tomorrow at 7:30am, have to be at the hospital at 6am. Calm considering, just ready to be done!

    1. sweet_nothing

      Saw that you wrote you canceled surgery 3 times already. Don’t worry! I honestly had a good recovery, it was pretty easy. Just stay positive and follow the instructions you get at the hospital to a T, and you will be just fine! Do yourself a favor and stop reading this website during your recovery, I came across a bad story during the middle of my recovery and got all anxious…you don’t need that. Just stay away for a week so you can stay focused and positive and you’ll do great :)

  15. maisha4jesus

    Day 8

    I’m on day 8 of recovery from my sleep apnea surgery which included a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, uvula reduction, and reduction of the nasal turbinates. All of this was done to alleviate sleep apnea, and relieve me of my cryptic tonsils, tonsil stones, and recurring tonsillitis. I’m a 35-year-old mother of four and have put off this surgery for nearly 12 years due to fear from others’ horror stories. From a friend’s friend who claims to have awaken from his tonsillectomy with his tongue sewn to the back of his throat, to my sister-in-law’s warning not to do the surgery because her friend died from a tonsillectomy, it seemed the odds were stacked against me. I honestly feared for my life and cancelled the surgery TWICE! After a horrid bout with chronic tonsillitis last year when I started a new job, I decided to to brave the unknown and do the surgery. I couldn’t continue to live with such a decreased quality of life. And I’m glad I made that decision!

    Yes, the recovery is painful, but bearable. I’ve been taking my pain meds on schedule to manage pain, hydrating like crazy to avoid complications, and resting patiently to allow my body the 2-4 weeks of healing it needs. Honestly, this just feels like my worst case of tonsillitis…my FINAL case of tonsillitis! This pain may last a few weeks, but the benefits will last a lifetime. And I’m already beginning to reap the benefits. I can breath better already, even though the swelling hasn’t all gone down quite yet. I took 2 naps today without my CPAP machine and rested very well without awaking with any apnea episodes! People make a huge fuss about every phase of recovery, especially when the scabs come off. I’m pretty sure mine have begun coming off, as today and yesterday have been more painful that previous days and I can see the changes in my throat. But if you follow the doctors instructions, no worries, you’ll get through it just fine. In my opinion, the benefits greatly outweighed the risks.

    I felt compelled to write my positive experience this for those of you who are considering a tonsillectomy but perhaps are frightened by the many horror stories that abound online. Don’t take those to heart. Do what’s best for your health. Follow doctors orders, pray & meditate (or whatever you may do for spiritual fulfillment), and take care of yourself. Remember, The pain of a tonsillectomy may last for only a few weeks, but the benefits will last a life time! I do NOT regret getting this done. If anything, I would’ve done it sooner!

    1. haley1976_99

      Oh my gosh! thank you so much for writing and sharing! I have cancelled surgery 3x due to others making it seem like death to have this done. It is nice to know it isn’t as bad as others want to make u believe it is! Just wish I had my families support. I am 37 single no kids. So I need their help! I am blessed though with amazing friends that have offered to help in anyway they can. I just need to do this surgery for me and my health! I only have one antibiotic that I can take that will work for strep. I am at my wits end! Thank you for sharing and putting my mind at ease!

  16. Karen

    As a little girl, I was pretty prone to strep, but after I got older, that issue pretty much went away. However a year or so ago I ended up getting strep for the first time in years and something strange happened. Despite getting over it and not having another case since, my right tonsil never went back to its original size. It doesn’t hurt or get in the way often. When I tend to notice it is when I have a sinus infection, as it will commonly develop ladybug sized red marks on it.
    A doctor told me a while back that I should get a tonsillectomy,which I found odd because at the time he told me this I had a completely non-oral affliction. It makes me wonder though, is there any way to have a single sided surgery or would both sides have to go?

  17. DianeMargaret Miller

    I am a 41 yo stay-at-home homeschooler of a 2.5 yo daughter. (I’m pretty sure the fact that we’re teaching her sign language, as a second language course, will come in handy this week!)
    I had my tonsils out this morning!
    Ouch.
    I haven’t been able to swallow anything but COLD water and liquid jello (extra water keeps it from solidifying), so far.
    It hurts and it looks WICKED!!!
    They told my husband to check my throat every hour or two for signs of bleeding…..I think they’re forgetting I’m not a child.
    I can check my own throat! LOL Perhaps, on one of the 8 MILLION trips to the bathroom, with all the liquids!!! *sigh*

    Here’s hoping Day 2 goes smoothly…..

    PS – There is a BIG difference between a humidifier and a vaporizer…..GET A VAPORIZER!!!!!

    1. DianeMargaret Miller

      Okay, obviously, I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt…but my tongue hurts far worse than my throat! They accidentally pinched a little bit of it against my teeth when they clamped my tongue down! OUCH!!! It is seriously bruised and swollen. It feels almost like it doesn’t fit in my mouth!
      I DID think I would be able to eat something by now…but it just isn’t happening. Some of that is due to my tongue, I think. I found that the baby food squeezers (they aren’t all fruit!) go down really well and with only minor additions (usually a tiny pinch of salt!) taste pretty good!!! So far, I especially like the Sprout brand Garden Vegetable & Turkey! It was a bit thick but tastes like corn chowder with turkey…not bad really!!!
      We still buy the fruit, smoothie, and cereal ones for car trips with our daughter, so I have no problem buying extras of those kinds because if I don’t eat them…she will.
      I found that you do NOT want to miss a dose of pain medicine though!!! Just an hour late, puts you in some kind of pain! It’s not unbearable…but why do it!!!
      I have been running all over, as usual. I just wrote a few basic notes on cards (Excuse me for not talking…I just had my tonsils removed, Thank You!, etcetera) and took a note pad and pencil with me for other questions/answers.
      YES…I can whisper without a problem but in a noisy grocery store…they can’t always hear you (especially at the deli counter, etcetera) and I didn’t want to risk having to raise my voice!
      I had my mom chauffeur us around though as I have not been able to eat NEARLY enough to counter the medication enough to feel safe at driving! I certainly will NOT risk my toddler’s life for cat litter, a pound of bologna, and some eggs!!!
      It hasn’t been TOO terribly bad, but I am glad you only need to do this ONCE!!!

  18. Drew

    Having mine out at 9:00 tomorrow, super nervous about the recovery. I almost wish I hadn’t searched the internet until after! I’m sure it’ll be better than the constant tonsillitis though.

  19. Bobbi Jo

    I’m a 20/F, went in for tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy on 2/15. Today is day 5, including surgery day. I. Feel. AWFUL. The first day was great, Saturday and Sunday weren’t too bad either. Then Sunday night came. Nausea, pain, a dry, scraping feeling when I swallow. And, I can’t swallow all the way! I try taking little sips, and it seems to stop halfway down my throat and get stuck. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m afraid I’ll start choking and rip the scabs out.. I’ve taken up spitting instead of swallowing because it hurts so bad and I’m so afraid I’ll choke. I’ve been drinking nothing but water, and the mucus is sooooo bad! Does anyone else have this problem? I’m afraid to clear my throat too.. The medication they put me on is hydrocodone. I cannot stand it! It takes a good hour to kick in and then wears off around hour three, so I get maybe two hours of relief. The only problem is that it’s gotten to the point that it’s making me sick. I’ve finally decided that I’d rather feel the pain than the feeling that I might get sick. Also, I’ve noticed that today there was a little bit of blood when I spit, but no where near what they say worry about. Even with the pain, I think the worst thing is that I can smell how bad my breath is. I picked my daughter up yesterday and she said “ewwww, mommy, you smell like poop!”.. Yeah. I’ve entirely given up talking, as well. The mucus makes it too hard for me to form words.

    1. Anonymous

      I just had my tonsils out too. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have all the same issues. This sure is a tough surgery, I had no idea how much pain was coming and there is still a lot. I was not prepared for this at all.

      1. Bobbi Jo

        I wanted to give everyone a bit of an update, **disclaimer: I am NOT trying to scare anyone**, I started hemorrhaging this morning around 6. I ended up going by ambulance to one ER, they did nothing for a few hours, and then I got transferred to a different ER, the one where my original ENT works. He got me all settled down, joked around with me (he’s a really good guy!), and did a suction thing to get some of the clots out. Well, it seemed that the bleeding stopped, so he gave me one of three options – 1. Go home, 2. Stay for observation until that evening or the next morning, or 3. Go directly to the operating room to have it redone. I chose option 2, and I am SO glad I did! My boyfriend came up to my room to sit with me until work, and just before he had to leave, I started bleeding again. Not awfully bad like early, but enough. Then it stopped again. My ENT came in to schedule some goofy name to fix the bleeds (this is around 1:15 p.m), and after we talked I asked to use the bathroom. As I was finishing, my mouth filled up with blood again. From here until I went back under (around 1:30), I was bleeding, gagging, crying, and vomiting blood/blood clots. I woke up around 3 and there was a little bit of dryness that some ice chips took care of, I got my scrip for Percoset, and my sister and I walked out the door just before 5 (I had to wait for her to get there). I filled my scrip when I got to my town, and here I am. 7 hours post-op (again), and there is no bleeding, no pain, no need for meds. I feel better than I did before my surgery. I’m worried about what could happen in the next few days, but my ENT said a second bought of bleeding, after it was fixed a first time, is so ridiculously unlikely that I shouldn’t even bother worrying about it.

        Now, I’m not saying that if you start bleeding, you should just assume everything is hunky dory. If you’ve got blood draining from your mouth and there’s no way to stop it, CALL 911. The first paramedics said “nothing to worry about, you’ll be fine”. My ENT took me back in for further cauterization. If they start giving you crap, tell them you WILL be taken to the ENT who did your surgery and HE or SHE will tell you what they think is best. I’m really not trying to freak you guys out. I just want at least one person to see this, read this, and retain this. If, GOD FORBID, one of you reading this ends up going through what I did today, please remember to stay calm, don’t try to force anything out of your throat, lean forward and spit out everything, try not to swallow, and, most importantly, BREATHE. I got through it. I swear I’m the unluckiest person on the planet. Yesterday was my 21st birthday. The boyfriend and I went out, had dinner, came back to my place for some Big Bang Theory (it’s a tele show, nothing dirty!), and he left. I even asked him at the restaurant, “if I start bleeding, will you stay with me?” and he said “yes.” He left 8 hours before I started bleeding. I was alone in my apartment at 6 in the morning, freshish tonsillectomy, bleeding profusely into my sink. And here I am. Alive and (hopefully!!) well! Okay, that’s all I have to say for now. Take care, you guys. And thank you for listening to my (disgusting) day =D

  20. Chelsea

    Hi,
    I am getting my tonsils out next month and I am worried. I have a compromised immune system and because of that I usually take twice as long to heal regular cuts and bruises so I’m a little worried about my recovery time. I am a full time college student and and have to get my tonsils removed during my finals week before spring break so i have almost two weeks recovery time. I worry how my bodies slow response time will effect my coming back to school.

  21. Sam

    I am 21/F just got my tonsils out Friday February 15th. Today is day 4 and by far the worst pain but not unbearable. I have not had the pain like everyone said i would. This is probably due to the fact i drank sooo many liquids after surgery. They push the liquids so your throat wont get dry. I did this and i was talking and visiting in Saturday. Beat advice is go into the surgery with a strong head. It will not be that bad…you can do it!! Take your pain medicine religiously, regardless if you feel the pain isn’t that bad because if it does start yo hurt it will be harder and longer for the meds to set in. Good luck! Like i said it really isn’t as bad as everyone said. This site was helpful and people’s post scared the hell out of me…but i decided to be strong and be confident i would be fine!

    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for your honest experience because people make it seem like something horrible will happen to you but I think every surgery depends on the person themselves and how fast their body heels..
      I’ll be getting mine removed on April 1st and to be honest, I’ve been so scared but you just gave me some courage to go on…
      THANK YOU!!!

      1. Anonymous

        I got mine out yesterday too. I would love someone to communicate with to go thru this together! I can’t talk with all the mucous and the ent just approved taking my pain meds every 4 hrs instead of every 6.

        1. Kim

          Hi I had my tonsils out on the 2nd of April so it’s good to respond to someone who’s at the same stage as I am (almost). Am surviving on plain pain meds as endone etc make me vomit. I’m taking my meds four hourly as recommended by my ENT. I’m finding talking isn’t something that I want to do either.

          1. Anonymous

            I had mine out on April 5, 2013. I am almost 31 and female. I went into this blind underestimating the pain that would be involved, just hoping to feel much better afterwords. I am a stay st home mom and my husband works out of state year round. My plan was for my husband to stay at work and my mom would take care of me for the weekend, the she would go home and I would be left with my 6 yr old son in kindergaten and my 4 yr old son at home with me all day. So glad things did not go as planned, my husband took off work and got home friday night after my surgery. The first couple days I was shocked cause they weren’t too intolerable, now day 4 with the mucus and not being able to talk, and by pain med making me nauseated. I am so glad not to be alone. Hopefully I will be on the uphill side of this soon? Anyone know how long til the pain and all lessens? I would advise everyone to be prepared before surgery and try to have someone there to be with you for you whole recovery. Jessica

  22. Jessica

    I’m 24/F..Just got my tonsils taken out on the 5th. The doctor did a different procedure where he did not put me out. I was fully awake for my tonsillectomy. He only used locals then cut them out. The main reason why i went with this procedure was because the Dr. said it was a faster recovery time. I am a full time mother and pre-nursing student. The Dr. said I should feel up to going back to my normal routine in just 7 to 10 days. I start classes on tues which is exactly 7 days after my surgery. Unfortunately, Im still struggling. I constantly feel like I’m choking and my saliva seems to be overproducing seeing as I have to either spit or swallow every other minute. I am glad I wasn’t put under though because I have yet to feel fatigue. I feel like i can do everything normally, just without talking and Im still in pain. Any tips before I start classes? I would greatly appreciate it!

  23. B

    Hi there!

    Had my tonsils removed last Friday, 1/25. Today is day #7 (including surgery day) and this is where I am:

    Surgery day wasn’t bad at all. Arrived at 8:30, home by 2:30, slept most of the evening. Days 1-4 really weren’t to too bad in general. DO NOT try anything tomato based…I did day 2 and paid the price (vomiting with a swollen uvula is hell!) Days 5-7 have been the most uncomfortable-I won’t say worst because while it’s been painful…I have experienced much worse sore throats from sinus infections/tonsillitis.

    The worst for me has been the swollen uvula (huge! Touches your tongue and then some, ack,) (sleep sitting straight up, only way,) the pressure/pain that radiates to where the jaw and ears meet and finally…the taste in your mouth from the scabs. Also my damn tongue still hurts!

    I’ve had great success with ice pops, ICE water, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.

    Question: one side of the scabs seem to be falling off much faster than the other…should I
    be concerned? My tongue also still hurts…concern? I have my follow-up tomorrow but thought I’d share on this blog where I’ve been reading all week!

    Please listen when people tell you it’s HORRIBLE with a grain of salt. I’m ready to move past this recovery but no more tonsil stones (which taste just as bad as scabs) or 3-4 illnesses a winter won’t be missed either!

  24. Yvette

    I’m having my surgery tomorrow, Jan. 31, 2013, if it wasn’t for this site I would be blind as to what will happen after tomorrow. Thank you for making this website, i feel I have armed myself with very important tips.
    Will post later as days go by.
    Happy healing.

  25. Jennifer

    Not sure if I’m doing something wrong, but when I try to hit the “respond to this” button, it’s not working…you guys are likely to get sick of me-I’ll probably be whining on here quite a bit. :o) It’s really nice to talk to people that have experienced a tonsillectomy. Greg, I wonder if you might be able to tell me what prescription pain relief you have heard from all of your experience with this site might be best? I am actually nursing my 6 month old baby-and realize that I likely won’t be able to-however, I’m curious as to what most people have said helps/doesn’t help. I have milked stored in our freezer-I’m curious how many days I will be needing to take the pain med round the clock? I realize everyone is different, just wanted to see what your thoughts were. Thank you so much!

  26. Jennifer

    Hi all,
    I am not sure where the best place to post it, but I am scheduled to have my tonsils out on November 9, 2012. I am 32 female-I have three small children-and am super scared of this surgery and mostly, the recovery. I am praying that I can catch a break and that it won’t be as bad as I’ve heard. I have had three c-sections and sinus surgery so I’ve at least has some experience with painful recovery time. Wanted to see if anyone else was scheduling theirs close to mine and also ask if anyone had any advice to help me get through this?! Thank you!

    1. Greg Tooke Post author

      Hi Jennifer- This is s good page to post. Do you have some help with the kids? you will need it! Read through all the stuff on the site. I’ve spent year putting together the info I think people need. best of luck to you- drink, drink, drink!!!

    2. Meghan

      Hi Jennifer,
      I had a tonsilectomy in March this past year. I was 34. Medicine generally doesn’t make me sick but the roxicet made me very sick. they gave me an antinausea patch which REALLY helped. I did not give myself enough time. I took a week off but to be honest, the first couple days I slept. It was the 5-10 days that were the roughest. As already posted, make sure you have help!!! You will be in pain and exhausted- not a good combination with kids!!
      I know it sounds rough- it is for 2 weeks but it is totally worth if after the fact.
      Good luck!!

  27. Anika

    Hi Greg, thank you! I am a bit lost with the forum, where should I post to be in the current forum (April 2012)? This one seems to be March 2012. Sorry!

    1. greg

      sorry for confusion. old forum seems to have maxed out. i pointed to new one. if you click the menu tab at top right, “tonsillectomy forum.” you should have company soon. take care

  28. Anika

    Hi everyone! I hope everyone is well recovering after the tonsillectomy. I had mine in England, but English is not my mother tongue, so apologies for my language mistakes. I was really scared of the surgery but it went ok. I was joking with the hospital staff just before the surgery, so it wasn’t too stressful. The first and second days I felt really well – I could eat, talk and just felt a bit tired. I was telling myself that the worst is in the past and I thought that the worst thing was the surgery. I was really wrong… It was the third day when the pain started. I was taking codeine as a drug which was horrible as I couldn’t eat anything (not only because of the pain but especially as I was feeling sick after codeine). I’m now on my day 8 and I feel like the pain will never leave me! The interesting thing is that I don’t have that pain all the time – I take the pain killers and I feel ok during the day. When I go to sleep I have a horrible pain in my throat and ears. I have the same pain in the morning when I wake up. It hurts so much! I can’t talk too much but I’m trying to eat and I can manage it. I try to drink a lot of fluids and I drink lots of cold chocolate milk which is great for my throat. Before my surgery I was working a lot, doing plenty of activities, socialising and I feel really sad to stay at home for such a long time. Can anyone advise me if it is ok for me to go back to work on Monday? Is there a lot of risk of getting worse? When did you go back to work after your surgery? Many thanks and take care.

  29. Meghan

    Day 6…..I’m so done with this :( Emotionally I’m done. My kids are ready for me to be better. My husband is ready too. I am now feeling stress to get back to work.
    One hour I feel okay and the next I feel absolutely awful. I’m going to try to not take the Roxicet today..it has been making me so sick.
    Please just can I feel better soon :(

    1. Suzanne

      Meghan, I so understand how you feel. Yesterday i starting feeling really well. Thought maybe the worst is over. Then it hit me again late last night. Stinging ears, stinging throat all over again. Back to the Roxicet and ice packs. Depressing. Trying to get back to normal, but it takes time. Don’t feel guilty about trying to get back to work, your body needs to heal. Take care of yourself.

      1. Meghan

        Thanks Suzanne. I’m sorry you are going through this but glad to know I’m not alone :)

        Last night was scary. I was lying in bed and tasted blood. I turned the light on and I was beeding a fairly good amount (just about he 2 ablespoons they say to go to the er). I started to panic when it wouldn’t stop but after about 20 minutes and some ice water it finally stopped.
        I know I’m now in the stage where the scabs are coming off. I ca feel them and It feels like there are a million pieces of glass in my throat. To be honest though, I’m happy to be here as this means I’m making progress and hopefully the end is in sight :)

        How are you doing now? Hang in there!

        1. Suzanne

          How scary! Did you call your Dr., mine told me there should be no blood afterwards. Last night was painful, got up twice for ice packs and medicine. Trying to chew gum to suppress pain instead of pain med this morning. Dont like the way medicine is messing up my stomach. Am dying for some iced coffee. Think I will try some. By the way, i’ve lost 7 pounds since Thursday. Sick of soup, and can’t even look at jello.

        2. Suzanne

          How Scary! Did u tell your Dr., mine told me there should be no blood. Last night was painful, woke up twice for ice packs and pain medicine. Am trying to chew gum now to suppress pain. Really dont want to take any more Roxicet, its messing up my stomach. Am dying for an iced coffee, think i will try. So sick of soup and can’t even look at jello. By the way, i’ve lost 7 lbs.

          1. Meghan

            No, I didn’t call my dr. I probably should have but I didn’t.
            I tried an iced coffee yesterday but after a few sips couldn’t drink it anymore. That seems to be the same with everything! I had a rough night…terrible pain and earaches but my mood is still somewhat better as I’ve made it a week. Somewhere in my mind if I could make it to the week marker I knew I’d start to feel better soon. Not yet but almost :) How are you today?

          2. Suzanne

            Hey Meghan, Good to hear from you. I was worried after you mentioned the bleeding. Glad that stopped. Last night was also rough for me. Couldnt get pain meds in fast enough. I understand what others mean by stabbing pain. Daytime surprisingly is much better for me. As long as Im up and constantly sipping I feel somewhat normal. Nights, however, is much different. Hopefully, we have passed the worst of it. My poor dog probably thinks Im dying. Just lays by me all day, he’s not eating either. Husband asked if I wanted to go for a short walk yesterday. I havent left the house all week. Actually got my shoes on, walked out to the backyard for about 5 min. Couldnt do it, had to go back in and rest, pressure in my ears. Pretty worthless right now. Thank goodness for laptops. Mine has a permanent place in my bed now.

          3. Meghan

            I could have written your post ..about my dog and the laptop :)
            I’m afraid to say this….but I feel really good today! I’ve eaten more today than the past week combined! Are you eating any better now? I bet your energy will be back once you do. I’m scared for the night…..the nights have been so bad. But I’ll take a good day :)
            On a funny note, I left the house for the first time today. I went to get an iced coffe at dunkin donuts by myself (!). I never realized how bad I sounded until it took 2 different girls to figure out what I was asking for lol
            I have to admit, my other savior has been pinterest for completely taking my mind off this!
            Hope you are doing better!!!

          4. Suzanne

            Your trip to Dunkins made me laugh! Can so relate to that, my tongue gets so swollen I have ridges from my teeth on it. So bizarre. I love Dunkin’s coffee. Maybe i’ll be brave and venture out tomorrow. Today was pretty good. Take care.

          5. Suzanne

            Hey Meghan! How’s your recovery coming along now? Hard to believe that it has now been 11 days since our surgeries. I am doing really well. Actually took my daughter to a ballet performance and ate dinner out 2 nights ago, although being extremely cautious as to what I eat. Scabs are almost gone, thank goodness. Stopped all pain medication around the seventh day. All in all, I feel pretty lucky that I have recovered this quickly. Hope you are doing well!!

      2. Meghan

        Hi Suzanne- I meant to post yesterday but it was my first real day back at work and I was so busy. Glad to hear you are doing well!! I’m doing good. Great compared to a week ago :) I still have 1 spot at the lower back corner of my mouth that hurts- feels like a big kanker sore really. I can so live with that though. I have to be careful with what I eat but physically I’m back. Dying to get out for a run…..On Sunday I took the kids to the mall. It was going great until we stopped for smoothies….it hit my sore spot and sent searing pain into my ear and we had to go home. But all in all things are much better. So glad this is over with!! oh…are you still talking funny? At times I am….other times fine.

      3. Meghan

        Suzanne- Are you still having any pain? I have one spot that is still pretty sore. I can’t eat any spice or chocolate or tomatoe anyrhing…if I do this spot sears in pain. I think it may be the part that bled that night so maybe its just taking longer to heal. Not sure. I’ll see the doc next week so if it’s not better by then I’ll ask. Hope you are well!!

        1. Suzanne

          Hey Meghan, I actually haven’t tried anything spicy yet. Although I’m really missing our usual Mexican dinner out. I think I’ll wait a few more days to try anything that spicy. My doctors appt is next Tuesday, I’m curious to see what he has to say about the tonsils. One was so large. As far as pain, I still feel like I have a very mild sore throat. But It doesn’t really bother me much. Still haven’t returned to work. Arranged my schedule so that I would have almost 4 weeks off. I was really scared that I would need that much time off (prepared for the worst). I’m a night shift nurse and staying up all night without much time to drink probably would not have helped with my recovery. I would be careful about that spot in your throat and stay away from the spicy stuff for now. Do you think you may still have a scab? Keep me posted : )

  30. Lisa L

    Well it’s been a week since my surgery! I’ve stopped taking the pain meds. All they seem to do is make me tired, nauseas and constipated! The pain isn’t too bad today and I plan on going back to work tomorrow. I am a special needs teacher, so we will see if I last the entire day. I was pretty upset that I didn’t go back to work today, but I know that I can’t rush it…… Ice packs, slushies, jello, ice water, and mashed potatoes have been my diet. I am craving chicken and I can’t wait until I get tobeat food and it actually taste good.

  31. Juliet Farmer

    40/f, 8 weeks post op. can’t believe my surgery was only two months ago. seems like it was years ago! and that’s a good thing. :) hang in there all you in the thick of it right now. it gets better. MUCH better. i have no regrets at all (and just so you know, i had it rough–had a bleed, major pain, etc. and even some “delayed post op pain” a couple of weeks ago). my taste is back to normal, too. and, according to my husband, i have not snored once post op. also haven’t been sick. and no occasional stones. as bad as it was, the pain was worth the end result.

    1. Kerry G

      Juliet, when did your taste go back to normal? I am on day 26 and sweet things still have a slight sour taste to them…So frustrating!

  32. Donna

    43 yr old female – tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and sinus/turbinate cauderization
    I had mine done on 3/14

    Why do I feel awful in the morning, all day and then later in the day start to feel better, very well actually. All I want to do is sleep all day. I feel as though I am wiped out, sore and my throat is on fire.

    I have been eating popsicles, mashed potatos, and pudding. Jello and scrambled eggs were difficult. I kept choking on them. I really liked Gatorade the first few days, but the past couple of day, iced water has been my favorite.

    I still have the dissolvable packing in my nose – it’s dissolved some, but I cannot wait for it to be completely gone.

    Looking for any and all advice! Thank you!

  33. Meghan

    I’m 34 yr old female. I had my tonsils removed on Thursday, March 15th. The surgery was easy- quick and I felt okay all Thursday.
    Now on day 4 I feel terrible. I’m taking Roxicet every 4 hours. It’s bearable when the medicine is kicked in. But at hour 3 everthing really hurts…throat, head, ears.
    I have to admit, if I saw all the posts of people still having problems weeks afterwards I think I would have backed out. I have eatern pops, ice cream, sherbert. that’s it…and I’m hungry!

    1. Greg Tooke Post author

      Hi Meghan, and welcome. Yes, I’m afraid that you’ve entered the tough part. Try drinking ensure to get some calories, Icing can help take a bit of the edge off your pain. KEEP DRINKING!

      Hang in there. This is temporary.

    2. Suzanne

      Hey Meghan. I also had my tonsils out on Thursday, March 15th. Have you tried icing your throat? This has helped me greatly. I’m also taking Roxicet. I can hardly swallow it, makes me nauseated. Trying to back off the meds some. Drinking water like crazy. Have also found mashed potatoes with gravy somewhat easy to eat and satisfying. Hang in there.

      1. Meghan

        Thanks for your replies.
        Suzanne- ice packs have been my biggest savior. I have them on my throat constantly.
        At the hospital they gave me an anti nausea patch which I could wear for 72 hours. I thought I was taking the Roxicet fine but when I removed the patch this morning I realized it was saving me from the Roxicet side effects!
        At the moment I’m feeling pretty good. MUCH better than I was earlier today. I ate an egg!!!! lol Never thought I would be so happy over an egg :)

    3. Trish

      I don’t understand how other people are able to swallow the pills! Why can’t I swallow without aspirating it or it goes up my nose!!!! Is this happening to anyone else? I would love to be able to just pop some pain meds.

    4. Trish

      Hey! I see Thursday the 15th was a big day for tonsils! That’s when I had my surgery too! I have always been an over achiever, this is really kicking my a$$! Another night of staying up until I pass out from exhaustion!

  34. Dayle A.

    Hey everyone,

    I’m a 20/f who just had her tonsils (and adenoids) out on Tuesday. I was looking up info on the white/yellow membrane that forms on the wounds (I didn’t know what it was), and came across this forum. I think it’s really interesting (and unfortunate) that y’all are having so many side effects from the surgery! Mine went smoothly (in and out within 30 mins) and I was given a little bit of morphine before being discharged. My surgeon put me on Roxicet (and colace, since roxicet causes constipation), but right now I’m wishing he put me on something else. Roxicet makes me SO sick and nauseous that I can’t even take it anymore. I’ve been functioning for two days on absolutely NO pain medication. Talk about miserable. I tried to take some this morning and within 30 seconds of swallowing it, I puked it (and all of my food) back up. NOT FUN. I’ll probably be heading into the ER to get some fluids and have the docs change up my pain meds today. I’ve mostly been eating apple sauce, soup (NOT TOMATO), popsicles, smoothies (no seeds), and I even managed to eat some halibut filets and fries (while on my pain meds) the other day! Since I had that unfortunate puking episode this morning, I’m pretty sure I ripped my scab on the left side, and have been reduced to sucking the salt off of pretzels. I don’t even try to speak, and I’m not excited about this “7-11 day pain peak.” I seem to be feeling the “plugged up” ears, and oddly enough, when I chew, I feel kind of a clicking or squishy sound behind my right jaw/under my right ear. Weird? Anybody else experiencing that?

    1. Kathy

      Dayle- I was on Roxicet too and it worked great for me! However, I knew how my tummy would react and also asked for a prescription for antinausea and I was fine! I did try taking the Roxicet by itself one time and within 20 mins was ready to puke!! I am on day 9 and have been off pain meds for 2 days. But my surgery wasn’t that bad and only had my tonsils out which were not swollen or infected (just got tired of the sore throats). Also make sure u are icing your neck! I had ice on my neck 24/7 for the first 2 days! And I didn’t have that feeling u are talk about.

  35. Julie

    When people are making the switch from the narcotics to plain Tylenol, what kind are you getting? It seems as though the only liquid format is children’s? Or can you get a liquid Tylenol prescribed to you? I’m not quite there yet, just preparing for when I am. And I’ve seen people talk about Tylenol 3 or something like that – what is that? Thanks!

  36. Julie

    I know I has to subscribe again to get updates since it moved over here. Maybe people are getting updates and just assuming no one is writing? I don’t know, just a thought.

  37. Amineh

    26/f post op day 12, yesterday I ate solid food for the first time…3 nuggets and a few fries! I was so happy lol. I still have scabs and some throat and eat pain, mostly at night when my throat dries up. I thought by now I would be in a much better place but the pain is definetly tolerable. I take my pain meds only at night to help me sleep and I’m still drinking away. What an experience I must say, I originally took 9 days off bf I went back to work but then I quickly extended it to 14. I truly believe you need at least 2 weeks of recovery time in order to become some what normal again. This has been a tough ride, hope you are all going well!

  38. Elyse

    Had my tonsils out yesterday (29/F). Surgery was a breeze. They wheeled me into the OR at 10:19 and the doc came out and talked to my hubby at 10:40. He said when he pulled a little on my tonsils they almost came out by themselves. He stunned at how fast and easily they came out; only lost a tsp of blood too. Hoping all of this translates to an easier recovery.

    Pain is manageable so far. I was told Sun thru Sat would be rough. Drinking a LOT.

    Recipe for easy homemade slush: cut a couple of Popsicles off the sticks and into a microwave safe mug or bowl. Microwave for just a few seconds to soften a bit. Mash it up with a spoon and add a splash of sprite or 7 up. I’ve been eating them all the time with a spoon. So good!

    1. Julie

      Hey Elyse, that’s kind of scary that they almost came out by themselves! Yes hopefully that does translate to an easier recovery, best of luck! I was loving those Popsicle slushies right after my surgery but unfortunately they sting now. Hopefully that will change, I have 2 large boxes full!

  39. Julie

    Warning: just a ramble about food…
    My surgery was this past Monday. After surgery I ate almost a whole box of Popsicles. The day after I found they stung too much & haven’t been able to have one since. I tried Gatorade and that stings too. I’ve been living on ensure plus. I had a couple of Dannon yogurt smoothies but it’s like it curdled on my tongue and I had to scrape it off, kind of gross so I’m saving those for later. Friday I felt a bit light headed at one point, not sure if from the lack of food or due to drugs or maybe a combo but I tried some instant mashed potatoes that I let cool down before eating. That wasn’t bad at all. I’d let them basically melt in my mouth. I feel like due to all the extra swallowing that it pulled some scabs off as I’m experiencing more pain. Think I’m starting to get a bit of the ear pain as well, kind of feel like they are a bit plugged and trying to unplug. It’s 4am EST, I wish more people would post what they are experiencing now. It makes for some nice reading when I wake up during the night for my med or water! I hope others are still taking theirs every 4 hrs that are at the same point as I.

    1. Beth

      That’s my fear….that by the time I have my tonsillectomy on the 10th (provided I pass pre-op blood work) that no one will be on here and I’ll have no one to commiserate with! Most of you will be all back to your usual lives by April 10th!

      1. Greg

        Don’t worry Beth- there will always be more people. I’ve hosted this forum for almost 4 years and there’s always been at least a few at any given time. I blame the radio silence on some technical glitches. I really think I have them worked out. Let’s move back to the original :

        http://tonsillectomyrecovery.com/tonsillectomy-recovery-forum/

        In the meantime, yes- I would ask for steroids. I did not get them and my uvula swelled like an 80lb. punching bag. I could hardly swallow for a few days.

        See you on the other forum, ok?

        1. Beth

          Greg, thanks so much. It’s comforting to know the board always has a few people here. I hope I’m posting in the correct location-I’m a little confused.

          What has really blown me away is how most people think the surgery is all Popsicles and ice cream and time off. When I’ve discussed it with my family and told them what I’ve read about recovery, they all seem to take the same attitude: most people probably did just fine and you’re only reading the worst horror stories, etc. it makes me feel as though I’m being ‘dramatic’ in talking about how hard the recovery might be. Or that I’m being a pessimist or something.

          I’m just trying to be prepared and not be taken by surprise! That’s whybim do appreciative of this forum and everyone sharing their experience.

          Anyway, I have my pre-op tomorrow and will ask lots of questions.

          Thanks and I hope everyone is doing as well as possible at their given point in recovery. Hugs to all if you!

  40. Trish

    Day 2, 25 hours after surgery. I can’t take anything orally. Even small sips are going up my nose and aspirating. I don’t know what to do. I can’t take any of the oral meds.

      1. Trish

        I just got discharged from the ER. I had to have iv fluids, iv decadron and Toradol. Probably should have stayed but I really want to be home. I just ate a popcicle! WooHoo! I keep telling myself, “this is worth it!”

          1. Trish

            Yes, I couldn’t swallow anything. Even choked on my saliva. All the meds I need are liquid. I am having a lot of trouble swallowing mechanically. The swelling is back. The liquid meds burn. I mixed the liquid decadron with carosyrup and maple syrup. It has taken HOURS for me to get it down. I bought a long soft reusable ice pack and I have been wrapping it around my neck and hold it in place with a whiplash soft collar. That feels good.

      2. Beth

        Greg, and anyone here, do you think asking in advance for an oral steroid rinse or steroid as pills is a good idea to head off intense swelling issues? That’s one of my big fears – bad swelling making it hard to eat, breath or drink. :-(

        1. Trish

          My doctor prescribes steroids and anti inflammatory meds routinely. If yours doesn’t …RUN! I am allergic to Prednisone, now prelone didn’t help. Now I’m trying Decadron liquid.

  41. Lisa L

    Has anyone found a way to get rid of the pain but be able to stay awake throughout the day?! I am only taking the lortab but it makes me so tired. Being a mother of two young kids I feel like I am a horrible mom right now. I can’t even stay awake long enough to watch them eat dinner. Thank goodness for my amazing husband and mom. I wouldn’t be able to take care of my kids without them!…… This is only day 3 post op for me. I am kind of scared because I’ve read several times that the pain increases after day 3…..

    1. Kathy

      I got off the pain meds at day 8 because I was having so many side effects! I take a couple of extra strength Tylenol a few times a day instead! I have my mom staying with me to help me right now with my 16 month old! If I didn’t feel so guilty for not spending time with him, I think I could of slept all day!!

  42. Robert

    web design is not for the faint of heart just like having an adult tonsillectomy! and forum scripts do not always work correctly!

  43. Kathy

    @Kelly – wow! Sorry u had the withdrawal symptoms but glad to know I am not alone in what I feel! I really thought I was feeling better, so to wake up and feel totally hung over was disappointing and frustrating!! Did you go cold turkey off the Roxicet or wean yourself off? I went cold turkey and only took Loritab as needed. However, tonight I gave in and took some Roxicet because my throat was sore but also to have some relief from the withdrawal!! I did go online and research it a little and it did say it’s best to wean yourself off Roxicet!

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