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.

124 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Recovery | Adult Tonsillectomy

  1. I’m 6 days post op and doing great. As long as I take the pain meds as scheduled, the pain is under control. I’ve been able to eat lots of different soft foods, so hunger hasn’t been an issue. I have lost 5 pounds, though, but who’s complaining? My doctor was amazed at my progress yesterday at the checkup post-op. I was pretty scared about this surgery, but have been pleasantly surprised at how well recovery has gone. I’ve been resting a lot, but still able to do things for myself & go out and about a small amount to keep from going stir crazy. I’m so glad I went through with this. At 44, one doctor told me getting strep throat 3-4 times per year would be easier than surgery. I just couldn’t face that for the next 20+ years, so decided to go for the surgery. I’m so glad I did. Looking forward to a healthier me!

  2. 21 years old, been having recurring infections and recently had chronic tonsillitis for 6 months so dr finally thought it was time to take them out. About time! It had changed the way my voice sounded I had trouble swallowing food among other problems these tonsils of mine have cause. Anyways I am now on day 7 post op and I can actually sit comfortably for a couple of minutes and type this… Surgery wasn’t bad, and actually day of surgery was probably the best of them all. Maybe cause I was still a little under anesthesia. Slept most of the first day and only ate ice chips. Day 2 and 3 had pain to swallow but not the ear pain. I stopped taking oxycodon the night of day 3. Those days I didn’t eat much, had about 4 spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and pudding before taking the meds. Drank lots of water and juice. Avoid citrus stuff. God mom gave me a strawberry smoothie and it stung so bad! Anyways on night 5 I could honestly say was the worst night so far. Woke up with terrible pain in my throat, outside my neck , ears, teeth well even my hair hurt. Ran to get the pain medication ( didn’t actually run) but it helped some not much though. The rest of day 5 got better. Day 6, which was earlier today, was actually good. I managed to eat a sandwich ( with no ketchup) took me about 3 hours to finish it but it was an accomplishment. I Recommend to take quick short showers because I would get really dizzy and had to sit. Yeah try not to faint in the shower please. Also been constipated for 7 days now and it’s going great. (Not). I would also recommend to have acces to netlix, just finished Greys anatomy :(. Or a book. And definitely have someone to take care of you. The first few days you literally can’t do anything for yourself. Hoping to wake up better tomorrow because I’ve been craving wings for the longest…. Even though I know that’s not gonna happen. Good luck to everyone going that plans or that is going through this journey like myself. Halfway there!

    1. Oh I forgot to mention, I’ve been having saliva stuck in the back of my throat and it feels like it’s closing up. I try to swallow it it but it just stays there. Not sure if this is normal on day 6/7?

  3. I’m 29 and 2 months post op from having my tonsils removed. Along with my deviated septum fixed, sinus cavities explored and removal of some parts of my sinuses, everything in my nose was three to four times bigger then it should have been. That’s right I did both surgeries at the same time. My tonsils were swollen like ping pong balls and when removed the left one came out with 2tsps of whatever tonsils stones are made up of. The first week wasn’t fun because doing bothe surgeries I had splints up my nose and had to breath through my mouth. Most important part of getting tonsils out is keeping your mouth wet. I lived off of applesauce, jello and ice the first week. I bought the mini ice cube trays, which were perfect size to let them melt in your mouth. Anything with mil didn’t taste good to me. By the first week I was eating mac and cheese. For me ear pain and tounge pain was the worst the heating pad was my saving grace. I didn’t have much pain while swallowing, keep your mouth wet. I also stayed up on my pain meds, I had liquid hydro codon, and started to ween myself off after a week and a half. Was fully off pain meds by week two. By day 10, warm liquids tasted better then cold. My scabs took three weeks to fall off, every day they were a little smaller. The no taste thing is real, I can taste bold ER flavors, garlic and salty food, but some of it is still bland. Because I had sinus surgery I also couldn’t smell, which is taking its time to come back. My tonsil area is almost done healing, right now my uvula is not centered because the right side fully healed before the left. I don’t regret my surgery, food doesn’t get stuck, I have more room in my mouth and I can breath much better. I read these forums befor my surgery and it scared me to read other people’s experiences.

    My advice:

    – DRINK LOTS OF WATER. They gave two bags of fluids during surgery and I was drinking lots of water the day before.
    -Ask the dr about steroids for swelling. They gave some during surgery.
    -Rest- I thought I would want to watch movies, sleep was all I did.
    – Do what the dr tells you for recovery.

  4. I haven’t had any nausea yet but probably due to the anti nausea patch that anesthesiologist gave me before surgery. Suppose to take it off tomorrow, that’s why I’m eating what I can today. doing the salt water gargle after eating every meal. This website has been a great help to me so I want to share my story hope it helps others.

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