Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy Recovery Time



Tonsillectomy recovery time is unique for each patient. Recovery time for children is much shorter than for adults, with seemingly less pain. My own eight year old son was back to his old self in less than a week after his tonsillectomy. This may have fanned the flames of my unreasonable expectations of my own  recovery time as an adult. His was fairly typical of a child his age. Children’s bodies heal faster than adults’ do.

Recovery for an adult is a different story. Age matters. In fact, it appears that the older an adult is at the time of their tonsillectomy, the longer the recovery is, in general. Based on my own adult tonsillectomy recovery, and the stories of thousands of my readers, I’d put the average adult tonsillectomy recovery time at approximately 10.43 days. Yes, I’m that good!

Humor aside, ten days seems to be pretty typical. I added the .43 because so many people, myself included, thought they had it licked and went back to work around day ten, only to find they weren’t quite ready. As scabs slough off in second week of recovery, many adults experience a bit of a pain relapse, just as they thought they were almost recovered. This is a really tough period for many. They’ve spent almost two weeks with minimal sleep, minimal nourishment, minimal activity, and lots of pain medicine. It can be downright depressing for adults recovering in this second week.

Check out our new tonsillectomy recovery video- Caution: Not always pretty

I do hear from many adults whose recovery times are closer to a week – perhaps due to my good advice, perhaps due to genetics. It’s hard to say why some adults’ recovery times are shorter, and their experiences less traumatic. There are also cases that drag out further. If you’re one of a small minority that requires re-cauterization for bleeding, or don’t take the proper precautions, (many of these are outlined here and in my book), your tonsillectomy recovery time may be as much as three or four weeks. I want to make an important point here- one that I cannot overemphasis: Stay hydrated! Keep drinking fluids! Dehydration is the worst enemy of the tonsillectomy patient.

My advice: ask your employer, your family, your friends, and the rest of the world to give you two weeks for your adult tonsillectomy. You may surprise them, hopefully for the better.

Recovery is unique to each individual- sure.  We know that recovery time for adults is longer, and maybe harder, than for children. I remember my own son bouncing back in less than a week! My own experience taught me that ten days off from a job that required lots of talking was a bit light.  I generally advise two weeks.  As I’ve said, most employers will let you come back early.  That’s easier than asking for more time after the fact. I’ve read the accounts of thousands of tonsillectomy patients- most of them adults. I’ve learned that the time required varies. I wonder though, how many tonsillectomy patients never really post about their experience.
Are you one of those quiet ones lying in the weeds? I’d like to get a better feel for the average adult tonsillectomy recovery time. Please take a moment and share your own experience in recovering from tonsillectomy surgery. You can help us all!I’ve put together a collection of items that I think would be helpful, if not essential, to making tonsillectomy recovery a little more pleasant. Check out the
Tonsillectomy General Store.

Tonsillectomy Recovery Time

-Greg Tooke 


88 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Recovery Time

  1. Erica

    I’m 27 and am finishing day 7 after my tonsillectomy. Worst. Pain. Of. my. life. There is absolutely no way to describe it. I had tonsil stones pretty bad, so I got my tonsils out. I’m not saying I regret doing it, I’m just saying I would rather go through labor again than have this surgery. The actual surgery went fine, and the first day my pain was only about 5/10. Days 3-5 were the absolute worst. 6 started getting a bit better, and today so far is the least excruciating. I had early bleeding on day 3 & went to the ER. They were no help. My bathroom sink looked like someone murdered a hamster. For 6 days I was literally incapacitated. I laid in bed all day, every day. The pain meds barely did anything for the pain, but sure made me sick, dizzy, and nauseous! I feel like it only helped with ear pain, which also makes me nauseous, and it would wear off after about 2 hours. Forget about sleep. Once your throat Dries out, that’s the end of it. It feels like some sort of tiny animal trying to claw it’s way out of your throat. And food? What’s food… I’m STARVING. I can’t eat anything without it feeling like I’m swallowing nails or glass. I just… I don’t know a word strong enough to describe the feeling. The ear pain just intensifies everything. Like the constant feeling that your ears want to pop, mixed with someone shoving an ice pick in there. The only relief I seem to get is from staying hydrated. Also, putting an ice pack on my neck area where the tonsils were, helps to calm the swelling. Otherwise, I got nothin. To anyone pondering this surgery, good luck, and God speed.

  2. Taylorr

    I’m a 30 y/o female on day 11 after my tonsillectomy. Everything up to this point has been a breeze. Starting day 7-8 starting have really bad pains on one side. I was afraid maybe I broke my stitches or something. Cold & hot stuff would burn like the dickens and it would be excruciating pain in my ear. Today I went to my doctor for a post op & he said I’ve actually healed faster than expected and I was not on any eating restrictions now. I do still need to take pain meds tho. He said take them until the pain stops. The side that is hurting is open, meaning the scab is gone, which in turn causes the pain when I get something in it. I’m hope day 12 – 16 will only get better. Until then, I have hydrocodone at night & liquid Tylonel during the day so I can go to work.

    Another note, this website & the forum posts have been so helpful. It has aloud me to know what to expect some.

  3. phil rodwell

    My situation seems fairly normal. Pain at the end of every pain relief cycle and felling that the pain relief was no longer working. I am on day 7 and had a better sleep last night but I still haven’t eaten anything really. This has caused me to loose 16lb in a week. Just cant face the pain eating causes. Trying to drink as much as possible but this is still excruciatingly painful. I can only hope things will get better soon. Good luck. X

  4. Sarah Geertsen

    I had my tonsils and adenoids removed on Feb 20. The first day was a blur as the medical staff had me well medicated for the return home. I stayed up on all my meds through day 5 and was very comfortable. It wasn’t as though I was 100%, but I felt like about 75% of myself. So much so that I tried eating more normal foods. Around day 7, the mucus really set in and the frustration increased. Water and sports drinks didn’t seem to help but you are not to try to cler your throat. Food was the only thing I found to really clear it all out for a bit. Day 9, I woke to severe ear and neck pain. The pain is dizzying and very uncomfortable. I am looking forward to relief as I find this to be the most difficult period thus far. My diet has been broth with VERY soggy crackers, Apple sauce, and Jello for the first 5 days. Later, I added scrambled eggs, Lipton extra noodle soup, and soggy cereals. About day 7, I started to eat. Small portions of soft foods like turkey lunch meat, avocado, mashed potatoes, peas, ramen noodles, etc. Small portions means I had maybe 3 or 4 bites a meal but it was better than a liquid diet. So far, the worst has been the 2ND week but it is survivable and I agree with taking 2 weeks off for recovery.

    1. Kristina

      My surgery was delayed and I wound up having it Tuesday. Omg. This is bad. So so so bad. But I think the reason I made it this far is from day one I’ve been pushing water water water!!!

  5. John Sturman

    Male age 44 tonsillectomy.
    Immediately post op. I was in a lot of pain which was only just dealt with by oromorph. I was close to being admitted to the High Dependency Unit for IV morphine. I was kept in hospital overnight.
    The next day the pain had subsided and I was given ibuprofen and paracetamol to take home, prescribed by the surgeon.
    The only thing that helped the pain was some ice cream.
    The pain day 2 and 3 was 3/10, nothing worse than a normal sore throat and I was able to eat reasonably normally.
    Day 4 I woke with my throat in much more pain. I had very dense scabs in tonsil spaces, some of which sloughed off after a bit of food. Swallowing became painful.
    Day 5 the pain was now up to a 9/10 and the meds. had no effect. Not sleeping and unable to eat or drink. Swallowing sips of water was excruciating.
    Day 6 early hours the pain was 10/10 and almost unbearable. Couldn’t even think and was desperate. Went back to emergency dept. at hospital. Put on IV paracetamol drip and Diclofenac with oral liquid co-codamol. Pain then eased to bearable level in emergency room.
    Prescribed 1000mg tablets of co-codamol, 50mg Diclofenac, anaesthetic throat spray and advised to also take Tramadol when pain was bad. Also given antibiotics in case of any infection.
    Day 7-9 pain was 10/10 unless I took all the prescribed meds. which completely knocked me out, either to sleep or floating around the room. Was scared to sleep as this dried out my throat and when I woke it felt like my throat was being blow torched, until the next meds. took effect.
    Days 10-11 had the pain slowly easing off enabling me to drop my meds dosage, come off the Tramadol and co-codamol. Finally being able to eat small amounts of food, though swallowing still very painful.
    Day 12 had the pain drop to a background of 4/10 and meds. down to 2 Diclofenac a day.
    Day 13 was first day I started to feel a bit like myself. Energy levels returning and able to do some normal low level activities but still with background pain around 3/10.
    Day 14 was the first day background pain occasionally became unnoticeable, though swallowing still hurt but only at a level around 3/10.
    Day 15 was first day without and meds. Occasional background pain with swallowing at level of 2/10. Able to eat and drink normally for the first time.
    Day 16 and 17 has background pain only on waking up for around first half hour. Swallowing pain getting slightly better each day. Able to function normally.
    Overall, a much worse recovery than anticipated, with several days where even swallowing was so painfull I couldn’t eat or drink anything – getting dehydrated and an unbearable background pain, taking me back into hospital. The only answer was to get so dosed up on painkillers I was completely spaced out.
    Now on Day 17 and still recovering, with typical sore throat level pain when swallowing.
    Scabs now just thin covering of tonsil spaces. Uvula almost back to normal size.

  6. Johnny

    I’m 57 and had a tonsillectomy for stones and snoring. Recovery was fairly smooth but eeven after over 5 weeks my back palate still feels rough. No pain, just a feeling of having to hack and spit something out. Feels like it goes up into my nasal cavity. I heard tonsillectomy in adults can be rough with a long recovery and mine was no exception.

  7. karen

    Im going on 3weeks since surgery I feel ok now still get pain but nothing I cant handle and I had the same problem with feeling like something was stuck in the back of my throat and I was told it the uvula the thing that hangs from the roof of your mouth mine was so swollen and all I wanted to do was swallow which made the pain worse … it does get better good luck and hopefully you have a fast revovery

    1. Adriannah

      Thank you it really hurts when I try to swallow now but so far I’ve been alright and I’m even going to attempt going to school tomorrow. Hopefully it works out alright

  8. Adriannah

    I am 17 years old and I just had a tonsillectomy Tuesday December 30. At first I was ok. I was able to talk but my throat was a little bit sore and I had a horrible taste in my mouth. I was also very dizzy and could barely walk. I got home and I was really hungry so I tried to eat noodles it was going fine but then I started feeling nauseated so my mom gave me one of the pills that’s supposed to help with that. Needless to say it made it worse I wound up throwing up in the hallway. That hurt like heck. Pain didn’t hit me really badly until the day after my surgery. Then it was unbearable. I would feel better and then it would come back feeling 10x worse. Then on New Year’s Eve I wanted to watch fireworks and I was feeling pretty good so my parents let me. I regretted it the next day because I woke up at 3:00 in the morning crying my throat was hurting so bad. The past few days I’ve been able to eat a few solid things. I actually found that if you eat cabbage while its still warm it works wonders for your throat. This morning I woke up crying again but this time it was because not only was my throat hurting but it feels like there’s something stuck in my throat and it hurts really bad when I swallow. Does anyone know what it is?

  9. Ashley

    I’m 17 and I had my tonsils out on Dec. 23 so I am on day 7 now. The first few days weren’t so bad because of the pain meds but then I decided I had to get off it around day 4 or 5 because it was making me so naseuous and confused. Right now the pain isn’t that bad (I’m taking Tylenol every 6 hours) but I am worried about my lack of appetite and anxiety. I have lost about 10 pounds so far (which hasn’t hurt me as I can stand to shed a few) but I am worried about not getting enough nutrition because I hardly eat. I’m also having a lot of anxiety, especially when I am trying to get to sleep. I get to the point of being almost asleep and then I wake up feeling panicked and it takes me a while to get back to sleep. Was wide ring if anyone else was having these problems or knows when my appetite will start to come back? Thanks

  10. Moment

    I got my tonsillectomy done on the 19th of December 2014 because I had tonsil stones and my tonsils would always swell up whenever I got sick or stressed out. AND MAN OH MAN, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into after reading all these experiences but I was so wrong.
    First day after the surgery everything was fine, no bleeding, sore throat but pretty tolerable. I was out for 2 hours after the procedure and was pretty woozy. I got home, took my meds (which hurt to swallow) and went to bed waking up at the right times for medication.
    2nd day, pain progressed. Was on fluids because nothing else could enter.
    3rd-4th day pain was the worst…i couldnt see an end to this. I havent spoken since the procedure nor eaten solid foods.
    by the end of the first week the pain was still there when i swallowed anything but not as terrible. still couldn’t speak. First week sucks basically. Just expect to do nothing.

    Right now I’m on my 11th day and the worst part is the scabs. Youd think after the scabs have formed, the pain would be less but once those things start falling off it’s the worst. I wake up at night from the pain in my throat that reaches my ears and there’s no calming it. Just gotta wait for it to subside. It is so painful and depressing. These scabs are SOB’s man. Cold water is my enemy because it hits the scabs and the perfect spot that brings back the pain. I stopped the pain meds about three days ago because they were making me nauseous and constipated lol. Now Im on extra strength tylenol which my doctor suggested.
    I have a doctors appointment tomorrow for my 2nd post op.
    This surgery sucks guys. Like really sucks. Im hoping by the end of this week I’ll feel better. JUST NO MORE SCAB PAIN PLEASE.
    Its like a sickness that won’t go awat and Im bored of it!
    For those planning this surgery, just know that reading about it is not the same as experiencing it. Its just…I can’t even describe it enough.
    A knee surgery would have been less of a hassle lol.

    1. Moment

      update: it’s been 3 days since I wrote this and it’s like night and day. I feel 100 times better and just a small scab on the back of my tongue on one side. My doctor said I should be back to normal within a few days!
      Also I forgot to mention, I’m 22 years old.

      1. emily

        i just got a tonsillectomy on monday the 29th and boy am i in a lot of pain :( i am 23 years old and am acting like a huge baby! i had the same issue as you with the tonsil stones and my tonsils were always inflamed so it was time for them to come out. Today is my 4th day and by reading your comments i am dreading the “scabs”. The only foods I can sort of tolerate is oatmeal, chicken noodle soup (cut up) and rice. I have lost 5lbs so far so I guess it could be a good thing, haha. What day are you on again? And how do you feel? I am a nanny and supposed to return back to work on monday but not sure if that will happen..

  11. Rebecca

    Hi I’m 18 years old and just had a T&A on Monday. Lucky enough I’m on Christmas break from university and I was able to request two weeks off of work for recovery. To say this has been the worst experience of my life is an understatement. I was prepared for pain and discomfort..but not this excruciating and unbearable. I was experiencing such pain in my ears neck and throat on Christmas Eve I went to the ER only to have them prescribe me new meds and send me on my way. I’ve hardly ate anything since Monday and when I have it’s been only Popsicles. The Pain meds don’t work and I’ve grown accustomed to just tolerating the pain, it’s more of an annoyance at this point…I’m on day 6 of recovery and feel no end in sight and I don’t know if it’s the pain meds, the isolation or the lack of food, its making me so depressed. I just want it to end. The worst part is this taste in my mouth. I’ve read about a foul taste but no one has seemed to emphasize on it..It is TERRIBLE. The best anaogly would be a rotting decaying dead animal. It’s awful. It’s so strong and pugnant. I don’t know what to do to relieve myself from this pain…. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone else dealt with this? sos

  12. karen

    Im on day 7 and im miserable im so hungry and still in so much pain and when I swallow it feels like there is something stuck in my throat and cant swallow it down im thinking its that thing that hangs from the roof of your mouth idk I cant stand cold stuff as ive tried plenty times to eat it but it does nothing for me also hiccups are by far the worst I cried because I had them so bad and btw im 27

  13. rita

    tonsils out wed. today is saturday. i’m 61 . jaw aches, teeth ache, ears ache. found that 800 mg ibuphrophen (spelling?) helped a lot…more than percocet, oxy etc.

    1. jonathan

      Just an update. I cqlled my dr, and they told me to take benadrly. Im allergic to prednisone, so they,couldnt give me that for swelling. By the end of the day, my tongue no longer hung out of my mouth, and i could swallow reasonable things.

      1. Liz

        Yes, it’s normal to choke a little on fluids initially. It’s important to keep drinking, hard as it may be to swallow. I found that ice chips/pellets were a lifesaver.

        For swelling, use ice packs around the clock. Really helped me.

  14. sloan

    despite my first 2 days being horrible i am at the end of day 3 and have not felt any pain today other than when i tried to eat a cabbage roll. is this normal to be pain free so early? i think the reason i may be responding so well is because i have been forcing myself to eat and drink. i ate pork steak while crying last night but i think eating real food helps. also gargling salt water is amazing, i am 21 btw

  15. Kari Bumgarner

    Hello, I’m 20 years old and had my tonsillectomy 16 days ago. The first week was hell, and then some. The second week may have been even worse. Not because of the pain, but because of the blood. I lost about a cup of blood in 3 days. I was really worried and went to the hospital the first time I stated to bleed. The doc at the hospital suctioned out the clot and sent me on my way saying I was fine. The next time I was bleeding it stopped right after I got up and I only lost about 1/4 of a cup of blood. The next time I started bleeding, I lost about a half a cup and we tried to get a hold of my EMT. They never called me back so finally, fed up and thinking I’m going to die, I just went to my EMT’s office. He saw me and reassured me that I wasn’t going to die and told me that if I bleed again to go back to the hospital so they can recauterize my wound. He also told me that with the 20 something years he’s been doing the surgery, he’s never had a bleeder after day 14. Luckily I’ve been 3 days without bleeding, however I still have the blood taste in my mouth and think I’m going to die. Maybe I’m just paranoid now. I would never recommend this surgery to anybody. The worst thing ever. If I could go back in time, I would.

  16. vicki

    Hello. I am on day 7. What a horror! Im 32 yrs old. Never had so much pain!
    I woke up with a cold this morning. What do i do now?
    I sleep 1-2 hours a day. So soooo tired!

  17. micki63m

    I’ve just had my tonsils out yesterday. Just found this forum today, kinda makes me scared of what is to come but at least I won’t be surprised! I can only talk in a hoarse whisper. So mostly I just don’t talk. I am finding that TOO MUCH swallowing seems to make the pain worse. Def talking does! I usually have my 2 yr old grandson but without being able to talk it would be hard to have him here. Was hoping he could come back by tomorrow or Thursday at latest but from what I’m reading it seems it will be next week earliest. Hopefully it won’t take more than 10 days, we have a 6 day trip to the desert planned on 9/10!

      1. micki63m

        Sounds like a good idea for when we are actually inside but we will be all day actually out on desert launching rockets. Guess lots of water will be my friend! Actually it already is as I drink two 64oz containers a day usually. But with it being so painful to swallow I have drastically cut back..gues I better work on getting that back up there. Lots of yogurt, froyo, and slurpees so far but I cut out sugar months ago so now I’ve had more sugar in the past 2 days than I usually have in a month! That even aggravated the throat, too much sugar. I’ll go further back in these forums for more tips over next few days too. If I eat too much cold stuff that hurts too. Gotta find a happy medium

        1. micki63m

          I strongly suggest that if you eat frozen yogurt DO NOT put toppings on it! Especially coconut flakes. Got pineapple froyo and put shredded coconut on it and it gets struck in all the places where I have scabs forming. NOT a good feeling!

  18. Susie

    I’m on day 9. Still in so much pain. The main thing is hunger. I’m so damn hungry. I was prescribed one bottle of Difflam but I’m on my third. Ice pops are great. I’m drinking a lot of milk with ice in it for the protein to fill me up but I spend the next couple of hours feeling nauceaus afterwards. I keep a spit cup by my bed to constantly spit the excess saliva in to as swallowing it makes my stomach full of it which makes me even more nauceaous. It’s my birthday today, ugh. I just want it to end. I want to get some sleeping pills or something as I wake up three times a night. God help me I never want to see another spit cup again. Sorry to be moany but it’s 6am and I still haven’t slept. Buy 2 ice packs. Put one on your neck and when that warms up the other one will be ready to go with rotation.

  19. Ryan

    I’m 29 and this is day 5 post surgery. I know it will hurt like hell to drink but ice water and lots of sleep seem to do the trick. I wake up each morning about 2 am in pain but I simply take my medicine and hop in the shower. Seems to relax my body from the pain and I’m able to sleep. I found sleeping up right in a recliner or your bed is the best sleep position. Glad I got this done! Can’t wait to eat something! GOOD LUCK hope this helps.

  20. Katie

    Hey,
    I am a 20 year old female from NZ and I had a tonsillectomy done 8 days ago! Like most people I did my research on this procedure but in all honesty nothing could prepare me for what it was going to be like. I have had my fare share of surgerys over the years e.g Rhinoplasty, shelf osteotomy, had my ears pinned back and so on and with all that came alot of pain! But this operation has to be by far the worst one yet.
    Day 1: I had my surgury done at night so I was lucky to be able to stay in hospital over night and have a nurse look after me. I was quite sore in recovery and very nauseous but they soon made that go away.
    Day 2: I woke up In alot of pain! Usually in NZ nurses would give you Morphine for the pain but I am unfortunately allergic to it so the next best thing is Tramadol… but recently due to a prior procedure we had found out I am also allergic to it! Unfortunately for me I didnt notify the nurse and he gave me Tramadol…. the nausea kicked in and so did the vomiting. This was soon corrected and I was discharged and on my way home.
    Day 3 and 4: I was so tired and hungry, my throat was in so much pain and my jaw and tounge were very swollen( felt like I had been beaten up). I was taking a liquid paracetamol, liquid antibiotics, Codeine and Voltarin rapid every 8 hours for the swelling. Fair to say my stomach hated me, and regular vomiting was added to my list of pain, yay.
    Day 5: was good throughout the day and things were looking up, I had stopped taking the liquid paracetamol as we figured out it has something in it that doesn’t agree with me and replaced it with Parafast. I had been drinking a cold gatorade all day to give me some energy and managed to eat a tostie. Night time was the worst time yet! I couldn’t sleep because Parafast has caffeine in it and I had been drinking gatorade which also has caffeine in it, because I was so energized none of my pain killers were working, I had a really dry throat because I refused to swallow my phlegm! Fair to say day 5 was the worst night by far! Meds have changed for a 3rd time now just on plain paracetamol, Voltarin every 8 hours and Codeine only at night.
    Day 6: I have now woken to a foul taste in my mouth…ohh goodie the scabbing process! Means it is healing. I find chewing gum and sucking a strong lolly throughout the day takes the taste away completly ( no more gagging lol )
    Day 7: Was a great day, had minimal pain as I constantly sipped away at my water bottle keeping my throat moist and stayed on top of my meds, even managed to leave the house for a few hours to get fresh air. I even managed to eat a cheeseburger! :)
    Today is day 8: lastnight was hard, woke up a few times to severe pain but forced some water down and just sucked away at some soothing lozenges, they seem to help the pain alot!

    From what I have read from everyone else’s posts, looks like it will just keep getting better from here on out. I have been taking a photo of the inside if my throat everyday so I can see the progress. It is still a white sort of color where the tonsils were but the majority of it has gone so I am guessing that is half the scabbing gone?…
    My main advice is dont stop drinking water!! Try to stay away from energy drinks as they just keep you awake at night and take the pain meds every four hours!
    Good luck to anyone wanting to go through this as it is far from pleasant!

  21. Nicole P

    Hey. I’m 20, and had some giant tonsils taken out today. I’m so incredibly sad and in pain. It’s so hard to get water down because it phlegms everytime I drink. My throat is also so itchy. They gave a Popsicle in recovery and it burned like anything so I’m prettified to eat. I’ll take any helpful tips. Please tell me this pain gets better.

    Nicole

    1. Macy

      Try low sodium chicken broth! It has been my life saver because everything seems to burn. I’m on day 8 after a tonsillectomy and still in pain.

  22. Heather

    I was one that had this procedure after age 40. I found that keeping a cold pack on my neck when I had discomfort, really helped with swelling. Don’t eat normal foods too soon. You may think that you can, but keep it soft and not too hot. Cold feels good. Keep medicated. If you miss a dose, the pain can easily become unbearable. God bless and good luck. Bottom line is, I am glad I had the procedure.

    1. Ryan

      Honestly isn’t as bad as you think. I”m day 5 into and other than extreme hungry today I haven’t wanted to eat because it hurts. Drink lots of ice water and don’t TALK! Be prepared to be out at least a week. Good luck

  23. Kim

    My husband made me beef broth and chicken broth popsicles. They were delicious, probably because i was starving! But, it felt good going down…also ask for some “magic mouthwash” prescription med. it worked great for me! There is also a home remedy magic mouthwash with about the same ingredients…benedryl for swelling, maalox to coat and sooth your stomach and throat and cherry tylenol. Just swirl it around, lay down and let it slowly make its way down your throat. I laid on my left side as that was the side that broke open and needed to be restitched.

  24. Victoria Coble

    I just had mine this morning. I am almost 24 years old and 108 lbs. On e i got home i have been absolutely beyond miserable. I cant drink, i cant eat. Seems the only thing my throat can semi-handle is ice. I have taken vicodin for the pain, but did not help for more than an hour/maybe 2. So now i am tryin tylenol with codein. I need any suggestions and home remedies out there to help comfort and soothe, coat and protect. Thank you

    1. Greg Tooke Post author

      Hi Victoria, Sorry you got off to such a rough start. I know it’s hard to drink, but it’s very important that you do so. Ice or frozen popsicles are a great way to get hydration and sooth the throat. Stay with it! You might also try a little throat spray to take the edge off. (Cepacol makes one) You might also try icing the area with an ice pack.

      Good luck my dear. Hope things improve for you.

    2. Russ C

      Hi Victoria,

      I hope you are doing better in the 3 days since you posted this. I have some advice. Take your meds right on time. Set your alarm to take them 15 minutes early if the pain is bad but not too early. Drink, Drink , drink tons of water. Try to get some food down. I know it hurts but try to get something in your stomach. I have been living on mac and cheese and mashed potatoes for the past week! Try and have something to look forward to…like a show your going to watch, or your post op appointment. I am currently on day 7 of recovery and am making a list of things I am going to do once i am fully recovered. For me the pain has gotten slightly better each day but its still painful. Hope you are healing up soon and I hear that people in their early to mid 20’s heal quicker than people like me(in my mid 30’s).

  25. Lisa

    Adult tonsillectomy is not to be taken lightly. It’s a world different for an adult than for a child, and it’s not just age, it’s SIZE! Scar tissue and tissue removed is much more substantial as an adult. I’ve just gone through this and it made me sad to read all the problems people are having. Rule #1 is drink, drink ALOT!!, I know it hurts trust me I do, but you have to keep your tissues in your throat wet! If your throat dries the pain becomes much more intense and you risk bleeding which is an ER trip. Every two-three hours through the night drink something. Scar tissue will start coming off day 5-7 and it’s an awful nasty couple days. Hang in there, it’ll get better soon! Best of luck to you all.

  26. Jacob

    Im a 20 year old and I’ve heard that I shouldve gotten my tonsils out sooner. Im on day 4 and I havent slept in 2 days. Worst pain ever. I cant swallow liquids other than my meds which keep being changed and nothing has helped with the sores on my tongue. I need sleep! Any suggestions?

  27. whitney

    Well I’m on day three ans my pain is horrible… Wen I woke up today I wanted to cry I had gotten a good night’s sleep the night before and I guess I dried my throat out… Nothing worked and I still had an hour 1/2 til med time… I keep coughing up this really thick greenish brown mucus… And I just found out my antibiotics are making me break out lol… But I did eat vanilla pudding today and it was sooo good and smooth going down.. suck on ice chips it helps with the swelling and a ice pack around ur neck helps.. lots of water and chicken broth that’s warm helps a lot… Popsicles haven’t really helped the syrup from the flavor is super thick on my tongue and it’s just nasty…

    1. Natasha

      Dear Whitney – I am on Day 6. Worst day yet for me. I have had two hospital visits in the past 48 hours and both were for my throat drying out (didnt know that till i got there). I am sure that you are staying dehydrated, and I was, but no matter how much water I drank or ice chips I ate every morning I got up it would get worse. When this first started happening I asked over the phone for a better pain reliever. I was put on Lortab right after surgery, wasnt much help. Switched to Oxy, worked for two days then stopped. After that I had my first 1AM ER trip. I woke up feeling like someone took a jagged razor blade through my tongue, throat and ears. The pain was unbearable. When I got there they said “Yeh, a little dry. Not too bad.” WHAT??? Just a little made me feel that way? I dont EVEN want to know what a REALLY dry throat would be like. They gave me diladud and an IV immediately. Within seconds I could feel the back of my throat feeling cooler and the pain subsiding. I spent about two hours there and was home feeling like I was semi-human again. The reason I am mentioning this is, like you, I had pain RIGHT AFTER surgery, on day 3 it really really started to become unbearable. I thought I could get through it, no problem (well mininal problems) and take my pain meds as scheduled, drink water, get passed another day. I was WRONG. SO WRONG. The jagged razor is an elementary description to how I felt on my way to the ER. I don’t want anyone to go through this AT ALL if it can be avoided. If your taking your pain meds and you are still in a substantial amout of pain please go see someone. The staff at the ER were SO understading and nice. As soon as they could understand me try and say “Tonsilectomy day 6″ they ALL rushed to help. I hope you are feeling better now but if you aren’t there is any reason you shouldn’t be. Thats what my nurse said anyway, and hey, I think she is right! :)

  28. Katrina

    Hello all, I had my tonsils removed this past Friday, in the 13th of December. I had them removed due to reoccurring tonsillitis as well as tonsil stones through the year. I am 20 years old.

    Overall I would say I am rather surprised at how slow the recovery process is taking. Today is technically day five and I feel about the same as ever, though from what I’ve heard I suppose it can be a lot worse. On the second day I ended up throwing up, and haven’t had an issue with nausea since.

    The pain hasn’t really been dulled, I am on oxycodone due to the nauseous reaction I’ve had to Vicodin in the past. I’ve found that an ice pack to the neck with continuous ice cold water helps a lot, but swallowng will always be unpleasant. I have to cut the pills in half to swallow them easily, but that’s not a large issue.

    Some foods I’ve taken to, I thought I’d share. Jello was my first go to, then sherbet, then pudding. Eggs I’ve been able to do from day one. Currently I am eating pumpkin pie and loving it, doesn’t sting or burn in the least bit. Other foods I’ve had are Wendy’s frosties – which aren’t thick and easy to swallow (I believe this is because it’s more yogurt than ice cream) and fruit smoothies. Also Kellogg’s protein chocolate shakes are to die for, as they actually manage to make you feel full.

    Other foods I’d recommend would be pasta, I had fettuccini pasta the second day, but I suspect something in the sauce upset my stomach. Non the less, it was easily swallowed and eaten.

    If you do throw up I recommend grinding up some Tums and swallowing that. Throwing up really burns the location where you had your tonsils removed and Tums helps neutralize the stomach acid without making your stomach more upset.

    I have a humidifier and I don’t know how terrible waking up would be without it – swallowing burns extra bad first thing in the morning. I recommend ice water as soon as you get up. Also I have my alarms set four hours apart so I can continually take pain meds – and drink about a glass eacht time, even through the night. I think that helps a lot.

    Something weird to note, on day one my tongue was rather swollen and numb, and achy. It has since gone away.

    Can anyone recommend me some more foods? As well as some personal insight on when I can start eating more solid food again? When will the pain start dulling?

  29. Denise

    I’m 40 years old and I had my both my tonsils out on the 31st October and I’m now day 10 of recovery! I think had I read all these post before my surgery think it would have put me off getting it done but then again no one told me about day 5. lol Day 1 was ok could still talk, was abit pukey and the after care at Guys hospital in London is totally shocking had to discharge myself earlier. I didnt realise that the same nerve that runs from tonsil to ears would be affected and I suffered quite badly of the spins and vertigo hence the contant being sick. Day 2 I felt ok and I thought this isn’t to bad so I decided to browse round the shops but contantly looking around made me well get the spins again. My dad in his wisdom decided to give me chicken curry for dinner and all his chicken, I think he meant well. Just ate the rice so all I could manage was cold cups of tea, water and milk oh and ice cream. I found it better to sleep upright maybe when you lay down gravity creates a pulling sensation and it was just as well because on day 6 in the early hours of the morning whilst asleep woke up choking on my own blood. I manage to stop the bleeding by cold press on the throat and drinking cold milk.

    I went to see my doctor who gave me some antibiotics I think just to be on the safe side and my mouth was compleatly white and reading posts here and there I now know thats thrush. Don’t tell you about that do they before the op so I guess these posts are good to read so you know what your suffering with is considered normal. The next day I brought up some dead smelly tissue, Oh and if you go outside and the weather is cold put some cotton wool in your ears because you will get bad earache after. I did get strange clicking feeling in my ears on day 3 and 4 but that soon past too. None of the hospital imformation tell you the pain has to get worse before it gets better and days 4,5,6 and 7 is the worst in my opinion. Taking 30mg of codeine is crap dosnt really control the pain and I took paracetmol in the early days but the only thing worked for me was ibupfrofen on the worst days. Deflam throat spray is rubbish also but I did get some tyrozets lozenges they help abit.

    Although initially ice cream works in the early days of recovery I found now I cant tolorate anything cold if anything it triggers off a bout of instant pain oh and trying to talk feels like your tongue has got knots in it. The pain only seems worse for me now only morning and night so I’m only taking painkillers then. I’ve noticed since the swelling off my tongue is slowing going down and I’m not speaking like quasi mo do as much that all the nerves in your tongue are more sensitive. Maybe its because when they clamp your tongue nerves are regenerating. For me sore tongue and gagging on the scabbie bits far more annoying. As for the scabs that are their now, feel like bloody shards of glass and getting a strange tightening of the throat. I might be brave later and attempt a pizza but sod will I eat the crust tho thats just asking for trouble. lol I think in total I’ve lost about half a stone so I think now its more of a case of lack of food and weakness. Personally in my opinion 2 weeks off work isn’t enough time to recover. So being that my job is a cashier and involves alot of talking I booked an extra week off work just to make sure im recovered compleatly. I had planned whilst I was off to do abit of decorating in my flat, but who was I kidding. Think that idea is truly gone out the window because I dont think I’ll have the energy! I hope this post helps give someone and idea how you might feel after but hopefully I’m now over the worst. Oh and I forgot to mention if you fancy anything sweet have some marshmallows. ;-)

  30. Eboni

    First let me say it has been really helpful to see others that are adults and who are in my same age range (35-40) who have recently experienced this type of surgery. I am one of those who had strep throat every year since age 16 and most recently 5 to 6 times a year. I simply could not take it anymore and with the high rate of exposure to others and me being a mom of two young children now, I really had to think about how having this surgery would not only impact me but also impact those around me. So I had the surgery on Oct 29th. After everyone including my own Doctor trying to talk me out of it due to the pain they described that I would go through, I had the surgery and am glad that I did. I haven’t reaped the rewards just yet, but I know they will come. Right now, I like many of you am experiencing “guck mouth” which I describe as a mixture of intense saliva, feelings of scabs stretching and hanging deep in my throat, ear pain that is absolutely ridiculous in the mornings or after bouts of sleep and oh yeah can’t forget the dreadful taste and smell that is in my mouth. My hubby keeps trying to kiss me and I shutter away in embarrassment…smile. But honestly, overall it really has not been that bad. I expected it to be intolerable based on what everyone said and shared in the many stories that I read, but it hasn’t been that bad for me. Don’t get me wrong…it has been very painful!!! but not what I would have expected. I had my wisdoms taken out a few years back and that to me, was far worse. With my constant regime of ice water, smoothies, noodles and pain medicine (literally every 4 hours) I’ve been able to handle it. I can’t let that medicine lapse though LOL….and I agree with the individual who said that sleeping can be the worse. Right when you get into a good sleep….something wakes you and all of a sudden, the pain hits then spreads throughout my entire mouth cavity. I think the most aggravating aspects is my swollen tongue…it’s sticky and constantly moist in the back….Just feels like I am walking around with a wad of guck in the back of my mouth and it does make talking really hard. My youngest (2 years old) keeps looking at me with this sad look, like “why won’t you talk to me mommy?”….smile. I am hoping week two won’t be that bad. While I am resting and trying to sit still (even though I did have to go out and get some air which helped a lot), I need to get back to work…but health comes first….Hope this helps someone….

  31. Sara Peterson

    I’m 35. Today is Friday and I had mine out on Monday. I tried doing as the dr suggested and pushed through the pain to eat on day two. Screw that. I’ve spent the last few days drooling into a towel. The pain meds are useless. They knock me out, but don’t touch the pain. So my sweet husband gets the joys of me jerking awake from my sleep each time I swallow. A few hours of uninterrupted sleep resulted in crazy green gunk lining the roof of my mouth. I’m on my fourth drool towel. I’ve found that the lime Popsicles, and the cocoanut water ones don’t leave that slimy film that makes breathing harder. I’ve tried ice chips, Gatorade, noodles, mashed potatoes… Nothing has flavor and nothing has been worth the pain of swallowing it. I would’ve been content to remain sedated for another week. 0_o

    1. Bobbie

      I had mu surgery on 10/25/13 and I fell like crap. I’m so hungry. The pain meds don’t help. I just realized two days ago I could use an ice pack. I have four children and I woyld sell anyone of them to make my ears stop hurting. I hope its gets better soobn because I’m tired of being asked how I feel everyday.

  32. Monique

    Hi I am a 41 year old female who recently had a tonsillectomy 5 days ago. Let me just tell you I am hating life. Days 2-3 seem pretty good then 4 and 5 everything hurts and the pain is extra. Im hungry, I got diarrhea, cant sleep good, always got to swallow but don’t want to cause it hurts. My throat feels like its full of flim. I have been staying hydrated and taken my meds every 4 hrs. I did all my throwing up on day 1. I hope days 5-10…14 max gets better, I am so ready to see these scabs fall off. Thanks for listen!

  33. Liz Thomas

    I’m 36 years old and on day 7 post op. The first day was pretty rough. I was vomiting all day. I was fearful of taking the Rx I was given because I was just so sick that first day. I was also afraid of bleeding but after the 5th vomit session I was all better. I would only take extra strength Tylenol for the next 3 days. I finally gave in on day 4 and took the prescribed medication but I would only take 1/2 of a pill every 3 hours. I guess I could say I have a pretty high tolerance of pain. I have read so many horror stories that people had so much pain. I wouldn’t say I’ve been in so much pain but just very uncomfortable. The 4th day I had severe cold symptoms (congestion and strep throat like feeling) I did not get much instruction from my doctor so I did a lot of research. ICE your neck and jaw area for the first couple days. The best tips I can give is hydrate with LOTS of water and ice chips, to limit irritations. If you gargle with warm salt water after every meal and every morning and night it will really help reduce bacteria and infections. Brush your teeth and scrap your tongue regularly. Liquids for the first 2 days. Eat really soft foods for the next 5-6 days. Add more texture as the days pass. NO CRUNCHY OR SHARP FOODS for the first two weeks. I bough extra OTC meds just in case I needed them such as, Tylenol caplets, liquid Tylenol, ear drops, Nyquil, throat spray, and cough drops. These were all used at some point. So here I am on day 7. I have read that day 8-10 can be bad but I don’t believe it will be that bad at all since I really have been coping with the pain thus far. I see some of my scabs are starting to fall off. Remember to log your medication doses and times so you do not over medicate and try to remember to hydrate every 30 min, even through the nights.

  34. Lori

    I am 1 month shy of 49 yoa and I had my tonsils removed on Oct. 1st. The first 2 days were smooth sailing. Pain was minimal, no meds on day 1 and only used Advil on day 2. I sipped on ice water and ice chips for both days and ate Jello, popsicles, and ice cream. Sleep was minimal first night, and about 3 hours at a time the second night. Day 3 was much worse. Pain more intense and could not talk above a whisper. Swallowing was very painful. I chewed gum to keep my throat moist. Increased Advil, but still no prescription pain meds. For me I found low fat ice cream to be the best pain medication. It numbed my throat and made it feel so much better. Day 4 things went down hill. I woke up in horrible pain. Oh yeah…I have been sleeping in my recliner. I thought it would help with swelling. I set an alarm for no more than 3 hours because I didn’t want my throat to dry out. But I think getting up every hour to drink or chew gum will help. Tonight I am doing that. Today I started taking 1/2 a Percocet every 2 1/2 hours. I am afraid to take a whole one since I am a single mom to a special needs child and need to be alert. I am not able to eat today, the pain is too severe. Drinking is hard so I am chewing gum. I still cannot talk above a whisper. It is hard to open my mouth very wide. I have had NO bleeding and it appears to be starting to scab over. Tomorrow is day 5 and I don’t know what to expect. I am hoping the pain eases off some, but for some reason don’t think it will after reading several other posts. Overall, I think this recovery is going well, but I won’t lie….the pain is intense. Thank goodness there is about an hour of some relief after I take a pain pill before it starts increasing again. Its been a long few days. Hopefully I will turn a corner soon, at least to be able to talk.

  35. Gwen

    I am a Tanzanian (East Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro).. I’m sure that rings a bell :-)

    This is day 6 following my tonsillectomy and it isn’t getting any better. The pain is severe and sleeping is a real challenge now but I find sucking on ice really helps.
    It is true icecream gives me mucus and I plan to switch to popsicles + am afraid to put on weight.
    I have found cocopops have really helped. i soak them for an hour until they are completely soggy but it works for me.
    i find soups especially from the supermarket that are sodium based really irritate me and have had little luck with anything else.

    I wish you all the best.

    This too shall come to pass comrades

  36. Tonsillectomy at 34 on Sept 24, 2013

    I had bilateral Tonsillectomy surgery 8 days ago. Initially day 1-3, as long as I took my pain medicine within the hour it was tolerable during the day. However, sleep at night was a different story!! Sleeping sitting up and my mouth being shut for to long caused extreme pain to radiate into my ears! Day 4 & 5 was still a lot like 1-3 but the pain started to become more persistent during the day, so I had to up the dosage to every four hours (from every 6 hours). Day 6-7, I thought I was getting some relief because the ear pain and sides of my mouths started to feel slightly less painful, but day 8….directly center of the throat the pain has returned at full throttle!! I’ve loss 6 pounds, minimal sleep, and get exhausted easily. Who would thought swallowing saliva would be so intense! Definitely the worse pain I’ve ever encountered in my life and I JUST HAD A BABY!!! No exaggeration! Hope this is helpful for someone out there….

  37. Julia

    I’m 17 years old and I had my tonsils removed 2 days ago. I could talk as soon as I woke up and had no bleeding aside from a glob of blood that was leftover from the surgery. I can eat solid foods now. I ate chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes yesterday, and today I’m carefully eating french fries. I heard that for people my age, recovery time to start eating solids or even get out of bed takes about two weeks. It’s weird because I always experience the rare side effects but this has been problem-free so far! I’ve heard stories from friends of not being able to open their mouths for days, or vomiting up blood, but not of that has happened to me. I guess everyone’s different! I wish everyone here the best of luck in their recoveries and pray that your pain goes away soon!

  38. Belinda Toney

    I am 47 1/2 years old and had a bilateral tonsillectomy on the 27th of September. This for me is the worst surgery that I have ever had in my entire life. I would much rather go through child birth again than to have my tonsils taken out again. I am now into day 5 of recovery and I am still taking pain meds every 3 1/2 to 4 hours around the clock because of the pain. I am just barely able to swallow anything because of the pain, so any type of food is out of the question, I don’t have any type of an appetite anyways. I have lost almost 20 pounds and will probably lose more because I am unable to eat. Ice water does not help with the pain at all, anything going down my throat causes severe pain. I am trying to stay hydrated, although this is a problem because of the pain. I still have a tremendous amount of scabs in the back of my throat and my uvula is extremely swollen so no talking for me. I completely lost my voice yesterday so throwing things at people is how I have to get their attention…lol!!!! Hopefully this will get better over the next week or so and I will finally be able to sleep a full night.

    1. Tonsilectomy at 23

      I find sleep to be the enemy. When I sleep, I wake up in worse pain because my throat dried out. I know you’re exhausted beyond belief, but a full nights sleep will be the absolutely horrible when you wake up. I highly recommend a COLD air humidifier if you sleep with your mouth slightly open like I do.

  39. Kelley

    I am 43 and had my tonsils and a bone spur from my sinus removed 3 weeks ago. The 2nd week was the worst. I was in bed for 2 weeks straight. I questioned why I had the surgery. My scabs did not fall off until day 12-13. I went back to work after 2 weeks and could not work a full day. I am still constantly tired but did manage to work a full day (day 20). My throat still hurts when I swallow and I do take a pain pill at night but it is manageable. I did have an excess amount of scar tissue that had to be removed from prior infections so that may be part of the problem. If you are going to have this done don’t spend 20 years of having strep 5-6 times a year before you have your tonsils removed.

  40. Haley

    Hi I am a 20 yr old female and I got my tonsils out 10 days ago because I got reoccurring peritonsular abscesses. Over all, the recovery has been very smooth and not nearly bad as expected. I got my tonsils out in the morning so the first day consisted of drinking water and sleeping. After that I slowly started eating soft stuff and I had no problem staying very hydrated. About 5 days into in the throat pain got worse but nothing the pain meds could not handle. I am now 10 days into recovery and I can still see the scabs in the back of my throat and I am wondering when they are going to fall off and I can get back to working out and being 100% back to normal. I can talk fine and eat anything except toast and chips and stuff. My uvula is a little swollen so I sound kinda funny when I talk. I put on some weight expecting to lose some during this surgery but I lose none since I was able to eat pretty adequately every day except for the day of surgery. Hoping to be 100% with in the next two days or so!

  41. Briana

    Ok first of all I got my surgery 4 days ago I’m only 13 I got it because if I didn’t I would have had a ear infection once a week for the rest of my life everyday so yah the reason was good enough my family has been the best ever for these last days besides them taking so many pictures after my surgery I recommend apple sauce It is the most less painful thing I could eat for now I could only last a minimum of 4 hours without pain medication I was warned about the pain before the surgery on the 2 day I was thinking o this isn’t so bad but the 3rd day was terrible advice eat your food before taking your medication because I threw up my medication and food and it hurt worse than swallowing now it started to hurt to swallow by the 3rd day the most important thing is stay hydrated even if you have to shove the food down your throat stay hydrated the pain of swallowing is for me hurts me thoat then goes up to my ears even if I am just drinking water it hurts to swallow pudding ramen noodles jello apple sauce and water is the best thing to have after surgery thank you for giving your time to read my comment I hope it helps you I wish you good luck for your surgery I don’t mean to scare you with this it’s just the truth I hope you get strong pain killers 4 days down 10 to go happy recoveries :)

  42. suezee

    Oh the pain the pain If I ask nicely will someone put me out of my misery. I just want to drink prune juice to get rid of the constipation and Im scared to swallow. Day 4 after surgery.

  43. awarren

    I am an 18 year old female and I had my tonsils out Friday May 31st and it is currently Thursday June 6th so I am on day 7. First of all, despite all of the things that I was told, I was completely caught off guard by the level of pain. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for it, though. Pain meds will be your best friend- although I have never felt completely pain free even on days when I took pain meds every four hours exactly on the hour. Ironically, the first two days after surgery have probably been the easiest for me. Since then, sleeping has been impossible, swallowing even worse, and the ear and throat pain on a scale of 1-10 has been a consistent 7-9 despite pain meds. ‘ve been able to force down some room temp soft foods like mac and cheese and noodles, and of course some water ice and ice cream, but nothing is easy. Swallowing water is even a daunting task. I’m really hoping I start to feel better, I’ve been miserable and irritable and bored! (And I’m sure my family is sick of me laying around feeling sorry for myself), Wondering if it will get any easier with days 8 onward? One can only hope!!! This is definitely the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.

    Best of luck to anyone getting theirs out, hang in there!!

  44. Heather

    I had my tonsilectomy on Feb 22nd, 2013. I am a 45 y/o female. Unfortunately, I am allergic to Tylenol and was not able to take a mixed drug. This required me to take the full narcotic Hydromorphone. I took a anti-nausea with it from the start, to prevent nausea. My huge warning to you is drink a lot of water. Popsicles are good, but dairy will make you feel sick. The reaction of the cautery with the dairy is nauseating. I ate a lot of thick soups, like split pea and butternut squash. Don’t eat anything hot, but room temperature or slightly warmer. The side effects of the anti-nausea and the pain meds, made me dizzy all the time and I absolutely could not have driven until I was completely clear of the drugs in my system. I was on the Hydromorphone for about 2 weeks. The pain subsided about day 14 or 15 and did not come back. What happened after that was severe constipation that was extremely painful. When I took a laxative that should have been mild, I felt nausea and felt like I would vomit for days. I did, but only one time. I thought the nausea would never end and the anti-nausea did not relive the feeling. Please make sure that you are taking in enough fluids and also taking a probiotic or eating yogurt. I ate coconut yogurt for the first 2 weeks, since dairy did not agree with my system. You will want to brush your tongue. Do not be agressive and activate your gag reflex. I brushed my tongue on day 12 and it was the best thing I did. I had a thick layer of yellow crust on my tongue. It was from the cautery. For days it tasted like I had sand on my tongue, after I brushed it. My nausea improved a little after brushing my tongue too.

    I praise God that I did not have any bleeding. Yes the recovery was about the worst experience I ever had, but I will say that the problem I was having of feeling like there was a constant lump in my throat, is gone and it will ultimately have been one of the best decisions of my life. Do not eat scatchy, hard or crumbly foods for about the first 4-6 weeks. The new tissue in the back of your throat is very soft and sensitive. Tiny seeds from strawberries and other berries, can make you feel like they get stuck and choke you. I also had difficulty with rice, until just a couple of days ago.

    Do not be afraid of the surgery or recovery. Be aware that your body needs to get stronger after you are on bed rest for 2-3 weeks. Give yourself extra time and don’t rush your daily activities. Don’t go back to a heavy exercise routine to quickly. I continued to have dizzy spells and ear congestion until just days ago. I would not say that you are truly back to normal until week 5. I would not say that recover is 100% age related. I know someone in her early 20s that had as much, if not more trouble than me with recovery.

    A couple more things. Your ENT may say you can use a throat spray like “Chloroseptic”. Don’t do it. It dries out your throat and makes it much more painful when it wears off. There is a lidocaine rinse that your physician can prescribe. It is very thick and can make you feel nausea, but it does help to decrease the pain, if it is unbearable. Swelling can be very scary on day 4 or 5. Use an ice pack on your neck as long as you think it helps you. Eat cold foods and ice chips. They do a lot of manipulating your mouth and throat during the surgery, and I am sure there is a great deal of trauma that occurs to your entire neck, throat, ears, jaw, tongue and uvula.

    I really hope that my recovery tips help others.

  45. Kayla

    I’m 16 years old and on day 5 of recovery. I have a very difficult time swallowing. It’s like my mouth can’t open wide enough for food because of my jaw pain. I also have pain under my tongue. I’m trying not to be too down in the dumps about this but goodness, its just so painful. I’ve been relying on liquid hydrocodone to offset the pain but it doesn’t really do much except make me tired and eating a little less painful. Does anyone know how long this pain lasts for? How do you know when the scabs fall off? just want this entire thing to be over and done with.

  46. Brittany

    I am a 20 year old female and I had my tonsillectomy on March 12th (two days ago). The surgery itself is nothing to be scared of. I have been terrified of even the THOUGHT of surgery for years, but it was a lot less scary than I had anticipated. My throat recovering feels very similar to the sore throats I used to get due to my tonsils, so this pain is familiar to me. The one mistake I have made is forgetting to take my meds routinely. I now have an alarm set for exactly every 4 hours so it is impossible for me to miss a dosage and end up in even more pain. I also requested liquid pain and antibiotic pills to make swallowing and digesting a bit easier. The first night, the antibiotics made me sick. Vomiting with the majority of your throat being an open sore is NO GOOD. Lastly, the humidifier is a good idea. It keeps the air you’re breathing in nice and moist so that your throat won’t dry up and become more painful. I wish everyone a simple recovery!

  47. Rachelle

    I’m a 42 year old femail on 1st night post tonsillectomy and UP3. I was prepared for the pain but I can not swallow without everything going up my nose and it is causing me to panic. How long should I expect this to continue? Any and all replys/answers are welcome. Thank you.

  48. Aimee

    Today is day 3 for me, had tonsils removed 2-28-13. 21 yr old female; today the pain has been much worse than the previous days.. I woke up not being able to tlk due to my tongue and uvula being so swollen. Not to mention my ears feel like they’re going to explode. I’ve been able to eat solid foods since day 2 ( yesterday) today I had pizza.. Which I don’t think was a good idea, warm foods and broths seem to make it hurt worse so I’m sticking to cold foods now. Pain meds made me real sleepy today so I decided to go for a nap.. Well I didn’t anticipate the nap lasting for 5 hours which I missed taking my pain med at the sch time.. Woke up in the worst worst pAin yet. Although this is the worst pain I’ve felt, I don’t regret the surgery. For all those who are going to go through with surger, to me it is worth it, but there is no doubt you will be in pain for days..

  49. ph

    Hi all,
    I am a 40 year female and had my tonsillectomy 7th Feb 2013. I have never experienced pain quite like it. In 10 days I lost 10kg due to not being able to eat anything and only consumed water. Days 6-10 were incredibly difficult and i thought the pain would never end.It has been the worst 2 weeks in total and having a 30 labour 6 years ago delivering my son was an absolute breeze. Its the fact that you cant sleep,eat and drink and taking pain meds is difficult.I read someones comment on here that his wife said he was a baby and should try labour… well Im here to confirm that it is by far the most excrutiating pain for anyone to go through.. and families and friends should be encouraged to read this forum to help understand that whoever has had the operation that they arent babies and its 100 times worse than a bout of tonsillitus. I would like to say a huge Thankyou to everyone who has posted on here as I constantly read this forum during many early hours of the morning when in pain.
    I would also like to say A big Thanks for this website, Its a godsend and truely helps.. I am day 23 and am able to eat now… look forward to eating pork scratchings etc. My throat is still sometimes tender but by far better than it was. had 20 days off work and feel this was just about adaquate. I wish you all a good recovery and highly recommend asking your GP for a Difflam throat gargle.It numbs the throat……

  50. Warren Esteron

    I’m on day five of recovery and I ran out of my Oxicodone for pain two days ago and awaiting a refill, they have prescribed a Tylenol pain reducer which I just ran out if today as well. My ears and my gland area around my throat have been really sore at times but it comes in waves. I’m 31 and at this point don’t see things getting better for still another week or so. I’ve attempted some foods, because I’m starving, but quickly lose my appetite because my tongue is so swollen and I’m not able to open my mouth fully yet. I’m afraid to sleep because the pain is so horrible when I awake. The pain meds make me nauseated and weak too.

  51. Courtney

    This site has been extremely helpful in aiding me before my procedure and while I am recovering. Today is day 3 post surgery and I am feeling nauseated even though I take an anti-nausea med with my pain medication. I now know after all the reading that it is due to all of the mucus that is collecting in the back of my throat. It is AWFUL to attempt to cough or get the mucus to move. I have often awaken due to me choking or having the feeling that I was going to choke because of the mucus. So, I will cut back on the sugary, sllushees I have been so dependant on getting me through…..move to water with lots of crushed ice and try to be neural to avoid vommiting at all cost. My ears are hurting far worse today than they were yesterday and I am hoping that this too will subside as the dy goes forths. I do keep them covered because just a whisp of cool air inside was making a very noticiable change.

  52. Erin

    How often would anyone advise to drink water? I had mine out today and think it would be a good idea to set my alarm during the night to drink water? Any suggestions?

  53. Maureen

    I am on day 6 post-op; still unable to open my mouth fully or even enough to allow a spoon to enter it. While I was aware that everyone has a different rate of recovery, I find it hard to believe that I am going to be ready to return to work on Monday!
    I am a 52 yr old white female; I also am diagnosed with “Mixed Connective Tissue Disease” which in my case encompasses RA, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s and Scleraderma. Common sense tells me that with these additional health issues are playing a part in my recovery, I’m wondering if extra recovery time (beyond the typical10 days) should be requested?
    I work in a stressful healthcare facility that at times is very fast paced. The physicians are demanding and cause the staff a good bit of anxiety. I’m not sure that I am ready to jump right back into that. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    1. DH

      Maureen-I am on day four and also have auto immune health concerns that I believe will lengthen my recovery time. My ENT expects 14+ days due to RA and Lupus. I would suggest talking to your doc again to get more time off work for recovery.

  54. Laura

    I am a 21 y/o female scheduled for my tonsillectomy in 6 days, and have done a lot of research on how to improve my recovery.

    I have cleared my schedule and plan on really relaxing and allowing my body to heal after surgery.

    11 days after my surgery, I have secured a fantastic opportunity down in London with a prestigious barristers’ chambers. As a budding barrister, this will be an invaluable experience which I do NOT want to miss.

    I understand average recovery time is 10 days, so I hope to be well enough to attend the meetings. My question is, what can I do to really speed up my recovery?

    I want to be fighting fit and able to give a good account of myself, and the last thing I want to do is cancel (although if I am seriously ill, I will obviously have no other choice but to do so). Is there any steps I can take to help a speedy recovery? I do not care if they are painful or cause discomfort, I’m willing to do whatever is necessary so I don’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime!

    Looking forward to your answers!

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