Tonsillectomy recovery time is unique for each patient. Recovery time for children is much shorter than tonsillectomy recovery time 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 tonsillectomy recovery time as an adult. His was fairly typical of a child his age. Children’s bodies heal faster than adults’ do.
Tonsillectomy recovery time 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.
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.
Treat Yourself! Buy a Slushie machine!
This little machine will soon be your best friend! Read the comments on all these pages. Having a slushie at the ready will improve the quality of your tonsillectomy recovering Life!
My advice: ask your employer, your family, your friends, and the rest of the world to give you two weeks for your adult tonsillectomy recovery time. You may surprise them, hopefully for the better.
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.