Tonsillectomy Scabs

After Tonsillectomy – When do scabs fall off?

Tonsillectomy Scabs coming off

Tonsillectomy Scabs

One of the most common questions I get from tonsillectomy patients is about scabs. In particular, people want to know whether their throat looks normal. Some folks get downright obsessed with their tonsillectomy scabs. It’s almost like loosing a tooth- the tongue just can’t seem to stop exploring the new space created. And so it is for patients recovering from tonsillectomy. I personally never cared to look back there, but I think I was the exception.
Seagate Olive Leaf Throat SprayI’ve seen many tonsillectomy scab pictures. Everyone heals differently. Sometimes the scabs are white, like the ones shown here. Sometimes they take on a more greenish color. It’s also quite common for the uvula to swell considerably, especially in the first few days following tonsillectomy. All of this makes it difficult to swallow, but it also makes it very important to swallow. Using those throat muscles helps speed recovery. Drinking cold liquids and sucking on ice cools the tissues and reduces inflammation. That’s two wins!

With special thanks to the young lady who contributed these tonsillectomy scab pictures, I present the following: One example of how the throat can look on day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, and day 7, post tonsillectomy. Feel free to comment or ask questions at the bottom of the page.

Usually between days seven and ten, it’s common to see tonsillectomy scabs falling off.  As the tonsillectomy scabs are coming off, some bleeding is common.  Gargling with cold water will usually stop the bleed.  If it does not, seek medical attention. I’ve read that about 5% of tonsillectomy patients have bleeds that require treatment.  It usually happens in the first day or as tonsillectomy scabs coming off tear the tissue.  Don’t try to “help the process along,” by poking at or rubbing the scabs.

Did you take your own pictures of your tonsillectomy scabs? I’m always trying to add to the resources for other patients. If you have good quality photos of your throat as you recovered from tonsillectomy, connect with me on Facebook: Tonsillectomy Resources on Face Book Thank you!

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Take care and stay hydrated!
-Greg Tooke 

Tonsillectomy Scabs- a photo journal:

More Throat Pictures

53 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Scabs”

  1. My tonsil scabs are a dark green color and I’m on day six I’m still having horrible time sleeping I woke up theirs morning at 3:00am with extremely painful throat and I have a empty Gatorade bottle that I’m constantly spitting up light brown mucous and I can barley talk like it take all my strength to swallow move my jaw and mouth and my ear are a entirely different story…

  2. Wow, reading through all of these have made me thankful that my nearly 3 year old is doing so well, woke up after op with an appetite and eaten non stop since, she’s not in pain but taking regular meds, on day 5 now and her throats looks like it’s slowly clearing, don’t know if it’s already scabbed or is due to scab! She has a little cough but otherwise she’s her normal self. Not sure if it’s because she’s used to the pain from having tonsillitis once a month before her op.

  3. Watching my 4.5 year old daughter go through this t & a recovery has been just awful. I feel terrible for putting her through it. She is on day 9 and finally has an appetite again. She was starting to look very gaunt and sunken around her face. The nights have definitely been the worse. Sobbing for hours on nights 3,4,5,6 about the pain of swallowing. She had a couple of vomits in the mornings. I think it was from all the gunk hanging around in her mouth that she was too afraid to swallow. Her voice has really changed though. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? We return to the specialist in 1 week so will ask him too.

  4. Hi all, I’m reading this and I am a little worried. My 4 year old has had hers out by the conflation method and so fa no issues at all, she is on 3 hourly pain relief but I am worried as in day 3 only…does it get worse?

  5. Day 8 here 🙂 all i can say is this pain is some serious B.S.
    The referred pain in my ears and the intense tearing feeling is what is getting me. Was up through the nights from days 2-5 but then was able to sleep through with medication.
    Barely any scab left.

    1. I had mine removed at age 20 with extensive bleeding and swelling. I was discharged from the hospital with only Ibuprofen for pain relief. When I called my doctor and told him I was unable to sleep and that the pain in my throat and ears was
      too much to bear, he refused to prescribe narcotic pain relief claiming it slows the healing process by 3 days. I didn’t care if it would take longer as long as it was bearable but it was beyond my control. I was not told that I would not receive pain meds after discharge.

      1. Wow you needed a new doctor. My son left with antibiotics and narcotic. I don’t know because he only 4 and your 20 but that’s not right.

  6. hello! im on day 11 after getting my tonsils and adenoids out. im so surprised after reading everyones comments about their surgery on how well they can eat already couple days after and drink. Ive been having a very hard time drinking and eating even on day 11. My throat has been burning with certain foods and i can only eat a very tiny amount of something without being in pain. I dont really have scabs anymore but i have a blackish/brown rectangle type spot right below to the right side of my uvula and i have no clue what it is. But drinking and eating still hurts to do because all it does is burn my throat. i dont really know what to do i see my ENT in september about 2 weeks from now but if anyone has a clue about the spot in my throat or if someone has burning like i do please respond! thank u in advance!

  7. Hello I am on day 11 of my recovery. After loosing a lot of weight I gave in and decided to try to eat a burger but tried to chew it well. the first few bites were ok but then i found i was in pain and have an extremely odd feeling of a very sharp object lodged right down my throat which i can feel even when I just turn my head. my upper tonsils are perfect healing nicely , off my pain medication 6 days and only mild tenderness. might some one know what this very sharp object feeling is i have had this for over a day now ?

    1. Not sure as I am only on Day 1. But if I had to get it might be part of a scab that fell off due to friction from eating.

  8. Hey everyone,
    Today I am 7 days post-op and my scabs have completely fallen off, is this normal? Or did something go wrong in my recovery? I’m seeing my ENT in 2 days and I just can’t wait to ask, there is no pain and I have been eating ok today and feeling great for once during this whole process.
    Thanks in advance to anyone who replies! 🙂

    1. I’m on day 2 and I’ve drank tons of water anf had many of ice pops and sherbet. My left side looking in the whitish scab texture is stretching and partially coming out. I’m curious if you ENT said everything was okay, I am only 17 so I know my recovery may be respectable better than some others so I was just curious.

  9. Well, first I would have to say the pain of the surgery is no different than any of my tonsillitis episodes or allergy inflammations. They were so bad it actually caused mild depression. My only issue has really been DISCOMFORT with talking until day 5. It is now my 6th day and the scabs are more visible but Still am keeping ultra hydrated.

    First day I noticed my uvula was swollen, but I was able to swallow my percocets and other pills just fine.

    One secret I may have to share is that I have been gargling with salt water and hydrogen peroxide.
    I wanted to steer clear of any possible infections. The salt water and peroxide actually worked well, with my tongue scrubber. I did not want to develop thrush.

    I washed my mouth after every meal.


    Although I had 2 ice creams right away after surgery. Maybe I really have just gotten used to pain in that area.

    My happiness for having them out, is probably the positivity that helped in healing faster. I am just happy I did it.

    Day 1: Mashed potatoes and ice creams and iced water, smoothies.
    Day2: mashed potatoes, meat blended in the blender and ice creams. Iced water, smoothies.
    Same for Day 3 and Day 4.
    Day 5: had Zuchinni pasta and shrimp. (I chew everything til it’s mushy, then swallow.) smoothies/slurpees
    Currently on Day 6.

    I think rest is HIGHLY NUMBER 1. I slept through the day and night, including naps. I took the percocets and antibiotics on time; but I did not stop eating or drinking since day 1.

    And washing the mouth with the hydrogen peroxide/ salt and water has relieved so much pain.

    I would not reccomend ignoring the mouth area. It needs its care.

    1. Very good advice. I’m 63 and just had mine out. Day 5. In lot of pain coughing a lot. Uvula very swollen and blocks nose when I lie down, so sleep sitting up. Told to eat anything, but sift us better with a bit of toast no and again. 😉

  10. First of all, thank you all for sharing your experiences. I cannot count how many times I read this thread looking for comfort.
    So, I am on day 13 and my recovery was very painful.
    Days 1-4 were fine. On day 5 the pains at night started and I woke up with ear pain.
    From that day on it only got worst and worst until day 9. Horrible pains at night especially when I drank water for a painkiller. Ice pack would help a lot.
    From day 9 on I started feeling better and better and by day 10 I had my first night of sleep without any pain at night. What a relief.
    My tips would be: ice packs constantly on your neck, warm compress on your ears when they hurt.
    I couldn’t eat so well… Still can’t 🙁
    Hope this goes away soon.
    I am looking forward to a summer of no sickness. I would definitely do it again, and when it’s over you will feel so proud of yourself!

    1. Hey Mariana,
      After being with super bad tonsillitis for eight months, I also got my tonsils out just before summer. Honestly the pain for me was no worse than when I had tonsillitis! Absolutely it was all worth it!
      Bless you…
      From Australia 🙂

  11. I’m on day 7 since surgery. I’m 13 years old. I stayed overnight in hospital where they sometimes gave me strong medication, but since then I’ve just been on Panadol. The pain has been bearable and I’ve been eating very soft things, like soup and scrambled eggs with lots of milk in them. My throat has been very white. The last two days I have had significant pain on one side and my throat has been itchy and I’ve been coughing up lumps of dark blood, which I now know was scab. Tonight I looked in the mirror and found that on that side, there was nothing left except pink (healed!) but the other side was all covered over with a black scab. It’s almost stopped hurting on the side where the scab has come off. I guess the scab will start coming off the other side too so I’ll continue with the Panadol, but I should be all done within the next few days. That would mean within ten days! I’ve read some stories of people saying they were in unbearable pain, but I’ve found it okay. I’ve had a lot of ice water. I’ve found that in the mornings I’ve not wanted to eat, so I haven’t. I’ve left it until about 11:00 am and then started eating soft things. It’s very important to swallow, and I’ve found the less I do it the harder it is and vice versa. Blessings to anyone else recovering and I hope you get through it quickly!

  12. It is great comfort reading other people’s experiences about tonsillectomy.
    It’s not me, but my 8 year old son that has had them removed 4 days ago and has gone through unimaginable pain. As a mum it is horrible to experience your child in pain and I feel a deep sense of guilt for putting him through this! If I knew what I know now I just would’ve gone without! The ENT persuaded us to have his tonsils removed as they were the size of grapes in his throat, one being slightly larger than the other. Other than obstructing his oesophagus, there was no other pain associated with his swollen tonsils. He’d only had tonsillitis twice in his life. The doctor said that it could be a possible case of Lymphoma and they needed to be removed so they could be sent off to the lab for testing. God forbid if that comes back positive…
    Now, I feel like I am drugging my kid constantly with medicines that should be taken with food. But how can I, when he refuses to eat because of the pain? Anyway I am in the mist of it, feeling his pain constantly and waiting for him to gain back his appetite and see his happy smile again. Thanks for letting me share this at 3am in the morning after being woken up by his cries.

    1. I got mine removed 6 days ago and let me tell you. I wish my mother would have made the Dr. Take them out when I was a’s really kicking my butt as an adult trying to take care of me and my 3 kids.just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really looking forward to that light 🙂

      1. Thanks Victoria for your kind words. It is now a month since my son had his tonsils removed and the pain has completely subsided and he is back to normal. He is shouting and eating normally. Thank God all is back to normal again.

      2. I so agree!!! Omg!!!! Pain!!! Only able to eat jello , sherbert ..thank GOD for my husband and family. My children are 15,14,7

  13. I am currently on day 8 and honestly this has been an extremely painful experience. I was told by my surgeon that I would need a full two week recovery. I didn’t really think I’d need it but he said I would because my tonsils were exceptionally large and I am also a special case, considering I had mine removed at age 4 and then they grew back, so I was required to remove them again at age 16. Even after all my specific complications I still didn’t think it would be this bad. The first four days were terrible. I had to stay on the Lortab prescribed to me to stay sane. The pain was ridiculous. I didn’t eat a single thing for four days, I had no appetite. I forced myself to drink water but it was extremely painful to swallow and yawn, which I had to do often. Days 5 through 7 were all the same. I ran out of my medicine and could live without it so I just dealt with the dull throbbing pain all hours of the day. I still had no appetite but forced myself to eat yogurt and ice cream whenever I was up to it. I had heard that working through the pain and using your throat was important in the recovery process. When I woke up in the morning it was the worst. The pain went from a 4 during the day to a 7 during the night and morning. Throughout the whole first week I didn’t sleep consistently and would always wake up for two to three hours in the night and just lay there in pain until I drifted to sleep. Now on Day 8 I’m feeling a lot better and it doesn’t hurt while resting. Just whenever I swallow/cough/yawn or talk loud or for long period of time I feel a very sharp pain that ranges from a 6 to a 7. Can’t talk any louder than a whisper without hurting myself. I’m trying to force myself to work through it and eat more substantial things (like broth and smoothies) now that my appetite is just returning. Still not a single full meal or solid food in a week + a day. No matter how much I brush my teeth my breath stinks! It’s bright white, hoping to submit some pictures but mine are very similar. This really sucks, not trying to scare anyone but thought I would share my experience. Anybody else have it this bad? Or have them grow back and need them removed a second time? I was told this was extremely rare, about 2%… Let me know 🙂 trying to stay positive.

    1. I’m 30 y/o and dealt with pain but this is by far the worst. Lortab or endocet that I was prescribed is helping with the pain. I guess its worth it after the healing process but geesh this sucks bad I agree with everything you went through. No sleep no appetite just pure miserable day and night

  14. I’m on day 6. Recovery has been I guess really easy for me. I don’t know if it is from all the prep I did or if it’s because I have stayed beyond hydrated or hell if it’s just because I’m good with pain? I’ve been using extra strength Tylenol, a heating pack, ice packs and chewing on ice chips for any kind of pain. Mostly in the ear and jaw. My throat only hurts when I eat stuff I maybe shouldn’t? Feels like it get stuck and irritated. So far honestly it hasn’t been as bad as all the horror stories I have read.

  15. I’m on day 7 and I’m having lots of ear pain. Just in my right ear. From all the liquid pain meds (liquid vicodin) and not eating very much means I haven’t really gone to the bathroom (#2). It resulted in me waking up at 3am with terrible stomach pain. I got up to get water and I started to get dizzy and started sweating alot. I almost passed out, i had to wake up my parents and I was really scared. I took laxatives and stool softeners and now I’m okay. But I was like really scared, we almost went to the hospital. I would recommend eating a lot of ice cream and like oatmeal. Okay so my throat has these big white scabs and they kind of hurt when I swallow. I hope they go away soon. And the skin in my mouth from where they cut out the tonsils to the front is like stressed. Its red and its almost like its irritated. From this weird stretching feeling I decided to get some ricola cough drops. And that helped a lot.

  16. I am on night 7 of my tonsilectomy! It’s awful and nights are the absolute worst! I also had a deviated septum repaired so breathing through my nose is a huge problem and while I am sleeping my throat dries out in excruciating pain! A few nights I used the humidifier but it’s august ITS HOT!! What else can I do!?!

  17. i had this surgery 5 days ago…and the pain is getting worse and worse!! I thought I was getting better but it’s getting worse. my throat is all yellow and that the scab? a coughed up a little chunk of it yesterday. it looks like it’s peeling off. I don’t know what this is. please help);

  18. Ok so I’m on day 6, and I feel like I want to be in a corner crying everytime I try to talk. My care taker encourages me to get up and talk and drink cold things and try to eat. When really all these things are making it worse !! Is it normal for my medicine to burn my throat ?! Every since day 1-4 it hasn’t burned my throat but it does now. It hurts so bad !! And I just want to sleep all day. And I’ve lost around 8 pounds.

    1. Oh gosh im sorry to hear that! and i realize this was your comment from last year but im on day 11 and ive been having burning since like day 5 or 6! i still can barely eat or drink anything without my throat burning and i still do not have an appetite at all. i ended up throwing up on Day 10 in the morning and i think the scabs came off when i did but now i have a blackish/brownish spot in the back on my throat right under to the right side of my uvula and i have no clue what it is! i see everyones posts and none of them mention burning or anything of whats happening to me. everyone seems to be doing great and eating alot , and i can barely drink or eat anything still

  19. Hi guys,
    I’m worried about my scabs coming off. I’ve already felt the searing pain that some describe when their scabs came off but I dont know how to tell and see where they would be coming off because theres no difference in my throat. Also, my uvula is still swollen three times it’s size on day 7, is that normal? All of the pictures I’ve seen shows that it’s not so I’m not sure what to think. Thanks!

    1. It is normal for the uvula to swell during recovery 🙂 I had my tonsils out a couple months ago. Days seven and eight were the worst, but on the start of day nine I felt amazing again! My scabs were actually dark red, and I could see where they were coming off because I coughed up chunks of dark red stuff (which was basically clotted blood, I could see), and then there was a tiny white spot on the patch, but the pain was gone. My TOP TIP: (Especially when the scabs are coming off and you’re in a lot of pain!): Pour icy cold ice water down your throat. It really really helps. Honestly. I tried EVERYTHING when I was in recovery, but this was seriously the best thing by far. Hope this helps!!

  20. Im on day 7 and my throat is now in a different kind of pain than on day 4, now its more burning and sore and stings to swallow! Does this mean the scabs are coming off? I dont want to look but i havent felt anything drop off into my throat, could it be possible that they are just gradually thinning out? Also i have become really depressed from the pain aswell as not being able to talk, eat or barely drink. I have so far lost 9lbs and i hate it!

  21. Hello I’m on Day 9 now and I’m starting to have a problem and I need advice. I have been getting pain again that occurs more often and when I drinking my fluids after the third sip it feels like my scabs are pulling off and it hurts then I start to choke what do I do

  22. Hello everyone,

    I am on Day 7 post T&A and today is the best of all days but the scabs are really grossing me out. I made this mistake of using my flashlight on my phone to look at them last night and they are discusting! Has anyone tried anything to help the process of them sloughing off? Also, I have been experiencing when I drink fluids it also comes out of my research has shown that my hard palate has not closed the gap of where my tonsils were, anyone else experience this? It’s so frustrating because my #1 goal was to stay hydrated but I ended back at urgent care on Friday for IV fluids because of dehydration! Only because when I try to drink, half goes down and half comes out my throat. 😣 anyone have any advice? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Chelsea! I wouldn’t mess around with those scabs. They’ll come off when they need to. You don’t want to start a bleed. As for drinking- yes, it’s very common to have the issues you’re having. I’d say keep trying. Maybe smaller sips, or popsicles or frozen Gatorade would be easier?

      Best of luck to you- You are in the worst of it now. It’ll get better soon.

  23. Well today makes Day 8 for me I don’t really have as much pain as before but when I do its in the morning but I don’t take my pain medicine I actually just take a ice cold towel and lay it on my throat and I drink my water and apple juice I feel my scabs startin to come off but I don’t bother them I just drink plenty of ice cold water and prepare myself for when they do come out the pictures were very helpful to me I was curious on what the scabs looked like so now I really know what to expect
    Thanks For Having The Pictures 😊

  24. Ok,now I’m on day 7 and OMG! Pain in the night and early morning that required narcotics. Now, it looks like I have thrush! Gheesh! I’ll be seeing the doctor today.

  25. It has been 10 days since my surgery and I feel great. The only time I have pain is when I wake up from my throat being so dry. But a concern of mine is no matter how much I brush my teeth/tongue my tongue has this white stuff on it and I’ve seemed to have lost taste to foods. Is this normal? I asked my doc and he said “Yes” did not elaborate on what I should feel or what is actually going on. thanks in advance! ☺️

  26. so are the scabs gradually swallowed or spit out or what? This is so gross and goes in so long! Omg! I am just in day 3 and it’s so miserable! Thanks for providing these pictures and information. I want to know, but I don’t want to look !

    1. If you can try to consume any sort of vitamin C you can it will help a TON with the healing. I enjoyed Motts Apple White Grape juice and it did not burn when it went down. I suggest with ice so it will be very cold and it will feel good.

  27. Does anyone else have crater looking things on their tonsils(scabs) ??? I just noticed some tonight, I’m on day 7, but none have fallen off yet….? Just curious. Very curious… Thanks!!

  28. Question, what does it look like when the scabs come off. My under neither is like a reddish color, is that the new “skin” in my mouth? Please help, thanks. Day 18

  29. I am shahjahan, I am in Bangladeshi, my tonsil was blased in1997 ,now i am very tesion fill becasue what are doing at present position, so plesase advise me, i am greatful you.

  30. I took one blurry picture post surgery. My uvula stretches down onto my tongue and my side and back of my throat are blackened. They stayed black for several days before that started coming off. Now my throat is mostly normal at day 15, just looks like I’ve got a case of strep on the left.

  31. So I’m long past the scab stage-I had my tonsillectomy 8 months ago. But I did notice that my throat has changed shape AND (more troubling) that my voice has given me some problems. It’s not always difficult to talk, but I often find that I’m forcing my voice out. If I were to talk with ease it would be extremely quiet, and often times it is the case that people can’t hear me anyways. I also feel that when I speak with this strained voice that it sounds annoying and I hate to think that I now have an annoying voice. Anyone heard of this or know a way to make it better? 🙂

  32. A Face Book friend mentioned that the later stages, when the scabs begin to slough off, might be interesting photos for our readers. Did you take pictures of your tonsillectomy scabs? Let me know- maybe I will add them to this page…

      1. So its day 6 since my surgery and my ear has been giving me the worst headaches and hard swallow. Its hard for me to sleep n the right side of my neck feels stiff. Please someone tell if this normal and will the pain stop and when will i be able to eat soooo hungry?

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