Tonsillectomy Scabs

After Tonsillectomy- What does the throat look like?

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.

I’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 coming 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!

Take care and stay hydrated!
-Greg Tooke 

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19 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Scabs

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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