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.Tonsillectomy fire extinguisher text

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 

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Tonsillectomy Scabs- a photo journal:

More Throat Pictures

30 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Scabs

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!?!

  7. 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);

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 😊

  14. 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.

  15. 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! ☺️

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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? :)

  22. 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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