Post Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy Scabs

59 Comments

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 Support Group

Thank you!

Take care and stay hydrated!
-Greg Tooke 


Tonsillectomy Scabs- a photo journal:

More Throat Pictures

59 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Scabs

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

      2. I’m dealing with the same thing with my ENT. I’m thinking of contacting a lawyer. This is ridiculous and should have been told upfront. We had to call and scream to get me pain pills. Then they only gave me two days.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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