Tonsillectomy Side Effects

After Tonsillectomy

Side effects

Aside from no longer having tonsils, the effects of tonsillectomy are somewhat unique to each individual. All surgeries carry the risk of complications. While tonsillectomies are no different, tonsillectomy side effects are usually mild. They sometimes reach the discomfort levels of the chronic respiratory infections leading to most tonsillectomies. For other people, ten days of significant pain is a common tonsillectomy side effect.

Not everyone undergoing a tonsillectomy has the same side effects. If you’re putting off a tonsillectomy because side effects are a concern, knowing the possible complications may help you reach a decision.

Tonsillectomy Side Effects in Children

The tonsils reach their largest size in children between the ages of 4 and 7, according to the Better Health Channel. Your child is most susceptible to infected tonsils during these years. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital reports that tonsillectomy side effects for this age group include:

• Residual bleeding
• Anesthesia-induced nausea or vomiting during the first 24 hours following surgery
• Throat pain that may irritate the nerve leading to the ears
• Jaw or neck pain
• Mouth breathing and snoring for up to two weeks
• A voice change if the child’s tonsils were very large
• Low-grade fever for a few days

Some children may continue experiencing these tonsillectomy side effects for up to two weeks. Most, however, recover fully within seven to 10 days. Tonsillectomy recovery for adults is another story.

Tonsillectomy Side Effects in Adults

Adults may require longer recovery periods than children. Tonsillectomy side effects in adults include:

• Post-operative pain in the throat and back of the oral cavity
• Nausea from residual bleeding
• Pain subsiding after 48 hours and recurring three or four days later. It may involve the ears as well as the mouth and throat.
• An unpleasant taste from scabs forming over the surgical wounds.

The American Association of Pediatrics’ “Textbook of Pediatric Care” reports the most common tonsillectomy complication is postoperative bleeding, in 1 to 2 percent of cases.

Tonsillectomy Recovery

Tonsillectomy Recovery

Greg Tooke

40 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Side Effects

  1. Shelley

    First of all I am no expert, but I am 46 years old and had a tonsillectomy 2 years ago. My experience they told me was occasional as well. I had the surgery because my tonsils were so infected that I choked on food and got bronchitis constantly. After my surgery my throat wasn’t sore but I couldn’t swallow even liquids without it shooting back out and choking me. This went on for 6 weeks. Because I just kept waiting it out, and absolutely nothing was going down, I ended up at the ER getting iv fluids for severe dehydration. After that things started looking upward and I continued to get better but in the meantime my voice wasn’t normal nor was my hearing. It took 6 months for everything to return to normal. Like I said I am no expert and definitely no doctor but my advice is don’t panic and as long as you are able to eat and drink well,keep your doctor informed and just be patient. As I learned children are resilient but we older ones take a lot more time to heal fully. Take care. –shelley

  2. Laurel Boyd

    I have a 60 year old friend, who had a tonsillectomy September 19, 2014. She feels find now, but is having trouble speaking. She sounds like a deaf person that has learned to speak, and her voice is very high, kind of like she inhaled helium. She was told this happens occasionally, and to do some exercises for the uvula and if all else fails, she will have to start speech therapy. This seems very odd to both of us, she a basically healthy person, just had this done because she was getting strep throat all the time. Any ideas, suggestions, did they mess up the surgery???

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