Tonsils Removed?

Tonsil Removal – Tips for Patients

Getting your tonsils removed can be a path to a better life. Perhaps, “tunnel,” is a better word. Whether due to chronic tonsillitis, strep throat, tonsil stones, sleep apnea, cancer, or all of the above, getting your tonsils removed will change your life. After having a tonsillectomy at the age of 44, I found very little support, understanding, or good information available to people considering tonsil removal, or recovering from a tonsillectomy.tonsils removed For those reasons, I created this site for people considering tonsillectomy, or who have recently had their tonsils removed.

After having my surgery and subsequent recovery, researching, writing, and reading experiences of others, I’ve learned a bit about how to best go about this. Read all the other pages of the site, especially the comments posted. You’ll learn alot. Let me just take this one post to highlight the basics of tonsil removal, and recovering from a tonsillectomy.

Should I have my tonsils removed?

This is often a tough question to answer. I won’t attempt to answer it for you. If you have large cryptic tonsils like I did. If you get tonsillitis and/ or strep throat several times per year. If you snore at night-maybe you suffer from sleep apnea and you don’t even know it. I did. All of this, to me adds up to some compelling reasons to have a tonsillectomy. I did. I am glad. Talk to your doctor. Read these pages. If you decide to have a tonsillectomy, let me give you my quick and dirty guide to getting your tonsils removed.


A Note About Ear Pain After Tonsil Removal

A common side effect of having tonsils removed is ear pain. This phenomena is what’s called a referred pain. The actual source of the pain is the throat, the tonsil beds, more specifically. The nerve that runs along the jaw can refer pain to the ears. The best relief I know of for this ear pain after tonsillectomy is chewing gum. I recommend a sugarless minty gum. A warm compress can also relieve this ear pain that often follow having ones tonsils out.

tonsil removal

Tonsil removal?

If I were to have my tonsils removed again, I would…

-Take two full weeks off from work.
Buy a good quality humidifier
-Talk with my doctor IN ADVANCE about pain management. Insist upon enough pain medicine to last ten days!
-Make sure I had a comfortable recliner to sleep in.
-Buy a good ice bag
-Begin icing IMMEDIATELY after tonsillectomy surgery and stay with it.
-Stock up on full seasons of good shows. (Medications make reading difficult)
-Begin eating as much as possible and continue eating as much as possible.**
** This is a big one. Eating after tonsillectomy helps ward off the nausea associated with pain medicine. But it also helps the healing process. The old, “use it or lose it,” idea. In the U.K. and Australia, doctors advise their patients to eat rough foods after tonsillectomy. In the U.S. this is not so common. Usually the soft diet is recommended. It’s what I did. After reading THOUSANDS of accounts from people all over the world who have had their tonsils removed, I have decided that the U.K. and Australian doctors have it right. Time and time again I read of folks saying that their’s was not such a bad recovery-much better than the accounts they’d read of. Nine times out of ten, those people were eating rough foods from the get-go, and stayed with it.

I think having that food brush by the tonsil beds regularly minimizes the formation of scabs. these scabs are what cause many of the bleeding problems as they fall off. The scabs also make it hard to swallow. wait, let’s say, “makes swallowing feel like a ball of razor blades going down your throat.” Ok, back to the list of what I would do if I had my tonsils removed again…

-Drink lots and lots and lots of ice cold water. This is huge! It reduces inflammation after tonsillectomy, but also keeps the throat moist and works the muscles of the throat.
-Buy a Slushie machine
-Talk to my family and friends and ask for their support.

Whether or not you decide to have a tonsillectomy, I wish you the very best of health. Take care,

Greg Tooke

41 thoughts on “Tonsils Removed?”

  1. hi I am 56 and I had a tonsillectomy and I am a diabetic types 2 and thank you I fell all the above my pain my med is all most out what do I do call the doctor or how long do they give it to you heal it take long for a person to heal with diabetic

  2. Im on Day 4 my throat hurts most of the time about 10 mins after my medicine my throat pain seems to numb and go for about half an hour. It comes back after and kills when i even swallow water. When i woke up this morning my ears both sides were killing i had my medicine and went back to bed hoping for the pain to go, i woke up at 8ish the pain had died down and i can now cope with it. Ive been eating alot of toast as ive had a weird addiction to it.
    The pain is on and off and sometimes i do want it to stay off!

  3. I had my tonsils taken out six days ago. I am 40. Sleeping with your head elevated is a must–literally in a sitting position if possible. The ear pain is intense–way worse than the throat pain. Keep lots of ice available for soreness. My consolation is that it will all be over soon and I never have to do it again.

  4. My best friend got her tonsils removed in middle school and that was an awful ordeal. She came to my house after eating a hamburger and when I checked on her in the bathroom there was blood everywhere. We had to take her to the ER and recartrize them, so I’d advise staying from rough foods. I’m talking to my doctor Thursday regarding my tonsils. I’ve had throat problems all my life, first starting with thousands of ulcers I would get in the back of my throat and constantly swollen lymph nodes. I’m getting horrendous tonsil stone now because my tonsils are swollen 24/7. I always go to the doc for a check up and he always comments on how red and swollen my throat looks even when I’m feeling 100%. So hopefully they’ll go through with removing them. I can only stand so much of hacking up a tonsils gone in public and then gagging. (Everyday).

  5. Hi! I am 23 and just had my tonsils and adenoids removed 5 days ago. The “balls of razor blades” you feel when you swallow is extremely accurate. Although, I have found that making sure I kept my throat hydrated so it wasn’t dry did seem to help at least a little bit. I have done a terrible job of eating only because it seemed that I would get neasous afterwards and of course it hurt. It is worse then I expected it to be, and the main thing I suggest is patience. I had none at the beginning but I just had to step back and let my body heal at its own pace. Still have a ways to go, but this is article is definitely accurate and has a lot of things will help!

  6. I had my tonsiles removed 12 days ago and i can say i almost agree with all of those tips! Except i wouldnt eat the rough food. I have a very low pain tolerance so i guess i didnt eat much of anything besides baby food, jello and over cooked pasta for the first week because everything else hurt too much.
    I think the thing that bothers me the most being in the second week, is food getting caught in the holes where the tonsiles used to be. Its so irritating and it honestly hurts. But trust me, the pain does go away over time. At times its unbearable, but it gets better. Think positive, take your medication and become friends with your tv and recliner 😉

  7. Having my tonsils out Tuesday, Feb 10th. AHH I’m scared… (ball of razor blades) OH MY GOSH NO..

    Thanks for all the great reading material and information. I am definitely going to bring up the soft vs. rough foods to my doctor. to browse through more of your site 🙂 Thank you!

    1. I am 23 and get my tonsils out on March 10th…reading about scabs and “balls of razorblades” is freaking me out!

  8. I have a random question for anyone who can answer. I am 24 years old. Live in Canada. I had my tonsils removed by the cauterization method and was put under general anesthesia on Monday January 19th. It is now Saturday January 24th. The typical routine. Typical pains. Etc. Everything fairly normal. No complications. But I have noticed both today and yesterday, as scabs start to fall off, I immediately get what seems to be as a “chemical” kind of taste in my mouth… Or almost like. A bitter medicine taste. Only when the scabs fall off though. And it gives me a gross feeling in my stomach and my mouth. And makes me feel a little queezy. I want to know if anyone else has experienced this? If so, what is it? And why? I had the assumption that maybe it was like, either a numbing agent or something that maybe got encapsulated In the cauterization process and is being released when it falls off, but that seems a little far fetched :-/ if anyone has any idea, let me know! Please and thank you!

  9. This website is so great! I’m having my big Bad tonsils out in just 3 days, and reading through this site and the comments has helped me feel better about what’s to come. Thank you!

  10. thanks for this blog…im due to have my tonsils out in 1 months time…im in the uk…they are very wiery about pain medication over here, but im gonna ask anyhow as i have not very tolerence to pain…thanks for the other tips

  11. Greg, I’m the proud owner of more than just tonsil issues in the poor health department and have found that websites dedicated to tips from people experiencing your pain are ultra useful and helpful. I have been following most of the advice here as I navigate thru my tonsillectomy recovery and wanted to know if you would have an interest in aging a section of surgeons that people here would recommend. I would be happy to add mine…he was very kind and straightforward with me about what I was going to be experiencing and he even sent my pharmacy a full script of pain meds before my procedure so that I wouldn’t get stuck stopping by the pharmacy on the way home. Thanks so much for your work on this wonderful and informative site!

    1. Hi Rothiam, and thanks for the kind words. Best of luck with all of your health. That’s a good idea, about the surgeons. I would avoid endorsing any myself, but maybe I could make a page where readers add theirs. Stay tuned…..

  12. I am going to Dr. Thursday to see if he will remove my tonsils. I have tonsil stones. They are gross. I will be 58 Tomorrow. Wish me luck.

  13. So i am on day 6, and all i want to do is eat sherbert and jello. My throat is stilling hurting and my tongue feels like it is also hurting me. The cool humidifier at night is a wonderful thing, although i am returning the one we got for a quieter one. I am suppose to go back to work in two days and i am not sure that is going to happen, cause my voice is still not back to normal, since it hurts to talk. I needed the surgery due to having three infections in 8 months and the last one i needed a steroid shot to stop the swelling. Can’t wait for this to be over!

    1. Hi, I had my op 6 days ago also I feel like the pain has got worse over past few days haven’t eaten anything today really and can’t speak… Do u have a burning sensation sometimes in your throat and a horrible taste?

      1. Hi Laura, please tell me that horrid taste at the back of my throat is going to go away!!! It burns sometimes and makes me wanna barf constantly! Did you figure out what it is? I am on post-op day 6

        1. Hi benji, the horrible taste is probably the scabs. I would call the doctor on that but that is my guess. I pretty much am fully recovered and i am so glad i did it, because i can acually breathe at night now.

  14. Just got home after my coblation tonsillectomy. Not in any pain. Had 2 popsicles already. I know the pain will get worse but I’m enjoying this nice time right now. Just having trouble keeping my ice packs on now. The neck one I bought from CVS is too big. Maybe I’ll tape the bags of frozen corn to me so I can stop holding them. Funny thing… when I woke up at the hospital I was so mad! And I don’t know why. I guess the anesthesia had that effect on me hah.

  15. hi i had my tonells taken out a week ago and still have a bit of pain when will the pain stop and is there anything i can do to help it

  16. Hello, I’m 13 and i had my tonsils out 6 days ago I was brilliant on on the first day, But I suppose the anisthetic didn’t wear of, day 3, I started to get a terrible pain in my left ear, whenever I swallow, Talk or more I’ve been taking codeine and paracetemol but the pain is till unbearable its now day six and the pain is still here, any tips?

  17. Hi I had my op last Wednesday an the pain is getting really bad I can’t cope!! I’m on codeine an paracentomal!! I’m struggling to eat I can’t have anti inflamtiories as I’m alrgic to them!! Can u suggest anything to help me at all??

  18. Hi there I had my tonsils out last Monday 11/2/13 . I’m 34 years old and I’ve had a bad time . I was in hospital Monday for my operation came out Monday night and Tuesday I felt on top of the world but then from then in I went down hill. I ended up having bleeding from the back of my throat on Saturday and stayed in hospital again and now I’m home with my family . I did get told that it was a big operation but I didn’t realise how big until I’d had it done .i have lost over 1 stone in weight within a week as I have been that poorly This site helped me through and did give me lots of information than anywhere else thank you for this and hope it helps others like me

  19. Stumbled across your site looking for information on getting my tonsils….I just found out today that i will have to have my tonsils out…i’ve been having swelling of my tonsils for about a month now and prior to that off and on, there was no pain associated with the swelling however about 2 weeks ago i woke up in the middle of the morning really thirsty so i got some juice and happen to run my hand down my neck and it felt like i had another neck growning there, lol so i immediately went to ER, they told me that my tonsils were extremely huge and gave me antiboitcs for an infection (come to find out today it wasnt an infection)…i made an appt the same day with an ENT and finally saw him today and YES, I have to have them out cause they are still huge and touching each other which can cause me to not breathe at night when i sleep (doctor said), i told him i need time to think about it (which should of been a no brainer since it can cause me not to breathe) but im really scared of being put to sleep…I’m 44 and scared but reading this site has put me at ease. (dont know about the scab stuff falling off in my mouth, nasty lol)…so after reading this site and all the comments, i guess ill give him a call tomorrow to give the go ahead…Thank you Greg for giving me a peace of mind and all comments.

  20. This website has been great, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. In the long run all this pain will be worth it. Really grateful for the site as it has helped me out alot.

  21. Thank you so much for making this site. Endless nights of not being able to sleep reading stuff on here kept me positive I’m on day 8 now and feel like everyone who has contributed on here has made my recovery bearable. So thanks Greg you are my hero

  22. Hi. I have just found this website after looking for info on side effects of having my tonsils out. I have to say that there isn’t much apart from the normal medical jargon.
    I had my tonsils out 3 weeks ago and I have to say that I have never felt so I’ll before. The worst part for me was week two, I was finally beginning to feel more ‘normal’ and I decided to eat something other than the yoghurt and chicken soup that kept the hunger at bay.
    I was wondering if anyone else ended up with a numb tongue or tingling sensation after their op. I have also since the op lost my sweet taste buds and everything I eat has a strange after taste. If it doesn’t come back by the end of the week I am going to my doctor because I miss my morning cup of tea.

  23. Had my tonsillectomy this past Wednseday, Dec. 8, 2012. Experiencing major pain in throat and right ear. Left side seems to be alot less painful for some reason. After reading all these posts, I don’t think I’m drinking as much water as I should be. I try to avoid as much swallowing as possible because of the pain. But ice water is the only thing I do drink. I’ve been eating ice cream, jello and mashed potatoes. I sure wish I’d found this site BEFORE my surgery. It’s amazing to read everyone else’s posts and say “hey, I can relate to that”. Seems I’m right on schedule with what everyone else is experiencing. However, I am not able to see my tonsil bed. I have tried looking using a flashlight and I just can’t see anything. Of course it’s way too painful to open my mouth very wide. On top of this, I also have TMJ which I think this surgery has only exagerated that pain as well. And I’m dying to know… how are these people able to drink Coke after this surgery? My goodness, I can’t hardly drink it without a tonsillectomy because it burns so bad going down the throat. Anyway, thanks for this forum. It has been very insightful!!!

  24. My tonsils were removed on 7th January 2012. The wound healed within 2 weeks and I resumed eating any type of food. In 2 months, I got back all the the ordeal bad breath, dryness of the throat and when ever I get back to my ENT Dr. she gives me antibiotics assuring me that I will be ok regardless of the continues complains and discomforts I pass through. on 10th to 16th November 2012, I got a very painful sore throat which caused hardships in swallowing, and talking till the 5th day when I started getting better. I am therefore just wondering why this the same symptoms of the tonsillitis return and under going a tonsillectomy?

    Oliver Michael

  25. Yesterday morning I had my tonsils out. I am 44 years old. I feel as if I am doing fairly well. My biggest problem is I can’t breathe well with my mouth shut. I am having horrible dry mouth. Been drinking ice water like crazy which causes many trips to the bathroom. Very nervous about the next several days. Thanks for your website.

      1. Hey Greg~ Ha, up late taking my pills and I can’t fall back asleep so I always come read here to see how others are feeling… I just wanted to thank you as well for this site it was so helpful 🙂 I feel amazing on day 9 and I really think the advice on here helped get me thru all of this!! I’m finally seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. Xoxo

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