A Good Tonsillectomy Recovery

From a Reader:

I’d like to share my recent tonsillectomy experience for those of you who are nervous. I was either very lucky or did all the right things because I had very little “intense/sharp” pain during any portion of the recovery process and I am now in week 3 post-op.

For context, I am 30 and in good health. I got the surgery after my daughter brought several illnesses home from daycare in the past year, and every one of them gave me a major pain in the neck- well, tonsils- and I was having almost daily tonsil stones.

I had the surgery at noon on day 0, and was hooked up to an IV the rest of the day. For dinner I had soup. Days 1-3 I got the instructions to gargle at least 10 times a day with chamomile drops, and I was given 3 Ibuprofin-level painkillers a day to take a half hour before eating. I was able to eat soft bread and mashed potatoes. Days 1-3 I was sore, but it was tolerable. I was drinking water constantly and even set my alarm every hour of the night so that my throat didn’t dry out. I think this was the key to a very tolerable recovery.

Days 4-6 I was the most sore, especially early in the morning. There was one afternoon on post-op day 5 that I was so sore I could barely swallow water, but there was never a sharp or terrible pain. All 3 days I was able to eat various bland but solid foods- cheese pizza, pasta, breakfast cereal.

This was also the only time a piece of the scabs came off that was big enough to spit out. The white scabs came off very gradually over about 10 days. I continued to gargle and drink several liters of water a day at this point, and I think it really helped to make the recovery easier.

By the second week I was only taking 1-2 painkillers a day, and now at week 3 I am off the painkillers completely and the scabs are completely gone. There is still a slight soreness/lump in my throat but I can talk with ease.

Overall, a very smooth process. As long as you hydrate as much as possible and take your bed rest seriously, you should be OK!

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