Eating After Tonsillectomy
Eating after tonsillectomy can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the nutrition derived from solid foods is essential for out overall health and recovery from tonsillectomy surgery. The very act of swallowing also helps the throat recover. On the other hand, pushing foods past the raw and tender area of the tonsil beds after they’ve been cut and in many cases cauterized, can cause excruciating pain and, even bleeding. We need to go slow as we resume eating after tonsillectomy surgery.
Liquids. Let’s start here. Since you’ll be drinking at least 8 ounces per hour during tonsillectomy recovery. Put some thought into what you want. Sport drinks are good. They provide electrolytes and needed calories. Since most of the calories are from sugar, you’ll want to try some other drinks too. Avoid anything acidic, caffeinated, dairy, or thick for the first week. I was amazed by how many things I drank went down like battery acid or left a troublesome film on my throat. (tonsil bed) Water is always good, but it’s hard to stay interested in it. I also enjoyed chicken and beef broths. Don’t heat them beyond, “fairly warm.” Hot has an inflammatory effect on tonsil area tissue.
Gelatin was the first thing I was given to begin eating after tonsillectomy and I thought I’d gone to heaven. It tasted wonderful and, for some reason, I found it easier to swallow than water. It’s cool, soothing, and counts as hydration. Hands down, Jell-O, Jelly, or gelatin is my top pick for foodsfor eating after tonsillectomy surgery.
For the first five days I wouldn’t venture too far beyond the liquids and gelatin. It’s contrary to what your mother might advise but, like sleep, a normally healthy endeavor can result in an hour of searing pain. I tried mashed potatoes on day two and had tears in my eyes. For about a day after that, I stopped eating . I don’t recommend this. Eating after tonsillectomy is important for several reasons. Nutrition, activation of muscles in the affected area, and feeling of well being are all benefits of smart eating after tonsillectomy.
Also keep in mind that most prescription pain killers can cause nausea, especially on an empty stomach. It’s important to get some kind of food down before taking pain medicine, even if it’s just a liquid food like Ensure.
As your throat allows, try some foods like oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, (NOT al dente. cook it!), ramen noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, or cous cous. Oatmeal was, without question, my breakthrough food as I began eating after tonsillectomy. I’m still eating it almost daily, probably because of the good feeling that it gave me in my second week.
When I was recovering, I used to daydream about eating steak. It seemed so unattainable. I couldn’t even handle mashed potatoes. When could I ever enjoy a nice juicy Steak?? I told myself, once I got through this, I would reward myself with a delicious slab of beef. To this day, I love my bloody Mary steak marinade recipe. Try it before surgery, or after you’ve recovered. Salud!
I’ve put together a collection of items that I think would be helpful, if not essential, to making tonsillectomy recovery a little more pleasant. Check out tGeneral Store.
-Greg My short bio