How Much Time Off for Tonsillectomy?

days off for tonsillectomy

One of the most common questions people ask on the forum is, “how much off from work to recover from my adult tonsillectomy?” Of course it varies between individuals.  I put the question out to our Face Book page.  Here’s what people had to say.  Feel free to add your own comments at the bottom of the page.  Take care and best health to you.

Question: Imagine your tonsillectomy was next week. How many days would you ask off from work?


  • Michelle-  14. It gets you through the worst of it and allows you to start eating somewhat solid foods. You’re off pain mess at that point too.
  • Aireka -Surgery was the 7 returned to work on the 28. At least 15! Had to back in to the hospital twice for ruptured blood vessels. Wouldnt do it again, but glad I did. I got strep every month before surgery. Since surgery have not had to be on antibiotics at all!
  • Kristin – 2 wks
  • Daneka – about 10-12
  • Kathy – Minimum of two full weeks but three if at all possible.
  • Triscia – Depends what you do. I waitressed and bartended and took 3 weeks! At 2 I coulda prob gone back to a desk job…but not a job where I was on my feet and had to TALK as a major part of my job!!!
  • Stacey – 14. I thought I’d be fine in a week, but right as you get better, you get worse.
  • Shiva – bad three weeks
  • Marcy – 3 weeks
  • Christy – 2.5 weeks for me
  • Tina – 21 days!
  • Nicole – 3 weeks
  • Annmarie – I went back after 4 days
  • Lisa – Ignorantly, 1 week
  • Lisa A- Knowing better, 3 weeks.
  • Annmarie- I was fine
  • Kitty – 2 weeks was perfect
  • Meghan – Two weeks was doable for a desk job
  • Chente – 3 weeks.
  • Mari -e 2 weeks
  • Sarah – 4 weeks – I needed to extend my 2 weeks to 4 because it took that long to get my voice back and I spend a lot of time on the phone for work!
  • Annmarie -I must definitely be a mutant lol
  • Sylvia – 1-2 weeks. One week for sure, but about half way through the second week I was feeling much better.
  • Alaina -At LEAST two weeks. Three to be on the safe side. I also had to be re-admitted on day 7 for a bad bleed, so I extended my leave to 3 weeks.
  • Alaina -, you are LUCKY!
  • Annmarie – i think so lol
  • Rebecca – Ten. It took me two full weeks to recover to the point the scabs fell off and I could tolerate being at work. And at that point, I worked in a car. My office was my car and I had very little interaction with people.
  • Emily – 3 weeks at least. Worst recovery ever
  • Tommie – At least 2 weeks
  • Melissa – 2 weeks
  • Melanie – depends on how much talking the job requires, little to no talking 2 weeks, a lot (like customer service) 4 weeks
  • Patrick- 17 days
  • Lisa – 3 weeks
  • Dominic – 14 days. Minimum. Tried to make it on only 10 days was a horrible, miserable (painful!) mistake.
  • Kierstin 21 days ! Atleast ! I still lose my voice after about 6 hours at work and my surgery was two months ago
  • Sherrie 14 days for sure!
  • RosieIt depends on the job. I was able to go back to school (functioning normally) and play an instrument after around 10 days.
  • Rachel -no less than 14
  • Jill -At least two weeks. And if your doctor doesn’t tell you that, he should have to pay your salary for the amount of time you were not able to take off. Seriously, a friend of mine was told she would only need four or five days off.
  • Kara 2 weeks at least!
  • Brigette 2-3 weeks!
  • Diana  I asked for a week but had to take an extra week as my oldest son came home with the flu and shared it with me
  • Diana  2weeks
  • Jules- I’m a teacher. I had 2 weeks left of summer break to recover. It was rough going back & having to talk constantly! Lots of water got me through!!!
  • Juan – At least two weeks. And after that a slow start, remember some meds won’ t let you use heavy machines aka cars.
  • Tonsillectomy Resources Thank you all! I should copy and paste these pearls of wisdom right into the a blog post so others can benefit. I might…

How much time off for tonsillectomy?  What are your thoughts? Read more about what to expect in terms of recovery time for adult tonsillectomy—>

Join us on Face Book now!


  1. I’m 39 and had my tonsillectomy on 12/29/15 and took the full two weeks off work as my doctor suggested. I actually had to extend my leave for a few more days as I have a job that requires a lot of travel and talking and I’m just not ready. I’ve had a high level of pain (no complications, (but had a bad tonsillitis infection to start). I just stopped my pain meds on 1/9 and switched to OTC pain meds rather than hydrocodone. The experience was brutal and this site helped me a lot each day of recovery to see if other people experienced what I did. Thanks for creating this site and helping create awareness about the recovery from start to finish!!!

    1. Hi Melissa! Glad you’re on the mend. Thanks for the kind words. It makes me happy to think that I helped in some way.
      Best of health to you!

    2. I have a question! was your doctor able to remove your tonsils even though you had tonsillitis at the same time?

  2. It all depends on you. I went back after one week and it have a job that is high intensity talking, working, and being on your toes. I work at a bakery and am also having to manage the front counter, bus lobby and serve, and yell orders. The recommended is two weeks, but you can tell after day 4 how bad it’s really going to be. My throat never hurt, but my voice was horse occasionally. Just talking and taking the hydrocodon cough syrup really soothed it. Keeping your mouth inactive won’t help you gain your vocal skills so just maybe hum a bit and work your way to words each day. The mornings were the worst and by the time I had some fluids in me my voice was just fine.

    Just make sure you’re off themeds before going to work. I stopped them after day 6 because they were making me sick even though I’d have a full stomach so by day 7 I was very active and in control of my actions.

    Be safe and your body will tell you when it’s ready to go back to work.

  3. I am a PE teacher. I had my tonsils out on Monday and it is now Wednesday. I am going to take the rest of this week(obviously) and next week. Then my distrcit has April vacation week. That will give me 3 weeks, but only two from work.

    I have promised myself I will go back to work if I feel up to it but having to project my voice will make it difficult.

    This was helpful as I originally thought a week or so would be enough.

  4. At least two weeks. I went back to work after 13 days. I still got light-headed, my throat was so sore and my voice weak from talking, and I fell asleep right when I got home. Definitely if you can, taking off three weeks would be better.

    1. Hi Maria and thanks for replying. I do sometimes feel a bit light headed myself but I’ve lost my appetite a bit which is probably the case! When I finished work I didnt speak until 7.30am this morning. My voice is very raspy and throat is sore (but not as bad as last night). I definitely need to have a word with HR and the doctor and see what is best to do. Thanks again Maria for sharing.

  5. I have gone back to work after two weeks however I’m on the phone all day and after two days of trying I’m worried I’ll be back to square one. Any advice on what to do 🙁

      1. Thanks for your reply Greg. I will have to enquire I think. I am going to tet in touch with my doctor day to see what would be best as I had a very, very sore throat last night and I also have ulcers on my tongue so I’m feeling down in the dumps. I just keep thinking “soon it will be over and I can look forward to not getting tonsilitis and throat infections all the time”. The only hard part is at my work place there is no sick pay so I feel trapped into working (mortgage,child etc).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.