Tonsillectomy Recovery Day 11 and Beyond

Tonsillectomy Recovery after Day Eleven


At some point I hope to add pages for day 12, day 13, day 14, day 15, day 16, and another page for days 17,18,19, and 20.  For now, please share your tonsillectomy recovery experiences here.  I wish you the very best of health!

  1. ty
    Hey. Its me again. Had the surgery last week and OMG! The worst days of my life. I will make it but geeze!! This sucks bad. I had to read your comments again because I began to get depressed, lol. Im driving my husband and doctor crazy by keep asking them how long will this last. Its good hearing from someone that understands the process and pain. Your experiences are helping me through girl. Thanks again:)

    1. Kate
      Horrible flashbacks reading your message Ty! I have just returned from a business trip, meeting lots of new people, and I didn’t have to worry about my breath: so liberating and confidence building. I discovered that one of my colleagues had her tonsils removed 2 years ago – when I happened to mention that I was just a few weeks on from my operation, she gave me a big bear hug because she could empathise with my more recent experience. You WILL eat, sleep and enjoy life again – I promise! Stay positive: you made the right decision.

  2. Kate
    I am now four weeks post surgery (in the UK), and life is good! I had a tonsillectomy due to tonsil stones (I had small, pitted tonsils, and was unable to remove the stones myself, whatever method I tried) – private medical insurance and a past history of throat infections helped get me the surgery. I knew it was a drastic option, but I was prepared to do ANYTHING to solve my bad breath problems. I did nearly cancel when I read this forum the day before surgery though! But I didn’t, and I survived, and my tonsil stones and bad breath are finally GONE!Having found this forum so much help during the dark days post-surgery, I wanted to share my experience/what helped me. If you are about to have surgery, or are still in recovery, I can promise you it will get SO much better in a few days – hang in there!1. Don’t plan ANYTHING for the two weeks post surgery – and make sure you book at least two weeks off work. Days 5 – 8 were the worst for me, although in total I had about 10 days of constant pain/medication and sleep deprivation.
    2. I cried A LOT on day one – a mixture of the anesthesia/trauma, relief at getting through surgery, and pain! I had one night in hospital.
    3. Sucking on crushed ice helps a lot – make sure you have some in stock. I did not use a humidifier – we didn’t want to pump damp air into our bedroom!
    4. Take as much pain medication as you can – I used Tramadol, ibuprofen and paracetamol – you will not get addicted, and you WILL need them. But keep a drug diary so you can recall what drugs you took and when – you will not remember!
    5. Sleeping with my face/throat on a hot water bottle helped me a lot in days 5+: your throat muscles tighten up in response to the surgery, and I think this helped relax me a little
    6. The nights were the worst, as I would wake up in a lot of pain and then struggle to swallow more medication/get back to sleep. Listening to the radio really helped get me through the dark, lonely hours. My husband moved into the spare bed for the first 10 days, to ensure he could get some sleep and I could thrash around the bed as much as I needed to get comfortable!
    7. In the UK we are advised to eat rough food e.g. toast when we can. I did manage this a couple of times, but I mostly lived on soup (no bread!), fish in sauce (you can buy this frozen in handy microwaveable pouches), yogurt, porridge and hot chocolate. I tried making smoothies but the fruit was too acidic and hurt my throat. There were a couple of days when I could not face eating anything due to the pain. I did not get constipated, and I did not lose much weight – because I spent two weeks resting, and most of what I DID eat was high calorie!
    8. You will be too tired to read much – have a good set of DVDs on standby
    9. I did not have any bleeding. I felt so ill that completely resting in the first week was an easy option – and I made sure I had someone on call in the first few days, just in case
    10. I was able to speak on all days, although about half an hour of conversation was enough
    11. I went for my first short walk one week after surgery. Four weeks on, I am now exercising as normal – running, swimming and pilates.
    12. I stopped regular pain relief on about day 15, having gradually cut down on what I was taking.
    13. I gradually re-introduced different types of food after two weeks. I still have a sticky feeling in the back of my throat, which I expect to disappear over the coming weeks.My tonsillectomy recovery was the worst 10 days of my life. But ridding myself of tonsil stones is one of the best things I ever did!

    1. Ty
      Thank you for sharing. I also have tonsil stones and thought I may be going to far getting surgery to remove them. I’m a married woman and nothing’s is more damaging to a marriage than insecurity. TMI, I know just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience. I’m going forwadr with the surgery.

      1. Kate
        I am also married (and 47 – forgot that bit!) and would not even discuss the problem with my husband. So I feel your insecurity! It will hurt a lot – stay focused on the goal and remember that in a few days you will be much better, and also liberated!

  3. Ellen Howard
    Day 9 of my recovery.I’m not sure how relevant this will be to anyone because I’m not entirely sure how common it is. I’m just turned 18 and have been having a lot of problems with my tonsils for the best part of three years. One thing I always found when digging out those god awful tonsil stones was that my tonsils were extremely prone to bleeding – something my ENT surgeon also found out on the day of the op!He said no one in his experience had bled that much in a tonsillectomy procedure in years. I had to be stitched right up on my right side and let me tell you, we all know how sore recovery is without stitches right? Imagine being wheeled out of theatre with those bad boys in you. It’s been sore, for the first few days it was the actual space at the top of the back of my throat that was painful and white and scabby. I was throwing up old blood so frequently (and a lot of it might I add) that I couldnt keep anything down; not food, not painkillers. It was awful.But I powered through and ate as much as I could, despite the pain, because I thought ‘you know what I’ve put up with enough sh*t from my tonsils this time I’m gonna show ‘em what I’m made of!’ And after about day three or four the pain subsided from my tonsil bed area and is now a horrible stingy/achy feeling further down my throat, which apparently is due to the whole stitching procedure, I guess a lot of tubes were bumped around in this process and it’s seriously bruised me inside. I find the pain really hits me at night and I’m starting to get severe earaches to accompany that, which is nice! My co-codamol painkillers ran out days ago so I’m going strong on paracetamol and Diclofenac.

    I hope everyone else is managing to power through! Just think of all the tonsillitus and nasty tonsil stones that you’re gonna get to avoid for the rest of your life! Remember, at most this recovery process is going to take 17-20 days, which in perspective, is more than worth it to be tonsil free!

    Stay safe xxx

  4. Lindsey
    I am a 24 year old female, I had my tonsils removed on July 23. I had my tonsils removed due to horrid tonsil stones. Let me start off by saying DRINK WATER NO MATTER HOW BAD IT HURTS!!!! Day 1: after procedure you’re so loopy from meds it flys by. I was offered a blue slushing and teddy Graham’s. 8 bags of teddy Graham’s later I am ready to keave!! After surgery I even had McDonald’s I don’t even remember eating it. Throat was numb all day long. I received percocet 5mg. All you will want to do is sleep. Have someone wake you up to drink and take meds!!Day 2: pain was still tolerable I started taking the pain medication every 4 hours so the pain doesn’t get out of control. I was eating mash potatoes ( the pre made bob Evans kind was the smoothest), I noticed ice cold water stung my throat so room temperature worked. I was drinking every 20 mins to keep the throat moist. Sleeping was horrible, I ended up sleeping on couch so my head would be propped up. Waking up every 45 mins to sip water, you get no sleep at all. I didn’t want my throat to dry out because it is so painful. I set my alarm every 4 hours so I would take my medicine.Day 3,4,5: Worst days ever! Extreme pain 10/10, that pain medicine didn’t help! Ear pain started kicking in. I had ice constantly on my throat to keep swelling down. Scabs were formed in back of throat very thick. Drinking water was a task. Everytime I swallowed felt like razorblades. I had to force myself to eat. Ended up getting a blood clot on my left tonsil on day5 and started bleeding. On call dr told me to drink ice cold water and it helped. Woke up after and blood clot resolved on its own. I was having mini hot flashes all day.Day 6: I felt like a new person. Pain was a 6/10. I was eating drinking taking my neds around the clock

    Day 7,8,9: scabs started falling off day 7. It feels like something is caught in back of throat when them fall off. Throat is very sensitive after they fall off that any liquid or food stings the throat. I have bumped my meds down to 1 pill every 4 hours instead of 2 pills. Sleeping longer through the night.

    Day 10 and on: pain has started to be controlled with Motrin. I feel 100% better!! I am starting to eat solid foods. I had PBJ sandwhich and it was easy to go down. I feel back to my normal self. Throat still hurts but just like it would as a sore throat.

    I think keeping myself hydrated non stopped helped with my speedy recovery. I go back to wk in a few days and feel comfortable going back. I still have to drink water so throat doesn’t get dry. My scabs are 75% gone. I’ve had someone with me the whole time and you DO need that. Milk never seemed to cause the phlegm in my throat as others posted. It soothed the burning. I lived off mash potatoes and chick n star soup mix for the first days. Keep taking medication when it’s due so pain stays under control!! Take the full two weeks off dr reccomends because you will need it. I would do this surgery again knowing it is going to cure my tonsil stones and stinky breath! Sorry this blog is all over the place my mind is going crazy! I hope everyone as a good recovery as well as I’ve had!

Check out our new tonsillectomy recovery video- Caution: Not always pretty

A collection of various experiences of adult tonsillectomy patients after their tenth day of tonsillectomy recovery
From thousands of post comments to the tonsillectomy recovery forum, I am assembling a sampling of various accounts and impressions of tonsillectomy recovery for each day. Below I share comments about tonsillectomy recovery after day 11. These comments are from tonsillectomy patients who were kind enough to share their experiences to help others as they navigate the bumpy road of tonsillectomy recovery.


Many will experience depression toward the end of of their tonsillectomy recovery.

Depression after tonsillectomy
Depression After Tonsillectomy?

-Greg Tooke 


  1. Hello my name is cameron I had swollen tonsils for a while and antibiotics didn’t help at all so it was time to get them taken out I’m on day 11 and pain is very minimal where I don’t need to take any pain meds but when should I have 0 pain and be back to normal so I can I let my boss know when to return to work by the way I’m 28!

    1. Hello! I’m 19 and had to get my tonsils out because of my reoccurring strep and tonsillitis. I’m in school and had it 5 times in one semester… I’m currently on day 11 right now and looking back I’m not sure how I did it. Very painful process, some days even felt like there was not going to be an end to this. Days 1-2 weren’t too horrible, a lot of medication. Days 3-4 started to get much more painful, and I thought day 5 was the worst…. oh how I was wrong. Days 6-8 were the most painful for me. Spending most of my time in the hot shower throughout the day as that was the only thing that made me feel better. Also switched from cold compress on neck and ears to a warm compress after day 5 which seemed to be more beneficial. Not a lot of sleeping, or eating…. or drinking…. or talking. I often let my throat get too dry by not drinking enough water… don’t do this. Night time was most difficult but keeping up with medication is so important. I switched between percocet and tylenol every 3-4 hours up until about day 9. But as I am on day 11 now i’m starting to feel much better just with very sore throat and occasional ear pain. Starting to eat a little bit more as well…. let me just say this will be the hungriest 1-2 weeks you will ever have. But I have 0 regrets getting this surgery and must say it has been well worth it and my recovery has been on track. Cant wait to feel 100% again…..

  2. Im currently on Day 11 post tonsil removal. I do wish I read into the recovery of tonsil removal because I was not aware of how bad this was actually going to be. I knew it was going to hurt but I didn’t think I would feel like im literally having a slow painful death for 10 days. I was prepared to just take care of myself after surgery but that was not the case. My boyfriend ended up having to stay with me all day every day getting me everything as I cried in pain. Still have ear pain and some pain in my throat which I should be thankful for but at this point I will not be happy until all pain is gone. Thank god I am near the end and the best of luck to everyone in this process

  3. I recently had my adenoids removed and had a tonsillectomy too. I’m on day 6 and it hurts when I drink water like if I have pieces of glass In there. The first days were ok did had pain maybe like a 5/10 but today is the worse ever. If I knew I was going to go through this I never would have done this. Still one more week to go and I don’t know how to stop this pain I have an iceback on my throat, I did water with salt, I did popcicles and the pain medication they gave me is not working???

    1. Hi Marcy. Sorry you’re having a rough time. I did too. are you running a humidifier in your house? I would. Try planning some simple activities to get your mind off the pain. a walk, a bath, a movie…anything. Hang in there and remember- this is temporary. Soon you’ll be glad to have gone through it!

  4. Day 12 here and it has been a long arduous journey.
    Day 1 was by and far the best of the bunch. I woke up from surgery and was pukeing within 15 minutes. This happens every time they put me under so I tried not to let it get me down. After an hour of monitoring they let me loose into the world with a script for 5 days worth of hydrocodone “elixir and some amoxicillin.
    Nights 1-3 were spent with a 103° fever, no matter how much fluid I took in, no matter how many popcycles I ate, I couldnt cool myself down. Thankfully tylonol finally helped towards the end of day 3 as my doctor was starting to consider readmitting me for fever.
    Days 4 through 6 were unremarkable aside from some throat pain, pain when speaking/eatting, and loose stools from the antibiotics.
    On day 7 everything went to hell. Day started with extream loose stools which I figured was a side effect of my amoxicillin. Called the doctor and was directed to stop the antibiotics. After a few hours I began vomiting. My safe food of mango frozen sorbet came shooting out of my nose, and then the vomiting continued to get worse until I was forced to go to my local emergency room for nausia meds and iv fluids. 6 hours, 2ltrs of fluids and a cocktail of anti-something or other drugs later I went home.
    Day 8 was another nightmear. The drugs that they gave me to stop the nausia caused a full fledged migraine, and I couldnt hold my bowls in at all. Was readmitted that night for having too much water in my system and nothing else aswell as the migraine. Doctor treated me and I was given a new nausia medication that luckily worked as a migraine abortive (what are the chances?).
    Days 9-10 were sore but okay.
    Day 11 my nausia meds caused a distonic reaction and I was hospitalized as my jaw attempted to dislocate its self and my hands and feet contorted. It was like being possessed, I had no control over my muscles. Two rounds of benidryl and an entire round of curious med students later I was released with a caution to only take that nausia med with benidryl, which I will avoid at all costs. One of the side effects of this condition was my neck twisting in the opposite direction of my jaw leading to extreamly tender and painful neck/throat muscles.
    Its day 13 and I would be lying if I said I had no regrets. Word to the wise, dont get this surgery done durring flu season: you will regret it. Push fluids, not just water but juice and gatoraid ascalories. I lost no less than 15 pounds from this and was already thin (new bmi is 18.5). Calories are your friend. Also food will hurt, but it relaxes the throat and helps the scabs fall off.
    Best of luck to anyone who is going through this or planning to. I am happy my large angry tonsils are gone, just not sure that the void the have been replaced with is any better.

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