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. Today I celebrate Day 12. It’s been a very long and painful journey indeed. However, I will consider my first hot Starbucks Mocha and the breakfast sandwich I just finished a positive sign of a decent recovery.

    As I read the blogs daily, and used the stories from others as a gauge throughout my own recovery, I noticed something that I believe could help others more in the future. I imagine as folks get well, they stop reading and posting in these forums, leaving only the stories from those still struggling. Perhaps a section could be added to encourage a returned visit, more stories of long-term success, etc?

    As for me, my surgery was a bit more severe than most – septum, tonsils, turbinate reduction, uvula (UPPP) and hyoid suspension. Eventhough I “super sized” my ENT combo, it’s worth sharing a few milestones and tips.
    First, Italian ice was my best friend! In addition to oxycodone, the cold and ease of consumption was great – hydration, numbing the uvula and throat, easy on my stomach and tasty. I had a couple of meds in pill form that I crushed up and sprinkled on top of the Italian ice.
    Secondly, a breakthrough day for me was day 8. After my first post op, I asked to be switched from oxycodone (which was needed, but made me feel brain dead) to liquid Lortab. My doc gave me his approval to add Advil in between the 15ml doses as needed. He also gave approval for using up to 30ml as needed as long as I didn’t get too carried away. I got home after 6-7 hours without meds, the Lortab kicked in and I felt human again. “Shots” of 7up and liquid Lortab has really helped.
    A third tip is taking a hot bath 2-3 times a day. We have a jacuzzi tub, so that was nice when things got really rough. Recovery is ALL ABOUT making yourself as comfortable as possible from one hour to the next. A hot bath does wonders!
    And finally, I used the advice of another commenter on this blog and pulled out my personal hand-held mini massager. During day 5-10, the ear and neck pain got pretty intense. Applying the small vibrations to the outter ear, temples, back of the head, etc really helped to ease the pain.

    I’d say I’m at about 60% on day 12. Heading into the chaos of the holidays, I remind myself and others to take it easy. I WON’T make every holiday gathering, I can’t get around 50 people and their germs and I can’t please everyone – not this year. My reward will be continued daily progress so I can be 100% sooner. I imagine 100%, or close to it, by NYE so i can ring in the new year with the new me. Whether you’re on Day 1, 2 or just considering the surgery… Yep, it sucks, but its worth it in the long run. Focus on one hour at a time and make each hour as comfortable as possible. Good luck, stay positive and allow yourself time to get well.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I am day 11 and had a supersize combo as well. I think the hydrocodone is not necessary but when I have tried to make it on just Tylenol I have failed miserably. Makes me feel bad (pain) and makes me feel bad (not being much of a fun mom for Christmas). I think the ladder bad makes me feel worse. I know it will soon pass but I am sure ready for it to be here and deemed officially well.

      1. Tylenol did nothing for me. I found Advil to be the best. Although the doctor told me to alternate I can’t take the 4 hours in between.

    2. UPDATE: Today is Day 20. I’m still having some pain in my throat, inside and out. I am totally off of all meds with the exception of Advil 2-3 times a day. I am sleeping VERY deeply now (haven’t had that feeling in YEARS… so Happy New Year to me and my dreams!). What is surprising to me is how quickly I get worn out. I spent about an hour cleaning the house today and getting caught up on emails, etc. I’m BEAT! We’re having people over tonight to ring in the new year and all I want to do is go back to sleep!

      Hang in there everyone! 2013 is a new year and a new opportunity for a happier, healthier life. Keep moving forward! Cheers – JT

    1. Yogurt and tongue scraping several times a day with ST 37 mouthwash twice a day worked for me. The mouthwash is also good for the pain generally as it has a numbing effect.

  2. Day 11 was when I stopped taking my pain medication. I was still in pain, but not enough to take narcotics. Staying hydrated helped the most with the pain. I didn’t try going back to school until day 16. I was too weak to do much and even just sitting around talking and watching movies with a couple friends on day 12 was exhausting. I nearing day 20 and feeling great. Very little pain as long as I’m hydrated. The only downside is that all food tastes disgusting.

  3. Day 11-
    Anyone else plagued by the red blisters? A few cropped up as the scabs came off, but now they cover almost all of the area the scabs did. I still have some thin yellow scab snot that doesn’t rinse off that lives between blisters.
    Overall my pain level is down some today. Instead of wanting to scream in pain now I only shudder. The pain in my forehead is mostly gone. Face, bottom of jaw, and cheekbones are 50% better. Jaw joint, ears, neck (front and back), headache, tooth pain, and lymph nodes about 20% better. Throat pain maybe 10% better. My bones still hurt, but not as much as they have. I only had a fever on day 4 but that fever bone pain has stuck with me since then. I figure it is just my body trying to fight back and hope it goes away as the healing continues.
    My tongue has improved quite a bit since I started having thrush synptoms on day 6-7. Eating yogurt was really hard but it helped kill off the yeast. It took about 3 days for the coating to thin and die and the pain on the surface of my tongue is now about 80% better. I had a lot of tonsil burned off the back of my tongue and that is still very painful along with the edges where the tongue was attached to my soft palate. Ouch!
    I still cannot eat regular food because it hurts to swallow, but also because it hurts too much to chew.
    On the bright side I can finally open my mouth far enough to get a popsicle past my front teeth!
    I am trying to cut back on my pain meds some today, hopefully I don’t relapse tomorrow. I am on break from school and don’t work due to a disability so at least I don’t need to worry about getting back before I am ready. I better be ready by January!

  4. Well, I’ll get the ball rolling. I wnet back to work on day 11. Then I went back home on day 11. I wasn’t ready. I actually felt better on day ten, but sort of relapsed. 12 was much better!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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