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. So I’m on day 12. It was actually going great (Day 10,11) UNTIL I hemorrhaged on day 11 around 2/3am. Was send in for an emergency surgery to close it. I was bleeding SO much. I thought the end was near, but now I’m all back. Very traumatized, scared and mad on my own body for failing me. I really regret doing this. The fact that I need to re-do it makes me so depressed. I’ve never experienced so much pain in my entire life.

  2. I am lying in bed finishing the end of day 11 (including surgery day since it was so early in the day). I am a 30 year old female who had my tonsils removed due to frequent to tonsillitis and HUGE tonsils that swelled to touching with any illness, requiring steroids. I’ve put this surgery off for years because of the horror stories and decided it was finally time to get it done.

    Like most, the day of surgery wasn’t that painful. What I recall the worst to be was my nausea from anesthesia and the hydrocodone I was given. Even with Zofran, I was still so nauseous and everything I ate came right back up. The other annoying thing was my uvula swelling and resting on my tongue (still have the same issue 11 days later) and I couldn’t lay down because of it. Day 2 and 3 are a blur – the Norco (hydrocodone) made me so sick I couldn’t keep anything down. Throwing up after throat surgery is not fun. It also didn’t feel like the pain was helped by the norco, so I added in liquid ibuprofen (800 mg) and that helped. The pain wasn’t terrible, like a very painful strep throat.
    Day 4 I decided to stop the norco because of how out of it and sick I was. I alternated Tylenol and ibuprofen from day 4 forward and never went back to the norco and I felt so much better being able to keep some food in my belly. The pain started getting worse the end of day 4 and steadily increased each day. By day 7 it was hard to swallow my saliva so I carried around a spit cup. Day 8 was the worst pain day for me. My ears hurt just as bad as my throat and I dreaded swallowing the water I forced myself to keep up with or to take my meds. Sleeping was no reprieve because that just meant waking up with pain because of a dry throat. Depression set in around day 7, feeling like there was no end in sight. Day 7 and 8 also brought on stinging when drinking and eating; that’s the scabs coming off. Also both of those days I felt like I had something stuck to the back of my throat, presumably the scabs coming off. I was able to take pain meds, toast some bread and lather it with butter and eat that. It seemed to sloth off some scabs and that feeling went away. On day 9 I woke up expecting it to be another bad day but I felt amazing, in comparison. I was able to eat with minimal pain and even went to my sons football game. Day 9 turned the corner for me. Day 10 was just as good and I even went several hours without needing any pain meds. Today, day 11 I felt like I did too much the days before (even though I hardly did a thing) and rested most of the day. I’m so glad to be on this side of the tunnel.
    Some things I took away and pass on:
    Nighttime is the worst. Your throat dries out which causes pain. Set an alarm to go off every single hour to take a few sips of water, it helps.
    Ear pain is worse when your throat is really dry.
    Drink water or some liquid to keep your scabs moist. It sucks, it freaking hurts but it’s seriously needed.
    Ice pack on the neck for the first few days. Then I used a warming pack on my ears after day 6 or so, it helped with the ear pain so much.
    Take a shower. You feel better. While in there, breathe in the steam, that helps too.
    Stay ahead of the pain, set alarms and take them when they go off.
    Ice chips are your friend. Helps keep you hydrated/your throat moist without having to sip water every 3 minutes.

    I know if you’re reading this and In so much pain that this won’t be helpful – but it does end. I read so many posts on this site and it helped, helped to know what I could expect or make sure what I was experiencing was the same as others. I’m glad my pain has subsided and I wasn’t miserable until day 14 and beyond. I have a very low tolerance for pain and I did this from day 4 and forward only on Tylenol and ibuprofen, you don’t know me from Adam, but if I can do that you can make it just a few more days.
    I don’t know if this will be worth it, I hope so. But thank goodness tonsils don’t grow back.

    1. Samantha again. Apparently I spoke too soon about being on the upswing. I had my surgery 9/14 which was a Friday. On 9/28 (Friday 2 weeks after) at 1 am I woke up coughing and had a mouth full of blood. It was dark red blood. I tried to gargle with ice water, drink ice water, nothing helped. Called the ENT and he said go to the ER right away. Within an hour of getting to the ER the doctor was there and I was wheeled back into surgery, put under again and he had to cauterize the bleed. He said it was pretty bad and was made worse by the fact that since day 2 I had regularly been taking ibuprofen, which is a blood thinner, which his office told me take since I couldn’t stomach the norco. Apparently my scab came off and couldn’t clot because my blood was thinned. He had to cauterize pretty much all of the left side. So now I’m in a lot of pain again. I’ve been taking Tylenol and norco because the pain is so bad. So far no vomiting, praying I can keep it away. Also praying this doesn’t put me back to day 1. Doc said it’s a set back but not as bad as first surgery, here’s to hoping he’s right because, damn, I can’t do this again for 5+ days of this kind of pain.
      Moral of the story: you’re not out of the woods even the eve of your 14th day.

  3. I had surgery 10 days ago and I’m in so much pain I regret it. I still have the scabs and now I have stinging sensation even when I drink water. This is horrible I really hope I get better by the 14 th day.

  4. Day 9 post op here and I am SO THANKFUL for this page! I found it two days again and it has given me hope and comfort by helping me realize I’m not alone.

    Honesty, the first 6 days post op where horrible and when the Percocet started to really effect my mood, i felt incredibly bleak. Crying jags, helpless, in my head feeling like this’ll last forever. I also had a deviated septum and nasal blockages repaired at the same time as the tonsillectomy so couldn’t breathe or swallow.

    I stopped Percocet after 6 days and just started Hydrocodone syrup (4 tsp per day) because I was panicked to death about withdrawals. I got some of that for sure within 24 hours after stopping Percocet which added to the emotional turmoil.

    Today – my throat feels better than yesterday and light years ahead of Day 6 post op. I stil feel extrememely delicate emotionally, but hopeful and positive thoughts are creeping back in – Praise Jesus!!

    When you go thru this, please make sure to have someone with you the whole time. You’ll need to feel close to someone and supported.

    God Bless!

  5. Hi, i am 44 years old and currently on recovery day 10 (post-op day 9). thank you very much for this blog, which i read daily and helps keeping me grounded: this blog reminds me that, yes it is normal to feel sore, yes it takes time, and, contrary to popular belief, no, i am not being lazy because i need to stay in bed … i am not yet recovered.

    My throat is still covered in thick white scabs. i stick to my meds plan like clockwork because the couple of times i have taken a pill late, the pain has been horrendous and taken too long to get back under control. The first 7 days, ice water was really helpful, but now it stings so i find myself not drinking quite as much (then come the dry throat, then the pain… then the reminder that not drinking is a bad idea). My jaw feels locked and when i try to open it to bite onto anything, even soft banana, it feels sore. i have a horrible persistent cough and my mouth feel foamy (yet dry! go figure!). i have found chewing gum (sugar free) is a great help to prevent dry mouth… i look forward to the coming days/weeks when the pain is (largely) gone, the scabs fallen off and my mouth looks and feels like my mouth again…i will let you know how it evolves.

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