Tonsillectomy Recovery Photos

Tonsillectomy patients often peer into their throats and wonder, “is this normal?”  What they see is never pretty.  For some it can be quite disturbing.  Since I’ve started the forum, the description of post tonsillectomy throat has been one of the most common discussions.  Believe it or not, people send me pictures of their throats all the time.  Of course I appreciate it.  Here is s series of photos from one tonsillectomy patient from each day of her tonsillectomy recovery.  A warning:  These tonsillectomy recovery photos may not be for the faint of heart! To enlarge the pictures simply click on the image.

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More tonsils pictures


Tonsillectomy Recovery

32 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Recovery Photos

  1. I am currently on day 5 after tonsillectomy but I am concerned because I have one red strip at the back of my throat and all the pictures I have looked at for day 5 no one have had

  2. Just had my tonsils removed yesterday. I don’t even remember being out to sleep. All I could hear was my own giggling. I was having weird dreams and when I woke up in recovery, I kept thrashing about. I didn’t know where I was and why I couldn’t breathe normally. Nurses had to give me lots of morphine to heal the pain. I next woke up in the room I started in. I was the last one to have surgery and was the only patient there. The nurses were extremely kind to me (had it done at the Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg).

    For anyone else getting this procedure done, I highly recommend you drink an extreme amount of water. I woke up and had a (literal) reptile-like tongue. Swallowing is really hard to do. If a piece of Popsicle breaks off, put your face down. You won’t be able to get it out with your tongue like you may have done before the surgery. The tonsils aren’t there to stop it from sliding down your throat.
    I hope this helps anyone else reading this!

    I really love the pictures. It’s nice to know what my recovery should look like.

  3. I am due to go into hospital to have my toncils out at 8am! I live in liverpool and I am having it done privately! I am so so worried about the pain and sleepless nights after the op! I suffer panic attacks and I have been having them all week! All I keep reading about is how painful it is 🙁 x help!!??

    1. Amanda- Hello! Try to relax. Do you take anything for anxiety? Most people who do are able to continue those medications before and after surgery. if you don’t, it might not be a bad time to try them.

      Short of that, I always recommend that patients take time to mentally walk through the day of surgery to remove the unknown. Even driving to the clinic and walking to the waiting area- This really helps make the day of surgery less scary. It’s a really simple surgery and almost always goes smoothly.

      The recovery will be a little rough. It’s true. Bear in mind though, the people with easier recoveries rarely post about their experience.

      You’ll be fine. We’ll be here for you. Good luck!

      1. Thank you so much for getting back to me so quick! I have been struggling with panic attacks since I was pregnant with my little boy who is 14 months old! I have had really bad post natal depression since my little boy was 2 days old and I take 40mg of Citalopram once a day which is an anti depressant! Hopefully this will help keep me calm! One can hope! Since I have had post natal depression kicked in I have to be in control of everything and with being put to sleep and someone in my mouth is not me in control I panic even more! I’m so scared! Xx

        1. I understand. Do you have help lined up for your little guy during your recovery? You will need it my dear

      2. If you’d care to join us on Facebook, a few people have offered their input about anxiety and tonsillectomy.

        1. I had them removed yesterday!! The op went well! Struggles to eat anything as I have quite bad earache and chewing makes it worse! Slept well last night! However this morning I woke up gagging as it feels like I have a massive clump in my throat! Is this normal!! It’s making me gag quite a lot breathing or attempting to talk x

        2. Hi Amanda- Yeah, your uvula is probably swollen. That will go down- ice water might help too.

    2. Hi Amanda!
      Before my surgery, i spent hours here, reading comments from day 1 to 10. It helped me to know what to expect.
      Don’t worry to much. It’s not going to be pleasant for a while, but you’ll get through it. Everybody has a different experience, but I didn’t experience to much pain (it really was bearable) and was able to sleep every night. i just had to wake like 3 times a night to drink a little bit of water to keep my throat moist and keep up with my pain meds.

      Good luck for tomorrow!

    3. Hi Amanda,
      First of all relax, don’t stress. While yes tonsils out for teens and adults is a big surgery it isn’t as awful as all these horror stories you’ve probably been reading. As with any surgery you will get nervous beforehand and yes it will hurt, but not horribly like you think. It is about as bad as your worst case of tonsilitis. A few tips i learned, trust me they work, have your medications written down on a timeline when you get discharged, i had diclofenac, dihydrocodeine and paracetamol prescribed, which i would take one of each in 8 hour intervals. Make sure to follow the instructions but also to have your pain management spread effectively through the day (if you get pills, hide it in a teaspoon of jello, goes down easier than if you try to drink them down) the chart also helps with if you get strong pain meds and you forget when you took them that you know so you dont take too many,

      This next one sounds sadistic but i lived by it through recovery, toast, that’s right, dry toast. While just after your surgery you will think this sounds nuts, trust me, when you hit day 5 or 6 when the scabs start healing and falling off you will be greatful for this, the toast helps scrape away any excess in your throat and actually worked almost like a pain reliver for me, try to get back to eating normal foods as quickly as possible, while a diet of soup, jelly and ice cream sounds great, it will not help your throat heal.(just avoid tomatos)

      Another tip, don’t stress, the stress will delay healing, and just set up all your fave, teddies, movies, shows, mags whatever it is, but i guarantee all you will want to do the first wee while is sleep. But one thing i forgot to mention about the meds, Make sure you wake up in the night to take them!also to hydrate, nothing wose than your throat getting dry.

      You will get to a stage where you will be slightly depressed, feeling it’s never gonna end, don’t worry, this is normal, it will end! Keep reminding yourself that, around day 10/11 you will start feeling better. Keep that goal in mind, get cuddles when you want, people forget this is a big surgery, but not one to be scared of

      My name is Mairi, i’m 21 and in november i will be 3 years post op. i can honestly tell you the surgery was the best thing i could have done, i had tonsilitis 21 timesin 18 months and had glandular fever, my quality of life was non existent. Here i am 3 years later and i just had my first sore throat since surgery and life didn’t stop. Don’t worry. Honestly, everythingis manageable if you look after yourself, my tips worked well for me and a lot of others i know. I had my surgery done by the NHS.

      Good luck and I hope you have a great recovery and future
      Mairi 😀

  4. Hi I’m due to have my tonsilectomy 31st jan and I’m really worried as my pain freshold isn’t that great and really worried about the recovery process not to mention the actual op istself just wanting to know is it bareable and any recovery tips that might help 😀 x

    1. I had my tonsillectomy on 22/01/13 so today is my day 4 post op and to be honest I’m fine I’ve had toast and biscuits for 2 days. On day of surgery I had ice cream, jelly and mousse. Only advice I can give you is don’t let the docs give you codeine it made me sick straight after my op and I was sick 9 times but as soon as I stopped taking codeine I was great. Just taking 2 paracetamol and 2 nurofen together every 6 hours and it’s working well. No trouble sleeping, just gettin a bit of a foul breath but that’s supposed to be normal and avoid pasta because that stuck to the tonsil scabs. You will be ok if you stay positive and drink plenty 🙂

    2. Hi Annie,
      I had my tonsillectomy Jan 24 so I’m 6 days post op today. I was very anxious about the procedure. I’d never been under a general anesthetic before so I also feared some horrible side affect. I can honestly say that it was nowhere near as bad as I anticipated. The needle went into my hand (the smallest prick) and out I went. I awoke in recovery 45 mins later and it was all over. I spent 1 night in hospital and then came home with my medication. At times the pain has been nasty but most of the time when I keep on top of my meds it’s ok. I’ve been able to eat things like pancakes and avocado and sorbet. I suck on ice and drink loads of water. My medication makes me sleepy but I’m slowly feeling better so I’ll probably be off them soon. Even though yes, it can be a painful recovery, for me, it’s better than 12 more years of recurrent infections. I think it’s pretty normal to feel uneasy going into theatre but it will be worth it. Hope it goes well for you and you make a speedy recovery 🙂

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