Tonsillectomy Scabs- How and when do they fall off?
Regardless of the tonsillectomy method used, some sort of scab is going to form over the the area from which your tonsils have been cut, coblated, and/or cauterized.
It’s normal. It is normal. People often become obsessed with the appearance of the tonsil beds as they recover from tonsillectomy. Almost like a recently lost tooth, it can be hard to resist the temptation to explore the new landscape. This too is normal. I strongly advise against molesting the area with foreign objects. Those scabs will fall off on their own. Touching, poking, or scraping on them increases the risk of hemorrhage and you don’t want that.
Many Otoraryngologists, or ear, nose and throat, (ENT) specialists recommend eating a somewhat rough diet, (think dry toast), to keep the affected area clear of excessive tonsillectomy scab build-up. This advice is most often given in the United Kingdom and Australia. Most ENT’s in the United States advise a soft diet.
Which ever route you take, there will likely be formation of tissue that covers the tonsil beds. I recommend following the advice I give in other pages of this site; keep the throat moist, avoid sharp foods, stay hydrated, take pain medications on schedule, sleep upright if possible, and leave those tonsillectomy scabs alone. They will normally begin to slough of at about day seven or eight of your recovery.
What Happens When Tonsillectomy Scabs Fall Off
You may feel a sharp pain occasionally as the tonsillectomy scabs fall off. This is common. This is normal. There is a slight increase in risk of bleeding while tonsillectomy scabs fall off. If you do have some bleeding, try gargling with ice cold water. This will usually stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t work, and bleeding becomes profuse, call 911 or get to a hospital immediately. Don’t panic. In there relatively rare cases, health care professionals have great success at stopping the bleed.
Daily Photos of Throat After Tonsillectomy. Caution: Scabs
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Is a small amount of bleeding normal with the scabs? I find when I wake up first thing in the morning there is always a bit of blood (not profuse) and it stops once I chug water and ice. On day 12 now and I had recauterisation on day 10. Apparently they had not correctly sealed a vein at the time of operating and it had been trickling away until I one day I finally began to haemorrhage. I was fine for 24hrs after and went home, just woke up to a little blood today. I’m from Ireland and ENT’s arent available at the weekend. The pain is nothing in comparison to the first week and other than a tiny bit of a bleed this morning I feel much more human.
Hi Al! A little bleeding is indeed normal/ common. Gargling with cold water can often stop it. More than a couple tablespoons I’m told is cause for concern. I’m not a doctor and refrain from giving medical advice.
I’m on day 8 of my recovery. I’ll admit this ended up being more painful than I thought. Now I’m just plain frustrated. The taste in my mouth is almost unbearable and even hum doesn’t help. When are these stupid scabs going to come off. I spend hours a day coughing over the toilet and bringing up all this white crap but when I look in my throat, it’s like nothing has changed. My left side is worse than the right because halfway through my surgery I had a panic attack and started coughing so they had to recauterize that side. I just want them to come off. The taste is so strong it makes me gag and throw up constantly, which certainly doesn’t help my throat pain.
Sorry things are going so rough. I remember that feeling. I’d be real careful not to disturb those scabs for fear of bleeding. They’ll come off when they are ready. Try to be patient. Soon this will all be a memory.
i think I still have my scab, I had extra bleeding and had to be put back under for burning that area. it is going on 2 months should I be concerned. I still feel this scab?
Hi my name is Elle! I am 21 years old. I had my tonsils removed on October 9, so I am currently wrapping up day 7. Here’s an outline of how my days have gone so far:
Surgery Day: I had the surgery at 9:00am, and the procedure only took about 30 minutes with no complications. I woke up 2 hours later feeling GREAT. I was talking, eating ice cream and jello, and drinking lots of water. (Sidenote – I asked my surgeon to take a picture of my tonsils afterwards so I could see what I have been dealing with for the past while and wow was that something! If your surgeon is willing, it is pretty neat, and only a little gross). I was discharged from the hospital early that afternoon. Still talked lots throughout the night and ate Mac and Cheese for supper. Drank water every 15 min when I was awake, and when I went to bed, I set my alarm to wake every 30 min to drink – in hindsight, this was a game changer! Drink as much as you can, even at night, your tonsil beds will thank you!
Day 1: I was still able to talk, but the internal swelling in my mouth took me by surprise. My uvula was so enlarged I could hardly swallow. Stayed on top of my meds (Tylenol, Advil, and hydromorphone), drank water and apple juice every 15 min, and slept lots. I ate scrambled eggs (great for protein), jello, ice cream, and popsicles. I tried pudding, but found that it coated my throat instead of sliding down it, so I opted out of pudding. Woke up every 30 min to drink at night.
Day 2: I was no longer able to talk, the swelling was reaching it’s peak in my mouth. To help, I found comfort in ice pack wraps around my throat and jaw. I drank as often and as much as I could (drink lots when you feel good – it’s hard to judge when the pain will strike again). Didn’t eat much this day – mainly just Jello and ice cream. Horrendous taste in my mouth, changes the taste of every kind of food, even my favourite ice cream.
Day 3: Swelling went down substantially and I was able to talk more (somehow managed to go on a date?? – I don’t remember much of it though). Was able to eat Mac and Cheese again. Continued taking Tylenol and Advil religiously, but only took hydromorphone at night if pain was bad enough.
Day 4-6: The days the spitting and earaches began. With seemingly every swallow, my jaw, head, and ears would ache. Nothing a little Tylenol and ice wraps couldn’t fix, but uncomfortable to say the least. Also, the amount of saliva my mouth was producing, and refusing to swallow down, was alarming. I grossed out my family by carrying a little cup around the house with me, but let me tell you it made all the difference! I started waking up every hour at night to take some sips, but often times my throat would be too sore to get anything down.
Day 7: Today has been a turn around day. I was able to eat a bowl of oatmeal (cold), 2 bowls of soup (cold), and 2 plates of Mac and Cheese. Drinking lots of apple juice, water, and Gatorade. My speech isn’t really back yet, but it’s getting there. Also, I think my scabs are starting to make their exit so that is also exciting. It’s not painful, just uncomfortable as always. My earaches are my biggest problem currently, which is usually triggered by swallowing. My breath is starting to improve, but it’s still so strong and changes the taste of most foods and drinks.
All in all, the procedure and recovery is not as bad as I worked it up to be in my head. The pain can be manageable if you stay on top of your meds, drinking lots of fluids is critical (it’s okay not to if it hurts, just wait and drink extra when you feel better), and don’t forget to ice, ice, ice! There is a light at the end of this seemingly eternal dark tunnel, just keep your head up and try to think about nicer things, such as all the tonsillitis free days ahead of you. 🙂
Hello , do you happen to work at dunkin donuts? I’m having a tonsillectomy in 2 days and I’m a nervous wreck.