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crying-mancrying-manThere is a vast difference between having a tonsillectomy as a child and as an adult. Firstly, the older you are, the longer it takes the body to heal. Secondly, a child’s tonsils are much smaller than an adult’s and require much less skin to be removed. The larger adult tonsils tend to cause more trauma and pain. However, doctors do not completely understand why an adult experiences more subjective pain than a child. If you are about to have a tonsillectomy or have recently had your tonsils removed, you should expect moderate to severe discomfort and pain for at least two weeks, sometimes longer.

Immediately after the tonsillectomy operation you should not feel too much pain as you will still have the anaesthetic in your system. The pain usually starts to become very uncomfortable when you wake up the following day. Your recovery experience will depend a lot on how you plan for and manage the next two weeks. You should expect to have a mild to severely sore throat in the first two weeks. The throat pain will peak around days 7-11 when the scabs from the wound begin to fall off. You should also expect to lose some weight and feel hungry as you will not be able to follow your normal diet. Loss of taste, sore tongue, bad breath and jaw pain are also commonly reported after a tonsillectomy. Some people also experience mild to severe nausea after the operation due to the anaesthetic.

Your first challenge will be eating and drinking. The most important advice that anyone can give you about recovering from a tonsillectomy is to drink water. Unfortunately drinking water is extremely painful, especially when the throat is dry .e.g. when you first wake up. However, if you do not drink water, the throat becomes even drier and it is even more painful to drink water. You should keep a bottle of water close to you and sip it as often as you can.

Eating food is also very difficult. The most common food in the first few weeks is ice chips or ice lollies as they both hydrate your throat and numb it at the same time which is very soothing. Rough foods which scrape your throat are painful, yet some doctors recommend rough food as they say it will clean the wound and speed up your recovery. I strongly recommend that you talk to your doctor about your tonsillectomy recovery and find out what foods he or she recommends. Most people in the USA are told to eat soft foods for the first week or so until after the scabs have fallen off and then slowly progress to rougher foods. Popular soft foods are pasta, baby food, jell-o, soup, scrambled egg. Do not eat very acidic or spicy foods or sauces as these will cause pain e.g. tomato based sauces or anything with chillies in it.

You will notice that you develop a heavy grey/yellow/white membrane where the tonsils were removed. This is the scab that is protecting the area where you tonsils were removed. It will slowly go away as you heal. The greatest risk you face is hemorrhaging of the wound. This occurs when the wound opens up and begins to bleed. If it is a very small amount it is usually not a big concern, however if it is more, you need to get urgent medical attention. In all cases, you should contact your doctor immediately or get to the nearest emergency hospital. You should not worry too much about the likelihood of serious hemorrhaging during your tonsillectomy recovery period as less than 4% of people will actually experience it.

Man holding tonsils

Another area to focus on is your sleeping environment. You should plan to make this area as comfortable as possible as this is where you will be spending much of your recovery time. I strongly recommend buying or borrowing a humidifier as it can significantly aid in your tonsillectomy recovery. A humidifier will increase the humidity in air that you breathe and therefore aid in keeping your throat moist. Your sleeping cycle will almost certainly be affected by the medication you take and the pain you experience.Depending on the medication you are prescribed and the schedule for taking it, you may find yourself waking up when the medication begins to wear off and the pain increases.

Most people find themselves sleeping for between four and six hours at a time. It is generally a good idea to set an alarm to take your medication if you may be sleeping as this will also give you some time to drink some water.

Medication is critical during your tonsillectomy recovery. You can expect to be prescribed both a pain killer and anti-biotic. The anti-biotic is used to prevent or control any infection arising from the wound. The pain killers are obviously prescribed to help you manage the pain. You may be prescribed an opioid based pain killer which is very effective. Talk to your doctor and ask him exactly how often you should take your medication and the maximum you can take when the pain is severe.

Remember that after the scabs fall off around days 7-11, your recovery will be rapid. Don’t forget to drink water often and follow your medication schedule. If you have not yet had your tonsillectomy and are planning for it, go out now and buy yourself some of your favourite magazines, books etc. Even although the recovery period is quite short, it feels longer than it is and the more things you have to distract yourself with the better!


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 naTALIE FRIDAY July 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Thank you so much for this article. It really set my mind at rest. I am on day 8 of my recovery and feel like I am getting worse rather than better. I feel like this misery will never end. I still cant eat, talk or even sleep more than 1.5 hours a time at night and I have had a small amount of bleeding and clotting which terrified me. Hopefully things will get better soon.

 admin July 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Hi Natalie, things will get very soon after day 8. You really are at the worst point, I remember feeling so fed up around then! Just be glad that you are definitely over the worst! Well done!

 will conlon June 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

hi im on day 4 post op and think im doing ok , i have my moments where pain is awful but generally if i take my meds the pain eases. I have the white scabs which seem to be loosening and falling off but was unsure as to wot the black things are on them ( are they some sort of stitching),.. Ive eaten various foods and seem to be ok as long as ive had my meds 30 mins or so before. I must admit tho when my meds wear off pain is a bitch.
can i take this moment to thank you for this forum, i feel like you are all my freinds. peace.

feel free to email me about anything maybe to keep our minds occupied whilst we get stronger xxx

 David October 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

well that was good reading but nothing in there about taste disturbance at all! its been about a year for me and my taste has still not recovered fully. The doctor who did surgery failed to mention this. and upon follow up just brushed me off

 Chandler Mayfield June 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Dear David,

I see this is a year ago, but if you are still expericing taste disturbance I advise you to see a local doctor and ask for antibitiocs. Do you have a white coat on your tongue? The antibitioc will help that also. The white coat will vanish and you taste will be so much better.

Dr. Chandler Mayfield

 emily October 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm

i’m on day 3 and in agony someone help me.

 admin October 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Emily, read this blog and if you want more info, my ebook. You are right in the middle of the worst stage, so you need to take it easy and do everything you can to minimize the pain. Keep hydrated, a dry throat can make the pain much worse. In less than a week you should rapidly begin to feel ok again.. Grab an ice pop and watch some comedy, you should feel better! Good luck, Nina.

 Shelly posch January 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

I was 18 when I had my tonsils out. It took 2 weeks for the pain and discomfort to go away. Hang in there try to get alot of sleep it makes the time go by faster and it is good for you.

 dalton December 13, 2011 at 3:45 am

im on day 6 and my pain has almost gone away i spit up some blood the other day of course i was laughing so that is normal but i spit up some today and i found out that its just the scabs coming off the constant bleeding has stopped and my pain has gone away you will feel better around day 6 or 7

 Volcano January 31, 2012 at 12:26 am

I am on day 6 too.I thought this pain would kill me.Its the worst pain ever.I went to the doctors to get a stronger painkiller today finally they worked on me.Today i managed to finish a cheese sandwich and 2 cups of tea.The feeling was awesome.I think i will be ok now.I am more confident.Be strong people.

 Misty November 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

UGH, what a process! I’m currently on day 11 post tonsillectomy. I had a bout of thrush around day 5, the ENT blew me off until he saw it and finally treated it. Little did I know it was a blessing in descuise since the mucus was keeping my throat moist. Once that went away I thought I was going to die. It dosent help at the same time that was happening my husband had to go back to work so I requested Motrin for the pain instead of the Vicoden. I thought I could handle it, boy was I mistaken! I’m still waiting for a call back from my ENT to switch me back. I really feel I only need it at night right now since I keep waking up in excruciating pain! My question is when will food stop feeling like razor blades? I had potato soup for dinner last night, the tiny pieces of potatoes that fell apart in my mouth (they were really tender) hurt my throat. I’m finding I can’t eat much more than broth, applesauce, pudding and ice pops. Everything else hurts still. I also find myself coughing a lot if I take a deep breath. Is that normal? It hurts like crazy and the ENT blew me off about it last week.

 admin November 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Hey Misty,

Wow, certainly sounds like you having a tough time, but you are on day 11, so close to the end! Most patients I have interviewed started feeling dramatically better quite suddenly around the 10-14 day period. As you realized, keeping your throat moist is paramount, if you have a humidifer put that in the room and always keep water next to your bed and drink small sips even when you don’t feel thirsty. The question about the food feeling like razor blades is hard to answer! Some people actually find rough food like toast more comfortable than a pudding, the reason being that the slightly rough texture against the scabs can be soothing, so you may want to experiment with some other foods but listen to your body and dont eat anything if it is very painful. Definitely don’t eat foods which can get stuck like the potato soup, I made exactly the same mistake! I’m not a doctor, but I believe you cough when you breath deeply because the scabs tickle your throat when they have a gush of air flow over them, I remember that feeling, its certainly quite normal.

Misty, you almost there and you really should be able to enjoy all your favourite foods in less than a week, I know its hell but just remember that the recovery is quite rapid once the scabs start healing. Distract yourself as much as possible with some passive activities to make time go faster. Good luck!

 Brian November 6, 2010 at 5:06 am

I’m on Day 2.5 (60 hours after my surgery). I’m a 39-Year Old Male and it has been difficult these past 2 days. The Local Sonic Fast-Food Drive-Thru sells big bags of the super tiny cubed iced, which is perfect in a glass with a spoon. It has been painful for me to drink water (cold or room temperature), but the tiny ice cubes are perfect and no pain what-so-ever. I also have been applying cold compresses to the front, back, and both sides of my neck (rotating every 15 minutes) to keep the swelling down. I just used 2 ziploc bags with crushed ice inside a medium-sized hand towel, and twisted the ends and secured with rubber bands. I have found things are easier to swallow after applying the cool-packs to my neck. Jello & Dole Frozen Fruit Pops have been my favorite and easiest thing to swallow. I just got brave and had my wife make some scrambled eggs and I was able to finish them. I mashed them down so they were super soft. I also constantly spray my throat with a fine mister that my doctor recommended filled with regular purified drinking water. I experienced pain and even a little bit of blood came out of my nose yesterday, when I bent down to pick up a piece of paper, so my doctor wasn’t kidding when he said no bending. I also have a cool-mist humidifier (I need it even more than most living in Arizona). Taking the Hydrocodone Pain Medication every 4 hours has been extremely important. I hope some of my tips will help some of you. I’m not even on Day 3 yet, but I’m going to keep reading other people’s journeys in other blogs, and hopefully make it through without too much unnecessary pain. I will update again if I think there is anything else worth mentioning. Hang in there everybody!

 admin November 8, 2010 at 9:43 am

Hey Brian,

Sorry for posting a few fays later than I normally do.. Wow, you sure do know many of the secrets to keeping that pain within tolerable limits. Its amazing how much of a difference just a little bit of research makes to the recovery process. Spraying your throat with a fine mister is an excellent idea, one that I had not heard of before and I’ve been researching this area for years! I be sure to add that to my bag of tricks. Your cold compress method is also very interesting. Scrambled eggs are always a good choice as they slide down quite easy.. Besides the obvious foods to avoid, also avoid sticky stodgy type foods like mash which tend to line your throat and not slide down as easily. Thanks for a very informative post and good luck! Feel free to ask any questions anytime.

 Molly June 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Brian – your cold compress suggestion and ice cubes has been a lifesaver. I am on Day 10 and find that icing my neck down significantly reduces the pain, as do the ice chips. I don’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time, so that is the longest I’ve gone without doing so (and I fall asleep with the ice packs on my neck). While I am feeling marked improvement today, i still woke to considerable pain.

When will these scabs fall off and I will feel normal again? This prolonged state of pain is quite challenging and certainly makes me cherish my health and think of all those fighting more longer term or life threatening illnesses.

 Debbie July 20, 2011 at 1:51 am

i am on day 5 and i feel like i cant breake right and i dnt no wht else to do to help with the pain i do ice pack on my neck but the pain in the ears is so bad i still cant talk but i hope i will be able to i can eat some soup and ice cream but i wish i could eat somethang differnt it has got old!!!!! i hurt alt i take my meds every four hours some time three and a half wht will ease the pain

 Nan October 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I’m on day 4 post surgery and have had significant earaches when I wake up. Put a warm compress against your ear and it works wonders. The cold compresses in the throat helps with swallowing but key is to stay hydrated. I need to get a humidifier because I can sleep 6 hours but I wake up in excruciating pain. Take my meds and I’m fine 30mins later but it hurts.

 Deb January 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hi Debbie I am also on day 5 of recovery. Someone told me to put hot compresses on your ears and down the sides of you neck…and just hold it there. It feels soo relieving. I hurt so bad still. Good Luck with everything.

 Liane V January 17, 2012 at 5:46 am

Hi Debbie;
I am on day 6 of recovery. I use a hot water bottle to help with the pain in my ears. they seems to be worse at night after I have slept for a couple of hours. I am waiting for the dreaded 7th day. Apparently that is bad. I see the doctor on Wednesday and will see what she thinks. the days are long but it’s getting better. Good luck.

 rc January 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

I had mine out on Jan 17 and am on day 4. I have been taking T3′s for the pain and I would also recommend a homeopathic called Traumeel, made by Heel. It has a mixture of pain and swelling relieve with antiinflamitories as well. I have managed to be able to take one T3 every four hours with the Traumeel, If you are open to trying something different it really works on the swelling and pain. I am finding the nights the worst. If i sleep for two hours I wake up in terrible pain. After chompping on a cup full of ice chips I feel some relieve, but what else can I do to avoid this? Does anyone have any ideas?

 Christina January 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hey RC,
I had mine done Jan 17 as well and I’m on day 6. Ice water seems to help me the most along with frozen smoothies. I stopped taking my pain meds the morning of day 4 because they were making me sick. I would eat, then feel like was going to vomit. I had to start taking them again in the middle of the night last night and this morning because of the pain on the back of my throat. It feels like today got worse then the past two days.

 amanda August 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

im on day two myself and the tip about the mister was a very good one! its weird i could talk and swallow yesterday and upon waking up today was in exterme pain thanks it def helped!

 Shane August 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

hey im 32 and im finishing up on day 2 iv been prity lucky with the pain my doc gave me
oxycodone hydrochloride 5mg (endone) and also a anti-inflamitory (naproxen) to keep the swelling
down but the only down side to not feeling much pain when eating is the pain killers stop you from being able
to do number two’s lol any who from what everyone els has been saying about days 6 on wards im not
realy looking forward to it

 tequila911 September 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

I had mine out 6 days ago and havent really been eating but I still went (No 2) on day 4. For me Day 1, 2 and 3 were B-A-D and then some!! Day 4 and 5 were painful but manageable, TODAY on the other hand is a killer, especially relating to my ears. The pain in my ears is insane. Started the minute I woke up. What sucks is as soon as I start drinking water, everything starts to hurt, probably due to the maxillofacial sensory nerves.

On some days I have bout 5 bites of soft noodles and then continue with a liquid diet the rest of the day. I swear by low fat yogurt drinks by Nestle. I think it does a fab job neutralizing my tummy, especially seeing as to how I havta keep popping pain killers and antibiotics. Sigh.

But yeah since my dad’s a doctor, I’ve been given pethidine 4 times post op. 2 times in hospital and once on Day 4 and once on Day 6. I think I’m gon ask for another shot tonight. Also I think I’ve healed quite abit. I think the massive pain right now is most likely due to the scabbing process. Oh well. So thats pretty much my story.

 Jessica January 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Brian, thank you so much for posting this about Sonic’s ice! I’ve been asking around to see who sells that kind of ice, so I will definitely give them a call. My surgery is February 7th and I am dreading the recovery process. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but I’m 31 so I know it’s going to hurt. Thanks for the great tips!

 Monika November 14, 2010 at 6:43 am

I’m on day 5 after my surgery and it’s been hell! I literally cried today at the dinner table from how hungry I was. I found drinking water constantly helps a lot and taking the meds every 4 hours. I’ve been in a lot of pain…I drink about a gallon of water a day if not more. I’m noticing I’m becoming thirstier than usual and have a sort of cotton mouth is that normal?

 admin November 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hey Monika,

At day 5 you are right in the middle of the worst period, so at least you know your pain is very normal! Drinking water regularly and taking your medications are absolutely the two most important things for effective pain management. Your thirst may be a little unusual, but I’m not a doctor. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (0.8 gallons or about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (0.6 gallons about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. The thirst may be a side effect from your medication, but you should ask your doctor. I never had the cotton mouth feeling during my recovery and I can’t recall hearing about it, so I can’t say it normal in my experience. In about a week your recovery will start to progress rapidly and you will start feeling much better, the challenge now is to get through this time, I suggest you distract yourself as much as possible with movies, books, whatever you enjoy..

I wish you a quick recovery and good luck!

 Cynna November 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Not sure if you include surgery day in the ‘day count’; if so, I’m on day 7 now, and pain’s been at its worst today (piece of cake first 2 days). I’m a 39 year old woman, and gosh I wish I’d had these out when I was a kid instead! I have a crazy high pain threshhold, but this HURTS; I’m mostly scared of bleeding, and will do everything I can to avoid that. I’ve been taking photos twice a day to watch changes; no matter what I read nothing prepared me for the black holes I saw when I first got home – we immediately named them The Deathly Hollows. :grin:

For anyone interested, here’s some things that have worked for me.

Medication: I was put on Tramacet (tramadol hydrochloride/acetaminophen), amoxocillan, and celebrex (for swelling). Apparently patients need less pain meds when on the celebrex, though I’m terrified of bleeding and am suspicious of the celebrex. Another downside of celebrex is needing food with it, which is why I’ve tried so much food. I take a gravol with every Tramacet. So far I’ve only taken half the doses needed – 1 every 5 hours instead of 2 every 4, so I’m a fan of the celebrex mix. I think the constant icing has also contributed, as well as getting some nutrition into me.

Water: I don’t sleep more than an hour straight – I have an alarm that goes off every 30 minutes so I drink. Finding it hard to drink much at once, feels like I’m drinking a whole glass but tiny sips don’t add up to much, but I’m constantly doing it. Despite that I’ve been having a really parched feeling in my throat when I drink now, no matter how often I’m drinking. Very tempted to use the dry-mouth spray I have, but don’t want to mess anything up if I shouldn’t use it (it’s a bit gelly).

Other hints: I second the ice packs on the neck trick – I have two ice-gel packs that are 14″ long x 3″ wide and from the moment I got home alternated between them; chewing gum – it’s great for working your muscles again, and aids in keeping your mouth moist. Extra ice-gel packs that are small for targeting ears – ear pain has been the worst part.

Food: I’ve found instant potatoes to be heaven. Apple sauce has also been great – first 2 days I ate it frozen, really soothing. Now I seem to be craving rougher/warmer things. Only problem with solid food is it feels like it stays in the tonsil caverns; day two I had a bit of scrambled egg, and bits stayed; day 3 some KD, and hours later a bit of soft macaroni came out of the pit along with some white scab. I’ve also had soft crumpets with butter/jam; jello; oatmeal cookie soft from tea; soup broth with soaked crackers; 3 flavours of applesauce, cooked yam. I find a soggy cracker or cookie really soothing as it slips through, same with the potatoes. Sugar-free jello feels coolingly wonderful, but makes me nauseaus (surprisingly-only thing that has).

My white scabbing is really thick. I have a small chunk missing out of it, but other than that it’s a heavy blanket of ick. Looks like it’s sort of separated in a few places. Does the scabbing all fall off or does it turn into skin? Does it fall off over a day, or 6 days? Does everyone have some bleeding?

Brian, I LOVE the idea of the water spray, I’m going to incorporate that into my tricks. Worst mistake I’ve made was zoning out while brushing my teeth, and accidently poking my brush head into a pit – OMG pain!

 admin November 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Hi Cynna,

Wow thanks for that very informative post! It seems like you have things under control more than most. I’m really surprised that you enjoy the instant potatoes since this is exactly the type of food which irritated me the most. I assume you are talking about instant potato mash right? Perhaps the one I tried was particularly ‘sticky’ but I couldnt swallow it properly and it left a thick layer around my tonsil bed which was very uncomfortable to say the least!

Yes, the scabbing will fall off, you wont even realize until one day you cant see them. I don’t know how quickly it does fall off and assume very few people are actually aware of it. I would guess that when the scabs are loose, they will come off quite quickly as food brushes against them, probably in a single day or two. I had a very small amount of blood which turned out to be nothing to worry about, some people dont’ have any bleeding but its always wise to check each time with your ENT to verify things are normal.

Keep focused when brushing your teeth, I feel the pain just thinking about it!


 alyssa December 16, 2010 at 12:54 am

Hey everyone, I’m 20 years old and I’m on day 5 after surgery and it has been horrible! I’m so hungry and I wish I could eat. I can barley eat jello and mash potatoes, but I found that mac and cheese works easily. When can I expect for this to get better?

 admin December 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

Alyssa, day 5 is not a pleasant time, I know! You really need to eat and you must find foods which are not too painful. In my personal experience I didnt like mash potatoes since it didn’t slide down my throat easily and felt like it got stuck around my tonsils. For others they experience the exact opposite. Mac and cheese seems to be a favorite, so stick with that and try a few other basic pasta dishes (not tomato based and definitely not spicy). Everybody recovers at a different time but considering your age I would guess that you would recover quicker than most, you will probably start feeling significantly better in a few days and be almost fully recovered by days 10-12. Just stick in there and dont stop watching movies (distracting yourself!)


 Heather Ben December 17, 2010 at 7:15 am

I am at day 7 post-op. I have had all the classic symptoms mentioned above. Quite painful and I still have my scabs but the thing I am most worried about is my speech. When I am able to talk ( isn’t too painful) I sound like a deaf person. No one can understand me and my voice is very nasal-ly and soft. Is this common and does it go away? I also had my uvula trimmed (I snore and the doc said it was abnormally long). Not sure if others had this done too. My doctor didn’t mention anything about this and I am starting to freak out. Help!

 admin December 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

Hi Heather,

I don’t think this has anything to do with the fact that you have a smaller uvula, my guess is that you throat is so tender and painful that you cannot project your voice clearly without significant pain. I certainly remember not talking much at all for the first few days and even told friends not to call in the first week. I think as your pain subsides your should be able to speak more normally. However, you really should let your doctor know to be safe, there could be other reasons that I am not aware of.


 Heather Ben December 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I asked my doctor and he said this was normal. Can’t say that I’m still not worried about it – there is always the unusual case but hopefully I’m just being paranoid about it. Thanks!

 sarah December 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Hello! This blog is so helpful! i am on day 7 (if you include operation day as day 1) of recovery and DESPERATE to be ok to eat Christmas dinner normally! Do you think I will be able to? I find y throat isnt too bad but when i eat the sides of my tongue are unbearably painful! Ive also had terrible nausea the last 2 days although thats been better today, infact, i would say today has been the first day I have not felt like I may drop dead at any moment, so perhaps things are looking up!

 admin December 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hey Sarah,

Xmas is still 4 days away which means you will be on day 11 by then. This is right around the time when most people start to feel dramatically better and since you are already feeling a bit better I would bet that you will be able to enjoy it but don’t expect to feel 100%. Your appetite may be suppressed or your taste may not be fully recovered or you may still feel a bit nauseas from all the medication! The nausea is totally normal dont worry about it. Your tongue pain is slightly unusual, get your doctor to check it out. I had a very sore tongue when I got tonsillitis the last time before my tonsillectomy and I had tongue ulcers which were unbelievably painful. Keep hydrated, and have a very merry xmas day!


 Sarah December 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I’m on day 6 of recovery now and I have a lot of pain still in my neck, ears, jaw and tongue as well as my throat. I’m still finding it hard to swallow anything including water and swallowing the tablets I’ve been given as pain relief is a problem but I’ve found that putting them in the middle of mashed up jello really helps. I’ve had a little bleeding which I’m worried about although nothing significant, as well as feeling nauseous the past few days.

I’ve found that although it’s painful talking a lot eventually releives the pain a little by keeping your mouth moving, as well as taking your mind off the pain.

My doctor told me I’m not allowed out in public places for 2 weeks to avoid getting an infection but I’ve tried going to my friends houses for an hour or two for a change of scene which I’ve found helps as the more normal you feel the better you tend to feel.

This site has been really useful but I’m like Sarah, desperate to be able to eat christmas dinner this weekend!

 admin December 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Hey Sarah,

All the symptoms you’ve mentioned for your stage of recovery are quite normal. My worst was swallowing the tablets, but it was more a mental thing than any actual pain. It quite normal for there to be a little bleeding when the scabs come off but you should always confirm any bleeding with your doctor. I really don’t think going out to visit friends is a good idea, you have raw wounds in your throat that are very vulnerable to infection and I’m sure you don’t need any more pain on top of what you are already experiencing. I started taking a few short walks after about day 10 but always in the fresh outdoors and on my own. Speak to your doctor about it, I’m not sure what the risks are. If I were preparing for a xmas dinner I would make sure that I am religiously sipping my water bottle every few hours and I would time my medication carefully on xmas day so that I took them around 30 mins before dinner giving you maximum pain relief throughout your meal. Good luck and merry xmas.


 Raranna December 23, 2010 at 6:49 am

Hello everyone!!

My name is Raeanna. I’m 23 years old and had my tonsils out on Thursday,December 16,2010.
It has been hell! I don’t wish this upon anyone. After surgery, they discharged me after I held
a Popsicle and some sherbet and water down. I thought I was fine- but it as just the drugs. Fast forward to
9:30 pm that night. Ended up back in the ER due to non stop vomiting blood. The surgeon came
in and sprayed liquid nitrate to stop the bleeding and he left. They gave me some nausea Meds and fluids
and it didn’t get any better. I couldn’t stop puking still and the surgeon had to come back. By 1:30
AM I was back in surgery again getting the wounds re coterized. Spent
the night in the hospital and was released Friday afternoon

recovery has pretty much sucked. I won’t lie, it hurt. But it was pretty much bearable pain for me
and still is. I ended up back at the doc yesterday because I wasn’t having bowel movements. No
solid foods= no bowels. Also found out I have oral thrush..yay. Like things couldn’t get any worse…well today
I ended up back in the ER because I couldn’t breathe. I think I had a major panic attack. The
problem is that it feels like something is hanging/choking/gagging me on the right side of my throat.
Has anyone had this problem? I don’t know if it’s scabs or what. But please if anyone out there
has had that, let me know.

I’m hoping to be able to eat Xmas dinner but it’s not looking so good.
I had mashed potatoes today for the first time and I had tears in my eyes.
They were watered down, but still didn’t go down. So I have had oatmeal, ramen
noodles, chicken and stars soup, broth, Gatorade
and slushees! Good luck to everyone :)

 admin January 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hi Raranna,

Sorry to reply so late, I was away over xmas and new year! Wow, your experience was certainly one of the worst I’ve heard of, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of vomiting blood and also have to have the wound re-cauterized, that must have been hell! I’m really hoping that by now you are starting to feel much better.. One thing you mentioned about the bowel movements, I had the exact same problem and the cause was the opiate based pain medication I was taking. It is a well known problem and can be excruciatingly painful if not dealt with. The thing you feel in your throat on the right is almost certainly the scabs and by now it should be gone.

Let us know if you were able to eat xmas dinner!


 Samantha December 31, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I had my tonsils out on Monday, so I’m on day 5 – I’m 21 years old. The first two days were a walk in the park, but days 3, 4 and today were/are rough. I’ve been drinking a lot and taking my meds on schedule, but I’ve been eating next to nothing and feel extremely weak. Compared to what everyone else has said, I’ve been sleeping all day everyday and I’m not hungry at all. I think all the sleeping has hurt me though, because I tried to get up and walk around yesterday and I ended up throwing up, which was super painful. I haven’t seen any blood or had any ear pain, but I can barely stand without getting very tired/nauseus. I’m guessing this means I need to eat more, but all I have are applesauce, broth, and popsicles and I’m never hungry for anything.
Are Ramen noodles a good idea?
Thanks for all the advice!

 admin January 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

Hey Samantha,

Sorry for the late response, Ive just got back from a vacation :) You’ve had a rough time no doubt, vomiting is certainly not normal and just like Raranna I can’t even begin to imagine how painful that must have been with your throat in such a delicate state. I think sleep is good, it will surely speed of the healing process but I would advise you to try eat something. You need the nutrition to feed your body and maintain normal functioning and healing. Additionally, the food will actually clean the tonsils and can speed up the healing. Yes, Ramen noodles are very popular at your stage. Try a few different foods to see what you feel most comfortable with. Whatever you do stay away from very spicy or acidic food! In Europe doctors often advise ‘rougher’ foods such as toast and in fact this was my favorite food! Please start eating!

All the best and I sincerely hope the worst is over :)


 Fabiola January 4, 2011 at 9:19 am

Im 20 years old and I also had my tonsils removed on dec. 27th and my first two days were also pretty easy. On day 5 and 6 I got brave and ate a tortilla, meat and potato salad… Idk how I did it but it was good. It hurt a little bit but man I was so hungry. I did wake up the next morning to bad pain though. So far I think today was my was worst day (day 7) I woke up with horrible pain in my throat and my ears, which btw it’s become like that every morning now, I took my Hydrocodone and all I could do is sleep. I can’t watch tv because I get all nauseous. All I eat is soup, popsicles and drink water but I have yet to see any blood? I’m just wondering when my scabs or stiches fall off? I go back to school on the 18th and kinda worried that I wont be healed all the way? I just plugged in a humidifier to see if that helps when I sleep at night. Oh and yes I sleep a lot, sometimes I think it’s too much. Oh and is it okay to talk a lot? My friends come over and keep me company and all we do is talk and laugh. Thanks soo much for all this great advice!

 admin January 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hey Fabiola,

You shouldn’t see any fresh blood at all (If you do contact your Doctor immediately) but you may see some dried blood (very dark) although most people don’t notice this. The scabs will usually fall away around day 12 for most people however don’t be alarmed if it takes a little longer. At 20 your ability to heal is much better than older adults and so I would predict that your recovery from this point forward will be quick. You should be 99% by the time you go back to school, please don’t worry about it for one minute. A humidifier does help some people, the only way to know is to test and see how you feel. I don’t think you can sleep too much, as long as you take your medication, drink and eat regularly you should be fine, after all its during sleep that we heal the quickest. I wouldn’t worry about talking if it is not too painful, I only advise people to be careful when talking is very painful like it usually is in the first first days.

Keep it up, it’s almost over!


 Alex January 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I am a 20 year old male, and I had my tonsils and adenoids removed, and both of my nasal cavities cauterized on December 29th.

The first day wasn’t too bad, and the biggest thing that irritated me was my tongue. It was swollen and looked as though it had gashes on it from the clamps they used to keep it out of the way. Any movement of my tongue caused a lot of pain, particularly to the sides and the back of it. I’m still having tongue pain, although it’s not as bad. Currently I’d rate it 4-5 out of 10.

I haven’t been able to sleep for any more than about 3 hours at a time. Once the Percocet starts to wear off, I wake right back up. When I woke up on day 3, I had somehow managed to sleep for about 5 hours straight. I was in a ton of pain because my mouth and throat had completely dried out. Because of the cauterization, my nasal passages had been extremely congested, and I was unable to breathe through it. As such, I was breathing through my mouth when I slept which dried it out. I felt my tongue when I woke up, and it was completely dry. My throat had dried out so much that just swallowing caused sever pain and something to rupture causing me to bleed moderately for about 10 minutes. I was about to head to the ER, but it stopped. I called my ENT and he said that I should keep an eye on it, and if started bleeding again that I needed to go to the ER. It hasn’t bled since though!

I have been able to eat pudding, yogurt, apple sauce, and ramen noodles without much trouble. The ramen is probably the most difficult, but the sustenance it provides is worth the minor discomfort.

I haven’t had too much throat pain, the only time it really bothers me is when I swallow, burp, or get the hiccups. Most of my pain has come from my tongue.

I feel better today than I have at any point since the surgery. Here’s hoping it continues to get better!

 admin January 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hey Alex,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Actually your experience was very similar to mine, I too had a very bruised and sore tongue which actually lasted longer than most people (about a week I guess). You seem to be in good spirits for someone on day 6-7 but as I said before at your age you tend to heal quicker than us older folks so Im guessing thats why.

Thanks Again Alex for sharing,


 Kirby January 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I had my tonsils removed on 12-29-10, I have been such a baby! This is the worse experience ever. I wish that I had not gotten it done now. I am 29 years old first four days i went through about 7 dish towels with spit. I keep choaking on the white stuff and my scabs. I too have a sharp pain in the right side of my throat. I havent taken any meds in a few days, pain has been somewhat tollerable with cold compresses in my throat. Eases ear and throat and neck pain. i had a bleed yesterday was very worried. after about 6 glasses of ice water it stopped. I got another one a little bit ago. Doc. said to go to ER if i keep having bleeds. I guess I will go if I have another one. I dont want to so now Im scared to drink or anything. I keep caughing because of the scabs and have a terrible smell and taste eww. Im going to try the humidifier tonight and take some meds because i dont want pain to get un bareable like everyone said. Just dont like taking anything I have an irregular heart beat so it scares me. I have only been able to do ice water, bannana flavored pops and applesauce which gets caught in my throat.. too scared to try anything new with the bleeds I have had the last two days. My scabs are almost gone also. Is that too early for them? Maybe thats why i have bled twice. Wish me luck! Best of luck to everyone else. Not a fun experience.

 admin January 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Hey Kirby,

Yeah, you have had a real tough time although I feel that you might be suffering unnecessarily, please discuss your pain medication and irregular heartbeat problem with your doctor asap. I also have some similar problems but I can’t even begin to imagine what my experience would have been had I not had (very) strong pain medication. Scabs usually fall away 7-10 days after the operation so yours seem very normal. Keep up with the cold compresses, many people have great success with them. Humidifiers help but don’t expect too much from them in terms of pain relief.

Here is wishing you luck!


 Kirby January 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Also forgot to add i tried the carnation instant breakfast for first few days, failry easy to go down if you drink it right away before it thickens. But it does increase your musus and make it thicker. Also, all natural apple juice has been good. i dotn like apple juice but that stuff tastes good. just doesnt taste so good after your scabs fall off and you taste the old apple juice from 4 days ago:)

 Greg January 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hey Nina,
What a fantastic job you are doing here! I stumbled upon this page researching tonsillectomy recovery. Your eBook is right on the money and the personal support on this blog is wonderful! Keep up the good work.


 admin January 6, 2011 at 12:00 am

Thanks Greg! I really appreciate your comments!


 Greg January 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Sure- anytime?

 benjamin January 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

18 years old- n I’m on day1 I think ( surgery bein ystrda)
Yoh felt really really bad after the op, felt lyk calln it quits, culdnt talk, sounded like a deaf man too. But 2days a lot better, I can talk, there’s not much pain,but my uvula looks like a plum,its HUGE- I cnt swallow, and I have a lot of mucus and spit flowwn from my mouth…
Beenn tryng to drink apple juice, swallowing has become a mission

 angeloves January 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I am on my third day post op recovery. I am 28 years old. All I can say is keep your throat well hydrated. I also forced soft foods into my throat. According to one article that I read this will actually help in thinning the scab. I do not experience that much pain unless I tried to swallow and I have tylenol with codeine Q4 hours as needed and it does help me.

 Brenda January 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I had my tonsils removed on the 28 December 2010 and things are looking good for me!.am on day 13 theres abit of pain but i can eat food normally,lots of water has helped me speed up my recovery and another secret being chewing gum,it really helps alot!my taste buds hav really gone back to normal,am even driving to school!am urging everyone to stay positive n please keep ur throat moist and take ur pain meds 30 minutes before u eat so that when ur eating u can eat cormfotably!speedy recovery errone!xx

 Jenna January 11, 2011 at 3:06 am

My name is Jenna.I am 9.I am on day 8.It has been so painful.I have read through most of the comments and there are alot of similarities.My scab is starting to come off.The hydrocodone burns my throat.The doctor says I can mix it with anything I want.I always mix it with apple juice.It does not taste bad.For some reason the hydrocodone somtimes makes me drowsey.Sometimes I take half of what I am suppose to take of the hydrocodone and it still helps.It really helps my pain but burns.

 admin January 11, 2011 at 8:49 am

Hey Jenna,

You’re a lot younger than most of us! I can’t imagine how brave you must be at your age to go through such an operation, I’m very impressed. I know its sore, its really sore but one day soon you will wake up and it will all be gone and you will never have any problem with your tonsils again!

You’re almost there!

 Liz January 11, 2011 at 4:10 am

I am 27 and had my tonsils removed 3 days ago. I sometimes feel like I’m going to choke on the massive amounts of mucus in the mornings and after naps. I have had a constant headache since the procedure, and my ears are in pain. My tongue is still very swollen, so much that I cannot see the back of my throat.. even when suppressed with my toothbrush. I have been having problems swallowing food, i.e., smoothies, jell-o, pudding, but am more afraid of water. The thicker substances, while take more time to consume, don’t drift up my nasal cavity like plain water tends to. I have noticed I am less grounded, and have become a great deal more clumsy, and I am nearly always tired.

 admin January 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

Hey Liz,

Oh no! Don’t worry, everything you’ve mentioned is pretty normal and everyone underestimates how quickly you recover once you hit a certain point. I had terrible mood swings during my recovery, my husband almost decided to leave and go stay with his brother! You’ve probably got around a week before you start feeling much better and you challenge now is to remain calm and keep hydrated. I’m not familiar with the water drifting back up your nasal cavity but you cannot be afraid to drink water, see your doctor asap if it is really bothering you. The tongue gets really swollen because they have to clamp it with an instrument to hold it out of the way whilst they operate.

Hang in there!


 Carly January 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

I had my tonsils out on Friday, January 7th, so I am not on day 4 of my recovery. The pain is manageable with plenty of water and following the medication. My biggest complaint would definitely have to be the HORRIBLE taste/ smell in the back of my throat. I know this is a normal part of the healing process, but it is so nasty, it is becoming unbearable! The only thing that provides some relief from this disgusting taste are popsicles, which I have been having PLENTY of. I have tried gum, sucking on hard candy, juice, iced tea, brushing the back of my tongue, pretty much everything I can think of. It helps to breath through my nose, but every time I swallow the taste resurfaces all over again. Is anyone else experiencing this nasty problem? Or have any suggestions? I am desperate!

Please help!  Thanks.

 admin January 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

Hey Carly,

Bad breath is common to all during recovery but the bad taste is a bit unusual, at least I don’t remember any bad taste that resurfaced whenever I swallowed. I do remember a slightly unusual taste but it never bothered me. Perhaps others here can help you and offer you some advice.

Kind regards,

 Chris February 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

I’m at day 7 post op. I also experienced the strange taste and smell that you describe, but that has since disappeared. It lasted about 3 or 4 days in total.

 Danita Moats February 1, 2012 at 2:09 am

THANK YOU for your post. I scrolled through so many posts without seeing the biggest complaint I have–that of the nasty taste–and horrible smell (I’m sure eventhough my husband says it’s not that bad) in the back of my throat.

I had my surgery four days ago and I can say that I’m doing very, very well–outside of this taste/smell thing. The throat pain is okay–like strep. The ear pain is manageable. The damn taste when I swallow is gross. The only thing that keeps me from not tasting it is eating ice chips all day. Nothing else masks it.

Can you tell me when this finally went away for you?

Thanks so much!


 Eric January 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm


First, I want to say how nice it is to have this site. It helps just to know I am not alone in my recovery.

I had my tonsils removed on 6 Jan 2011, so counting surgery day, I am beginning day six. The throat pain has been getting worse the last couple of days, but what is really bothering me is the ear pain. My left ear has a constant ache and when I swallow the pain is almost unbearable. My throat pain is controlled pretty well by the hydrocodone and motrin. However, even with overlapping doses of the two pain relievers, the ear pain incredible. I noticed the ache starting in my other ear this morning. If both ears get as bad as the first, I fear I will not be able to take the pain. What is causing the ear pain and is the anything I can to to lessen or get rid of it?

 admin January 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Hey Eric,

Thanks for your comments. It is very common for the ears to hurt during the healing process. This ear pain is actually referred pain from the healing throat and is generally not a result of an ear infection, just keep up with our pain medication. Chewing gum may help ease ear pain. Also, eating potato chips or anything else which has to be chewed really well may help the pain.

You don’t have long to go!


 Kaliegh January 13, 2011 at 2:10 am

It’s officially a week post surgery for me. Talking seems harder, as does eating and drinking. The pain seems to be getting worse rather than better. This article had some helpful incite as to why I’m having such trouble.

-Thank you!

 mary January 14, 2011 at 11:43 am

I am 3 days after surgery, the pain moved from back of my throat to the side back of my tongue, the pain is getting worse and it becomes harder to drink too. My uvula has almost its normal size now before it was so big that it was dragging on the bottom of my throat giving me some gag reflexes. The bruises on my tongue are almost gone as well.

 Rob January 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Hey, My name is Rob and i’m 18 years old. I’m on day 10 or 11 (not sure if you count the day of surgery). I’ve noticed on one side that most of the scab has not falling off, actually its alomost all still there. I was just wondering if that was normal of some sorts and when should I expect further improvements?

 admin January 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hi Rob,

Yes it quite normal. I would guess that within the next week it will go. If you have any real concerns I would contact your doctor. The worst part of the experience should be behind you now!

 dominic nasir July 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

ive had a tonsillectomy on monday and i have rested up and kept up with my medication i am felling back 2 my normal self is it safe for me to start goin out

 marisa January 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

My daughter is having her tonsils removed on Monday 24th 2011. Antibiotics not seem to help much after 10 days to clear up the infection so tonsillectomy is recommended. After reading all those previous comments I am better prepared to cope with aftercare. Too many contributors have had horrid experiences and I wonder if we should really go through with this procedure. She is 26. However I would purchase some of the stuff recommended for example popsicles, ice cream, chewing gum-polar ice, jello and putting a cold ice pack around neck and ear area.
Thanks a lot

 John January 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm

So far my recovery has been very similar to others. I’m on day 6 and my pain is getting better but I haven’t lost the scabs yet. I had to have my uvula trimmed as well and it is still very red puffy painful and scabbed as well.

I have a question about constipation. It was painful at first and i got some releif from pharmacist prescribed laxative with docusate sodium and sennocides I think. But over the last few days it hasn’t worked. I don’t have much discomfort at this point but wonder if I should be worried and get something stronger? I’m eating quite a bit now, a full three meals a day of various soft foods.

 admin January 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Hi John,

If your constipation is not helped by the laxatives you’ve been prescribed you should speak to your pharmacist or doctor asap. The longer you leave constipation, the more painful it is to deal with. Its very good news that you are able to eat more, try adding as much fiber as possible to help with the constipation. Good luck!

 April January 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I was doing some research on tonsillectomies and found this sight. I will be having surgery on January 25th and am a little nervous. I am 33 and glad I found this sight. You have very helpful hints on here and to be honest I don’t think I am preparted for my surgery.

 sharon January 16, 2011 at 12:49 am

i am 40 yrs old and day 6 of a tonsilecomy. the pain is constant and annoying. The pain is a lot like a an extremely bad case of strep throat but it doesn’t get better in a couple of days. Besides the pain my constant thirst is an issue. I am so thristy i want to guzzle by drink but i can only take sips. has anyone expereinced an increase in secreations post surgery? I am completely scabbed over and just waiting… thanks for the info i now know i only have a few more days till scabs come off. i have been scabbed since day 3.

 trac January 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

hi. im day 6 after my tonsillectomy and my god will i be glad when this is all over. i have been religiously taking paracetamol, votaril and codeine with hardly much relief from the pain. i too have had the dreaded tongue pain and even the meds haven’t done much to relieve the horrible bruised, stinging sensation. yesterday was day 5 and by far the worst. meds stopped working at all, the ear ache and jaw pain started on both sides of my face, my neck felt like i was being strangled and by 5 o clock this morning i was in tears and climbing the walls. my husband rang the doctor who faxed me a prescription of penicillin through to the local chemist. so at 10am whilst collecting my tablets, my hubby asked the pharmacist if there was anything i could spray into my mouth to numb some of this horrendous pain i have had constantly for the last 6 days. this is when i found my miracle spray… ‘difflam spray’… it contains benzydamine hydrrochloride, and i was actually given a mouth wash from the hospital with the same ingredient that i have been using regularly but with far lesser results. anyway, 6 pumps of spray directed at the various gashes and sores on my tongue saw me eating a sandwich and drinking a cup of coffee within 10 minutes of using. i could comfortably take my tablets and join in a normal conversation without straining my voice and neck muscles. i then slept solid for nearly 5 hours, missing my next dose of paracetamol and codeine. waking up i had the usual dreaded pain, but armed with my difflam spray and 5 to 10 minutes later, i was taking my tablets and eating a bag of crisps!
i had to share this with u all. please give it a try, it will be one of the best investments u have ever made. make sure to follow the instuctions inside the packet and dont forget to drink drink drink and eat eat eat. anyways the spray combined with meds will definitely help with the latter. good luck

 trac January 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

hi all, my name is trac and i posted a few days ago (day 5). am now on day 8 and am back in the worst pain ever. had an extremely distressful night – the throat and tongue pain being very severe accompanied by shocking ear pain. codeine, paracetamol and voltarol not touching the pain. rang the surgery at 8am, on duty doctor prescribed me some soluble aspirin and told me to gargle it then swallow. so an hour ago i take 2 codeine, 2 paracetamol and 2 soluble aspirin. it took 20 minutes to get the medicine in there! i would say pain is about 90% gone. am so disappointed with this setback. i really thought on day 5/6 i was beginning to turn a corner… dont know how much more of this i can take. i forgot to mention in my last post, im 38 years old. i normally handle pain pretty well but this is in a league of its own and has completely knocked me off my feet. i really feel for anyone else going through this. it is a horrible time. please, dont be afraid to call the doctor if the pain is bad. the doctors are there because of people like us afterall.. lol

 Rob January 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hi All,
I am on day 3 of recovery, as a doctor myself, I suppose I knew about the details and recovery issues in some detail (which rather put me off) but in reality when you go into the surgery with realistic expectations the recovery should not be much worse than you expect. Personally speaking the pain has been quite moderate, I would certainly advise getting organized with your medication and the importance of keeping hydration levels up cannot be overstated.

 trac January 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

hi again. just a quick update on my progress. am now on day 11 and think i can say the worst of the pain is now over. had a slight bleed yesterday, but followed instructions rinsing out with ice cold water promptly put a stop to that. the only pain killers i need now are paracetamol and ipubrufen. am eating a LOT easier. can only get better now.

 Tania January 29, 2011 at 5:42 am

Iam so HAPPY… to find this forum… people look at you thinking you are exagerating… I cried! I cried from pain, hunger and frsutration.. this is my 10th day I am still have diffculty to eat or drink… and I am starving but tired of sweet & liqudis… I foreced my self some solid food BAD idea…not only because i have to pass it with a glass of water each bite, but I also have to put my face up to swallow… just like a pelican…!!! in top of that… if i dont put enough come backs to my mouth with so much saliva that making me sick… (in my case I have been creating too much saliva and I have to spit all the time…is a ugly picture for anyone around you… but I cant help it ) Anyhow I end up exausted just to think about eating.. I loose interest of eating… I will keep dreaming.. that doesnt hurt… sorry about my winnig… that’s all I did… = (

 Laura February 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hi, Im Laura, im 25 and I had my tonsils out on monday 31st Jan. It was the most painful experience of my life, ive had a nose job and that isn’t a patch on this! Just a bit of advice, avoid fruit juice or anything containing fruit as it really stings and brings the pain up bad.

I’m only on paracetamol and ibuprofen but the hospital gave me a brilliant spray called “difflam”. Hopefully I wont have to be on antibiotics.

We are all in this together everyone so keep your chins up x

 Todd February 4, 2011 at 5:23 am

Hey everyone, I would like to start by saying that this is an absolutely wonderful site, and I think my recovery would have gone much smoother had I found out about it before my surgery. I do not know if there are any ENTs on this site, but if so, give out the address to anyone thinking about the procedure.

I am a 32 year old male, and I had my tonsils and adenoids removed two weeks ago. The first few days are as bad as everyone has said and I do not think there is anyway around that. I started feeling much better around day 6 or 7, and by day 12 I was feeling almost no pain (except for the eating which I was up to cheese and hummus). My doctor had told me to take it easy for 2 weeks, and I really was.

Then on the evening of my 12th day of recovery, I woke up with a lot of blood in my mouth and could not stop the bleeding with a few rinses. Apparently, my scars were falling off, but I had not healed all the way, so I drove to the ER where they called my ENT to re-cortorize my wounds to stop the bleeding.It turns out that I had lost or swallowed almost a liter of blood, and could have some severe problems had I not gone in.

The 2nd surgery worked, but now I am back home and it feels like I have started the recovery all over. I was just wondering if there is anyone else who has had this type of bleeding issue, and if so will the recovery really be as long as before? My doctor says it is a much easier recovery, but he also failed to mention the possibility bleeding, so I am not all that inclined to trust him.

Thanks for any input, and good luck with all of your experiences. May it go better than mine!

 admin February 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

Hey Todd,

You’ve definitely been unlucky, to have to go through the whole ordeal twice is no joke and I’m sure it’s got you down. I’m very surprised your doctor didn’t mention the possibility of bleeding since roughly 5% of patients will experience hemorrhaging and it is considered an emergency. I don’t know whether your recovery will actually be quicker but I’m inclined to think that it should be easier considering you’ve tolerated the pain for the last two weeks already and your pain threshold should be higher.

Sorry to hear about your experience Todd, hope you get better as quickly as possible!


 Lorrie August 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Hi Todd,
so sorry you are having these problems. On the day of surgery I was taken back in for severe bleeding. Leak was fixed and then pumped my stomach to remove blood. I did have really bad Nausia the next day. Last night (Day 6) I woke up choaking on blood. I tried garggling ice water but when did not stop headed for the ER. I did finally stop. I am tierd today but hope tomorrow will be a better day. If ya get a chance let me know how ya did. I do have to add I had chemo 5 years ago and since itmesses up your blood they think that my be why I have so much bleeding.
God bless!

 trac February 8, 2011 at 4:52 am

hi. i had my tonsillectomy on the 18th january (3 weeks ago). the pain for me has just about gone now. have a little residual pain but nothing a couple of paracetamol doesn’t take care of. it has been a tough few weeks, but hang with it, it does get better. honestly. drink lots and lots. i can’t stress how important it is to drink plenty of fluids. keep a glass of water at your side. for the first few days u might find it easier to wet ur tongue with ur fingers before trying to sip any liquid. it kind of helps to loosen things up a bit. it will hurt to begin with, but i promise u, the more u sip the easier the pain will be… i had a job believing this myself, but it is very true. i bled a little. on around day 8 and again on day 12. nothing major though.. hope i have helped a little. i have posted before. feel free to ask any questions and if i can help i will try. good luck and dont forget, drink drink drink! get well quickly xx

 John Johnston February 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Howdy – I am a 59 year old man who had part of his tonsils removed last October when I was diagnosed with squameous cell cancer. Upon a checkup and petscan two weeks ago we found an ugly growth exactly where the cancer was removed, and anomalies with the petscan so Monday (Feb 7) I again had surgery. The remaining bit of tonsil was removed and immediately flash-frozen and sent to the lab for diagnosis. Had it proved cancerous the surgery would continue to include removal of the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. Thankfully it came back clean – the petscan anomalies were skewed by an unresolved cold I had in late January. So now I am on Day Two of recovery. I actually spent Day One shoveling snow off my roof and pathways so woke up a bit stiff but other than that I feel about as expected – a bit of discomfort but not like I gnawed my arm off or anything – similar to what I experienced with my earlier surgery. Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, bit of ear ache, somewhat weakened voice. Living on liquids and ice cream. I make my own juice, both vegetable and fruit, so I don’t thing I’ll suffer nutritionally at all, and a practice I recommend. I expect to take it a bit easier for a few days but it has been my experience to get back in the saddle as soon as possible. No demand, no supply. Our bodies (and minds) thrive and grow stronger through use and stimulation, so hard as it may sound I suggest we suck it up, dry our tears, stop our whimpering and turn the page! Good luck!

 Jp February 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Just got my tonsils out about 6 hours ago . Obviously I feel great! For now……. :(

Question- if I have mucus build up, can I clear my throat?? (hock a loogie)… I’m worried it will irritate the area or cause bleeding.

Also is it good to keep the cold compress on as often as possible or should I give it breaks?

Is the difflam spray over the counter?

Btw this site is great. Definitely very grateful! Thank you.

 admin February 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hi JP,

I am not a doctor. I would think its very unlikely that clearing your throat would cause bleeding. Its likely to be very painful however and I would suggest trying to drink water to clear it instead. The cold compress is only to numb the area and reduce the pain, don’t worry about keeping it on all the time. AFAIK Difflam is over the counter in most countries.

Good luck!

 Jp February 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm

One last thing: it feels like theres something stuck in the back of my throat, exactly in the middle. Almost like a little piece of food, but i felt it immediately after the surgery so it isn’t that. Is this normal? That’s why I was trying to clear my throat, hoping to clear that out, but that did not work. Any suggestions would be amazing. It’s not painful whatsoever, just very, very annoying!!

 Lorrie August 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

ENT told to not clear my throat to prevent bleeding.Just an

 admin February 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

Hey JP,

Totally normal and totally irritating! Some people complain about it more, but I had the exact same problem. I found some relief in gargling water but even more so in eating…..wait for it….toast – yes, you wouldn’t think it but rough food can actually help clean that area as it is swallowed providing an unusual sense of relief. I hesitate to recommend rough food since most American doctors advise only smooth foods, so eat at your own risk!

Good luck!

 Jade February 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

What a useful site. To be honest tho I am glad that I did not read this before I had my tonsillectomy! I am 25yr female and I am currently on day 8 and still in pain.
I have had two children and it is not as painful as this. I use to tell people that it was the worst pain ever. This pain just seems to go on for days and days.
My surgery was fine, stayed overnight in hospital as I did not have it until late afternoon. Managed to eat a tiny bit that night and even some toast the next day. The first two days seemed not too bad, I was geering myself up for day 4/5 ‘the worst’ but when those days passed I am starting to get a little more impatient.
Night 5,6,7 have so far been the worst for me, I went to the doctors on day 6 to get some stronger pain med than just 8mg co-codomol and imbrupfofen. Now on a stronger codine which is great but i cant take more than 8 in 24hrs which I need really so now have to restrict myself in the day. So no more setting my alarm in night for pain. Last two night I have had to make cups of tea at 3 am just to try take edge off.
I seem to get excruciating ear pain which is causing my main problem.
When I went to doctors he said to eat dry toast and lots of it, I have done that for the past two days, yes I only have 1 third of my scabs remaining but think I will go on soft food today because I feel I am making it worse. Feels like I havent ate properly for ages. The taste of cabbage in my mouth is finally settling.
A warning to anyone who hasnt yet to get come constipation tablets cus it took me nearly a week to go, the tabs the put you on are not good.
I have been hearing alot about ‘day 10′ so at the moment I live in hope.
So it’s back to the water diet for me even tho when I dink it feels like razor blades in my throat :(
What we must all remember tho is why we wanted them out in the first place, so in the long run it will pay off!!

 Francis February 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

My doctor also advised me to undergo tonsillectomy.
I’m thinking about it and I did some research before going for it.
Thanks for these info.

 Tania February 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

It has been 5 weeks since the surgery.. I am 34, I still get food stock in my throat if I dont push it with liquids… Is funny cuz I do have a sense of taste in my mouth, but NOT when I swallow.. Mom say is been too long, and that i should be fully recover…
Do you know when I will be back to normal? more days weeks.. years? = (

 Anna February 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I had my tonsillectomy just two days ago and i was terrified of the recovery process after reading a few of the posts. I’m a 21 year old female and i just want to say that i actually had a really good experience. I’m on day three post-op today and the worst pain that i have felt so far is pretty much a sore throat. I even had solid food yesterday and felt fine! Just make sure to drink plenty of fluids, and stay on top of your meds! I take my medications in the pill form because the liquid form have always made me more sick. I just mix them with apple sauce and they go down very easily. Also, i like to drink liquids such as powerade or gatorade. I like them better than juices because they are not as sweet and for me, they just go down my throat easier, but make sure to drink plain water as well. I’m very happy with my recovery so far, because as I said earlier, after reading a few of the posts I was expecting THE WORST!! So i hope this helps those who are about to have the surgery. I know I wish i had more positive stuff to read about the recovery period before i
went in for my surgery! Just remember, drink, drink, drink , and follow your doctor’s orders for taking the pain medications and you should be fine! Oh, and this comes from a person with very low pain tolerance :)

 Jade February 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

In reply to Annna who has had a positive experience lol I would like you to re-post at day 7 and let us know your thoughts then. I was thinking it was a doddle day two three :)

 Francia February 24, 2011 at 2:35 am

I had My tonsillectomy done on the 28th of january. Day one and two were the easiest, from then on until day six the pain was unbearable, the heaviness in my tongue and the built up of secretions were driving me crazy. To add to everything I started bleeding heavily and lost a lot of blood, had to be readmitted to hospital for two days, My blood count went very low and of course ended up very weak and with a prescription of iron tablets for a month. Was supposed to be off sick for only two weeks, but I am still at home. up until last week I was still feeling very dizzy and breathless just doing little things around the house. I am feeling a lot better now compared to last week and i am planning to retunr to work next week, but My throat still feels a bit sore and the secretions and the feeling of something stuck in the middle of my throat is still there, hopefully these will go away soon because is really anoying.

 admin February 24, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hey Francia,

Wow, that was a really unfortunate experience. Did the hemorrhaging just start without any notice or did you cough really hard or eat something which started it? I hope you get better very soon, my goodness you’ve really been through it!


 Francia February 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

Hi Nina, thank you for you good wishes. The bleeding started without notice, i woke up around 6 am gargling and swallowing blood, it was a very frightening experience!!!

 SJ May 4, 2012 at 1:55 am

Same thing happened to me this morning. Absolutely terrifying. I’m at day 8 and getting admitted to hospital again for at least 24 hours. Im praying i don’t bleed again, I’m so scared.


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