tonsillectomy recovery (comment page 37)

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crying-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.



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!

3,415 Responses to “Tonsillectomy Recovery”

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 Eric June 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

I’m 21 years old. I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out last Friday, so this is day 6 if you count the day of the procedure. It seems that everyday since the procedure has gotten progressively more painful. I am optimistic based on what I’ve read that the pain either has reached or will soon reach its climax. Today was a lot worse than yesterday, and I believe it has something to do with my horrible night last night. I woke up multiple times last night coughing, causing bleeding and my throat feels raw and swollen. My jaw is still sore, along with my tongue. To give you an idea of how much pain I’m in, I was prescribed 60 10-325 Norco and I have 11 left. I have said f*** it to the 4 hour gap you are supposed to wait between doses. The mornings are by far the worst when it comes to pain, usually about an hour and a half or so after I wake up, take my medicine, and start my non-stop water sipping the pain subsides enough for me to function. I haven’t eaten very much the past 6 days. Like everyone else, my uvula is also swollen and its a real pain in the ass but ive gotten more used to it. Everything hurts, and there is nothing that I can put in my mouth (besides Norco) that gives me any sort of comfort. As far as the bleeding goes, i am not sure at what point i’m supposed to go to the hospital. My discharge instructions say 2 teaspoons, which my doctor bumped up to 2 Tablespoons. I don’t know what two table spoons of blood looks like when it is mixed with thick mucus so im just assuming its normal and toughing it out. I am supposed to go back to work tuesday, July 2, but im not sure if i will feel better by then. Everyday feels like 2 days, and it really blows. I am scared to go to sleep because I know how bad it hurts when I wake up. I haven’t slept through a whole night without waking up to take medicine since the surgery. Days 1 and 2 were by far the easiest. Today was the hardest, and I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Based on how i feel right now, I’m guessing tomorrow will be similar or worse than today, but I am hoping it gets better. I came to my mom’s house to recover, but I’m a pretty social guy so being around the house bored, while also in a lot of pain is tough for me psychologically. I have played probably 40-50 games of solitaire on my laptop and I think I’m starting to see the same distribution of cards haha. Anyways, some of you have it worse than me it sounds like, and others have it better. We are all different, but all going through the same shit. goodluck to all of us!

 SJames June 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I am supposed to get my tonsils and adenoids removed very soon along with some sinus surgery. I can definitely say that you shouldn’t go back to work on Tuesday. You should take two weeks off. Are you alone at your house… as in no one is there to feed you and take care of you? I’m flying my parents into town… and my sister is coming as well.

 nadaline June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

hi I’m nadia, this site has really helped! on my 6th day not not including the opp and I have never been in so much pain, can’t sleep, can’t drink or eat the pain is just unbarable and I have no idea if its because the scabbs are gunna fall of or if somethings wrong, my right side hurts so much more! any advice?

 Eric June 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I’m right here with you. I’m on day six as well if you dont count the day of. Hang in there, hopefully we will both feel better soon.

 Eric June 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Also, Intense pain around this normal around this time in the recovery process. It is ok if you don’t eat, but make sure you force yourself to drink water. I have kept a large cup of water next to me since the surgery, and sip on it until i need to refill it. Swallowing hurts a lot, and is even worse in the morning. Don’t hesitate to up your dose on the pain killers. The more water you drink, the better you will feel and heal. This is horrible though.

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 Lee June 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Hey everyone, I’m 14 and I’m from England. This website has been of great use to me, I got my Tonsils removed at about 10am Yesterday and since I was still under the power of general Anaesthetic I was fine and a little cocky thinking it wasn’t even as bad as having tonsillitis but boy was I wrong. I went to sleep at about 2 a.m since I slept quite well in hospital and After that I was waking up every few hours with nasty smelling drool on my bed sheets. Funny thing is I cannot lie on my back because when I do my nose seems to get blocked from the inside, strange. I am also experiencing a swollen tongue with each side numb. I didn’t feel like eating today since I was in agony and early morning I took a liquid Paracetamol and codeine but I did force a KingSize Pot noodle down and a bit of Ice Cream. At this point I can’t decide if Ice Cream is a positive or negative factor because even though it gives a slight relief it seems to leave you blocked up with Thick Saliva. Also I had a yellowish tongue this morning so I brushed it and the Yellow came off and stuck to my Toothbrush leaving my tongue feeling Squishy and Slippery, any idea’s there?

 Eric June 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

don’t worry, its all normal. Nothing will feel good for awhile when it comes to your mouth. Just keep drinking water non-stop.

 Lee June 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

Will do Eric, in pain at the moment due to very irregular sleeping and not waking up for water or Tablets but I’ve just taken 2 tablets and I am on my 3rd glass of water. All seems well, prepared for it to get worse but I really hope it doesn’t!

 Nicole June 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

Im 17 and My doctor told me u shouldn’t peel off the stuff on your tongue. It’ll fall off on its own. After I ate a Popsicle It started coming off in my mouth. It’s gross but it’s supposed to be there. Let it fall off on its own. Also with the icecream, u should wait atleast 72 hours after the surgery to eat/drink any dairy products. I got my tonsils out 13 days ago and I’m still drooling. Take a paper towel, fold it in half and put it under ur face before u go to sleep so u dontt drool all over urself or ur pillows and u can just throw it away and get a different towel and its less disgusting. And I would lay on my side for a couple days because for me sleeping on my back makes me feel like ill choke on my saliva and it feels weird to breathe, and sleepin on my stomach hurts the underneath of my neck because its tender and sensitive from the surgery. But that’s just me

 Resa June 29, 2013 at 12:00 am

Hey guys, I’m 26 from Nevada and I got my tonsils removed 5 days ago counting the day of surgery. They also reduced my adenoids and straightened my septum. I’ve been reading through these comments and it makes me feel a bit better that I’m not suffering abnormally. The only part of my day that I cannot deal with very well is waking up. When I’m asleep, there is little to no pain, but as soon as I open my eyes, not even moving. My jaw starts to have sharp pains. I use ice/hot pads. pain meds, drink water. It’s gotten so bad my four year old rubs my shoulders and tells me “It’ll be okay mommy, I’ll take care of you”. I still can’t talk most of the day. My pain never really goes all the way away. My pain meds take care of most of the pain. Am I supposed to still be having sharp stabbing pains in my throat? I can’t see that far down but it feels like I get scratched or something, which anyone who’s done this surgery knows how painful that would feel.

 Lee June 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

Hey Resa, It’s fairly common to have a range of pains until at least day 8 but since you have had a slightly different OP than me I can’t really help you :L. It’s strange for me because when I wake up I generally feel little pain then it builds up until night when it hurts the most and I give in and go back to sleep. But as far as I am aware yes you should still be having pains in your throat because you may be over stretching your muscles in your neck after they have been unused for most of the night. Goodluck and I hope you get better soon!

 Tyler June 30, 2013 at 5:33 am


I am 22 and in Texas. I had the same procedure done to correct my septum and also the tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy on Tuesday June, 25. Have been in pain since Wednesday morning and am comforted to know that someone else feels what I am going through. Any tips or advice on what has made you feel better? I am prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen liquid and also an antibiotic. I to feel a large amount of pain in the morning as my throat is completely dried out. My doc has advised to continually use saline nasal spray to help heal the nose quicker and drink as much fluid as possible. I have found that chewing on ice chunks has given me the most relief throughout the day when it comes to my throat. Been eating mostly oatmeal, Popsicles, and just had mashed potatoes today. Hope you all start feeling better soon, this is no fun!

 Resa June 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I have a humidifier next to my bed at night and that really helps with the dry mouth. I can’t breathe through my nose yet so I’m kinna a guppie until I can. I’ve tried pudding to mashed potatoes to pancakes dripping in syrup, really the best thing so far is just plain COLD water. Ice cream and cold things don’t actually numb my throat at all, make it feel worse sometimes. I’m on the same meds and I think being able to take them when I’m in pain, or right before really helps. Also, the position of my head really determines what kind of how much pain I’m in. I’ve pretty much been living in my recliner in the living room this whole time so that if my throat starts to ache, I can recline to the 45* and go from there. What about you? What do you like to do to help with all of this? Best of luck! Feel better soon!

 Tyler June 30, 2013 at 5:34 am

Also, has anyone tried using cough drops to soothe the throat? Not sure if it would help or make worse.

 Resa June 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I haven’t tried those, I’m just worried the sucking motion would strain it. Also, if I accidentally swallowed it while it’s too big, I’d cry!

 Nicole June 30, 2013 at 5:42 am

I’m 17 and I had my tonsils and adnoids out about 13 days now. Worst experience of my life. Day 1 (when I got them out) was fine, throat was a little dry but nothing I couldn’t handle. Day 2 I was still talking but not as well and only ate jello and Popsicles. Day 3 and 4 were the worst. I ate maybe 2 Popsicles and 3 spoonfuls of jello between those 2 days and forced myself to drink as much water as possible to avoid dehydration. I mostly slept both days away just to get rid of the pain, because my pain medication didnt help (hydro-codone). After those 2 days it still hurt alot but I had to force myself to talk and eat because my jaw was hurting and I had to eat somthing. Days 5 and 6 I could actually eat food like BBQ chicken (not the skin, just the chicken) and hot dogs. It still hurt but it was tolerable because I was desperate for somthing other than Popsicles. But On day 6, I had the worst ear pain ever. I woke up at 3 am bawlin my eyes out because of it and then out of no where i starting coughing up all blood. Actually I didn’t even cough it just flowed out of my mouth. It stopped by the time I went to the ER, which was probably 10min. but they kept me there to watch me. I went home everything was fine. I went to the doctors the next day and he told me it shouldn’t happen again and if it did, he told me to watch the time. If it doesnt stop after exactly 10 minutes then go to the ER. If it stops before that then basically pretend it didnt happen and go on with whatever you’re doing. But it started bleeding again that night around 2 but it stopped in 8 minutes so I just went back to bed. Then later on in the day around 11 am it happened again but it was worse than ever. More blood and it lasted about 15 minutes. so I went to the doctors, and he said I had a blood clot in my left part of my throat that keeps popping open which causes me to bleed. So he tried to cortorize it (burn it off) to fix it and it started gushing blood, this time for atleast 25 minutes. So I had to go to the ER to get it cortorized because it was to far back to get the whole clot while I was awake. When I got out of the surgery I found out when he tried doing it again it wouldn’t stop bleeding so now I have a stitch in my throat and I’m back on the liquid diet for a couple days because now it hurts again :(

 Lima August 20, 2013 at 1:27 am

Thank you so much for posting this, this has LITERALLY what my day has been today and I thought I was alone :( Woke up at 3am for water, the more I drank, the scratchier it felt till I ran to the bathroom and bam: crime scene coming out of my mouth. Went to the ER, they watched me and fed me ice chips. Sucked out a super gross blood clot. Pain meds hadn’t been helping at all. I go to my ENT and by this point, I am so hungry, tired, stressed out, all I can so is cry and state, “I puked blood” and glare at him like a child. He tells me he needs to go back in to cauterize and since I have no insurance, he can “try” to do it in office or I can meet him at a surgery center right away. My parents paid for the first time they took them out so I forked out the rest this time and he fixes it…I’ve only been home for a few hours :( This happened on day 5-6 so I never even got to eat food. Question though. I am worried about this scabbing falling off that I keep hearing about. Has this happened to you? Is it a similar process where you are puking out scabs or do you not notice? I actually haven’t even looked back there, the doctor said things were fine today aside from the bleeding. I’m so scared it will be puking up grossness which will just make me puke more blood, if anyone has the answer to this, help!

 Maddie July 1, 2013 at 12:58 am

I got my tonisils and adnoids removed and my inferior terbinate reduced on june 25th and it is the worst experience ever. Reading everyones blogs makes me feel soo much better that i am not alone and a big baby when it comes to the pain cause this shit hurts!! When i came out of the anesthisia i got super nausious and that was a whole experience in its self. I have a sensitive stomach as it is and i just threw up my stomach lineing…horrible! Anywayz this is my 6th day recovering including the surgery day and it just keeps getting worse day to day. I can barley eat and i drink lots of water the colder the better, ice chips do wonders, when i do eat its cold soup and sorbert ice cream. The doctor told me dairy is bad becuse it creates a mucous lineing in my throat which is not good cause my siliva is thick as shit as it is and that is NOT fun to swallow. I thought the recovery process was going to be like a really bad streap throat, which is what i get about 5 times a year, but boy oh boy was i wrong. I wake up in tears because the pain is almost unbearable, once i get the pain meds in i feel better, but pain meds and an empty stomach do not go well together. If my mom wasnt here to wipe my tears i would probably die…thanks mom!! I have thrown up which has caused my throat even more pain. SHIT IS MISERABLE!!! What i have noticed that has been very helpful during my recovery process is king’s sweet hawaiian rolls they just melt in my mouth and they are bomb as it is. The doctor told me also a very helpful thing which is GUM! not minty or spicy just bubble gum flavor it helps the healing process by useing the muscles that u cant use when your down and not functioning. All i know is i am going crazy and am trying to think of this as a vacation but i am a very active person and this whole bed ridden thing is driveing me nuts. This has really hit me hard and i cant wait till i get better, i hope soon. By reading all these blogs it indicates that this isnt going to get better anytime soon…great…but i cant wait to eat a fat steak, smoke a cig, go for a hike, and return to work which i though i would never say! one good thing is i have lost about 15 pounds :) gotta think of things positively i guess right! i hope everyone feels bettter!!

 Liz July 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

I am 24 and had my tonsillectomy on. 6/17/13 I did amazingly well the first 5 days. Once day 5 hit the pain started. The worst of the pain was the ear pain. I went back to work, where im a medical assistant at an ENT office, at day 7…I stopped pain medication on day 6 as I felt that just gave me GI discomfort. I think I regret going back becuase I think it pushed my recovery back since I talk so much. Anyway the pain is finally starting to subside and I’m in day 14. I woke up at 3am with excruciating pain. I had to start taking the pain medication days 12- now because of pain. I felt the base of my tongue and I felt a HUGE gash down there and was wondering if this is normal. The only time I have pain now is when I swallow or yawn. I’m very worried about the cut on my tongue as it prevents me from eating or drinking anything. Did this happen to anyone else???

 Sam July 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I recently got my tonsils out, I’m on the 11th day and I also have a cut on the side of my tongue, in the back. I don’t know how this happened but I noticed it when I was drinking ice cold water and it really hurt to drink. So I looked around and there is the cut on my tongue. It hurts if I drink anything too cold or semi-hot.

 Mem July 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I am a 17 year old male, i had the tonsils surgery last tuesday the 25th of June which is 6 days ago. The first two days i literally couldn’t eat anything, i had to take a bowl next to me and spit every minute because i just couldnt swallow my saliva due to the pain. Day 3 was better, the first 3 days i was taking the medicine 3 times but after the third day i took it twice, morning and before sleeping. Since i am at day 6, it has been a positive increase by each day that passed which i am glad. The only PROBLEM is that, i still CANT talk. Whenever i say a word it feels like a ball is in my throat and it denies me of talking with big pain. I am seeing my doctor in 2 days (wednesday) for a checkup and hopefully all goes well. I am just worried about my talking or else the swallowing has been better everyday that passed but it still currently hurts.

 Lee July 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Damn, Day 7 and I feel like I might be getting a bit better but I am certainly not going to count on it. The nights are becoming hell and my want for A Chicken and Mushroom Pizza with a shedload of chips has increased -_-, also whenever I drink (70% of the time) I feel like somebody is shoving a needle through my ear, it’s sort of a nippy pain which lasts for about 10 seconds peaking in pain at about 4 seconds….Any ideas?

 Annie July 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi I am twenty years old and am on day 6 of recovery. So far I’ve had spurts of bad pain randomly throughout the day. I am taking hydro-codine every 4 hours and am on an antibiotic and anti-nausea medicine. Yesterday started my awful awful ear pain, but only in the right ear. My left side of my throat and ear feels completely fine and I feel no pain, however, my right side is a different story. I have heard that days 6,7,8 are the worse, but I didn’t realize it would get this bad. Can anyone tell me how much longer my pain in my ear and only right side of my throat will last and does anyone else have any tips besides heat and ice chips to ease my ear pain so I can sleep? Does this mean I am getting close to the scabs falling off? I have heard so many different stories of when they do, but just looking for what to expect in the next few days.

 Meg July 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

I am 22 and had mine out 9 days ago. Everything was great the first two days. Didn’t really feel any pain. Day three hit and I have been in pain ever since. The first few days I was great about drinking tons of Gatorade and eating Icepops. Chicken and dumplings without the chicken is very easy on the throat and so is potato soup without any spices. I also lived on ramen the first few days. My doctor told me I wasn’t allowed to have any dairy products til after day 6. It will make the mucus even worse for those of you choking a lot. And it is not a good idea to eat chicken or hot dogs because like that other person above, it’s a definite high risk that you will cause your throat to bleed. On day 9, my scabs have finally fallen off but it is raw and I can barely eat or drink anything without getting a headache and earache and severe burning. Your ears will hurt and it’s normal deferred pain from your throat. Most of the people my age who have had it done say it takes about three weeks to feel 100%. Good luck to all of you and I Pray you have a fast recovery!

 Steve July 7, 2013 at 4:37 am

I am 37 and recently had my tonsils removed. First week I had some bleeding and in fact at one point on day 5 it started gushing out my nose and throat. I ended up going to the ER and it stopped on the way there but I had them look at it anyway. Doc said it was bc my blood pressure was high and I couldn’t get my pill down that day.
5 days later on day 10 I saw my doc that day and he said it was healing nicely. I went to my sons baseball practice that I coach and it a few easy grounders to the players. After about 10 minutes I started bleeding a little. We left practice right away and headed home. It wasn’t gushing like before and I got it to stop for about 15 minutes but then it started up again and wouldn’t stop. Ended up going to the ER again and they scheduled a surgery for midnight. I was needing the entire time and they couldn’t get an IV in me. I told them I had to go take a crap but they told me they had to get the IV in. Finally it was in and they told my wife to take me around the corner and we went 5 steps when I told her I’m not going to make it. Next thing I know I passed out and she caught me. I came to 15 minutes later with 8 docs and nurses around me and my wife standing there crying. I could see everyone talking but I couldn’t hear them. I thought I had just died. My hearing came back within minutes and they got me to surgery. Doc cauterized it real good and I haven’t had blood since. I am on day 12 since the second surgery. I wrote this to tell you all if you are an adult, take it easy for 2-3 weeks. Don’t do anything stressful or physical. I didn’t leave my bed for the week after except to shower and go to the bathroom. If you do start bleeding try ice water with salt to stop it. If it doesn’t stop within 15 minutes, go to the ER. Good luck.

 Peggy July 8, 2013 at 12:47 am

I am looking on websites to see why my 19 year old son is in so much pain after a tonsillectomy. We had heard it was normal but I am trying to understand why. He was ok on days one and two, and since then has been fine until his Hydrocodone was about to wear off. We started taking ibuprophen on alternate times, 4x a day (every 6 hours) and it seemed almost miraculously to help. But today – day 6 – he is in the most pain so far and the meds are not seeming to completely help. I guess he’ll just keep drinking water, eating what he can, taking the meds and resting. We really didn’t know it was going to be this bad – maybe it’s good that we didn’t because his tonsils had been bothering him for awhile and had been inflamed for awhile and I do think they needed to come out. I wonder how long it takes on average to feel completely normal again? 3 weeks?

 Pam July 9, 2013 at 12:40 am

I’m 25 years old and am on day 6 of recovery. I had to get switched to a different pain medication because the last 2 nights I haven’t slept at all! I take my pain meds and it wears off in an hour then I’m up all night waiting to take them again at the 6 hour mark. I’ve taken my first dose of the new stuff and it is so far working AMAZING he gave me liquid percocet it’s actually working! I did cough up blood yesterday so we went to the ER since they said any amount of blood get to the ER but it stopped on it’s own and they told me if it happens again get up there but if it stops before I get into the ER then just go home cause that’s the only concern they have with bleeding is it not stopping. I’ve been eating quite a bit of different foods the thing that feels the best for me is Jello I feel that it feels better than drinking water. I have plastic mugs that have liquid inside that you put in the freezer and I actually add about an inch of water to the bottom and freeze that as well so I have super ice cold water and that helps a ton! Hoping to feel normal again soon! Glad to read that everyone else is experiencing the same thing and I’m not alone. Hope my advice helps people out that have to go through this in the future :-) also my dr did say I can take some ibuprofen which was helping quite a bit as well. I felt that helped more than the lortab at times the lortab is what was wearing off within an hour. I was also given an antibiotic and an anti nausea medication to go with my lortab and now percocet.

 Mary July 9, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hi guys,
Im 19 and from the UK, i had my tonsils out on the 3rd July so its been 6 days after my opp now.
My experience with getting my tonsils out is pretty the same, no pain the first day then after the second day it just hurts and feels weird from then on. Started taking pain killers and paracetamol but unfortunately i had to stop them pain relief as it made me constipated and i started to feel very sick. I am drinking a lot of water. So make sure you prepare if your having the opp and get bottled water and put it in the fridge. My eating is normal the same day i had my opp i eat a sandwich and the hospital recommended i eat solid foods as it will avoid infection which i have throughout these six days. I have eating spicy chicken, chips, cereal, crips and more. I have white scabs at the back as everyone usually does, unfortunately i have really bad breath, jaw aches, loads of unwanted saliva, feel tired, sleeping pattern is messed up, white stuff on tongue and discomfort at the back of the throat. Whilst taking the pain relief the medicine made me constipated making me stop the tablets and if anyone does experience this i recommend high fibre ‘ fruits, bran flakes is really good, brown bread’ .
– get plenty of rest
– drink loads
– gargle with warm water and salt
– brush teeth regularly

 Ashleigh July 9, 2013 at 3:44 am

Im 17 yrs old and had my tonsils and adenoids removed on the 5th early in the morning, so I count today as day 4. I’m having my mom make me a dr appt tomorrow because I’m in severe pain. My throat hurts so bad my ears are absolutely killing me. I feel like someone shoved a sword down my throat and my eardrums are gonna burst. I don’t like swallowing my spit because it hurts so bad so I have to spit a lot, which for some reason hurts too. I can’t swallow any liquids very easily and I have to force pudding down even though it hurts like hell. I’ve lost probably 7 or 8 pounds in the past few days because I can’t eat and I’m a skinny girl… I’m suppossed to take 10 ml of hydrocodone every 6 hours but I’m taking 15 ml and it wears off after about 2 1/2 hours. Then I have to fight to get my medicine down, and its a liquid! My breath is terrible because of the scabs and I’m terrified of the pain that’s suppossed to come with the scabs falling off. So far I haven’t needed any nausea medication but my pain is way to severe for this little surgery in my opinion. I just want to know what will help my ear pain at the very least! Its giving me a terrible headache and I can’t handle that on top of my throat pain.

 Stacy July 15, 2013 at 5:31 am

I am 36 and at the end of day seven of my tonsillectomy, including the day of. The first two days were okay, I felt pretty good. As of day 3, pain got worse each day. On day 5 I realized that even ice water was too cold and hurt. I’ve lost 25 pounds because I really can’t eat. I just drink water, lukewarm, use a humidifier and eve place a wet washcloth over my mouth during the night to keep my throat moist. Mornings are hell, and I feel like I should get better in the next couple days. If you are going through this hang in there. It will pass.

 Erick Flores July 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’m on day 8 and I just woke up (437am PST) from horrible pain. This has been the norm for the past 4 days and I’m wondering when am I supposed to feel better? I keep reading that day 7-11 are the worst and that once the scabs fall off, recovery will be rapid. I hope so because I’m about to run out of pain meds and right now, I can’t imagine life without them. I hate taking meds of any kind but now I’m thankful to have them. Is anyone experiencing longer recover time? I hope not, I’m supposed to go back to work in 8 days and right now, I cant see that far out.

 Sarah Hanmore July 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Im 36 and had my tonsils out 2 weeks ago. I have severe obstructive sleep apnea and so have to sleep with a CPAP machine and mask over my face at night. I was just wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation to me as I still have the white mucas thing on the back of my throat, my ears are still killing me, I still find eating hard although I do try and eat normally and I am still dosing myself up with painkillers. From what I have read on the internet I dont think I should still be in this position but would appreciate anyone elses experience before I go to the doctor and make a fool of myself.

 Brandi Sheldon July 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Sarah, I am in the same position… Kind of. I am 40 and just had my tonsillectomy last Thursday (July11). I also have obstructive sleep apnea and sleep with a CPAP. I am so hoping that I am not still in this same pain and predicament after 2 weeks. However, to try to help you feel better, my Dr did say that it could be 2weeks and it could be a month before feeling normal. I have noticed that the ear pain is much worse if I try to lay down. Slept in a recliner last night with my CPAP for the first time since surgery, I did sleep better. Pain still bad!

 Lauren July 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I had my tonsils taken out on Monday and its now Friday ; for me the mornings are the worst trying to swallow but during the day my throat is pretty much fine but its just a little sharp pain on the left side of my throat that I get, I am only 16 and it’s the first day that I don’t feel dizzy or sick from taking my tablets. After reading all the stories about people getting there’s done and hurting , I’m not looking forward to the scabs coming off as I’ve heard they hurt ; I was only in hospital over night because of the distance from my house to the hospital was too far incase of an emergency but it was the best thing that I’ve ever done and can’t wait to be talking normally again

 Tiriel July 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hi , im 18 and i just got my tonsils out July 16 because of reoccuring strep . The first day was fine bt the second was terrible , i was so dehydrated and my tongue throat and mouth was so swollen i could barely eat or breathe. My mom came home and saw me passed out in my own blood and vomit . Now is day 4 and everythimg is going good. I have a sharp pain on the right side of my jaw when i swallow bt its not that severe . Im on pain pills and antibiotics cusz i have all this cold in my chest too. Ive been taking pics and documenting my progress. Wish me luck!

 Sandy July 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi, I am 57 years old, got my tonsils out on Monday July 15. The first three days were not so bad. Then the pain in throat and right ear hit!!!
The only thing I am able to have on my throat is just plain cold water, everything else hurts. So I am living on ice water. This is day 7 and still not eating, nor sleeping . Sitting in recliner at nights. It seems to help with the pain sitting upright. Am taking antibiotics and pain meds but it hurts to take them. See doctor tomorrow, hope this is soon over….wish everyone good luck , and I have been praying a lot also.

 Lyndsey July 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I had my surgery done tues am (5 days in including today) and the pain has gotten better. The nights still stink as am sleeping sitting up but Popsicles and cold stuff does help. I got down some watery oatmeal and soup so I think I’m doing good.

What is driving me crazy is this “curtain” of white mucus in my throat. It’s heavy and I feel like its filling up my throat and I might gag. It’s not turning brown and has some bloody streaks in it (maybe I should not have gotten that super high powered flash light….) is this normal? When does it go away? It’s truly disgusting…. This had better be worth it!

 Sonya July 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I’m 18 and scheduled to have my tonsils out in 2 days and I was just wondering how much weight you guys lost? I’m already small being 102lb @ 5’5″ and I don’t want to lose a lot. I also accidentally took an ibuprofen less than 5 days ago when my doctor told me not to for 10 days before, do you think it will cause problems with bleeding?

 Tiriel July 24, 2013 at 3:41 am

No , it shouldnt hurt you in anyway . Im about your size too and i lost weight because i was afraid to eat but it all depends on how much you eat. Im on day 7 and i lost about 5 pounds from starving myself the first 2 days and only drinking water .

 chrissie July 24, 2013 at 5:17 am

I on day 11 must admit though painful experience not as bad as Ihad worked it up in my head to be the worst pain being my ears that is unbelievable and the other pain caused firsy by being given morphine when i told dr couldnt take that or paracetamol and you guessed it that was also given hence head over toilet throwing up . if i had to say one positive it would be keep the ice cubes at the ready they lifesaver

 Lynn July 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

I am a 51 year old female who had my tonsils out 28 days ago. just wondering if it is normal to still have increased mucus, pain at the base of my tongue and choking when eating tougher foods like meat.

 Meg July 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I have my tonsils removed yesterday morning. My uvula is so swollen that it is almost entirely blocking my throat. Is this normal?I can get water down, much less food. I am also having a lot of mucus and pain in my chest that will not go away. I am very dizzy and light headed. Is this all normal? I am forcing down as much water as I can, but I am miserable and the liquid Loratab only lasts maybe 2 hours

 Mikki July 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

My name is Mikki. IM 51. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis.and it was recommended to me to decrease my risk of infections .i should have my tonsils removed .When I had my tonsils out on june 27 .2013. I was in surgery for about an hour. Everything I was told went fine. My throat was sore. And the roof of my mouth was numb. I went home. And started my recovery. I had my prescription s from the surgeon and my water and other things I thought I might need during recovery. On the post- op papers it said that my voice may change during recovery. So I didnt think that anything was wrong with my speech.until I went for my 2 week check up and the surgeon said that no my speech should not be this way. Maybe I had a stroke diring surgery. . He said that he had never seen something like this. I sounded like I was deaf. And had learned how to talk that wsy. I was terrified. I left his office and my children insist that I go havr an mri at the hospital. Asap. So I went to the er. My mri is clean.thank god.the er dr had the nerve to say I was faking this. I was furious. . It has now been a month since my surgery. My speech has not improved and I cannot feel temperature in my throat when swollowing .. I have been to a neurologist. My polmonary dr. My primary dr. All say they have never seen this. . So now im headed to speech therapy. Has anyone out there had or heard of this happening after a tonsilectomy.???? I would love to hear some feedback…

 jessica August 2, 2013 at 3:47 am

I’m a 25 year old female. I got a traditional tonsillectomy taken out July 30, so today is day 3. The first day I had a pain level of about 4/10. I ate mashed potatoes, ice cream, mac and cheese, lots of water, and I take my medicine every 4 hours (6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, 2am and so on) i woke up on day 2 with an ear ache and my pain level was 7/10. I was still able to each mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup, a milkshake, and mac and cheese.. plus lots of liquid. I woke up this morning and my pain level is 2/10. I feel really good actually and have been able to eat soft foods and drink all day without any pain! Hoping that tomorrow I will feel the same. I have a humidifier in my room that I am constantly filling up.. I honestly think it has been my saving grace. I don’t ever miss medicine. It’s always taken on the dot of every four hours. I will post again in a couple days to let yall know how it’s been days 4-8.

 jessica August 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I’m on day 6 now. WOW went totally down hill starting yesterday. I was able to get out of bed and go get my hair done but by about 5pm my ears felt like the were exploding. I barely slept through the night.. and woke up this morning to vomiting and an extreme headache. So I guess day 5 and 6 have been the worst for me. :(

 jessica August 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I’m on day 10 now and other than a little pain when i swallow I am back to normal! thank goodness. that was a rough week and a half!

 Samiya August 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

Hello I had my tonsil removed last thursday,its been 8 days now!

I was able to eat and drink really well till today. My pain was not so severe. My doctor was a good one.

But however today i can’t even drink water IT BURNS like hell. PLEASE HELP :(

 jessica August 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I’m on day 4 today. I posted my experience above about 6 hours ago. I’m scared of day 7-10 when the scabs fall off. So far my recovery has been pretty easy and sounds like yours was too. Are you taking any medicine or using a humidifier?

 Samiya August 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

When the scabs fall off YES IT BURNS :(

Yeah mine was easy too!

Yes taking antibiotics, a medicine for pain and a medicine-strepsils like for inflammation!

 Sammy August 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi, I’m Sammy. I’m 18 and got my tonsils removed the 31st of July. It’s been one week (7 days) since the procedure. The day of the procedure, I was fine, a little sick to my stomach from the anesthetic but other than that, I carried on with my day like I normally would. Day 2 started to get rough. The pain when swallowing was horrible. I started to stop eating at this point. Day 3 and 4 were the worst days of my entire life! I lost my voice, could hardly open my mouth big enough to eat a popsicle here and there, had HORRIBLE ear pain, jaw pain, and for some reason, I couldn’t stop burping which caused pain EVERYWHERE. I also got sick on the third day because of drinking apple juice Day 5 I started trying to talk and could get a whisper out. But couldn’t really open my mouth. Pain still horrible… Liquid loratab only was making me feel sick. Day 6 I started talking again (yay) but I could only open my mouth like normal. Hurt to open my jaw wide, so I started doing little jaw exercises and forced myself into eating chicken noodle soup and mac and cheese. Well, today is day 7, and I’m still on my chicken noodle soup and mac and cheese diet. NO DAIRY. I found dairy products to cause MORE pain day 2. I think my scabs are starting to fall out because when I brush my teeth and rinse with water, some brown and white/yellowish stuff comes out and I get a really nasty taste in my mouth. It’s not the first time this has happened, it’s happened since day 4. I didn’t know if it was normal?

 Paule August 14, 2013 at 4:10 am

Hi Guys and Girls
I have added my story to the posts previously.

I just wanted to say that this website has been in valuable as a tool to prepare me for my sucessfull tonsil lectomy, and more importantly provided me with all the insight i needed to make a comfortable speedy recovery.

Iam 42 years old and I feel that eveyone who has contributed on this post, has been able to add somtheing of value to understanding the experience and helped to debunk the myths that surround this kind of surgery.

Well done everyone and truly glad this website exists to help others.

 Michelle August 24, 2013 at 2:52 am

Hi there. I’m 39 and on day 8 of my recovery. I started to feel better on day five, but experienced severe ear and throat pain that night. It was worse than day 1! The next day, I went back to the dr. and he said I was ridiculously swollen, especially my uvula. That explains why i was waking up gasping for air if my head tipped forward, despite sleeping practically upright. He gave me a shot in the arm of a steroid to bring down the swelling and within an hour my tongue and throat felt better and I have hardly needed pain meds since! the next hurdle is the scabs. I am terrified that I will bleed to death, lol, but keep telling myself that only 4% of people experience bleeding.

My advice is this: a cool mist humidifier will help with the mucus. I was choking on the stuff for the first 2 days and then bought a humidifier and found relief. The only thing I was able to get down for the first 5-6 days was frozen applesauce made into a slushie by adding water. Best stuff on earth, and believe me, I tried at least 10 other soft foods. Even water, jello, etc. was hard to get down because it would go up my nose! I still experience ear pain while eating, but it quickly subsides.

Don’t be afraid to call your dr to complain about severe pain even around day 4-5. If I had kept quiet, I would still be in the fetal position on the couch wanting to cry!

Also, I know that many of you we’re given liquid Percocet, but my dr. Insists that there is no such thing, so I had to settle with Tylenol w/ codeine, which went down like acid and hardly touched the pain. He then gave me giant Percocet pills which I planned on crushing, but ended up not needing them!

Good luck with your recovery!

 Abigail August 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I just turned 18 so im at the stage where i just want to do things all the time but my pain wont let me. ): Today is day 5 of my surgery and HOLY COW today i woke up with my tongue in severe pain. like i bit it off in my sleep. I woke up from a 4 hour sleep, which is the longest i’ve slept in one period of time. does anyone know if this is normal or if its a dry mouth? im just so frustrated and want to be healed.

 leah September 9, 2013 at 2:07 am

I’m a 35-year-old female. Just got my tonsil out last Friday(sep 6th). The first day was easy, pain level was 5/10. I have been taken lortab and amoxicillion on time, every 4 hours and 8 hours. I read this webpage and bought a cool mist humidifier the night before my operation, so I never had a super dry wake up because of it. After hospita I ate popsicles, drank icewater. Talked OK.
The first night was tough, I had tons of cold sweat, woke up every 2-3 hours hurting for medication. Day 2 my pain was 4/10,ear pain appeared but subdued by lortab. I even ate some eggs, soups and soft stews with rice, veggies and beef. Stayed up all day long and watched shows on my laptop. Felt great, and even did some cooking/cleaning, talked almost normally.
The second night I slept through 8 hours except when my husband woke me up for lortab. Day 3 morning I was dizzy and sleepy. After 1 pm I ate some soup again, I was bored so I got up and did some light cleaning around the house again. The white film in the back of my throat got thicker, uvila got smaller, and yes I have been looking at the spot every hour. Ice water helps my throat, but I’m also on my period at the same time, so I had to use heating pad on my lower belly to prevent the crapming.
I was hoping to lose some weight as side benefit, but I gained a couple of pounds due to constant water drinking and constipation and bloating. I’m expecting the worst days to be 5-7, I’ll post later for that.

 leah September 9, 2013 at 2:31 am

Hi I’m 35-year-old female. I took my tonsil out on Friday Sep 6th. I have been taking lortab and amoxicillin on time, using cool mist humidifier, and abserve my throat every couple of hours.

day1: post op, got a little dizzy, took pain killer, went back home. Could talk, walk, eat popsicles, drink ice water.
pain level 5/10.
day 2: had cold sweat during night, woke up every2-3 hours for pain killer. Got bad ear pain, after morning pain subdued and level went down to 4/10. watched shows on laptop all day, ate sweet chinese congee, rice soup with diced soft veggies and beef, ate streamed eggs. Talked OK and did some cooking and cleaning.
side note: got my period on the same day of op, so while ice water was great for throat, I had to use a heating pad on my lower ab to prevent cramping.
day 3: slept throughout the night, except husband woke me up for lortab. I was tired and sleeping, dizzy and weak the whole time, wth ear pain and headache, tried to use the insert for constipation, didn’t work. After 1 pm, got bored of just sleeping and laying around, got up and did some light house cleaning.
I expect my worst days will be 5-7. so far i have not lost any weight, but gained a a few pounds due to constant water drinking and constipation. :(

 liya September 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm

update Day 4: Everything was normal in the morning, I got antsy being couped up in the house and still constipated. I ate 5 times, for different soups and congee, but still feeling unsatisfied, I guess what I was craving for was variety… afternoon got sleepy and went to bed super early, around 8pm. Still got sweaty every time when I took a nap or sleep at night, but at least I never had trouble sleeping throughout the night anymore. My tempurature at one point was 102, but I took a shower later and felt fine.
Day 5: woke up in the morning at 8 am for medicine and the throat/ear pain was as usual 5/10. went back to sleep after 9:30 and slept till noon. I was up for the whole afternoon, cleaning, doing dishes, laudry, prep for dinner, I guess I was just so bored and wanted something to do. Again I ate a lot of soup and even tried some soft bread, nothing satisfied, so I ate and ate, all the way to pass 1 am, finished with a huge bowl of green tea ice cream. I don’t think I was really hungry physically, maybe just boredom and hunger for variety of food.
Day 6: Still morning, swallowing pain and ear pain when drink cold water is still there, 4/10. the scab is super thick and white, with no sign of falling. I hope this will not drag it out like overdued childbirth.

 liya September 14, 2013 at 4:15 am

Day 6 and Day 7, some friends calld me on the phone and I talked some, maybe a little too much. Today my throat reached peak pain point. Every swallow, every burp, yawn(ouch) is like knife cutting through my throat. My vocal cord got so painful talking, I had to use my nose to talk, which entertained my husband to no end. (me:a spider was crawling in my bed! him: what did you say? you want me to come home and take a bath?)
To this point I’m so bored of the same old pureed stuff. I insisted my husband to order my favorite stir fried soft beef noodle, and ate 2 whole bowls. Maybe that’s why I haven’t lost any weight. Because according to my husband, who claimed lost 30 lbs at 17, all he did in 2 weeks was sleeping and eating jello.
And some side notes for people who hate wasting time: believe me, this is a rare opportunity to slow down in your hectic daily life and really take a deep look into your life. One can only watch shows on laptop for so long. After a while, your deep long buried feelings will return and surface, you will find a lot of things you finally have time to sort out in your mind. Which is a good thing.

 liya September 16, 2013 at 2:31 am

Day 8: pain was so consistent and sharp, even the base of my tongue hurts! And I don’t know why! I totally lost my appetite due to this annoying pain. The infamous” something scratchy stuck in the back of throat” feeling officially started. I don’t know how to describe: like a huge hair/fur ball? like scars inside of the throat? or like what I described to my husband: like I replaced my Larynx for Velcro! It’s very uncomfortable, even make my swallowing and breathing difficult! And I cannot do anything about it, because it’s not pain, it’s not in my throat so I can clear, it just, THERE, stuck and stick.

Day 9: From this day, I no longer prefer ice-cold water, because it burns. I can only take room temperature or warm water. To distract me, my husband took me to the park and then the mall. I still had zero appetite because of that velcro feeling down in my throat, but I walked around the mall and had some human interaction for the first time in a week, felt better.

Day 10: usually day 10 is the “magic number in lots of other people’s experiences. but for me, not yet. I didn’t eat much of anything in the past 2 days, so I forced myself to eat some rice congee in the morning, felt dizzy and weak, fell back to sleep till noon again. After I woke up, the ground breaking “cough up stuff” phase finally started. I felt a little sick so I tried to clear my throat in the bathroom sink, and yellow/whitish mucus/scabs came out, some of them had little blood in it. I know it’s different than thick saliva, because I tasted the saltiness.
In the afternoon, more Chinese food, soft noodles, I even had some appetite to try some soft meat, I ate quite a bit of white rice, hoping the scratchiness of the rice can help the scabs to fall off. After meal, I tried to cough up more scabs, it worked. but the Velcro feeling stays there, made me really emotionally upset. (It’s been 10 days, and I still can’t say when I’m going to be fully recovered. which is really discouraging) My husband reassured me that he had stuff coughing up even after 3 weeks of his surgery, so I’m supposed to ” be just fine” soon.

 liya September 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

Day 11: I decided to stop taking lortab after consulting the nurse, she recommended Tylenol or Mortrin, also warm bath for the constipation( yes it’s been 12 days). I ate some rice soup again and coughed up some more mucus with intention ( I had to admit I’m so tired of this I’m kind of trying to help the scab felling process), but the pain at night is a little stronger, at the base of my tongue again, and one side of my lower gum line, I have an ulcer like cut, don’t know how it happened.

 Michelle September 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

I am on day 3 counting the day of surgery and this is very painful. Waking up in the morning is the worst cuz my mouth and tongue is so dry that I can stand it. I am spitting constantly and I ended up having to get liquid Lidocaine from my ENT so I can take my pain pills or even drink water. The sores on the back of my through is irritating me because it feels like something is stuck in the back of my throat. Id rather be in labor then deal with this pain. Ive been eating jello and popcycles and shaved ice to help stay hydrated but even drinking water hurts. Is it normal to be spitting up yellow colored mucus?

 liya September 25, 2013 at 5:46 am

DAY 12-15: Right side throat weird sensation, really hurts.Feeling choking during sleep at night. But the Doctor said it’s all in my head, just normal healing pain. After his reassurance, I felt better,
DAY 16-20: It’s better now, I’m back to work, throat still feels hairy, but no pain anymore. I finally can eat all the food I want. Hooray!

 nick September 27, 2013 at 6:42 am

I im nick I had my Tonsillectomy seven days ago, the scabs came of everyday when brush my teeth 5 times a day and gaggling with the mouth wash, it help a lot, at the moment having ear pains, having a slip of fluids every 30 minutes

 ruby September 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

I had my tonsils taken out five days ago and I’m still having pain n my ears are aching like I got ear aches and I have to keep spitting! I can’t believe how much saliva I have!

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