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Hello, I wanted to share my experience with you regarding my tonsillectomy. I had my tonsils out this past Wednesday, 01/31/2008. I was terrified. I am a 26 year old female, I have never had surgery, and I have never been put to sleep. Both of my tonsils were filled with holes like swiss cheese but the one on the right was seriously enlarged. After a sleep study my doctor said it wqas up to me if I wanted to have my tonsils out but they would have to keep an eye on them just on case of something more serious like cancer. Of course throwing the big "C" word in there at the end of the appointment threw me into a tizzy. My appointment was on Friday afternoon so I called them back first thing MOnday morning to tell them I had changed my mind. They scheduled my surgery to be two weeks from that Wednesday. This was a hard step because I had read a lot of horror stories about bleeding to death and the risks of anesthesia. I kept having to remind myself that although those things are possible the chances are very, very slim. I am fortunate to still live with my mother and father who are both very loving and supporting of me and I would not have been able to do this without them. I was granted almost 3 weeks off from work. Here are the steps I took to get ready and hopefully this will help someone else. My pre-op appointment was the day before surgery so I did not have a lot of time to stew about what happened there. Anyway, first things first:
1. Informed my supervisor at work, made an appoitnment with the onsite nurse practiioner, started the FMLA and short term disability paperwork. I followed up with the representatives from work and my doctor's office every step of teh way and wrote down everything: the date, the time, who I talked to and about what.
2. Organized and typed up my questions. I divided them up according to who I needed to ask what. This way when they said" do you have any questions?" I was prepared!
3. I kept all of my paperwork in a big envelope. My FMLA, STD papers, my appointment information, my questions, my notes, etc. This envelope lived with me for the next two months.
4. I kept researching online what other people's experiences were and how to deal with bleeding etc. I let my mother read some stuff so she could recognize problems.
5. Shopping list
The day before surgery I got my supplies, this was after pre-op appointment.
- prescriptions for Lortab and Azithromyacin (sp?) both were liquid form and came with a syringe to administer them. If the doctor writes a Rx for tablets, request the liquid with a syringe.
- bed tray
- dry erase board
- kleenex
- new humidifier
- spray bottle (in case it is too painful to swallow, this will help keep throat moist)
- cough drops (surprisingly helpful for pain)
- snow cone/ slushie ice machine ( this has been a godsend! I got one at Target for $29.99, it may be the best $29.99 ever spent)
- popsicles
- yogurt
- baby food (fruit)
- ice cream
- side orders of dumplins from Cracker Barrel
- mashed or instant potatoes with gravy
- two 32 oz plastic rubbermaid bottles with flip top and straw attached

And another thing that helped me and it may sound weird but I cleaned my bedroom up really well and put all clean linens on my bed the day before surgery, it just allowed me to rest better. I also got new low wattage light bulbs for two lamps in my room.

As other people have said the most important thing is to stay hydrated! DRINK DRINK DRINK! Take your medicine on time.

I have had some serious pain but it usually occurs when I oversleep, my mouth gets dry, and I don't take my medicine on time.

Overall things have not been as bad as I have expected and I have not had any bleeding.

Good luck to everyone!


Thanks for sharing. Posts like yours make me feel a bit more confident about getting the procedures done. I'm a 34 year old female, and a commercial vocalist to boot! I've been putting off the surgery for 3 years and now my tonsils are SO cryptic (holey) that they're constantly infected despite cleanings 3 times a day, using a water pick, gargling, etc.

I'm terrified but know after the rough recovery I should be able to resume my singing and (hopefully) sound better than ever! :-)


No probelm, I know it is scary. I have actually had a few episodes of bleeding since this post but I have been able to control them at home with the tea bag/ ice water method, Other than that I am getting along pretty good. I can see why you would hesitant since you are a singer! I am by no means a professional but I like to sing and I have definitely had to resist singing along to some of my favorties lately. But, before you know it my dogs will be back covering their ears at mommy's howling :-) Good luck if you decide to go for it!


I got my tonsils taken out on 01/31/08 as well.... Had to be the worst week of my life... Never been through more pain EVER - I'm 23. Have a quick question. . .Is it safe to drink alcohol yet?


I had mine out three days ago now, I'm still yet to have even mild pain. I ate a roast chicken and paprika dinner and three plates of sandwiches when I came out of the surgery, and I've gained over 5kg (11lb) thus far.

I'm aware it's probably going to get bad soon, but I've been keeping VERY VERY hydrated (as in over 5L a day) and I haven't missed any of my meds.

As I said though, even mild tonsillitis has been worse than this and I'm expecting it to get bad


I had my to tonsils removed that was the worst experience I have ever had in my life, it is very pain full:(


I am a 36 your old healthy non smoking male who just underwent a tonsillectomy. I wanted to give others my perspective of this procedure as if you were like me and have been reading all the posts online from others you may well be having second thoughts about having the procedure done. I am not trying to say that the other posts here are not valid but they may well be the exception rather than the rule

I had my tonsillectomy performed on the 28th of June 2010 due to enlarged tonsils and constant tonsilith (stone) production. For me it could break it down the procedure and recovery into essentially 3 main phases. The 1st being days 1-5, the second being days 6-8 and the final being 9-12

Phase 1

The surgical procedure took about an hour but you of course remember or feel nothing as you are fully anesthetized. After the procedure I stayed in the hospital in the recovery rooms for about 4-6 hours. During this time you are still under the influence of the anesthetic and you sort of drift in an out of consciousness. As for pain on day one and for the next 4-5 or so days in my case it was quite minimal. It was like having a bad sore throat (I have had worse pain from a bad bout of tonsillitis then this). The one difference being that you can feel quite a bit of swelling. I was given a Tylenol 3 before leaving the hospital but these make me feel sick so decided not to take any pain medication and to be honest I did really need it. So does it hurt to drink and eat? Yes it does but it’s not as bad as you might think provided you do take small sips and consume food which is soft. Its import and you do eat and drink to stay hydrated and to give your body the energy it needs to heal itself. To be honest I found the most annoying things were having the urge to cough every now and then and having my mouth constantly salivating far more unpleasant then the pain I experienced.

Phase 2

By the 6th day true to the doctors word the pain did increase but again it was not all that bad. The pain seemed to move lower in the throat and in my case seemed to be in my ears then in my throat. The consumption of food and water was slightly more difficult during this time but again I did it without any pain killers. The only time I took any pain medication was just before bedtime. I found that if I took two extra strength Tylenol it was more than enough to ensure I got off to sleep with minimal discomfort and without any nausea the opiate based drugs often cause. The good news is that the swelling had gone down quite a bit and the coughing urge and constant salivation had all but gone. The white scabbing in the back off the throat was now quite evident but it did not seem to increase my discomfort and unless I opened my mouth and looked for it I was oblivious to its formation.

Phase 3

By day 9th day the pain started to diminish and the scabbing slowly started to dissolve. I say dissolve as when most of us think of scabs they are usually on your skin and are hard and crusty and often peel off. The scabs in my throat where pliable and seem to dissolve rather than just peel off in large chunks. The pain at this stage was very mild if not nonexistent. The only time it hurt was if I had to yawn. I was eating normal food at this point but made sure to chew it well just in case.

I am now at day 14 and am almost back to normal. It still is a little uncomfortable to yawn but I can eat normally and don’t have any discomfort. There are still a few very small scabbed areas but I suspect in a day or so they will be gone

The bottom line is just take it easy and don’t try to rush your recovery for the first week and follow the directions the hospital staff and doctors give you and you should be just fine! I have no regrets about this procedure (other than waiting this long to get it done) and I can already reap some of the benefits such as being able to breathe easier and not waking up every morning with a bad metallic /sour taste in my mouth from infected tonsils/tonsiliths.


I'm 18 and just had my tonsils out on monday, its now saturday.
Do not listen to anyone about their experience because all I heard was it was the worst thing ever,
and it wasn't.
Everyone is different, and everyone is going to take it differently.
Yes there is pain, it is quite uncomfortable but it is not as bad as I have been reading.
My worst day was by far day 3, I couldnt move without puking and just felt like complete sh*t.
but that is just me,
sleeping was hard because you do have to keep your head elevated, i was told to wake up every hour to drink something and every 3.5 for pain pills.
i can eat lots of stuff, it just takes awhile now, small bites, but it is difficult.
ice water,gatorade and popsicles feel the best.
dont have ice cream it give you phlem and it hurts to cough up lol.
jello and sherbert are good too.
soup feels weird but i was just happy to eat, alphageti was even better.
your taste buds are kinda weird for a bit if you notice some food taste funny, it is normal,
same with your tongue and uvula being swollen.

just drink a lot of liquids, take your pain meds, and sleeeep!
even tho sleeping sucks, it helps.


So I am 17 and I figured Id just share what I went through. First off alot of people talk about pre-surgery...not saying it isnt valuable to know what your going in for but I think post surgery info is more important. I was lucky and right after my surgery I didnt have any complications in fact my "45" minute surgery was only 15! Right after that I stayed for about an hour then was sent home. That first evening and the next day was a breeze. but I cant stress how important it is that you will feel ok, and think "oh its not that tough im superwoman" but dont let your ego get to you the pain does get worse. Plus you dont want to over work yourself. Ive had three of my close girlfriends have the same procedure so I got lost of details and tips ahead of time. One of my girls though she was feeling fine enough to eat a piece of pizza the next day thinking if she chewed slow and alot it would be fine, well she ended up cutting her throat, back in the hospital, and permidantly scared. So dont try it. Anyhow the first 2 days I was up, I ran some errands to the store, I hung out with my boyfriend and his friends. I drank SO much apple juice as well. I was on tylonal codine 3 and didnt have any problems with neasua or anything. day three was when it hit for me. The pain was TERRIBLE and UNBREABLE and im not saying this to scare people just being honest. Its so hard to drink but trust me you have to or it will be worse. You can also feel something in the back of your throat that feels like its hanging, dont worry its normal. DO NOT!!!!!!! try and clear your throat or spit, trust me on this one you WILL regret it. Day four was also pretty bad, it didnt feel like the pain meds were working at all. What ive been doing is sleeping as long as i can so i dont feel the pain, many people say stay awake long as possible to keep drinking, i didnt, and it worked for me. when i wake up i just drink alot. im on my day five now, hoping this pain will get better soon. i havent thrown up yet, nor have i bleed. i personally like to eat pudding with whip cream it doesnt make my spit too thick. i havent ate much jello and at first i ate some mash potatos but now im only on liquids. when i first started surgery i would get SOOO!!!!! hungry it was crazy. smelling everything everyone was eatting make me crave food. now on day five i cant even think of food. my stomach doesnt want anything. i havent been drinking as much liquids since im sick of apple juice, ive moved on to gatorade. i thinking about switching my meds over to perks too. kissing is very hard to do...just saying so i wouldnt reccomend it.

so to sum it up:

eat lots of cold stuff
drink lots of liquid
and dont over do yourself, even if your feeling ok


What was it like waking up from the anesthesia especially if you've never had it done before like your situation no surgery ever before and how long did it take to heal up the say it takes 3 weeks minimum for an adult to heal and even then your not fully healed all the way and my doctor scared the c**p out of me.


No it will dry them out you have to wait til the doctor clears you and there's no more sloth in on the back of the throat.


What was it like waking up from the anesthesia especially if you've never had it done before like your situation no surgery ever before and how long did it take to heal up the say it takes 3 weeks minimum for an adult to heal and even then your not fully healed all the way and my doctor scared the c**p out of me.
To username: thebonewagon60828


TLDR: overall good experience, didn't need to take any pain killers, listened to my body and some of my tips/advice

Hi there! I would like to share an overall positive experience because it seems that either few people go through them, or those that do are reluctant to post??? Anyway, I hope this will be helpful, because I too was constantly second-guessing the procedure after reading horror stories about it online.

Background: I am a 20-year-old female. As a kid, I constantly got tonsillitis, strep throat, etc., but these seemed to decrease in both frequency and severity during adolescence…that is until I got quinsy a couple years back. I also got occasional tonsil stones that were super irritating and gross. In the last 10 years, 90% of my ailments have been sore throats. I didn’t get enough sleep? Sore throat. I got too cold? Sore throat. I got too hot? Sore throat. I didn’t eat enough? Sore throat. I ate too much? Sore throat. After asking around, I realized it wasn’t normal to get sick 5-10x a year.

Surgery: For me, everything went according to plan, except for two things: 1) my veins were apparently too hard, so they had to poke my arm three times to get an IV going and 2) it was my first time going under general anesthesia, so I was anxious and couldn’t sleep for a week beforehand!

Post-Op: They gave me popsicles, water and apple juice in the hospital while they monitored me for a few hours before sending me home. It didn’t hurt to eat/drink, but it felt weird because everything was beginning to swell. I was home by ~6PM and I drank ice water/ate right away. I had fruit popsicles, mashed sweet potato/soft fish and some mangoes. I didn’t take any pain killers because the pain was minimal. Also, I still felt loopy from the general and the drugs were hitting me in waves. I was fine one minute and felt stoned the next (same effect from marijuana, except the “high” was all physical). Before bed, I decided to take the prescribed Percocet just in case things got bad overnight and boy was that a mistake. I don’t know if it was still the anesthesia wearing off or if it was the pain killer (or both combined), but every time I was about to fall asleep, it felt like I suddenly stopped breathing. I would then wake myself up gasping for air and crying because I really wanted to sleep, but couldn’t. I asked my mom to come sleep with me to monitor my breathing, and she assured me that I was indeed breathing and that the weird response was all in my head. I finally managed to drift off to sleep around 6am. I didn’t even feel that tired because I was still running on cortisol. When I woke up the next morning, I told myself that I would not take any pain killers unless I really needed to.

Pain is relative: I don’t know why this didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would (I am a baby when it comes to pain), but I didn’t have the need to take any pain killers (not even Tylenol) after that first Percocet. I never really take medication anyway, unless it’s absolutely necessary, so I guess I am used to suffering a little bit. Also, after all the c**p that my tonsils went through in their lifetime, this recovery was very manageable. As long as I didn’t talk, yawn/cough/sneeze, eat, or drink in large volumes (I drank through a straw), there was no throat/ear pain at all. If I did have to engage in any of the listed activities, I just pushed through it and the pain abated quickly after I was done. I must mention that having quinsy and otitis in the past probably helped. In the ER, they had to cut open/drain my quinsy with only local anesthetic (which they injected into my already hugely inflamed and swollen tonsil without any numbing cream). As for otitis, the ear pain never stopped no matter what I did. It felt like someone was drilling a hole in my head through my ears. These two maladies also happened to be the two most painful experiences I’ve had in my life.

Recovery timeline: For me, recovery was up and down…you feel ok one moment and then you’re suffering the next. The first couple of days, I had a lot of trouble chewing/swallowing because everything was swelling. The peak swelling period was around 1-2 days post-op. The pain was okay because the scabs were thick, so even though there was some pain swallowing, it was dull and dispersed. During this time, I also had a very low-grade fever and felt lethargic. Additionally, my jaw and tongue were recovering from being clamped down, so my muscles were very tense. By day 3, the swelling started to go down and so did the scabs. The pain in my ears slowly increased and I had sharper points of pain in the region where they took the tonsils out. During day 4 I tasted a bit of blood after swallowing food, felt sharp pain and had an associated ear ache, so I drank a bunch of ice water and it seemed to stop. I haven’t had any bleeding since. Days 5-7 were the worst (as promised). Although the swelling and muscle cramps were almost completely gone (I could talk again!), the scabs were falling off, so with every bite of food/water, there was either stinging, shooting, or ripping pain in random spots. It wasn’t dull and spread out like before, but rather localized to different regions. My ears were also suffering and water had this weird sweet flavor to it. I think my breath was also rank at this point. I am now day 8 post-op and I feel marginally better. Now, I only feel pain when I eat, especially if it’s a tiny bit spicy/sour/hot. As I said, this recovery has been a roller coaster, and if you’re looking at it hour by hour, it would seem as if you’re taking two steps back for every one step forward. Overall, however, I feel much better this week than I did last week.

Things I did that worked well: My main piece of advice is to try and live the same routine you had before surgery, but with modifications depending on the day of recovery and what kind of pain you’re in. Try to listen to your body and its needs, since there isn’t a “one fit all” way of dealing with this.
If you don’t need pain pills, don’t take them. Take the experience hour by hour and day by day. Pain pills have a lot of annoying side effects (especially constipation) that make your recovery even more miserable than it already is. If you can tough it out, tough it out. Mentally prepare yourself for the pain and the fact that it gets worse before it gets better.
Drink lots of ice water even if you feel like you don’t need it. Just keep on drinking throughout the whole two-week recovery period to help stave off any infections/premature cracks/fevers. I didn’t drink anything other than water (to avoid excess sugar), and I made sure to avoid alcohol too. The body is taxed enough as it is.
Try to resume a normal diet (apart from super spicy, hot, sharp, sour things) as soon as possible. The day I had the surgery, I was already eating mashed up fish and potatoes. Your body needs nutrients to recover, so having a liquid diet without need for it isn’t a wise choice. If you can eat solids, do it. Since days 5-7 were the worst for me, I turned to popsicles and other softer/colder things during this period (I still tried to eat solids though). However, because I was eating normally for the first 4 days, I had enough energy/nutrients to do this and didn’t end up losing lots of weight in the end. Make sure the food you eat isn’t junk either, but super nutritious and filling. I was eating plant-based and made sure to drink lots of green smoothies!
Do very light exercise as soon as possible. Some days, I was too tired to go, but some days (if I felt marginally better), I would force myself to go on a short walk around the neighborhood. I made sure to walk outside in the fresh air/sunshine and avoided crowds to prevent myself from catching something airborne. Not only does this speed up healing by circulating fresh blood, but it also helps with digestion, mood, energy levels, etc. Walking is your best friend for two weeks after surgery. They told me days 5-7 had the highest risk for bleeding, so I ended up being more sedentary then. However, days 1-4, I was on my feet.
Upkeep your oral hygiene. It’s amazing how much gunk collects on your tongue after sucking on all those sugary popsicles. I was brushing my teeth, flossing and scraping my tongue (to the best of my ability) daily to avoid excess buildup of bacteria.
Get lots of sleep with a humidifier right by your face. Since I wasn’t on pain pills, I didn’t set any alarms in the middle of the night to take them. I found that getting a solid block of sleep was worth the morning pain of re-moistening my throat. I tried for the first two nights to set an alarm every 3 hours to drink water, but I found that just disturbed my deep sleep (when healing happens) and didn’t make any difference. As long as you can breathe through your nose, your throat shouldn’t dry out (provided you’re keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day).

Things I didn’t do, but that might help:
Chewing sugarless gum to help get your jaw back in working order. I found that trying to eat a normal diet was exercise enough for my jaw, considering a five-minute meal took me 30 minutes-1 hour to get through.
Sucking on ice chips to avoid all the excess sugar in the popsicles (bacteria love sugar).

Best of luck!



I had my tonsils out about 3 weeks ago, I had a small bleed about a week after the op and went into hospital just to be safe. I ended up having a major bleed the next day and was rushed to theatre to stop the bleed. If you have any bleeding I would urge you to see a doctor just to be safe as a small bleed can be a sign that you will have a major bleed withing 24 hours. Feeling better now but it has taken a while to feel normal again!