I am 44 an American living in Hong Kong. I had my tonsils removed here three weeks ago, as an inpatient, using cold blunt dissection. I had a ENT specialist as the surgeon and I don't know if that was the important factor or what, but I have to say it is not anywhere near as bad as I have feared or read about.

One thing my doc insisted on was to get chewing and swallowing (cool oatmeal and porridge at first) just about 12 hours after surgery and before he would discharge me. He insisted the chewing and swallowing promoted faster healing.

From discharge (22 hrs after surgery) I was on a modern (sadly not yet approved in the US), non blood thinning anti inflammatory (nicox tab) along with tylenol with codine tablets (Panadine). To me the nicox was more helpful than the pain killers. I am now only taking a few tylenol every few days and while there is still some inflammation and sore throat pain, I have no trouble eating or anything else. The doc expects I have a week or two more of slight discomfort before I am back to 100 percent. His direct quote was that a lot of people have problems with pain and bleeding because they do not chew and swallow soft food quickly enough.

He also had me use a medicinal gargle (antiseptic and anti inflammatory) for three weeks. I did need a pretty strong injection for both pain and inflammation in the night immediately after surgery, but by the next morning I was able to eat soft diet and was up to even some warm solid foods like meat and poultry within a week.

Ice ice and ice both inside and out is a good bet as well, plus the chewing & swallowing soft foods, which apparently promotes blood flow (better healing) and helps polish off the exudes (scabs) slowly so that they are not coming off in clumps ( I was told this also helps prevent post op bleeding).

I have had no bleeding, and generally a downward progression of pain since the first night (with a few punctuation when I tired to literally bite off more than I should chew).

As to bowel movement, light walking (and of course eating and drinking)is a must to help rewaken the bowels, which are also put to sleep with the general anesthetic. I started walking just a bit while I was still in hospital and by day 2 my bowel was back to pretty normal.