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This post is an extension of the

Post tonsillectomy - taste thread.

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I did post some time ago but it was never put up....
I thought it only fair to let people know i had my first op in december and the following emergency op just before christmas a week later. I lost all taste and now in May i have the same issue. I am so depressed, nobody understands the loss. My ENT surgeon is sympathetic but has told me I should start to accept it is gone for good thtough irrepairable nerve damage during the second operation.
I can sometimes get a mild taste but all the foods and drinks I used to love are gone......eating is a depressing sad thing for me to do. I was tried on steroids which made me absolutely starving all the time and I put back on half a stone in weight and got acne and low mood, I am just getting over the steroid experience. I can only say I hope all on here get their taste back, prayers and wishes for me have gone unheard and I cant explain the feeling I have right now.......
Best of luck and gods will for all of you in recovery.

J
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Hello, thank you so much for posting your experience. I am so sorry you have lost your taste permenantly. I have never really took time to think about the gift of taste until now. For me, I can't taste a lot of things but sugary things taste awful. It is way depressing during holidays etc and watching people eat all of your favorite foods that now make you gag. My ENT says my taste should come back it will just take time. So I'm holding on to ever scrap of hope that I have.
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I had my surgery on the 20th of July and even though I can still smell all the good smells of foods, they all taste weird and kind of gross. Even though I am glad that I am not alone, it does not make me feel better. Especially when some of these people who have posted over the past couple of years never recover their sense of taste. I too think it is a high price to pay for not having another ear infection or strep throat again... I get ear infections all the time and strep throat too, I am 32 and I have had this problem since I was born finally to get my tonsils removed but I would hate to lose the sense of taste in the mix. I wish someone would come back on and say... yes, I got my sense of taste back, it took "x" amount of months but I finally can taste the food that smells so good. I almost gag everytime I eat. Really the only thing that tastes good is ice cream, other sweet things taste like they are rotten, other food items that are savory are gross too. It is so weird... :'(
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I'm a 63 year old male who had my tonsils and adenoids removed on May 8th, because of sleep apnea. About a week after surgery, I noticed a very foul taste and/or smell. It was very hard to tell if it was one or the other, or if it was both. The nearest I could describe the taste or smell was that it most closely resembled the taste and/or smell of the gas in the gas chamber, when I was in the service. Fortunately, that only lasted about two weeks.

Now, I still sense a nasty taste or smell. It's not as extreme as before, but I sometimes find it necessary to put a mint into my mouth to help overcome the bad taste or smell. Sweets are the only things that taste like they should, but I'm diabetic and shouldn't eat a lot of those. Other foods just don't taste like they should. Pizza, buffalo wings, steaks and a lot of other things that I used to just LOVE, really aren't enjoyable anymore.

I mentioned the bad taste or smell to my surgeon and he didn't seem to have a clue what I was talking about. This board is the only validation I have found for this problem! I knew that I wasn't just imagining the problem, but it's at least a little settling to know that other people are experiencing the same things.

I told my wife about the problem and told her not to take offense at anything I said about the taste of the food, because I was just sure that there was something going on with my sense of taste and/or smell. I told her that some foods just taste like "c**p," so she fixed something that she thought would taste better, then asked me how it tasted. I told her that it still tasted like "c**p," but it was a DIFFERENT KIND of "c**p" than the other food, so that was a good thing!

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about this, but is this the best it will get? It's becoming very discouraging!
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Some hope:

I too had horrible taste loss after my tonsil surgery in May 2009. Really could only tolerate liquids. It started to get better after a few months but seemed to reach a plateau. Now i think it is getting better so slowly that I can barely notice the improvement. I still try to stay away from breads, cakes, etc as much as possible, but they have become tolerable.

My ENT gave me a pretty good explanation. He said there are taste buds on the actual tonsils, which could contribute to some of this. Also, as far as the difficulty and weirdness of swallowing dry foods, he said that the swallowing process is dramatically altered without tonsils. The swallowing process is not as tight and compact as when I had tonsils, so it takes longer to chew and swallow (meaning nothing is helping to force the food down). It may take months for the body to "relearn" how to swallow.

I do think I will have permanent taste loss to some degree, but it has gotten to the point where I can definitely deal with it so don't give up hope!
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Hey guys - I am 6 days post op now and was curious about this taste disruption I was experiencing.

Unlike most of the posts in the other thread I am finding sour and salty things most unpleasant, and sweet things just fine.

Salt tastes kinda sweet and watery to me, so all main dishes are just revolting.

I don't usually eat desserts, but the bonus there is that they are very nice o.O

The real disaster however is wine - I think my surgeon cut my wine pallet out with my tonsils.

Ok, my liver might thank him, but it's most disconcerting. :-(

The good news it that I am under the impression my taste is slowly returning to normal already.
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Just thought I would update this from my previous post.

9 days post op now and my taste has returned to normal :-D

Right, where's that chardonnay :-P
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My ENT also didn't bother to mention this potentially life-altering side-affect. I am now 20-days post-operative & foods taste normal-ish on the tip of my tongue but lousy on the back & I *always* have a bad taste in the back of my mouth. I still crave the same things & unfortunately my appetite has completely returned so I'm not losing weight anymore (I still eat & try to remember what it used to taste like) and it's *really* depressing. I'm not a fan of our overly litigious society, but I feel these ENTs need to be held accountable when they don't even bother to mention such a serious long-term side affect. Would I have had the operation had I know about this possible outcome? Duhno. Probably not. I would have at very least not prematurely stopped taking the liquid Lortab thinking it was the cause of the bad taste ... the pain on top of this really sucked.

The worst is the total helplessness I feel. Everytime I met with him I felt rushed & after the operation hi poked his head in the room my wife was waiting in & simply said the operation went fine & left. That's it. The pain ... sucks. I talk for 8-9 hours a day solid & after a week and a half I was worried about returning a couple days later when I hadn't been talking more than a couple minutes a day yet. I met with the ENT who extended it another week & gave me more liquid Lortab, but I didn't mention the taste issue then because I thought it was a side affect of the medicine. Now, I return to work in 2 days & my voice still is weak, my tongue feels fat in the back & I am a little difficult to understand. I want to meet with him ... I want to tell him that he ruined my taste and didn't have the decency to tell me it could happen ... but I sure as you-know-where don't want to pay him for the privilege. I think this is why many of the referenced ENTs said that they never encountered it, follow-up care sucks & people don't want to pay to report something that they can tell from online research that there is nothing that can be done.

I am 33 years old & the thought of spending the next 6-12mos or possibly forever with malfunctioning taste ... I don't expect anyone who is not experiencing this to understand how depressing it is. I could stand to lose 20lbs but this is a horrific way to do so. If I had some assurance that it would be temporary it would be less bad ... but I don't. My wife is getting frustrated that everything she cooks tastes like c**p to me. The only 2 things that I have found so far that aren't as affected by this are eggs and croissants. My thought on the former is that the "bad" taste is somewhat sulfuric & therefore less noticeable with eggs & I only ate croissants as part of egg sandwiches. I ate the better part of 5 cartons of "Kirkland Real Egg Product" (basically just egg whites, from Costco, ~8 eggs per carton, about 3 dozen eggs) in the first 2 weeks after the first couple days that I ate nothing but rootbeer popsicles.

If anyone would like to contact me, likewise without quotes (posted this way to avoid spam).
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My experience was'nt too bad. I noticed that everything had a metallic taste in the first week. After that I had 80% of my taste back, but some things still tasted quite bad. I dunno why but eggs tasted the worst. I remember eating alot of sugary things during my recovery eriod which is quite unlike me! I very sorry to hear about permanent loss of taste, thats aweful. I suffered from a tingling in my finger for about 6 months after I had tonsilitus because of the drip that was in my arm. The doctor said that the drip had irritated a nerve and this was the reason for the nerve damage. It has fully healed now. :-D
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Thank goodness for all your posts about bad taste after tonsillectomy!! It is depressing. I am not a foodie. Salty is OK, broths etc. Cream of WHeat. But forget bread, sweets, and juice and fruit. I miss the last two so much! My surgery was 12/29/09. Recovered quick. Drank tons of icewater and it helped. But now the 2 things bothering me are :

1. A feeling of gagging on the left side like "something is there".
2. Metallic bad taste toward the end of chewing/before swallowing. In the beginning of chewing is OK...except for sweets, chinese, bread, cookies etc...yuck.

My dr is NOT helpful. Said he "didn't know" and "doesn't see anything there Regarding the gagging."...

I AM glad they are gone. He said when he went to grab them to pull them out the c**p came out of them. GOOD RIDDANCE! and I "think" my body feels better not dealing with that c**p there. Had tonsil stones... Um..."ewe"? Glad that is gone.

Please, if someone gets their taste back PLEASE POST!

It reminds me in "pirates of the carribean" movie. The dead captain could not enjoy eating an apple. I never realized that taste/eating IS one of the enjoyments of life. I still get hungry and eat. But it is the perfect diet because you eat to sate your appetite and then stop because there is no pleasure in getting seconds. Lost 10 lbs..but still would like to taste some things I miss... :-(
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I am two weeks post op, and I am having a some what similar situation. However I can see my taste buds swollen on the back on my tongue. They are small clear bumps. I too can taste on the tip of my tongue but not the back. However things don’t taste horrible.. just taste like nothing. I can eat starches and not have a bad taste, but sweets do put a bad taste in my mouth. I am very hopeful that my taste will be normal in a few weeks. Water does not taste bad either. I also don’t taste metallic.. REALLY HOPING I have a mild case. I LOVE FOOD! Also I was not informed of this condition by my doctor. But honestly I would have still gone through the procedure.. What are the chances of this happening? I hope God is on my side. :-D
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Hi there
I had my tonsillectomy 8 months ago and had total loss of taste, with the bitterness of the mouth others describe. I spoke to my (unsympathetic) ENT surgeon who said this can happen (rarely) when the nerves are strained with the use of the gag used to pull the tongue down. I've kept looking on here for just a glimmer of hope and not found much, which is why i felt it was important to post now my taste has started to improve.
The first glimmer of hope came at 6 months when syrup, which had tasted of oil, had a hint of sweetness. 2 months on and things are still slowly improving, to now being at a tolerable level.
So to everyone who felt as desperate as i did, keep your hopes up, as i'm sure things will soon get better x
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So, I can't believe that I finally found a current discussion board about this. I had my surgery on November 12, 2009 and it is now February 23, 2010---My taste is still extremely distorted. I keep thinking that it is getting better but then I realize most things still taste awful. I think it would be interesting if everyone who posts on here says how many months it's been and what currently is on their o.k. to eat list and no way I am eating that list. I feel that this has changed over time but have a few"go to"items that are bearable. NOTHING tastes the way it did before to me but here are my lists:
btw-Does everyone with this taste disturbance have the sour taste coming from the back of their mouth? AND does the first bite taste normal usually?

3 1/2 months post op

Bearable food: Entammen's raspberry danish, red wine, pretzel crisps, now and later candy, chinese food, steak (meats with no sauces or heavy spices) freshly baked bread/breadsticks, plain cheeseburgers, fresh cookies


Unbearable food: Soda, chocolate, cheese, cream sauces, the entire chip aisle, yogurt, lunch meat, boxed cookies, salad, beer
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My surgery was on 02/12/10. Eating has been quite challenging. I still have a small amount of pain. My post-op pain was the most severe pain I have ever felt in my life. 1000mg of Percocet only took the edge off and never made me pain free. Now I have an achey, sore throat feeling. Most foods are tolerable to eat in terms of physical comfort, but the taste distortion is driving me crazy. Sweets are the worst. It's Girl Scout cookie time and Thin Mints and Samoas, which were my favorite, are all mucked up. I can somewhat taste the mint and the toasted coconut, but any chocolate and sweet aspect comes across as a rusty, metallic taste. Coca-Cola... you know what it tastes like when the fountain machine runs out of syrup... that's how it tastes. I can really only taste bold and/or salty flavors. I am certainly hoping that this is temporary, even if it takes six months.

Since my pain was so severe and is on-going, I don't know if they cut deep into the tonsil bed or if there is still swelling, which in effect may be pressing on the nerve. It should be noted that I did observe bruising on my tongue for a few days following surgery. I also had tremendous issues keeping my mouth moist the first few days due to simultaneous nose turbinate surgery that required me to wear a dressing which cause mouth breathing. I woke up many times with a completely dry mouth and my tongue felt quite odd. Maybe one or more of these has caused my issue. My post-op follow-up is today and I'm really hoping my ENT has some encouraging words of wisdom for me. Fingers crossed...
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