Couldn't find what you looking for?


I've been searching these posts looking for information on the recovery progress after a tonsillectomy and I've found the posts very helpful so I thought I would share my experience to help anyone who is due to have the op.

I had my tonsils removed 4 days ago on Christmas Eve. I had to have it done as I had been suffering from tonsillitis for 8 years ever since I contracted glandular fever. My tonsils were permanently swollen and covered in scar tissue. I'm 24 years old.

On the day of the operation, I went to the hospital admissions to get my wrist band before heading up to the ward. Once I was at the ward I was asked to change into a gown. I was allowed to keep my underwear on as long as it was 100% cotton. I was told I was the first person to be operated on that day so I sat on the bed and the nurse came to ask me some questions - things like if I had ate or drank anything before I came in. After I spoke to the nurse, the surgeon came and asked me the exact same questions followed by the anesthetist. This process took only 15 minutes. I was waiting only a further 15 minutes before the recovery team came to get me to take me down to theatre. I had to sit on a trolley and they asked me the same questions as the nurse had. They took me down to a recovery room where I waited about 10 minutes before the took me to the operating room. My mum was allowed to wait with me this whole time but she had to leave at this point.

In the operating room, the anesthetist put a cannula into my hand while a nurse added stickers to me to connect the leads for monitoring my heart rate. The nurse also gave me an oxygen mask and the anesthetist gave me something through the cannula. It only took a few minutes and I was knocked out. I was really nervous about the cannula being inserted but it didn't hurt at all. The anesthetist and nurse were cracking jokes and making me laugh so that really calmed me down.

When I woke up I was in the recovery room with a nurse sitting next to me. I still had on an oxygen mask. My throat felt like a had a little bit of a sore throat starting but the pain wasn't too bad, and I was talking to the nurses without any problems. The recovery team took me back up to the ward and I got into my bed. It had only been an hour since I'd left the ward for the operation!

When I was in bed, I sat up and read my magazines and I actually felt okay. They brought lunch in an hour later and I ate soup and cake with custard. I also drank lots of water. I live in the UK and the doctors here make you eat normal food as soon as possible. At one point when I got up to walk about, I felt like I was gagging and I coughed up some blood. The nurse checked my throat and my uvula was swollen and covering my full throat. This was the most uncomfortable experience of the whole op as it feels like I'm choking on something! For dinner I ate chicken breast, mashed potatoes and mashed turnip followed by ice cream.

As it was Christmas eve and because I managed to eat so much, the doctor discharged my that night although he would normally do this. I was given dissolving co-codamol (which can be bought in any chemist) to take at home and since I have got home I have barely used this as it isn't strong enough to take away the pain. Instead I've been using prescription painkillers my doctor actually gave me for my tonsillitis. I've been taking co-dydramol and solpadol, as well as ibruprofen.

When I got home on Christmas eve, I managed to eat two packets of cheese & onion crisps and ten starburst. The nurse told me to try to each as much crisps as I could as it scratches the back of the throat and thats good for it. You should each chewy sweets and chewing gum to help the jaw and the throat muscles. It wasn't painful eating the crisps as I could chew them into small pieces.

On Christmas day, I got up to open my presents and then I had some toast. After I ate the toast I felt really sick and I had a migraine so I went to bed. I slept the full day until about 4.30pm when I got up for Christmas dinner. I took some painkillers and managed to eat some steak, peppercorn sauce, breaded mushrooms, roast potatoes, veg and trifle. Again I was drinking loads of water. After dinner, I went back to bed. I slept right through only waking to take painkillers. I wake pretty much every four hours exactly as that's when the pain starts. I had cuts at the side of my mouth, which must be from the surgery.

On Boxing day (I'm not sure if this counts as day 2 or day 3) I woke up early. The pain was really bad but once I take my painkillers it more like a sore throat. It hurts to swallow my own saliva so I've kinda got used to sitting with my mouth open to dry it out a bit. The pain is worse when you wake up and gradually gets better. My uvula is still really swollen and there are white bits starting to form at the back of my throat. I found it really difficult to talk and form my words, and I speak with a different voice. It takes a lot of energy just to talk. On boxing day I was slightly feverish and spent most of the day in agony. I managed to each a mini pizza, toast, chicken and some potatoes, veg and a packet of crisps. My family also said there was a horrible smell coming from my throat which they could smell in my room and anytime I was near them. They said it smelled like something decaying or rotten food.

On the 27th I woke up early again, and once I took my painkillers I felt much better. I sat and watched tv and I ate some trifle (which feels great on your throat as it's nice and cold). I managed to have a bath today and was able to talk for longer, although I still can't form my words.I had a mini pizza for lunch. I had a nap in the afternoon for a couple of hours and then I had spaghetti for dinner. The pain was manageable today and it definitely felt like it was getting better. I have been brushing my teeth as normal, and I have been gargling with a salt water mix to clean the back of my throat. This seems to be working as my family told me my breath doesn't really smell any more.

Today (the 28th) I woke up and my throat was much worse than it was yesterday. I was unable to talk and I feel like I have ulcers under the back of my tongue and covering my throat. I've taken my painkillers about an hour ago and my throat is slightly better. I haven't been able to eat anything yet due to the ulcers on my tongue. My throat is covered in white stuff and my ears and jaw feel a bit sore today (although I haven't felt this before). If I didn't have the ulcers in my mouth, the pain would be manageable and I would be able to eat.
From the few times I've taken the co-codamol given to me at the hospital, I've been in more pain than when I take my own painkillers. They definitely don't seem strong enough to manage the pain, however it may be that I'm used to taking stronger painkillers for my throat which is why I don't find them so effective.

I hope this helps anyone who is looking for experiences on what it's like after a tonsillectomy. I wouldn't advise anyone on whether to get this done or not, as it's a personal decision and everyone will react differently. Although I'm in pain now, I'm looking forward to not having my tonsils and tonsillitis as I missed so much time off work for that, so I hope this will be worth it in the long run.


This story is very nearly the same as mine (different foods etc) but for the first few days I found myself eating and sleeping and drinking without too much discomfort. I'm now on day 7 and the pain in my throat is excruciating without co-codamol 30/500 x2 and 400mg Ibruprofen (the only cocktail to take away most of the pain)

I think its because a part of the right side of my throat has ulcered, its the only true cause of the pain and it radiates through to my ear drums. Without the ulcer I think I would be ok and the pain would be completely manageable.

I only drink room temperature water (anything cold stings like crazy) I also try to eat as much toast with butter and jam as I can handle because I'm told by the hospital that this cleans the wounds and helps the healing process, my advice is to eat coarse foods in the morning after the painkillers have kicked in and then soft foods until bedtime so that the throat isnt as painful when you try and sleep.

I wake up every 3-4 hours like clockwork due to pain and then sit up and hold my head until the painkillers kick in.

Its no bed of roses having a tonsillectomy and I'm very good with pain and enable myself to think past it in some kind of Bruce Lee kung fu style, but I really cant express how much this can actually hurt and for those who are no good with pain then I can only sympathise with them, It really f*cking hurts, trust me!

I remind myself why I'm putting myself through this and for 2 weeks of pain I save myself the following:

Colds and flu at the drop of a hat normally followed by throat infections and chest infections
Big golf balls in the back of my throat making me snore
Horrid little chunks of white smelly sh*t coming out of the crypts in my tonsils giving me bad breath
The run down feeling of always catching bugs

If you suffer from a few or all of the above then yes its gonna hurt and yes you wil wonder at times why you brought this on yourself, but 2 weeks of pain for a lifetime free of throat problems, BRING ON THE PAIN!!!


I've found all the comments on this site great! I had my tonsils removed on sunday 27th July, today is Thurs 31st! I am finding it quite hard to get the pain under control as they tell you not to take the pain killers anymore than advised but there's just no way I could leave 8 hours between the Voltrazol even though I'm taking co-codamol 50/300 it's still not taking the pain away. I find morning time the most painful and it usually takes an hour after waking in horrific pain for the pain killers to kick in! I keep questioning if it was the right thing to do having my tonsils out but I know it's just the pain making me doubt myself... I can already feel the difference of being able to breathe alof easier with them out so I am keeping everything crossed for no more sore throats or tonsillitis. To anyone thinking about having their tonsils out I'd say be prepared, it's no walk in the park and the pain really is bad but hopefully this time next week I'll be pain free and enjoying life without my tonsils :)!