Adult Tonsillectomy Recovery
Having a tonsillectomy as an adult is very painful, far more painful than a child tonsillectomy. The recovery period is about two weeks. This article contains some information to help you during your recovery. Be sure to follow your doctor's advice.
What to Expect After a Tonsillectomy
- Sore throat. It will hurt like it did the last time you had tonsillitis. It will get increasingly painful until the scabs come off.
- Ear pain. This is called "referred ear pain" because it's not really coming from your ear. It is not always present.
- Bad breath. This is common from the scabs.
- Weight loss. As you will not be able to consume your normal diet, you can expect to lose some weight.
- Change of voice. For the first week or so you may notice that your voice sounds different.
- Emotional changes. If you suffer severe pain and take strong medication you may find yourself getting very emotional.
- Feeling hungry. Since you cannot have your favourite foods, expect to feel hungry.
- Lack of sleep. Initially you will not be able to sleep for much longer than four or five hours at a stretch.
What to Eat After a Tonsillectomy
Eating will become one of your greatest challenges after your operation. The most important thing to remember is to keep your throat hydrated by drinking water. You should also time your medication so that it takes effect just before you start eating, so that eating is as painless as possible. Always consult your doctor for advice on what to eat after your tonsillectomy. What you eat will change as your recover. You should find that you can only eat very soft foods for the first few days and then slowly add rougher foods. Some doctors recommend rough foods from the beginning.
Here are some great ideas for what you can eat:
- Baby food
- Scrambled eggs
- Ice lollies/ice cream
- Desserts (though for some people, very sugary deserts are painful)
- Custard ... yum!
Your doctor will prescribe medication to take during your recovery. This will likely be an antibiotic to prevent or control bacterial infection, plus painkillers, also known as analgesics. If you get severe ear pain, your doctor may prescribe ear drops. Time your medication carefully; plan to eat during the first hour after taking your pain medication, as the drug will be most effective during this period. Ask your doctor how long it will take after you swallow it for your medication to reach its maximum effect.