Tonsillectomy Surgery Experiences...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    Hi Everyone...

    So I get recurrent tonsilitis and strep and all that... and so my doctor sent me to an ENT who recommended that I get them removed. Have any of you had this surgery in ADULTHOOD.... and care to share your experiences with the procedure and recovery process? I've heard its pretty bad... and as a grad student, the only time I have off to 'recover' is over winter break.

    Any thoughts/comments/stories?

    Thanks
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    Nov 05, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    I understood it is now a 1-day out-patient procedure for most adults. When I had it done as a child in the 1950s it was a week in the hospital, mostly due to complications with the general anesthesia in my case. What has your doctor told you to expect?
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    Nov 05, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    I had mine removed a couple years ago....3 years ago I think it was. The operation itself was fine. They put me out, never knew what happened...I even woke up and felt GREAT!!! I could talk, I felt so rested, I was laughing and everything....it was wonderful. I even went out to eat right after....I had soup at Olive Garden. Went shopping at walmart and all that jazz....

    The Dr. warned me though that the pain would be the worst about the 4th day afterwards....boy he wasn't kidding. It hurt so bad that my jaw would just shake and tremble. All I would eat was soup and stuff like that. It took a good week and 1/2 to two weeks to feel better.

    Good luck to you man....I dont mean to make it sound so terrible but thats how I felt. I was having back to back strep and everytime the dr's would look down my throat he'd say "wow their huge!" haha thats one area that size matters also...haha

    The dr said by the time they took them out that one tonscil had swollen and almost covered my airway all the way over to the other side...the nurses even commented on how big they were....haha

    The funny part was when I came to from being put under the anesthesiologist was saying "we dont talk like that in here!" Apparently I must have been cussing them all out while I was under, lmao!!!

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    Nov 05, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    Yes. I had them removed when I was 26. I was warned that tosillectomies are more painful for an adult, and they weren't lying.

    I don't remember the procedure at all, they knocked me out good. I was ill after I woke up and the anesthesia wore off. I threw up a couple of times at home, and slept most of the day.

    It hurt like hell for about two weeks. Swallowing and speaking is excruciating. I would try to keep from coughing, it can open the incisions. Your throat will feel dry from time to time, drink warm water. Cold water hurts more. Gargle with salt water for a while and move on to mouthwash after a week. I was back to normal after a month or so.

    I would stick with soft foods for a week. Stay away from anything salty. Any kind of tough food isn't helpful. I made the big mistake of eating pizza too soon afterwards. Don't go there!

    Get well soon. I hope this helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 3:16 PM GMT
    The procedure in most instances is done as an outpatient, so there is no hospitalization involved. I have been told that the post op throat discomfort can be significant.

    If you haven't read about the indications for tonsillectomy and what to expect, here are two articles from major med schools.

    http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_tonect_crs.htm

    http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B_EXTRANET_HEALTH_INFORMATION-FlexMember-Show_Public_HFFY_1104449349294.html

    Have a Speedy Recovery
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Nov 05, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    Um I had a horrible experience around 15 years old. I was always sick as a kid with what we thought was strep throat on like a bi-monthly basis. In reality it was just the common cold, cause I still get sick often today with them. Anyways, I had my tonsils removed in the hospital. It seemed like it went well. I had changed and was in the hospital washrooms washing off my face when all of a sudden I opened my mouth and blood started pouring out like a waterfall. I kid you not, it was really horrifying. My mom was there fortunately and she ran into the hallway calling for help. In a few seconds I had like 8 Drs and Nurses around me pressing some cotton swab against my throat to get the bleeding to stop. It did, but not for long, and after recurring bleeding episodes I went in for Surgery #2 to stop the bleeding. While after this second time the bleeding was minimal (but still present, even the next day at home!), the whole scenario was actually quite traumatizing. For months thereafter I remember constantly spitting into a napkin or the sink to see if my throat was bleeding. Ugh. It took me awhile to get over that.

    Anyways, point here I guess is that there are risks involved with surgery. I wasn't necessarily an adult, but I wasn't a kid either. The Drs suggested that part of the reason I bled so much was that there may have been an underlying infection before the surgery. Whatever.

    Most tonsilectomy surgeries I've heard are pretty routine and normal. Best of luck! In retrospect I was just super glad that we have universal health care in Canada lol.

    Tony
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    Nov 05, 2009 4:15 PM GMT
    Hands down, worst experience of my life. I was 21 when I had the surgery performed. Since I'd had 7 strep infections in the preceding year, I pretty much had no other option. I'd been on so much prednisone (steroid) that I was gaining weight like a madman, and still, my throat always felt like it was closing and that I'd choke anytime I swallowed even water.

    To keep this short, the pain of the surgery is terrible. I'm not saying this to scare you, but more to prepare you. Make sure you get good painkillers. I had roxicet (i.e., liquid percocet), which was awesome. I don't know if this is abnormal, but healing took forever for me. A year later, and I was still having intermittent trouble swallowing. However, I don't regret the decision to have the surgery.

    Regarding your recovery time schedule, you should be able to get back on your feet before classes resume, if you give yourself 7-10 days. It will still be rough, but at that point, you'll be in a much better shape than 5 days post-op. If you have any questions, feel free to private message me!

    GOOD LUCK!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 4:19 PM GMT
    I had mine out when I was six years old. My parents "sold" me on the idea of the hospitalization and surgery by repeatedly telling me about how much ice cream I would be able to eat. I went for it - and had no problems.
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    Nov 05, 2009 4:26 PM GMT

    I had mine out when I was in my thirties. I stayed in the hospital for a few days afterward because it was easier to get effective pain relief. I had no complications, but my throat was sore (and then itchy) for a week or ten days after the operation and I was just pretty run down for about the same time - in part probably due to the pain meds.

    In the end, I'd say it was worth it. I had been plagued with throat infections and haven't had one since getting rid of my tonsils.

    Just make sure you have a doctor who believes that pain control is priority and then stay ahead of the pain. It seems to be much easier to stop serious pain from developing than to bring it under control once you're really uncomfortable.

    Best of luck.
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:09 PM GMT
    I vaguely remember how it was for me as a kid. But, I think I was there for maybe a couple of days. I had A LOT of work done... tonsils & adenoids removed & ear tubes placed in my ears. I don't think the surgery was bad... however having the ear tubes and not getting water in them (which was a bitch) then having he tubes removed... FML! That was the most painful experience ever. Not even the complications from my septoplasty were as painful as that mess.
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    Feb 17, 2012 3:48 AM GMT
    I'm bringing this back from the dead because 3 years later, I am actually getting my tonsils out, two weeks from now. lol.

    Any other experiences / suggestions on how to deal with the pain?
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Feb 17, 2012 4:06 AM GMT
    You make it very clear to the doctor that you do not deal well with pain and that you want the meds at home waiting for you before you go into surgery.

    Actually, discussing recovery with the nurse might be a good idea. Nurses are the people who get to deal with things after the doctor leaves. Ask what the best way to get ready may be and if you don't have a food processor/blender, get one or both. Stock up on suggested foods.

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    Feb 17, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    I don't have anything helpful, as I got mine out when I was 4, but I remember the pain was blissfully relieved temporarily by swallowing ice cream icon_smile.gif

    It did cure my constant and exquisitely panful ear infections tho, so I'm sure you'll be glad you did it... At some future date!

    * hugz *
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:14 AM GMT
    I had my tonsils out when I was 21. It wasn't terrible. The first couple days just take it easy. With the pain meds, it feels like you have a sore throat. You'll be in a bit more pain days 3-6 as the throat scabs...sounds fun right? Just make sure to have a lot of soft food. Good luck!
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:19 AM GMT
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    Feb 17, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    I had mine out when I was 16. Not really adult, but definitely not a kid either.

    I remember all my friends were outside doing things or working or at the beach and I had to stay inside and recover.

    Get used to a lot of broth, smoothies, and applesauce.
    Also, you'll be texting or IMing everything for a while. I had to use a dry-erase board to talk to my family.

    So why did you wait until now to get the tonsillectomy done?
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:06 AM GMT
    I had mine out at 19 and had a fairly good experience. No complications and the roxicet (a liquid opiate) was great the weeks after. Was in at six and out by noon. Took a week to be back to working order/ off drugs long enough to drive. Would def recommend a week off (i took my freshman spring break). Dont eat dairy, avoid strong citrus, be prepared to lose some weight cuz the first week is basically no real solids but things like fruit cups and other cold stuff. Opiates ruin your apetite anyway. Eat as much as you can, stay hydrated, dont do any strenuous activity until its completely healed. If you've had your wisdom teeth out, its not even similar, so dont gauge it by that.
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:13 AM GMT
    Well, I'm 45 and have never had surgery of any kind.

    I don't think I've ever had strep and my last sinus infection I picked up at a doc office getting a new-job drug test...9 months ago.

    Did this suddenly change for you guys? Or was this an ongoing thing?
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:24 AM GMT
    Wow, forum necromancy... revived from the dead after more than 2 years! icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    I'm only here to wish you well. I've never had surgery for anything ever personally, so the thought of it to me is incredibly nerve-wrecking, if not outright terrifying. It doesn't help either that I've been watching movies lately dealing with 17th-Century European culture, still believing in the ideology of balance between the bodily humors, and bloodletting was thought to be helpful and amputations were done while a patient was fully conscious. icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 11:20 PM GMT
    Uhg. Glad this was posted, but I just got my third case of strep in 3 months - 3 more positives this year and they're planning to take my tonsils too.

    Fun~ icon_sad.gif
  • houtxbballer

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    Feb 19, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    I had the surgery almost 2 yrs ago. The doc told me recovery is worse as you get older and she wasn't kidding. My only advice is make sure you have taken your pain medicine before attempting to swallow anything. You'll thank me later!
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    Feb 19, 2012 3:33 PM GMT
    I'm happy I did it, I used to get strep at least once if not more a year, since having this surgery 7 years ago, I can't remember the last time I had strep.