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General Information about Tonsillectomy


Tonsillectomy, in simple terms is the surgical removal of tonsils; two masses of tissue located one on either side, at the back of the throat.


Usually, only the tonsils are removed. However, in some cases, it might be necessary to remove the adenoids, which are located by the side of the tonsil.

What are tonsils and adenoid?


Tonsils (also called palatine tonsils) are two masses of lymph type of tissues located on both sides of the back of the throat.

Adenoids (also called pharyngeal tonsil) are also types of tissues lying by the side but extend sometimes higher up almost behind the nose.


Both these play an important role in fighting the infections in the body; they are believed to produce antibodies against the bacteria, which enter through the nose and the mouth. But if these become infected or enlarged, the normal breathing and drainage is affected, leading to serious health harm.


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bmcclain1136, United States

I am a 44 year old mother of a four year old. I had the surgery done on 6/7/12. I am now into day 6 of surgery and I have never experienced anything like this before. I decided to have the procedure done at the advice of my physician, re-occuring throat infections and mild sleep apenea. I had heard all the horror stories about adults recovering longer than children and didn't think it could be that bad. Well I am here to tell you all it is very ture. This is by far the worst pain I have ever ever experienced in my life. If I had known it was this bad, there is no way I would have under went the surgery. Prior to surgery all I dranked was water and find it diffcult to do that now. My throat feels like someone has chips of glass scraping it. My ears, head, neck and shoulders hurt all the time. My mouth is constantly filled with thick salavia that makes me gag and I have to have a towel wrapped around my face so I don't soil my pillows and bed. I have done what they said......gargled with warm salty water, eat popsicles, drink fluids, and try to rest. I can hardly sleep at night because it's so painful and taken pain medicine has been a struggle becasue it burns soooo bad when I take it. I just sure hope that it was worth it because as of now I don't see how any good could come out of this intense pain. I didn't post this to scare anyone from this procedure by no means I am just letting you all know that this is very very very painful.

adimimum, India

For a healthy 31 years female like me, I thought Tonsillectomy is a minor operation, (my mother gone through it 2 years ago, now her recurrent pain & uncomfortability in the throat is lessen). ENT Surgeons told me about complications resulting from non treatment of Tonsillitis which includes cancer, arthritis, kidney and heart complications. In order to avoid all later life problems I underwent, but didn't realised it was going to be this difficult and painful.my mother recover sooner than I, Today is my post-op 5th day and I cannot put my painkillers away ,Dr Advised me- to Gargle every time I eat something even after the smallest snacks because food debris impacted on the unhealed tissues may cause infection again complicating it, take cold food for the 1st 2 weeks, don't cough too hard lest it should bleeds. But better suffer today than to regret later on.

sophmoz, United Kingdom

I'm a 20 year old girl and on day 5 post op.. The pain I have been in has been unbelievable and unexpected. I am usually the most up beat and out going person to be known, and all I have been able to do is sleep to forget the pain. Reading these comments from others has been very reassuring as I seemed to think I would recover within 5 days or so, when day 3-5 has certainly been the worst so far. I would advise anybody to KEEP ON TOP OF THE PAIN RELIEF.. I seemed to think I could do without and once I was consistent I noticed a difference.
What to expect:

White scabs
Painful to swallow
Ear ache
To be woken in the night by the pain
One side to recover quicker than the other
Not to eat normal foods straight away (like I did)

Don't be put off my my post.. I am simply typing this as I wish somebody warned me before I had my op. I am only thinking it's so bad as I was so unaware prior. DO not drink acidic drinks like fresh orange juice, I was doing this for days and wondering why it burnt so much?! DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!!!

Hope I haven't put you off but also hope it helps..

KTLed, United States

My daughter is 10 days out from post-op. She has just recently turned the corner and is just now feeling some relief from the pain. We have plans to camp with friends tonight, but I am concerned about the forecasted low of 25-30 degrees. Would it affect her health/recovery to sleep in the cold? We will be "car camping" so no strenuous activity. I'm just conficted on whether or not cold air for a prolonged period of time would be detrimental to her recovery.

KarlKatz, United States

This is a woefully oversimplified description of tonsillectomy recovery. Check out www.tonsillectomyrecovery.com for a deeper look. Oh, and skip the ice cream. It leaves a nasty film in the mouth and throat. Avoid all dairy.

Visit Tonsillectomy recovery

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