Tonsillitis - Treatment 

Treating tonsillitis 

Preventing infection

It's not always easy to avoid catching viral infections that are spread by coming into contact with germs.

However, following good hygiene practices can help prevent infections spreading.

For example, always:

  • wash your hands frequently
  • cough and sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it in the bin
  • avoid sharing glasses or utensils with people who are ill

Read more about how to stop germs spreading.

There's no specific treatment for tonsillitis and most cases get better without treatment within a week.

While waiting for the infection to clear up, there are a number of things you can do to help relieve your symptoms (see below).

If your child has tonsillitis, make sure they have plenty to eat and drink, even if they find it painful to swallow. Being hungry and dehydrated can make other symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness, worse.


Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, can help relieve painful symptoms such as a sore throat.

If treating your children with painkillers, it's important that you use the correct type and dosage. Younger children only need small dosages. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you about this.

Children under 16 years of age shouldn't be given aspirin.

Over-the-counter treatments that can soothe a sore throat, such as lozenges and oral sprays, are also available. Some people find that gargling with a mild antiseptic solution can also help relieve a sore throat.

Alternatively, you could try gargling with warm, salty water. Mix half a teaspoon of salt (2.5g) with a quarter of a litre (eight ounces) of water. It's important not to swallow the water so this method may not be suitable for younger children.


Antibiotics may not be prescribed even if tests confirm that your tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The two main reasons for this are:

  • in most cases, antibiotics won't speed up the recovery but they can cause unpleasant side effects, such as stomach pain and feeling sick
  • the more an antibiotic is used to treat a non-serious infection, the greater the chance it won't be effective in treating more serious infections; this is known as antibiotic resistance

However, exceptions are usually made if:

  • symptoms are severe
  • symptoms show no sign of easing
  • you or your child has a weakened immune system

In these circumstances, a 10-day course of penicillin is usually recommended. If you or your child is known to be allergic to penicillin, an alternative antibiotic, such as erythromycin, can be used.

Hospital treatment may be required for particularly severe or persistent cases of bacterial tonsillitis that don't respond to oral antibiotics. In these cases, intravenous antibiotics that are given directly into a vein may be needed.

Antibiotics sometimes cause mild side effects, such as an upset stomach, diarrhoea or rash.


Surgery to remove the tonsils is known as a tonsillectomy.

In most cases, a tonsillectomy will only be recommended if you meet certain criteria. You must have:

  • a sore throat caused by tonsillitis
  • five or more episodes of sore throat in a year
  • symptoms that last for at least a year
  • episodes of sore throat that are disabling and stop you functioning normally

Tonsillectomies are carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep during the procedure. Your mouth will be held open to allow the surgeon to see your tonsils and no cuts will be made in your skin.

The operation can be carried out in a number of ways as described below.

  • Cold steel surgery – this is the most common method, where a surgical blade is used to cut the tonsils out. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure or the blood vessels may be sealed using heat generated by diathermy.
  • Diathermy – a diathermy probe is used to destroy the tissue around the tonsils and to remove the tonsils. At the same time, the heat seals the blood vessels to stop any bleeding.
  • Coblation (or cold ablation) – this method works in a similar way to diathermy but uses a lower temperature (60C). It's considered less painful than diathermy.
  • Lasers – high energy laser beams are used to cut away the tonsils and seal the underlying blood vessels shut.
  • Ultrasound – high energy ultrasound waves are used in a similar way to lasers.

Each of these techniques is relatively similar in terms of safety, results and recovery so the type of surgery used will depend on the expertise and training of the surgeon.

You'll usually be able to leave hospital on the same day as you have surgery or the day after.

After surgery

After surgery it's likely you'll experience some pain at the site of the operation. This can last for up to a week. Painkillers can help relieve the pain.

Children who have had a tonsillectomy should be kept off school for two weeks. This is to reduce their risk of picking up an infection from another child that will make them feel more uncomfortable.

Swallowing will probably be difficult after having a tonsillectomy. However, it's important to eat solid foods because it will help your throat to heal more quickly. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid acidic drinks, such as orange juice, because they will sting.

Ensuring good oral hygiene by regularly brushing your teeth and using mouthwash can help prevent infection in the mouth.

The pain usually gets worse during the first week after having a tonsillectomy before gradually improving during the second week. Earache is common with tonsillectomies but isn't a cause for concern.

Post-operative bleeding

Bleeding at the site where the tonsils were removed is a fairly common complication of a tonsillectomy. This can occur during the first 24 hours following surgery or up to 10 days afterwards.

It's estimated that around one in 100 children and one in 30 adults will experience post-operative bleeding after having a tonsillectomy.

Minor bleeding isn't usually a cause for concern because in most cases it resolves by itself. Gargling with cold water can often help stem the bleeding because the cold helps to contract the blood vessels.

Occasionally, the bleeding can be more severe, causing people to cough up blood. Seek immediate medical advice if this happens. You should be given an emergency contact number before you're discharged from hospital. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111.

Extensive bleeding may need to be treated with surgery or a blood transfusion.   

Page last reviewed: 09/04/2014

Next review due: 09/04/2016


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The 59 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Stanno1988 said on 31 October 2014

I am a 26 year old male and I had a tonsillectomy in Leicester on 06/10/2014. When I got the ok to have this op I was told it would be up to 4 months before I heard, but I got a letter from the NHS inside two weeks to go in for my "pre-assess" and then 3 weeks after I had a phone call asking me to go in for my op on 06/10. Day of the op was straightforward, staff very friendly. Don't be worried about the op at all - its so quick and is over in no time. The anesthetist explained all about the anesthetic and then the surgeon came and explained the procedure. About an hour later I was taken to theater. I looked at the clock as they were putting me under and it was 11:10am and when I woke up and saw a clock again it was 12:20pm so it doesn't take long. I was wheeled to the ward and within an hour of being awake I had cottage pie shoved under my nose and told to get it down me. This was painful and very difficult to eat. Advice - lots of ice cold water! I was discharged at 8pm the same day - it would have been sooner but I hadn't passed water since before the op and they don't let you leave til you do. The worst part of the whole thing is the after pain. They kicked me out of the hospital with paracetamol and ibuprofen and that's it. Believe me when the anesthetic wears off that doesn't even touch the pain. I had to call my GP on my first day home to get extra medication it was so painful. They gave me codeine, but this did nothing. I called again the next day and got some tramadol too and finally the pain eased. Advice - ask for these before you leave hospital. During the day the pain is bearable if you drink lots of ice cold water regularly - lots! If you wake up at night beware - your throat will be dry and its agony. I was crying at 3am because it hurts that much at night. My advice is set an alarm every 1.5-2 hours to wake yourself and take a drink. You wont regret it I promise. Any more than that it is horribly painful if left.

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Maisey09 said on 16 September 2014

Hi I’m a 26 year old female &I had my tonsillectomy on 26/8/14. I thought I would give my input on my experience.At the start of this year 2014 my ENT doctor decided that it would an option to have my tonsils removed & I was placed on the waiting list.
I went down to theatre about 10.45am & that was it until I woke up in recovery.
Initially my throat was sore and uncomfortable but was bearable. I was kept in hospital for a further 4 hours for observation and within that time I was asked to drink and eat. I was discharged around about 3.30pm.The weeks that followed were not pleasant but I found bearable. I kept on top of my pain meds at all times! Even if this meant setting an alarm to wake me up during the night. As hard as it is you must eat & drink as soon as possible! As much as it will hurt you need to keep the throat muscles moving.
Strangely after swallowing the first few mouth full of food, I found the pain oddly ease off.
In-between food I was also chewing gum, this help kept my mouth moist and produced salvia. If possible try to wake up a few times within the night to drink some fluid, it will honestly help, otherwise sleeping right through to the morning will be agonizing!
Early hours of day 11 I woke up to a bad bleed, which did result in me being admitted back into hospital for a further 24 hrs for observation. Somehow I had caught an infection which had caused the bleeding. I was just unlucky as the chances on bleeding after the operation is small.
I don’t regret my surgery. Yes it has been painful, but bearable! I think I it’s been no worse than when I’ve had bad spells of tonsillitis.
For me the worst part of the whole recovery was the bleed and the inconvenience of having to go back into hospital! If I can do it anyone can, Good luck!

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Wilky1974 said on 06 August 2014

After reading so many different accounts of the experience that people have had with their tonsillectomy I thought I would also contribute. The first thing I would say is read Birdie18's post below. It is pretty much spot on and I found it the most positive and useful post that I read on the Internet! Beforehand I got myself into a real state and was worrying a lotl. The day of the op came and I made my way to hospital at 07:00. The staff there were awesome. Very reassuring and answered all of my questions. They are used to dealing with people who are nervous so just be honest with them if you are scared. I was, I told them that I was and they were great. Luckily I was the first procedure of the day. I was taken to theatre at 09:00, had a tiny injection in my hand which I didn't feel and the next thing I knew it was 11:00 and I awoke in the recovery room. My throat was dry but not massively painful at all - just a little uncomfortable. I was then wheeled back to the ward where I was given a couple of pieces of toast and a jug of water. I expected it to REALLY hurt when I ate them but it didn't. I took a bite of toast, a sip of water and then swallowed. That was it! Once I had finished my toast and water I was discharged and by 13:10 I was sat at home on my sofa watching TV. I had a snooze and woke up early evening. Again I wasn't really in any pain at all. Just uncomfortable and a little sore. To get me through the days that followed I drank a lot of ice water, ate noodles, breaded chicken and fish fingers and generally took things easy. I kept on top of my pain killers ensuring I spread them out over the day and just kept myself hydrated. The pain was nowhere that which I had experienced when I had suffered bouts of tonsillitis. It really wasn't that bad at all! I am now on Day 7 since my operation and I feel okay. The worst bit of the entire procedure has been the horrible taste in my mouth and my foul smelling breath! So lots of mints and salt water rinses.

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Birdie18 said on 26 July 2014

I had my tonsillectomy 3 days ago and, for what it is worth, here is my advice.
. Firstly, get off the internet! I was petrified before the operation and was genuinely terrified that I wouldn't wake up from the anaesthetic. Other people have a different pain threshold to you and may be able to deal with things better, they will also be in different hospitals with different doctors - what happens to them won't necessarily happen to you. If you're scared talk to a family member or a friend, if you're worried they won't understand, talk to the nurses when you get to the hospital. They have heard it all before, trust me, you're not the only one!
. EAT! It hurts, there is no getting around that. I personally found it just as difficult to swallow water as I did a sandwich. Eating not only helps the healing process but also keeps your energy levels up, which makes everything seem a little easier. The only things I really avoid eating are spicy foods, this includes pepper and mustard as it irritates my throat.
. Because I found it hard to swallow, I was often left with a nasty taste in my mouth. I found gargling with mouthwash really helpful. You feel fresher and it helps reduce the risk of infection.

I struggled with tonsillitis for a long time with antibiotics having little or no effect. I understand how frustrating it is when your GP won't just take them out. Having had the operation, I understand why. I know it will be worth is in the long run but the recovery is not very nice. Because it's to do with the tonsils, often associated with children and it being a very common procedure in the past many underestimate having a tonsillectomy. It is still an operation under general anaesthetic.

Having said that, I'm glad I did it. Just be prepared to rest, drink lots and make sure you look after yourself.

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Birdie18 said on 25 July 2014

I am 21 and have purposefully created an account to post this comment about my experience having a tonsillectomy. I had my operation yesterday morning and it really was so much better than I thought it was going to be. I had got myself into an awful panic about the anaesthetic, genuinely believing I was going to die. The staff were brilliant as soon as I arrived and were very sweet as I was teary all morning. The operation, according to my surgeon, went very well and he was pleased. Despite the fact that I was VERY slow coming round from the anaesthetic and others came and left before I was discharged, please don't be alarmed if the nurses check on you more than other patients - it is normal for those who have had their tonsils removed according to one of the nurses.
As for coming home. I was very woozy, tired and was actually sick when I got home, again please don't worry if this happens to you. I have woken up today (the day after) and feel much better. It is very painful to eat but the problems that can occur if you don't eat are much worse - you just have to be brave. In a strange way I actually find harder foods easier to eat! It hurts just to swallow water so actually having food that goes down in one go is actually less painful for me than things like ice cream that lingers and sits at the bag of your throat. Water is very very very very important though!!! Get some vaseline too as the corners of your mouth become sore due to the operation.
To anyone having the op soon, my advice is to get off this site and talk to someone about your worries. If you haven't got friends and family you feel comfortable with, save your questions for the doctors and nurses at the hospital who actually have the facts! There are people on here that only want to scare you. It is painful after, there is nothing to get around that, but it is manageable. Eat, drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. I promise you will be fine. Good luck (not that you'll need it :)

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whatnametochoose28 said on 16 July 2014

I am 28 and I just had my tonsillectomy yesterday, they did this using Diathermy. Now, I was completely terrified of the whole thing and now I have no idea why I was so worried about any of it. I read a lot of horrible reviews of people experiences so I was expecting the worst. I know that pain is due to increase the next couple of days.

Just over my first night although not pleasant it's all been nowhere near as bad as I had expected and I hope that the rest of it isn't as bad either! :)

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Becky90x said on 02 July 2014

I'm 23, I underwent a tonsillectomy 20/6/14. Now on day 12 and this is the first time I feel human. I got a chest infection after the op meaning more tablets etc and and tiredness. This was my first op, I was nervous but the staff were great. I went down at 11.45am and woke in recovery at 1pm. I could not believe I had been put to sleep and it was over with. I wanted a drink in recovery so had a few sips of water. It hurt but was ok. I went home at 6.30pm, after drinking two jugs of water and eating a slice of bread and jam, which was fine. When I got home I was tired so went straight to bed, I was hungry so ate Pom bear crisps because they dissolve. I've read many stories on the eat soft food, don't do this! When your throat is healing it develops scabs. I ate sandwiches and toast, was eating normal meals by day 3-4. It really helps to just eat what you fancy. I had no ice cream (creates mucas) I had fabs and ice pops, and went through copious amounts of water. Day 4-5 were the worst for me, ear ache and my chest. I kept up to my medication as and when I needed it, was eating ice pops at 4am but it helped so who cares. I started eating normal crisps day 7 and the difference that made my scabs nearly went.
My throat is now clear. Still sore but no meds for 2 days. This operation is not easy I cried a lot, and I still live at home so got most things done for me. My advice would be eat eat and eat drink loads so your throat doesn't go dry. Even if it seems the hardest thing. On a morning it hurts most because you've slept but as soon as I ate this went. You do get better be positive! I'm usually a wimp but I've managed. Food is fuel you need it to get better! I go back to work next week and I actually can't wait. I suffered with tonsillitis every month so it's going to be nice not
To have it anymore. I know people differ and food might be hard but I don't think I would be where I am recovery stage without powering on through. Take meds before food.

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Annie_86 said on 27 June 2014

I had my tonsils taken out almost 2 weeks ago. The pain was horrendous most of the time but the thing i found the worst was my hunger. I would feel sick from hunger pains constantly and I found it incredibly difficult to eat anything. I couldnt manage soft foods let alone trying to eat toast or anything they recommend. For the first few days I was living off yoghurts and ice pops, needless to say because of this I had no energy and felt dreadful. In desperation I searched the internet for things I felt i could try. Eventually I came across a person suggesting SlimFast as it provides most of the nutrients and vitamins you need. It was the answer to all my prayers. It solved my hunger problem and within a few days I was able to swallow almost like normal. If your planning on having a tonsillectomy I really suggest you try something like this for the first few days to help you feel more like yourself afterwards. It really helped me out and stopped me losing too much weight (I'm only 9 and a half stone to start with).

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lucie_92 said on 13 June 2014

Hello, I am a 21 year old student/clerical assistant and after suffering for every other month since childhood my GP decided my tonsils needed to be taken out.
I read the comments left on this page before I had my tonsils removed on the 28th May 2014 and I must admit, I was extremely nervous but kind of knew what to expect. I am not going to lie, the pain is bad and sometimes can seem unbearable and you will feel that you regret your tonsillectomy, but it will be worth it in the end.
I was the last one down to theatre, so had to wait all day and also had to stay in hospital overnight, which I didn’t mind; the staff were so kind and helpful. When I woke up in recovery, the oxygen mask was not a pleasant experience as it dried out my throat, but other than that, when I came round properly, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. The next two days I couldn’t believe how easy it was, I was thinking what had these other people been talking about? It doesn’t hurt that bad... It’s bearable. However, on the third day, right up until the tenth day, the pain was horrendous, especially in a morning after sleeping as my throat would be really dry again. I took the pain medicine as required and sometimes it wasn’t enough, however it often sent me off to sleep. I found that sipping water even if I wasn’t thirsty helped quite a bit to soothe my throat, and that scrambled or poached egg on toast was the easiest thing to eat. Speaking is also difficult in the first week.
My advice would be to drink nothing but water, as well as eating as much as you can, as eating helps to scrape the white scabs from the back of your throat to quicken the recovery process. The pain that eating will cause is only temporary and you will feel much better in the long run for attempting to eat. Tonsillectomies are a good aid to weight loss I found out!
I would like to wish good luck to anyone who has this procedure – You might feel like you regret it at first but you will be fine after the first 10 days.

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Maggi55 said on 13 June 2014

I'm 35 year old woman and had my tonsils out in February and was petrified to say the least as all I read online was about people having bad experiences. I had the tonsillectomy in the morning was home that evening the first night I was in a lot of pain and found it difficult to breath. On day four I still was having a lot of difficulty but after going to see my GP I was put on a course of antibiotics I started to feel so much better. I returned to work after 10 days. My advice would be to drink plenty of water with crushed ice if you can. Eat normal but as much as you can manage, don't over force yourself as this can cause more pain and leave you put off your food. I also drank coca cola to retain energy as I was eating very little. Since then I feel great and because of this gave up the cigarettes (as result of not being able to smoke post op) and am so much more healthier. Overall I would say it's the best thing I have had done for my health as previous to that I was always tired and was sick a lot and now apart from Hayfever this summer I've had no illness, I have not snored since and the constant bad breath I had as result of my tonsils is gone. Very happy I had them done. Also had swelling around my neck which was I was embarrassed of this is gone and my neck looks normal since :)

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Mum2nat said on 08 June 2014

So sorry to hear what you and your daughter are going through sarahjayne. My daughter is 3.5 and has had tonsillitis a few times, and snores like her dad. Her tonsils are huge, they take up almost all the space at the back of her throat. She gets really tired and cranky during the day because of sleep apnoea. Our GP referred us to our local children's hospital, Alder Hey. We expected a fight but the consultant listened to what we had to say then took one look at her tonsils and said "we can offer a tonsillectomy". I was so relieved! Keep trying to get that referral, is there another GP you can go to? I am sure once you see the specialist you will get the treatment she needs. We were so very lucky but have heard of so many who have had to jump through hoops. Good luck. x

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Saranya Townsend said on 16 May 2014

Hello! I would like to know about tonsillitis and workplace.
I still have a little difficult swollen liquor or food, and a little headache let say I'm not 100% myself, but I wanted to go back to work, and my workplace is selling fast food as it is grease and smoky in the air. Will I get infection or make I get worst? Please reply me.
Thank you

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Princesslazuli said on 14 May 2014

Hello everybody I wanted to reassure the mums and dads with children more so toddlers going through the surgical route.
My daughter is 2 soon to be 3 and has suffered with tonsillitis monthly for the last 18 months. We where referred from out GP's practice quickly and seem by a large Childrens Hospital within a few months.. We then waited for months!!
My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed on Monday the 12th May at 10:20 and I was sent for by the recovery team at 11:10.
I will say that at our local chidrens hospital they where fantastic with her in anaesthetics and played with her and talked to her fully.. The actual putting them to sleep isn't as painful for a parent as I feared it was quick and I didnt get a chance to think about it..
Surprisingly our daughter was fully awake not at all drowsy upon returning to the ward where she was happy to watch cartoons in bed a total novelty!
Our daughter didn't cough or vomit any blood up at all and fingers crossed hasn't as yet ( I'm writing this upon discharge on the 14th may at 3pm )
Food and drink where a huge issue in the first 36 he's she was unwilling to do either so had fluids via a drip. Then taking her medicines became an issue within hours of her return to ward so be prepared to bribe!!
Our daughter vomited twice yesterday evening mucus and was fine after but developed a temperature at 2am discovered upon ward rounds ( very attentive staff ) so antibiotics as a precaution have been prescribed..
This morning out daughter are 2 slices of toast. ( cut the way mummy does ) and drank without having to mither or bribe her.. For lunch 2 more slices of toast followed by crisps as the more hard things you eat the better! They also do ice cream still :)
We are now at home armed with bread and PomBear plus a fridge full of medicines and hoping long may it continue..
If I can alleviate any concerns etc please comment and I shall answer as much as I can!!
Thanks everyone and good luck xx

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Cassab76 said on 27 April 2014

Sarahjayne, so sorry to hear your little one is suffering. My third child is now going through this too. Both my older two were referred to ent and we jumped through lots of hoops trying to get treatment, eventually seeing a consultant who agreed to surgery. ( 1st child was 4&1/2 and 2nd child was 3&1/2)
Post surgery results were fantastic, my 1st could hear better immediately and snoring and apnea disappeared almost straight away. When he returned to school, his teacher said he was like a new child, so much happier and sociable.
2nd started to sleep more soundly at night, her speech improved, much healthier child.

I was also told by my GP, this time, that ENT would not operate on my child, but I insisted on a referral anyway and the consultant was fantastic. He took a good look in her mouth, ears and nose. He listened to all we had to say, (lack of appetite, not sleeping, lisp, snoring, constant infections, family history ect) and agreed to perform surgery. She is almost 5 and is scheduled to have op in 5 weeks.

If I were you, sarahjayne I would insist again on a referral. Go to your GP armed with a list of symptoms, dates and times of missed school, explain again the negative impact this is having on your whole family.

We did find osteopathic treatment helped my son, before op, to relieve some symptoms.

Hope you get the best outcome for your child xx

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Matt45 said on 15 April 2014

I'm a 45 year old man and must say that reading all the comments before I had my Tonsillectomy (3 weeks ago) did put the fear of god in me!
However - I wanted to share my experience which really wasn't as bad as I feared.
I'm now suffering from a cold - as of today - but until now I have been mending well.
The first couple of days post op were surprisingly okay. There was definitely some pain but the codeine and ibuprofen the hospital gave me really helped.
I did have to show that I was able to get a sandwich down my throat and drink something before they released me. That was quite ouchy.
I went in the morning at 7.30am and was released by 3.30pm.
Keep drinking iced water aswell for those two days after surgery .
Day 3 - 5 it did get more sore and the eating normal stuff got a little more difficult. I became very sensitive to very cold stuff (and had to stop the ice cream fun for a couple of days!)
From day 6 onwards it improved slowly every day a little bit.
You'll notice white 'scabs' forming where the tonsils were. I was told that was perfectly normal and that is part of the recovery. 3 weeks later they seemed to have gone.
The only thing I would say sent me back a few days was having a few large glasses of wine last weekend - possibly getting a bit too cocky with my recovery and my cold now!!
I can only say keep hydrated for a few days before the op. Eat your five a day etc.
Post op enjoy ice cream till your throat stops you.
Eat as normally as you can bear. Make sure you keep yourself topped up on your pain relief. Rest (I slept with my pillows upright which seemed to help me) and good TV.
It'll be alright.

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Sarahjayneperks31 said on 11 April 2014

Please can somebody help me. My four yr old daughter has been suffering with tonsillitis for over twelve months now and it's getting to the point were it's every four weeks. The last time she was hospitalised due to a high temp. Two doctors at my surgery both refuse to refer her due other age saying a surgeon will not perform the op. Aside from this she snores like a man (her sisters words,) so I know she needs her adenoids out too. I went thru the same thing and had the op at 8. Why does my child have to suffer like this? Not only is she missing school and her friends but it's effected her appetite and she hardly eats as she associates the pain with eating. I'm giving her a vitamin supplement and a food supplement on bad days. This is ridiculous. I feel like I'm failing my child.

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Liz89 said on 07 April 2014

I had my tonsillectomy 5 days ago at wythenshawe hospital. The doctors and nurses were fantastic getting me to surgery and discharging me the same day. The operation lasted about half an hour and I woke up in the recovery room with my throat feeling very dry and sore. The nurse gave me some cold water to sip on which helped! The doctor stressed how important it was to eat as normally as possible, in particular eat toast, crisps, cereal..any rough food that would help get rid of the white fluff that was at the back of my throat because that is at risk of getting infected. He also said it was important to drink water as often as possible to help keep my throat moist.
I was given codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen for the pain. The first 4 days felt like I had bad tonsillitis, the pain was bad but bearable with the pain killers I am on. I took pain killers about half an hour before eating. Eating takes ages! But I had to eat to help the healing process and to avoid infection.

I'm on day 5 now and the pain has got worse! It feels like I'm swallowing glass all the time and it also stings. I can't eat much and it can sometimes hurt to talk. I've also started with some earache. The pain does come and go but it is bad! Looking at my throat it looks very red and sore but the white fluff that was there is going which is good. I'm just hoping that the rest of recovery isn't so painful.
The doctor said that usually the first two days are sore then it gets worse and by day five the pain is better. However, it has been the other way around for me- pain was bearable but day five is worse.
Also, be aware that your breath may smell...

I would definitely recommend having this operation as I know the long term benefits will outweigh the short term pain I'm having. The team at wythenshawe hospital did a fantastic job, thank you!

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Lucyandkam said on 02 April 2014

I wanted to share a positive story with you. My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed 5 days ago. He is 4 and suffered with obstructive sleep apnea and several bouts of tonsillitis. I was very nervous about the procedure, as any parent would be, but having had the same procedure myself 10 years ago I knew that he would be ok. He went off to sleep very calmly and I was called into recovery 45 mins later as he was upset, but he calmed down as soon as I got there. He stayed in overnight as they wanted to monitor him as he has asthma, but he recovered well and we were allowed home in the morning. Having had the op I knew the importance of eating and drinking pretty much straight away. I started him off with things that could melt in the mouth and be less harsh to swallow, such as wotsits or quavers and he ate them fine. Milkshake went down very easily, especially as it was cold. Ice lollies were a god send too. By day 3 he was back to eating and drinking his normal stuff without any problems. I have been so strict with the calpol and ibuprofen and have been alternating between the two with 3 hours apart so he always has pain relief in his system without exceeding the daily dosage. Apart from still being a bit sore in the mornings (due to sleeping with his mouth open) there aren't any complaints and he has even asked to go back to nursery! But i will continue with meds until he has healed! I understand that every child/adult are different but I really do think a lot of it is down to eating/drinking little and often and keeping on top of meds! I have noticed such a difference in him already, he no longer has a constant runny nose, has stopped snoring and all importantly he no longer stops breathing in his sleep! For anyone that needs this op done, I would keep positive. Yes it will be sore, but it is short term pain for a long term gain! And for any parent that is nervous for their child, I reassure you. It is over so quickly and you will be home in no time! :)

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Georgie123x said on 28 March 2014

I had my tonsils out 2 days ago, after being an 18 year old with constant tonsillitis. Straight after the op I needed to sleep then after about an hour I was fine. I wasn't allowed to leave hospital until id eaten food. drinking water stung to begin with and eating was very painful. I was discharged from hospital at about 6pm however when leaving the hospital I became very faint and felt sick so ended up sitting on the carpark (I kept getting bad hot flushes). When I came back I went straight to sleep ad was fine. The next morning though I was violently sick from 7am - 12pm which was very sore on my throat - the hospital said this was normal. It's been 2 days since the op and my throat is so swollen I keep gagging. I also feel generally unwell and keep needing to sleep. The pain has become worse today. I think it does depend on the person to how well they cope after, but so far my experience hasn't been the best. Hopefully It is worth it and I get better soon!

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lisacross3 said on 19 March 2014

Hi..Just wondering if anyone can help me...My 10 year Daughter had her tonsils removed on Monday (its Wednesday today) and she is saying there is a 'heartbeat' type noise in her left ear which gets louder around noises and when she talks.....I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this-she says it isn't painful just annoying as its there constantly. Thanks in advance.....and a quick word on our experience-she went to theatre at 10.45am-was back with us 90 mins later and seemed pretty good for the first hour or so but as the drugs wore off the pain really kicked in and she was really a poorly little girl-we were let home at 9pm as she was so in need of a good sleep which me and hubby felt she was never going to get in hospital. the next day (y'day) she had improved loads and depite being in lots of pain between the meds she tried really hard with eating and drinking. she's managed to sleep for 8 solid hours both nights but then woke up in quite a lot of pain as having gone 8 hours with no liquid/painkillers. I am slightly worried reading all these comments that things get better before they get worse as we were only given a few days of diclofenic medicine and after that its down to normal calpol and nurofen.....the diclofenic is every 8 hours and really does seem to help the most (we're also using calpol) so i'm dreading if we run out of that and the pain does get worse as its so horrible seeing your child in so much pain-desoite it all tho-i know from experience (I had mine removed as a child and my younger daughter had hers removed 3 years ago) that the few weeks of what we're now going through is well worth it as our health has been so much better ever since our op's...i'm hoping the same will be true for my Daughter now. Good luck to everyone having this op

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Bartone said on 14 March 2014

I had my tonsils out three days ago. I'm 36 and have had tonsillitis, a neck lump and sore ear since October. In January the pain became so intense I had to stop work. After about the fourth course of antibiotics I was referred to ENT. He took one look at me and told me I needed my tonsils out. The pain is severe, especially the earache but can be reduced by painkillers- I have found ibuprofen and mild opioids work best. I will say however that the pain I'm in now is just as bad as when I had severe tonsillitis, except for the throat part as it is worse now.
I thought my pain was not too severe compared to some people but it is getting worse. I can't wait until it heals! I'm hoping my neck lump will go and I won't experience anything like tonsillitis again. However, one rather pessimistic GP told me the op wouldn't work in terms of the lump and pain etc. I'm hoping he is wrong as I think my tonsillitis has inflamed my lymph nodes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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Jul83 said on 12 March 2014

Let me start by saying I am not a negative person and see the bright side in everything however here I cannot see the bright side. I am 31 and on day 5 of my recovery which I can only describe as a living hell. The op went to plan and the first couple if days were fine. From day three things have been just awful and at times scary. My throat has been sore which ok I accept is par for the course, what I didn't expect was the awful earaches I am now getting, the pain is excruciating. In a nut shell I am so unwell, tearful and fed up I can honestly say I wish I never had this operation! It's horrible and I was a tonsilitis sufferer every month, it was a walk in the park compared to this. I promise I am not out to scare anyone but I would say avoid this op at all costs, unless your absolutely desperate...... I wish I could turn the clocks back :(

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JRam164 said on 03 March 2014

I'm a 19 year old female who has had tonsillitis 5 times in the past 8 months, yet there's been no mention of surgery even when I ask.
I'm getting rather fed up that every time I get it I have to take at least a week off my university studies.
Anyone know why they won't entertain the thought of taking them out?

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sparkles94 said on 29 January 2014

I am a 19 year old female who has recently undergone a tonsillectomy on the 20th January 2014. Before surgery i read peoples stories and 97% of what i read were horror stories! I am here to share a good experience I have had! I was taken into theatre at 10 am and woke up in recovery roughly an hour later where i was then taken to a ward. I was discharged at 4pm to go home the same day, i ate a slice of toast and drunk plenty of diluted orange juice. I never felt much pain the first day and thought i was just extremely lucky however throughout my whole recovery i have had at the maximum a 3/10 pain and that was day 3 and 4! Other than that just some mild discomfort. I was eating a chippy and a pizza hut the week of my operation and i feel that this has completely helped my recovery. since my operation i have had plenty of rest. On day 8 i experienced a minor bleed from my right tonsil which i think was due to a stitch coming away, but stopped within a few minutes drinking cold water. I am not 9 days post op and its the best decision i have ever made in my life. I would totally recommend surgery to anyone who suffers from tonsillitis or tonsil stones. I will never look back!! As long as you straight away eat normally and drink plenty of fluids you will be absolutely fine! I stopped pain meds 6 days after my op and im on an all time high!! I would advice people to avoid dairy such as ice cream as it creates thick mucus which is hard to swallow, i have not had any, i have stuck to ice lollies and flavoured water. Plenty of rest and youl be back to normal in now time! The only thing that worried me was i could not speak until today, before it was nasally and straining my throat. I hope this has helped aid someones decision. Too many horror stories!! Good luck x

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fairypants said on 26 January 2014

I am 27 and had my tonsils out two weeks ago. I am almost fully recovered now, just minor sore throat. I did a lot of research before hand and would strongly advise anyone having the operation to seriously rest after the operation.
I was discharged the morning after my operation I did not leave the house for 9 days! Mornings I found to be most painful, I set my alarm for every 2.5 hours through the night to wake up to eat and drink, this meant I never woke up with a dry throat meaning the wounds never had chance to dry out or bleed.
Days 1-3: Slight ear pain, general soreness - I ate rough foods regularly, gargled salt water, drank room temp water. Could not have extreme hot or cold food or drink.
Days 4 - 7: significantly more pain, strong ear ache, as the layer of infection had started to go the pain changed and was more noticeable and constant.
Days 8 - 11: I ate softer food as throat was more sensitive. Particularly to spices and sharper foods. Could only drink warm drinks. Throat was much tighter, woke through the night to drink warm drinks.
Days 12 onward: Energy levels almost back to normal and Doctors checked tonsil area and said they were healing perfectly and there no signs of infection, then gave me the all clear to return to work. I had 2 weeks off in total.

I avoided dairy products throughout as this increases mucus in the back of the throat which is unpleasant and drank water and hot honey & lemon, avoiding caffeine. Gargling with natural salt water really helped remove infection. Yawning and loud talking are still painful so trying to rest my throat as much as possible. I had read many horror stories so took them as a warning message and made sure I rested and regularly drank and ate.

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nat1988 said on 20 January 2014

I am 25 and am 5 days post tonsilectomy. I was very nervous about the op after reading all the horror stories. I came round quickly after the surgery and the pain was bad but bearable. I was just happy it was over and I didnt feel sick. I stayed in over night as I was the last op of the day.i was told to eat a chicken sandwhich a few hours later along with sorbet. This was painful and took me an hour to eat but I was told it would help with recovery. I was dischatged the next morning with paracetamol and diclofenac which I have been taking regularly. I eating slowly but normal diet excluding hot drinks. The pain is worst in the morning but settles during the day. I am hpping the pain will get better over the next few days. I am speaking better now as this was painful and just a whisper initially. Jelly seems to help soothe my throat a lot, keep on top of pain relief and drink plenty. I have also been gargling salt water to prevent any infection. I hope this helps.

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student128 said on 19 January 2014

I had my tonsils and adenoids removed six months ago. The operation itself was okay and although painful afterwards, the pain could be relieved by painkillers (paracetemol) so I had no problems as such. However, what I was not warned about was the risk of damage to my jaw joints (tmj). This has been very severe and far worse than any tonsillitis. I have had this for six months and it has been severe to say the least.

I want to warn everyone of the risk of damage to the jaw joint, a risk I did not know of at the time. This is because an instrument is used to keep the mouth open during the operation which can dislocate the jaw joint. I did not know of this and so I want to warn others. If I had known I would certainly not had the operation.

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Keith Shaw said on 30 November 2013

I had my tonsils and Uvula removed on the 27th Sept 2013. the procedure was quick although I had a great amount of bleeding, I was taken back to theater twice following the sugary to slop the bleeding. the fist two days wasn't too bad, although they kept me in hospital due to the bleeding and swelling. I was put on steroids to reduce the swelling, the first 2 weeks I was very weak and felt very ill. the first 21 days I was in a lot of pain I'd say the worst I have experienced. I was able to drink water although it needed to be room temp. food was an issue I had soup and break for the first few weeks and even this cause pain that became unbearable. its now been 9 weeks now since the operation and the healing is going well. I'm no longer able to drink fizzy drinks, have mints, or drink very cold drinks as this caused some pain. also cold air/wind makes causes pain.

Would I have had the operation knowing what I have been through, NO. although I am glad to be healing well.

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Bonobo said on 10 November 2013

My daughter had her tonsils removed at the age if 4,she's now 20. Earlier this year she was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties. When the doctor examined her,he said she had acute tonsillitis. I was so cross that we took her to the other hospital a little further from home. I was astounded to be told the same again,although she was actually diagnosed with Quincy. I had never heard of tonsils growing back,but our GP has since confirmed that this is the case and they do see it,although it's fairly uncommon.

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dp410 said on 08 November 2013

I'm a 23 year old man and I'm currently on my third day of recovery. Having read so many horror stories about the recovery period I wanted to share my experience to others as most of the feedback on the internet is very daunting.

I am currently taking Codeine Phosphate, Paracetamol and Diclofenac Sodium and I am happy to report that I'm eating a normal diet and in no discomfort apart from when eating. I would compare this discomfort to a very mild sore throat, and is more of a sore feeling, rather than the pain you would relate to tonsillitis.

Hopefully the next few days will be as smooth, but even if the discomfort increased fourfold, then it would still be nothing compared to a serious case of tonsillitis.

Main advice -

Drink lots of water, it keeps your tonsils moisturised and helps prevent discomfort.

Eat as much as possible.

Stick to your medicine schedule, you are not a doctor and your doctor will know best.

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Drama Queen said on 05 September 2013

I'm a 38 year old woman and my tonsillectomy was last week - today is Day 8 of my recovery. Before my surgery I read lots of online comments from people posting their experiences which I found really helpful so I thought I'd post my experience too.

The surgery took about 40 mins and I came round quite quickly in the recovery room. They told me it was the norm to keep me in for 5 to 6 hours afterwards and that I'd have to 'successfully' eat and drink something before they would discharge me. Sure enough, after a tuna sandwich, I was allowed home early evening.

The surgeon told me it was extremely important to eat normal, solid food from the start, including cornflakes, crisps and toast. The thought horrified me but I have really tried my best to stick to this and I have to say I'm healing really well. I've also made sure I've brushed my teeth and used medicated mouthwash (Oraldene) at least twice a day. In addition, I've sipped water through a straw almost constantly - probably swallowing some every 20 mins or so.

The pain has been bad, but not as bad as my worst bout of tonsillitis. The throat pain is similar to tonsillitis in that it's in the same place and it hurts in the same kind of way. I've also had sore ears, temples, chin, jaw and tongue - these started to hurt on Day 3. This peripheral pain eases with painkillers (cocodamol) but I think you'll be lucky to find anything that takes the throat pain away. My tongue also swelled considerably, as did my uvula.

I was expecting to feel like I wanted to die but it's been bearable. I've just had a look down my throat and I think the left side is almost completely healed - the wound there is about the size of a drawing pin. The right side still has a way to go though but I'm sure I'll improve daily now.

In a nutshell, I'd say go for it. It's bad but bearable. I'm certain that the crunchy foods have helped me heal. They've sloughed the scabs and kept my throat "clean". Good luck!

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TreeHugger118 said on 05 September 2013

Hi I'm 18 and finally got my tonsils removed. The procedure was relatively simple and I was discharged on the same day.
The pain in my throat is just like a bout of tonsillitis. The thing I cannot even begin to explain is how bad my ears hurt. The pain is horrendous, each time I swallow or talk etc my ears ring out in pain. Sleeping is a nightmare due to awful ear ache.
The main reason for the pain in my throat is due to a swollen uvula, when I'm talking it sounds like I've got a marshmallow in my throat!
Obviously eating is a difficult task, however it does help speed up the healing process and I'm glad to say I've had no problems such as bleeding!
Hope this helps a little :)

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EmmaER1991 said on 01 September 2013

I'm 22, had my tonsils removed when I was 5, in march I was at the doctors thinking I had 'strep throat' but the doctor had said there was a slight bit of my tonsil still on my throat.

I have now had a sore throat for 6 days, unable to eat and can barely drink anything, looked at my throat and I can visibly see my tonsils! I had tonsillitis every 3 weeks when I was 5 for a year I am my going through this again. Would the hospital remove them again or jut leave me to suffer? Really need help!


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TheAlbugg said on 21 August 2013

I'm 17 and I had my tonsils removed two days ago. The whole procedure was very quick and I was out of hospital the same day. I've suffered with tonsillitis most of my life, getting it at least once if not twice a year (particularly in winter). Having huge tonsils didn't help with this. After the op, pain levels were controllable, my discomfort was due to my uvula being very swollen and my tongue being numb on the left side. My neck was also very swollen- I feel a bit like a frog! Thus far the swelling has started to go down and I'm already feeling better. Pain-wise, I can't contribute any horror stories of horrendous pain as to me it does not hurt any more than a strong case of tonsillitis. Taking the medication is the worst part as it tastes fowl but it's working well. If you are getting a tonsillectomy, I'd advise avoiding any acidic food or drink (which may include tomato sauce, I'm afraid) and try eating normally. You may not wish to, but I was given toast for my first meal and it helps speed up the healing process. Speaking is still difficult because of the swelling so I sound very odd at the present and singing is a no go, but like I said, in just two days I'm already feeling much better. The likelihood is, one won't be particularly hungry after surgery and feel a little sick but eating is crucial. I haven't yet been sick, just wretched a few times (this is gross) bringing up gas from swallowing so much. Your doctor should inform you about when to be worried about vomiting but it's not uncommon. Hope this helps anyone reading it. The operation and recovery won't necessarily be as bad as expected- the anaesthetic injection was the worst part! Good luck if you're getting surgery. :)

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pinkpanthher said on 29 July 2013

Tonsillectomy review
Ok not sure where to start to be honest but I will give it a go. Any questions please ask
Im 40 and had my tonsils removed 6 days ago all I can say is oh my god what a nightmare!!
Hospital was great only thing I can fault them on was sending you home with no meds!
Operation went fine was a bit sore when I woke up but headed back to the ward took more pain meds followed by a terrific headache then I felt sick about 4 hours post op. followed by 300+ml blood loss vomiting...not nice. I was meant to go home the following day but I had a blood clot on the right side of my throat so was kept in another night just in case it came away and more bleeding.
Pain was awful but took advice and had Weetabix followed by toast in the morning. To be honest I have found toast the best thing to eat and water loads of the stuff. Avoid orange juice, even taking the ibrufen liquid orange flavour stings but worth it 20 mins later when it kicks in. They gave me paracetamol when I was in hospital wears off after an hour :-( phoned my doctor up when I got home she gave me co-codamol effervescent 30/500 all I can say is thankyou so much as they are a life saver at the moment along with the ibrufen. Im on day 6 and the pain is worse at the moment seems worse swallowing than before combined with earache and headache!! the blood clot went yesterday with no bleeding thank god. Sleeping has been awful when you get to sleep your either drooling or constantly waking with a dry throat, mornings are the worst. I'm hoping things get better as time goes on & I can look back and say the pain was all worth it.

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dawidurb said on 23 July 2013

My 4 yr old doughter suffer from tonsils since shes born....This morning I recived a Copy of the Letter from 01 May 2013
About Funding for : Tonsillectomy For my daughter .She has a very enlarged tonsils since was born. suffer from infections, 7 to 8 times a year and the same shall antibiotic .. as well. since born She's terrible snoring at night and has night apnea .... is still stuffy blocked nose whether healthy or too sick .. having trouble breathing at night and in the day .All the time. the letter who just got it says that my daughter does not satisfy the criteria (five episodes of infection at this time ).Is not true ...At March this year. we asked our GP about refferal her to tonsillectomy .(secound Time) And than she already had antibiotic 4th time this year..up to march ...and till Now 5 times and its only half of the year... we already have enough of stress that goes with it .. I not know whether the doctor has described it all in a letter to NHS, or just ...... affair ...due last 3 weeks she had infection again 5 days antybiotic ...two days after finish medicine infection get back to her and she had antybiotic again so together are 6 episodes this year but is only july ...what about winter time ...Im big tired ...We doesnt sleep much ...for about 4 years ..always keep an eye on her ...Anyone know if its any other way to remove the tonsils for my daughter?Many thanks for any help

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Lollybygolly said on 18 June 2013

I have tonsillitis at the moment. I find that gargling with dispersible aspirin helps, especially using warm boiled water.
I'm not sure if this is a good idea post-operatively though because it might encourage bleeding.
My daughter had a tonsillectomy in her late teens and it was horrible for her. We got through gallons of ice team and water ices. I seem to remember the nurse made her eat cornflakes: she saw the murderous look in my face and wouldn't tell me which nurse...
Good luck to all about to have medical interventions.

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laurenmarie12 said on 13 June 2013

treehugger118; make sure you say to your gp its really having a negative effect on your life and is interfering with work etc, they are also more likely to refer you if you explain how its getting worse, if not finding another gp may be the best option!

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TreeHugger118 said on 10 June 2013

Hi, after reading previous comments it seems that a good handful of people got a tonsillectomy rather easily.. I've had tonsillitis 8 times since September 2012 and have had antibiotics on every occasion. After going back to the doctors this month, having tonsillitis again, I asked my GP about referal to ENT for removal. However he said I need to suffer for another three months before he will consider it.
Any words of advise? Should I change my GP?

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laurenmarie12 said on 28 May 2013

I'm 18 and had my tonsils out at the PRU in Bromley at the beginning of February. Before I had them out I was constantly tired and always ill but I honestly feel like a different person I have so much energy now I would definitely recommend the procedure to those who get a reoccurrence of tonsillitis and have doubts about whether to get them out or not. When they say eat solid food as soon as you can do not think they are saying this to be mean! by day 3 (as painful as it was) I was eating solid food and after hearing others experience I would definitely say my recovery process was quicker than others. Although the pain did get worse during the first week I started to feel better very quickly the second week! I had no complications or bleeding and regularly gargled water to keep them clean. The worst pain I found was the earaches and headaches but if you take painkillers regularly the pain subsides quickly. So anyone who is still considering the procedure I would definitely say go for it!

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danielleelizabeth said on 03 May 2013

I have just had my tonsils removed yesterday at Darlington memorial hospital. My surgeon and specialist clearly warned me about the after effects, telling me that day 5&6 are usually the worse. The whole team there were very informative and gave me every bit of information I needed, so I am prepared for the pain and te high risk of bleeding. Dont let these comments scare you, ask your surgeon and he should let you know all of this.

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aw1980 said on 14 April 2013

To anyone reading this who is an adult considering a tonsillectomy - please bare in mind that the vast majority of online comments you will read will be wholly negative. I had my tonsils take out a month ago. I am male, otherwise healthy and in my 20's. In nov 2012 i suffered the most painful tonsilitis, they were both literally the size of a golfball - enough was enough! The operation itself is very straightforward and i woke up in the recovery room feeling lathargic and a bit dazed (that's the anaesthetic...) but in little pain. I was kept in for 6 hours then discharged. I found the first couple of days to be pretty ok - my advice would be fill up on lots of food. This is because (in my experience) by day 3 the pain sets in. For me the pain was bearable but not as bad as the pain i had suffered with tonsilitis. I found that the taste from the scabs which develop to be the worst thing... Puts you off eating. As i had not eaten/drank properly for those days after the operation, on about day 6 (the night of) i woke up with bleeding from the throat. This was down to an infection. I had to go to a&e and was kept in overnight taking anti-biotics and gargling mouthwash. It did me the absolute world of good and i was fully recovered about 5 days after being discharged. Was a rocky road to recovery.

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x0x0x said on 10 April 2013

I'm 37 and had my tonsills removed on 3rd April 2013, I felt very apprehensive about surgery but all went well, I had to stay in hosp for 1 night but came home the next day. Everything seemed not that bad for first 2 days, but now I am in day 7 and the pain is horrendous, I've never known pain like it, I seem to be getting worse as the days go on and its really getting me down now, I have really strong constant earache, headache and can't tell you how bad my throat is, I dread drinking and going to sleep is so bad cos then when you wake up the feeling is unbearable. I could not have imagined having your tonsills out could be as bad as this. I know I haven't helped anyone reading this, just given you a better idea of what your gonna go through. Good luck

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Hadeemusa said on 18 March 2013

I'm 27, I had mine taken out when I was 12. The problem I'm now having is the recurring infection. It's so painful and uncomfortable. The ear aches are even worst. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I can't lift my head off the pillow because of the pain. I have to hold my ear firmly and lift my head slowly, the pain is so bad it feels like i will pass out from it. I'm from Nigeria and unfortunately our medical system is wack and filled with unqualified people posing as doctors. I really don't know where else to turn to find a solution to this. Can anyone help?

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mcgoo212 said on 07 March 2013

I am 18 and had my tonsils out on Saturday there, I was warned I would be in pain afterwards and would rely on painkillers for the first few days..well nothing they said could have prepared me for anything close to the pain like this. It is absolute agony. They recommend you eat your normal diet to speed recovery and that would only be helpful if it was at all possible to swallow anything. Do not get your tonsils out unless absolutely necessary as the pain is like nothing else!! I was expecting bad pain but this is like nothing else. Went to gp and they said everything was normal as I was sure from the amount of pain I was in that it had to be infected but no. Good luck to anyone getting their tonsils out!!!

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Noo166 said on 04 March 2013

I am due to have a tonsillectomy in a few weeks, I really hope its not as bad as you are saying lol, im scared!

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gkha said on 26 February 2013

i am now 30 years old and use to have tonsilitis when i was a child and then it just went away one day.. now suddenly it has come back again and i've had it twice in the last 3 months. Although the second time its just worst than the first one..the ear ache is just horrendous and i have absolutely no clue how i can ease it. I have been taking paracetamol and then went on to paracetamol & cocadamol but it is still the same. As i have asthama, i have been advised not to be take ibuprofen..can anyone suggest any ways how to make the pain ease out a bit...please note that i am really struggling to even open my mouth for liquids .. hence gargling is something i am really scared to do right now...

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tonsilless said on 06 February 2013

A word of warning to those having a tonsillectomy - get plenty of painkillers and use them as sparingly as you can for the first few days - you don't need them much to begin with and you'll need them all later. Try and eat and drink as much as you can.
On about day 5 the pain really starts and you will not be able to eat or drink for several days. That's when you need the painkillers, and you need them to work. Codeine is great because it knocks you out so you can get some sleep. Suck ice chips (put ice cubes in a freezer bag and hit them) and keep ice-cold water with ice in a Thermos beside you all the time. Try to drink and watch out for bleeding, which can turn very bad very fast. Make sure you have someone with you all the time for at least the first ten days, and use a bell or buzzer to call them if you start bleeding, because you won't be able to talk.
After about 10 days, you suddenly feel better and can start drinking and eating a bit, then you usually recover rapidly after that.
Altered taste can last for weeks but usually sorts itself out.
I had absolutely massive tonsils and they were removed (cold steel method) at age 36. Unbelievable pain but worth it not to have constant tonsillitis.

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Hywel85 said on 06 February 2013

Im 27, male, always suffered from tonsillitis, and had HUGE tonsils. Finally got referred to have them out which i assumed could only be a good thing. They were removed 7 days ago at Treliske Hospital. I was told very little of what to expect and the risks involved. After surgery i wasnt even looked at by a doctor or anything. Just given a sandwich to eat. I wasnt in much pain and able to speak. Discharged same day with no meds or anything. Just told to use ibuprofen. I'll tell you now; that is in now way sufficient to relieve the pain. In the following days up to now its only got worse and worse. My doctor gave me co codemol which doesnt even touch the sides. I have an extremely high pain threshold but this is on another level!!! I started the week able to eat some things like soup, warm oats, pasta, but yesterday and today ive had incredible sharp pain and ear aches from two particular spots. I mean when i try to swallow it brings tears to my eyes involuntarily. Unbelievable crippling pain. The ear ache is nothing ive ever experienced in my life and i hope i never will again. I refused to eat today. Just sipping water. Ive hacked up clots from the back of my throat where the excruciating pain comes from. The site has not been visible as most of the area is visibly healing well. I had a metally taste in my mouth last couple days but not spitting blood. Until this evening when i spat out fresh blood. I got a torch and looked, sure enough theres a clot i can just see the top of. Im terrified of big bleeding so gargling coldwater has inhibited the bleeding. I'll go docs tomorrow i think but wont sleep tonight. Everyone thinks im being a pussy, but this is genuinely agony and so scary! I almost wish i hadnt opted for this. Id rather have tonsillitis every other month because this is a nightmare. Doctors only signed me off for another 5 days. NHS have been useless. Bad times :'(

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Laurenstax said on 25 January 2013

I'm 20 years old and have suffered with 3-4 bouts of tonsillitis yearly since I was about 14 years old. It's only recently that my GP has suggested a tonsillectomy and that's only because it's beginning to affect my job. I'm excited to not have to suffer with this again (I have tonsillitis right now) but a little anxious about the surgery. I've never stumbled across this page before, and if I had I wouldn't have found it much use. It seems very centered around a child with tonsillitis, and doesn't even touch the fact that people of all ages suffer with this (annoying) illness.

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justlula said on 12 January 2013

I grew up in Canada, where they do a swab test to see if the tonsillitis is viral or bacterial. They give you a prescription for antibiotics, then ring to let you know whether you should fill it. After several years of living in the UK, being prescribed antibiotics every time I went to the doctor with tonsillitis, and it almost always not making a blind bit of difference, I stopped going to the doctor and started treating the tonsillitis topically. But this is incredibly dangerous if your symptoms persist, as I found out when I went to the doctor so late that a massive strep infection spread throughout my entire body, and I couldn't walk properly for 6 weeks. So it's not entirely true that there is no specific treatment--it depends on the kind that you have, and unfortunately the NHS is not set up to determine what kind you do have, so you need to be careful.

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plant1234 said on 12 January 2013

@ RvI80
Your doctor would not prescribe you antibiotics as you said you had a viral infection, they not work (clue is in the name anti- biotic/ bacteria) would only do harm by potentially causing antibiotic resistant strains.
If you did your research, on this very page it says that if you have your tonsils removed it will not have long term benefits to the number of throat infections you experience, hence why the procedure is rarely undertaken now.
There is not a lot you can do with a viral infection except improve your general health and immune system by eating right and exercising.

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Rvl80 said on 30 October 2012

What they fail to tell you is that they can grow back. I had my tonsils out when I was 17 and from the age of 19 I've had tonsilitis about 5 times a year. Complete waste of time. Every time I go the doctors they say tonsilitis so I remind them I don't have any so they say it's a virus. Yellow tonsils so I have to argue to get anti biotics. They won't refer me to a consultant as they are already been taken out. I have it again and it's vilE

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Ladywriterwriter said on 20 August 2012

I noticed same as well, of this only being written out for children and not adults, adults have throat problems as well, at moment I have severe bacterial tonsillitis and its agony on swallowing. All this white bacterial stuff there as well. yuck. But I got to put up with it now until it goes. been put on antibiotics.

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cathywinzer said on 18 July 2012

My Daughter is due to have her tonsils out we have received the pre op appointment and was wondering how long after is the op?
pembury kent

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Lauren0494 said on 10 July 2012

I'm 18 and got my tonsils removed 7 days ago. The operation went well and when i woke it didn't feel that bad, although what i didn't realize was what i was in for over the next week or so. I had been told to eat my normal diet and lots of toast instead of eating things like soup and ice cream. I have been waking up at all hours of the night and unable to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time. Ive been taking all my meds properly and at regular intervals which i was told to do, i also have eaten more toast in the past week than i have in my entire life! On day 5 I was brushing my teeth when i coughed and a bit of blood came out, after i kept coughing up bits of blood my mum took me to A+E just to make sure everything was ok. It didn't take long for the bleeding to stop but the nurses checked me over anyway. I was called through to an area where they were going to check how my throat was, the nurse said that it was just an old blood clot that had come lose. She then said that my breath smelt but that was normal from having your tonsils removed and said that everything was healing fine and i was free to go home.
On day 6 I had to go to my GP to get more medication, I told him that i was in constant pain with excruciating earaches and a sore throat. I also said that I was having lots of trouble sleeping and that the pain was just reducing me to a crying wreck!! He looked down the back of my throat and instantly told me that it had become infected and that is why i was experiencing so much pain and thats why my tablets were not providing me with the pain relief it should. I am now on antibiotics aswell as the co-codamol i am taking, after one night of taking my antibiotics i feel better than i have done all week, i have a feeling there is still a long way to being fully fit again but im hopeful that once this ordeal is over it will be worth all the pain, emotion and hunger i am going through. good luck to anyone that goes through this its very draining! but good luck!

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lenie len len said on 18 April 2012

Good luck Astralstar!
I had mine out when I was 27. I won't lie, It hurt like nothing else. However, every situation is different.
I couldn't take some of the pain meds so missed out a bit in that sence and mine were done with laser surgery which I hear is now out of favour due to post op pain.
On my worst days I wanted to crawl into a hole. My best day, and I will never forgat it was when I slunk off to the pub garden in the second week of my silent starvation and had two pints of real ale and a packet of salted nuts. Oh, It was just the best thing ever!
Once the beer wore of I couldnt talk or eat again but boy it was the best!
I would reccommend you get yourself a spray bottle to keep your throat moist. This will help to stop the scabs getting hard and it will also ease your pain. It was worth my weight in crystals I tell you.
I slept propped up as that eased the pain enough to be able to sleep.
If you get earache, a flanel dipped into water hot enough to stand and wrung out will help if placed over the offending ear. For some, cold packs work better.
It's all a matter of trial an error.
My recovery was hellish but I would not opt out in hindsight. I am so much healthier for it. I have had only one sore throat in the last 7 years. Thats something.
There will always be good and bad experiences, we just hear about the bad ones more.
My daughter who is 4 is having her tonsils and adenoids out and grommets fitted next wed.

MissyBee, I am trully sorry for your difficult time of it and I hope your partner is still improving.

Astralstar, I wish you speedy healing.

NHS, can you alter the 30 min time out cos this is my third attempt as posting!
I hope we dont end up with all three posted!!!

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astralstar said on 17 April 2012

why is this information specifically written about children with tonsillitis? i know it is more common for the nhs to do this particular surgery on children but you do perform it on adults aswell. i am 29 and scheduled to have a tonsillectomy in 3weeks time i was hoping this would give me more information of what to expect before i have my pre op.

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MissyBee said on 18 October 2010

The above information significantly understates the seriousness of postoperative bleeding following tonsillectomy. This situation, although it rarely occurs, is frightening and individuals should be made aware of the actions that should be taken if it happens before undergoing the procedure. although it occurs in less than 10% of tonsillectomy patients and occurs more often in adults than children; and in men than women, it is important for all patients to be aware of it.
My partner underwent the procedure and 5 days later coughed and experienced unstoppable haemorrhaging from the wound site. If anyone who reads this is undergoing this surgery, the doctor at the hospital advised us it is important to call an ambulance, apply an ice pack to the back of the patient's neck and encourage them to sit down and try to calm themselves. Gargling cold water helps to stem the blood flow and assists in contracting the blood vessels.
The other complication that is little mentioned, uncommon, and unluckily present in our case, is taste impairment. This occurs in around 1% of patients post-operation and is often a result in nerve damage of the lingual branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve (LBGN). The damage is often caused by the pressure applied to the tongue during the procedure, or the proximity of the tonsillar bed to the LGBN. It results in a persistent bitter taste in many individuals, loss of certain taste functions in others or a complete loss of taste in a very unfortunate few. It is often transitory (repairs itself) but in some cases may be persistent (permanent) and there is no known cure/treatment.
We were very disappointed in the lack of information on postoperative complications and have resulted to undertaking our own research. We felt it necessary to make this knowledge available to others considering the procedure.;col1

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