To expect my tonsillectomy to be the most painful thing EVER?

(94 Posts)
Goodbyetonsils Mon 12-Nov-12 16:52:21

Have posted on a few other boards about my nerves over my tonsillectomy- which was due to go ahead last Friday but has been moved to this Thursday. I have read hundreds of horror stories, "3rd most painful operation recovery as an adult" "I beg of you if you're over 18 don't get them out" "more painful than giving birth to 3 babies and a hysterectomy".

I am now in full panic mode, I have had a baby and my body surprised me by giving me a relatively painless birth so I was incredibly fortunate. I have, however had a paper cut in my eye which was by far the most painful thing I've ever been through! AIBU to think this is going to be the worst pain ever?! I know people say children have it so can't be that bad but as a child apparently their nerves aren't fully developed and it's much tougher for an adult. I'm terrified!

givemeaclue Mon 12-Nov-12 17:03:46


Iteotwawki Mon 12-Nov-12 17:08:36

It's less of an op in kids. But it's by no means the worst pain ever so yabu (not sure that will help your panic though).

The amount of pain you'll be in when you wake up depends on a lot of factors - whether the surgeon uses local anaesthetic, surgical technique, how wound up you are before you go to sleep, why you're having them out (recurrent severe infection - less pain than sleep apnoea).

It's not nearly as bad as the corneal pain you've experienced.

Good luck smile

PiggyPlumPie Mon 12-Nov-12 17:08:47

I had mine out at 23 and it hurt like buggery!! You will feel like you are swallowing razor blades.

I found the best thing to eat was cornflakes and milk - a mixture of the roughness needed to aid healing and the liquid helped get food down. You must eat afterwards however much it hurts! The more you eat, the quicker you will heal.

Be prepared for the most appalling smelling breath ever though!! Good luck for Thursday!

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 12-Nov-12 17:12:05

I was 18 when i had mine out and yes as Piggy says they give you toast and cornflakes when you come round.

I was expecting ice cream and lovely they gave me dry toast.

It does hurt quite a lot but at least you'll be all recovered by Christmas, i had mine done at the beginning of December, Christmas was rubbish that year.

Good luck.

shuffleballchange Mon 12-Nov-12 17:12:21

I had it done at 21. It is very very painful, but I have hardly suffered from sore throats since, before I had the op I was always ill, so well worth the pain. From what I remember I was very sore for a week then by the end of week two was ready for a night out, but I was young and stupid then younger! Good Luck, try and enlist an sent of helpers and gargle kits with salty water!

shuffleballchange Mon 12-Nov-12 17:13:05

Lots not kits, stupid predictive text!

shuffleballchange Mon 12-Nov-12 17:14:26

FFS army not sent

Floralnomad Mon 12-Nov-12 17:16:00

My DS had his out when he was 18 and he recovered really quickly ( despite having to be readmitted with a small bleed) and he's a complete wuss , so it can't be that bad! I think that being finally able to see a future without antibiotics and sore throats made it worthwhile.

I have the lowest pain threshold known to woman, seriously the lowest and I found it hurt a bit worse than the tonsillitis I'd had for 10 years ie. equivalent to quite painful period pain but gone in 4 days.

I cannot stress enough that I have no pain threshold - I cry at smear tests hmm but this was bearable.

Ploom Mon 12-Nov-12 17:28:48

I had mine out when I was about 20 - I cant lie and say it wasnt painful but it wasnt as bad as childbirth (and I've done that 3 times since).

It was like a bad dose of tonsillitis but at least you know its the last time you'll have that kind of pain - probably took me about a week to be pain free and I was back at Uni in 2 weeks.

I've only had occasional sore throats since but quite randomly am very prone to losing my voice - well not completely but down to a whisper. Happens every time I get a cold. But thats much better than tonsillitis.

Good luck for Thursday.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Mon 12-Nov-12 17:30:43

I had them out at 22 and it was one of the best things I did. Yes it hurt, but not as much as childbirth! It's not the worst pain ever but do make sure you get enough painkillers from the nurses.

You may vomit a bit of blood when you wake up as you'll have swallowed it during the op. You may have a sore jaw as your mouth will have been clamped open. And you will feel grim for a couple of days and swallowing will be painful for about a week. I had mine done the week before Christmas and had to sit there on the 25th with jelly and ice cream while everyone else tucked into turkey with all the trimmings....

On the plus side you'll lose some weight, and in the long term you'll never have tonsillitis again and have far fewer colds and sore throats.

sleepyhead Mon 12-Nov-12 17:34:47

I had them out at 15. I don't think I got very good drugs - you'll probably get much better ones these days.

Definately not worse than childbirth shock. And I know I was only 15 but I doubt my nerves developed that much between 15 and 18.

The weirdest consequence has been that to this day I have an overwhelming urge to eat crisps and rough things if I have any sort of sore throat. No ice cream for us - they had us up and eating cornflakes the day after the op and it does help.

RavenVonChaos Mon 12-Nov-12 17:41:16

Had mine out at 17 - was painful but not as painful as two weeks of full on tonsillitis - which i probably had twice a year for 12 years! Glad to get rid of them. Definitely not as painful as childbirth wink

RavenVonChaos Mon 12-Nov-12 17:42:20

Yes to the cornflakes! Think I went to the pub with my mates after a week grin

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Mon 12-Nov-12 17:46:42

YANBU I also had it done as an adult and it is like swallowing razor blades. If it's any consolation, it only really hurts like that when you try to swallow. Make sure you have plenty of soluable pain relief in to gargle with and act as a local.

lovebunny Mon 12-Nov-12 17:46:54

had my tonsils out, as an adult, in 1999. i'm still suffering. watch out for adenoids - they do something to the back of your nose, like take adenoids away, and then you don't know if you're going to sneeze and people get splattered!

Beaaware Mon 12-Nov-12 17:49:32

YANBU, do they still use disposable instruments for this op by any chance?

Montybojangles Mon 12-Nov-12 17:57:04

Oh dear god, yes they use disposable instruments so no risk of vCJD. Please Give it a rest beaaware, the woman is asking about the pain, not your issues.

It will hurt, but please do eat scratchy food, it keeps the wound cleaned off. Soft food means germs can grow there and you may end up more likely to have a bleed a few days after the op. Good luck, it's no worse than a really bad case of tonsillitis

LadyStark Mon 12-Nov-12 18:23:41

You might be fine! I had mine out as an adult, I had them out on the Tuesday and was out in the pub on the Friday night (this is probably not advisable though, I say adult, I was late teens!). Pain about as bad as my worst tonsillitis.

I'm having four wisdom teeth out soon, now that is worrying me!

MadBanners Mon 12-Nov-12 18:39:31

They will give you plenty of pain relief. On my old unit we used to give 10 days supply of soluble pain killers to take home, and advise to take it on a regular basis even if the pain is not too bad. Generally day 3-5 post op are the worst. And yes to the rough food, it helps slough off any debris that may build up on the tonsil bed. chewing gum is good also, as not only will it help as you may get bad breath after ward, it helps produce saliva which will help with the soreness.

pingu2209 Mon 12-Nov-12 18:49:39

I was told having heamorroids cut out is the most painful operation you can have as an adult.

You are not being unreasonable. I have had this op when I was 30 and it was very painful, however you do get pain relief in soluble form and make sure you take it when you can (ie every 4 hours) Athough a painful op I am glad that I had it done because I hardly ever have really sore throats anymore so in the long run it was worth it.

My advice would be to ignore the scare stories but make sure you rest after as I did not and did not recover as quickly as I should have. Like previous post I would say day 3-5 were the worst but eating food although painfull does help as it pushes past the painful bit and helps it heal quicker.
Just take care, try to eat and make sure you keep up with the painkillers and get lost of rest and drink lots. Good luck xx

ddubsgirl Mon 12-Nov-12 18:54:14

ugh mine took ages to heal after sad good luck x

sleeplessbunny Mon 12-Nov-12 19:01:19

I had my tonsils taken out in my early 20s. It was a bit painful, yes, but comparing it to childbirth?!?!?!? Maybe the person who said that had complications or something. Really for me there is no comparison, please don't panic I'm sure it will be fine. Definitely stop reading horror stories about it!

I am very glad I had mine taken out as I haven't had to suffer from (painful) tonsillitis 3 or 4 times a year for the last decade.

janey68 Mon 12-Nov-12 19:02:31

YANBU to be scared but I had mine out as an adult and it hurt way less than childbirth.

MikeLitoris Mon 12-Nov-12 19:04:55

I had mine out aged 16 and it was really sore for about a week after. They gave me little purple tablets to dissolve in water for pain relief. They were like little bit drops of magic. I

annielouisa Mon 12-Nov-12 20:07:38

I had my tonsils out at age about age 35 and it was not half as painful as I had been led to believe. Gargle with soluble paracetmol half an hour before eating that helps with the pain.

Scratchy food like toast speeds the recovery process. I definetly do not think it is more painful than childbirth or a hysterectomy and I had both. Good luck and quick recovery

cocolepew Mon 12-Nov-12 20:13:47

I had mine out at 42 and it was sore but no worse than a really bad bout of tonsillitis. The surgeon told me day 5 and 10 are the worse and he was right, just keep on top of your pain relief for the first few days. Don't wait until you are sore to take it.

I've also had babies and a hysterectomy and they are definitely worse.

It's worth it, I've hardly had a sore throat in the last few years since havng it.

Goodbyetonsils Mon 12-Nov-12 21:08:51

Thank you for the replies, I noticed how active this forum was so thought I'd get more responses and I have! I am 23, and suffered with seven bouts of tonsillitis this past year sad. I'm not going to lie, I almost cancelled the op last week.

And I know they don't discharge you until you have eaten toast... toast ffs. I know it's meant to be better but that's going to be hell!

They are using the traditional method (scalpel) which I think is more painful? I'm trying not to think about the op itself it makes me feel sick but I console myself with the fact I'll be out for the count, it's the after pain I'm scared of. I really pray it won't be as bad as my scratching my eye because I was literally bed bound for days in intense agony.

sillymillyb Mon 12-Nov-12 21:33:10

Oh bollocks, I have just posted about this on that most pain you have ever been in thread!

Right, listen up. YOU WILL BE FINE!!! Honest. My op went wrong, and I would still say hand on heart that it was worth it for me to have them out and I would do it again.

Pain def not as bad as childbirth. Its more endurance than intense (I found anyway) take the drugs regularly as they build up in your system.

Oh, and the toast I didn't find that bad. Steer away from mashed potato and banana though, they stung like buggery. You will lose weight and be sore throat free in no time smile

2mummies Mon 12-Nov-12 21:35:13

I am currently squirming too much having read about the pain of a paper cut in the eye cringe squirm cringe that I cannot currently read on!

pointythings Mon 12-Nov-12 21:37:06

I think compared to 7 bouts of tonsillitis in a year it will be a walk in the park. yes, it will hurt, but think of all the sore throats you won't have, all the colds you won't have, the boost to your general level of health which will help your immune system.

I've had really bad tonsillitis twice in my life, was told that if it came back they would have to come out and that is now 20 years ago, but I still remember that pain.

And childbirth was infinitely worse.

thing1andthing2 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:37:14

I had mine out when I was 28 after two bouts of quinsy.
I was given morphine, pethidine and codeine in the hospital so felt really fine (smacked off my face) to begin with. The toast in the hospital was fine! When I got home my mum offered me a bowl of warm soup and I very nearly puked, it was only by lying in bed deep breathing that I managed to keep it down. There was no way I was going to puke over newly incised tonsil cavities.
Anyway, you need to make sure you have a good prescription NSAID like diclofenac or naproxen and also some strong codeine. Take them alternately every four hours day and night. The day five thing is right, you will feel shit as you recover from the anaesthetic. I turned a corner around day 8 but I was still taking the painkillers up to 2.5 weeks after the op.
having said all that, I would definitely have it done again in the same situation, I haven't had one serious sore throat since (5 years) and it has absolutely changed my life. I used not to take any risks with my sleep and my health for fear of coming down with tonsilitis and now I just get on with things and don't worry.

Wrongmoreoftenthannot Mon 12-Nov-12 21:39:16

I had mine out about a month ago. I'm 34 btw!

It was v sore and I had a bleed but I echo those who say eat toast as soon as you can. It really helps the healing process and after about 10 days I felt loads better.

I ate loads of jelly but stayed away from v cold and v hot foods as they burned and anything tomato based as that felt like drinking drain cleaner sad

Good luck it will be fine! Just make sure you keep taking the pain killers grin

My friend and I had them out at almost the same time in our early 20s. He suffered a bit more, but I found it fine. I was sent home with a biiiiiiiig ol' bag of drugs- literally, a paper bag like Americans have their shopping in- and tbh, the worst thing was the constipation owing to the drugs!

It in no way compared to the pain of the quinze (sp?) the last time I got tonsillitis, that had me weeping and threatening to stab myself in the ear confused

Iceaddict Mon 12-Nov-12 21:44:27

I had mine out as a teenager and remember being surprised, it was not as bad as I had imagined. Wisdom teeth is a million times worse IMHO.

2mummies Mon 12-Nov-12 21:47:27

Goodbyetonsils right, nearly recovered from the eye thing eek Good luck for Thursday and the days after. It sounds very unpleasant but do the right thing and it sounds like you'll be right as rain after a week or so. A small price to pay for (lots of attention and sympathy wink ) and no more tonsillitis smile Hope you make a speedy recovery.

babybarrister Mon 12-Nov-12 21:51:59

I had mine out at 18 too and also after a quinzey - the pain of the op was nowhere near as bad as childbirth, doing my back in or the quinze itself - you will be fine - shame you are not having it done just before Halloween as my throat started bleeding again and I was like Draculagrin - seriously it is finesmile

cocolepew Mon 12-Nov-12 22:10:16

I ate so much after having mine out I put on half a stone in two weeks ! I took an infection but was still up and about after a few days.

You won't regret getting them out.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Mon 12-Nov-12 22:19:44

Seven bouts of tonsillitis in a year? Good good woman, have them out! Honestly, it's slightly ickier and more painful than a bad bout of tonsillitis, but not much, and it will be the very last time in your life you'll have a horribly painful throat.

Another thing to bear in mind if you're considering cancelling is that it's not going to get better if you don't. You are just going to get bout after bout of tonsillitis, tonsil stones, a depleted immune system etc.

I mentioned earlier that I had mine out the week before Christmas. Which wasn't fun on the 25th. Also, they were short of beds so I was sent to recover on the children's ward of all places. I was the only person not to wake up with a Fred Flintstone bravery award above my bed. Bastards.

steppemum Mon 12-Nov-12 22:20:51

Had mine out at 21, pain no worse than the tonsilitis I had before. Paracetamol really helped.
Was the best thing I ever did, felt so much better afterwards, not just that no more tonsilitis, but better all over.

Bunnyjo Mon 12-Nov-12 22:27:37

I had mine out at 23. OK, I have to be honest - it is painful and not a walk in the park... But it wasn't the most painful experience - emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder after contracting peritonitis and rupturing my knee ligaments were much more painful. I got a secondary infection and needed readmitted for antibiotics and that was the most shitty part of it. Other than that, it was actually better than I expected.

The huge advantage is never suffering the sheer agonising bouts of tonsillitis every month or so. I do still get milder bouts (they don't remove all the tonsil tissue), but nowhere near as bad or as frequent. In the 2yrs before my surgery I think I had tonsillitis over 21 times and also ended up with quinsy, hence my tonsils were whipped out a few days later.

Good luck, I promise you won't regret it. The short term pain is more than worth the long term gain!

SkinnyMarinkADink Mon 12-Nov-12 22:28:40

Im going to be honest. had mine out last year..

Don't be fooled by he first couple of days. you will feel great and eat drink etc then it will hit you like a lorry running over your face a million time but beige alive at the end of it.

The pain was HORRIFIC. i had a 72 hour labour resulting in a section i would do that 6000 times rather that feel that pain again.

HOWEVER. like child birth you forget all about it and the end result is a rainbow of fluffy happiness.

It was so worth it, not had a chest or throat infection since.

SkinnyMarinkADink Mon 12-Nov-12 22:30:34

He - the.


Goodbyetonsils Mon 12-Nov-12 22:34:41

Lmao @ recovering in the children's ward! Oh gosh I am feeling so much better after reading these responses thank you so so much. Is it true you get less colds afterwards? Yes my immune system is completely shot, when I was 18, I had tonsillitis so bad I got septicaemia. It's since then I am constantly ill so I'm hoping this will be the miracle cure I need!

The paper cute in my eye was due to greed... I was pregnant, tucking into a big bar of dairy milk and the corrugated (sp?) bit of the wrapper scratched my eye. I would rather go through childbirth 10 more times (but not with the 10 more babies!) than encounter that pain again.

I'm worried about the pain meds making me sick as I have a phobia of throwing up... And also scared of waking up after and the pain hitting me and not being able to get the attention of a nurse! I also read sometimes your larynx (sp!?) can spasm and make it hard to breathe when you wake which sounds horrific!

PiggyPlumPie Mon 12-Nov-12 22:40:25

Must confess to hiding the toast they gave me at hospital in my bag! blush It was stone cold and I hadn't had a drink so was nigh on impossible to eat!!

The dissolvable painkillers were ace though!

Let the anaesthatist know you are scared of throwing up and they will give you something to help with that.

Having my tonsils out made a massive difference to my health in my 20s.

LessMissAbs Mon 12-Nov-12 22:54:30

I had it done a few years ago and I can't remember any pain at all. It was combined with nasal septum surgery, which I remember as being really uncomfortable, as you have to have cotton wool stuck up your nose for a while afterwards and then removed. But the tonsillectomy - walk in the park. I had to stay in hospital for a few days due to the combined surgery, and was eating all the other patient's food and seconds - was bloody starving, thats all I can remember! Oh and on the third day I was bored stiff and sneaked out of hospital to go shopping, and was caught sneaking back in and given a row by a doctor!

Have had hardly any illness since though so its definately worth it. Its honestly not something worthy worrying about at all, I didn't find it a very serious operation. Bloody hungry afterwards though!

Goodbyetonsils Mon 12-Nov-12 23:35:35

God I am so hoping I'm one of the lucky ones... SkinnyMarinkADink I wanted to cancel again after reading that! I have a terrible pain threshold don't think I can cope with that!

Kethryveris Tue 13-Nov-12 00:00:25

had mine out when i was 18.

the first 3 days are the worst, and honestly, the worst bit is swallowing the painkillers!

It does improve your health long term, before i had them removed i was pretty much ill from october through til march with constant upper resp infections on top of the permenant tonsillitis. i still get the old cold, but not as many and they dont last half as long!

I got mine out when I was 21....3 days before my wedding! (Wtf was I thinking!?). But, like keth I was permanently feeling ill and having cold-like symptoms for months. I felt like the first 2 days were not fun, but manageable with frozen things. When day 3 hit, it was unbelievable. That's when the scabs start falling off and even thinking about swallowing was agony. Let's just say that I did not get to enjoy my reception dinner sad but man the painkillers were great grin.

pixwix Tue 13-Nov-12 00:21:13

Ah GBT - I haven't had them out meself, but have nursed people having them done in hosp, so my experience is coloured by the immediate care aspect.

Firstly re: the post op vomiting - do let your anaesthetist know - these days post op nausea and vomiting seems so much less common (I did surgery as part of my back to nursing course a year ago - so I was armed with vomit bowl etc - to find only two people out of the hundred or so I nursed were actually sick!) control of post op vomiting is so much better. It was quite common when I was nursing in the early 90's but far much less so now.

I never nursed anyone after this op, who woke up in recovery, or came back to the ward in pain - they were off their face (a clinical term) and when you get back to the ward, you will be prescribed loads of pain-relief - don't be a stoic - take em - you will be prescribed regular pain relief as a base, (they will come round with the trolley to give it to you) but you will also be prescribed 'as needed' different pain relief as a top up, cos sometimes, you may get pain inbetween times, or what you are having isn't quite enough. (like last thing at night, the first night you have the op, to help you settle)

Sometimes the pain killers, if codeine based, can make you feel queasy. when in hospital- if you feel queasy, ask for an anti-sickness tablet (or if you are really queasy, they can give it I.V, or an injection in your bottom- if that helps (and they usually do) ask for some anti-sickness tablets to take home along with your painkillers, if they are codeine based. A lot of people are fine with them, but some people are sensitive to this.

And - yeah! crunchy eats to get the slough off! grin you will be fine!

Goodbyetonsils Tue 13-Nov-12 00:27:06

My issue with pills/medication when I feel sick if I try to swallow a capsule/drink medicine it makes me sick! The feeling of swallowing a capsule and taste of liquid medicine immediately make me vomit... psychological I think. The only thing I can think of to overcome this is mushing pills up in a chocolate yoghurt?

I had hypermesis when pregnant and the injections in my arse were amazing lol, but obviously when I get home I won't be able to get them...

SalopianTubes Tue 13-Nov-12 09:34:12

I've read this thread with interest as I'm on the waiting list to have my tonsils out. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but hopefully it will mean less sore throats. I'm on my third bout of tonsillitis since august and pretty fed up with it.

I also have pretty bad psoriasis. Someone has said this should clear up once I've had my tonsils removed. Has anyone else found this to be true? Or should I not get my hopes up?

Good luck for thurs Goodbye, I'm sure the pain will be worth it in the long run. wine

Ferino Tue 13-Nov-12 09:38:15

It hurts but it's worth it. I had mine out when I was 20 after squillions of throat infections. The morphine in the hospital helped a lot! (I didn't get made to eat toast...)
It's definitely not anywhere near as bad as my EMCS pain was!
On the plus side I lost a stone in 5 days after the op because I could only take in fluids. (Sadly thereafter I made up for it...!)
Try not to dwell on it - different people react differently and it depends on the state/size of your tonsils (mine were apparently quite long and went quite far down...). You need the op; you'll deal with and get over the pain.

Mamf74 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:38:45

I had mine out at 21; it was painful but like PP have said it was along the lines of a bad bout of tonsilitis (and I was given lovely painkillers to help). I went in one afternoon, had the op the next day and released the following morning.

There was an element of age shown in my recovery - I was still away with the fairies late afternoon of the day of my op but the 5 year old twins who had the op after me were causing hell on the ward with their running and playing grin.

The worst thing was being made to eat toast before being discharged which was hard work. I also drank pineapple juice too - the hospital said that I should avoid "soft" food and eat hard food like toast, cereal etc to stop the wound getting infected. They also advised citrussy fruit juice rather than milky tea or coffee for the same reason.

It was great, though, as I had tonsilitis every 6 weeks or so for a year and it was getting to the stage where antibiotics were taking longer to work so it felt really liberating to not go to the Drs for MONTHS afterwards!

Oh, and gargling with soluble paracetamol works brilliantly!

Good luck.

Mamf74 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:45:28

And just wanted to add - I was living alone at the time so went back to stay with my DM and DF after the op as they were concerned about me. Had the op on Wednesday, out Thursday then on the Saturday walked the mile or so back to my house as I was SO desperate to get back to my things (and away from fussy DM!) grin.

Felt knackered but it was fab to be in my own bed!

PostBellumBugsy Tue 13-Nov-12 09:48:30

Aw goodbyetonsils I feel for you. I had mine out a couple of years ago in my late 30s and it really wasn't that bad. Make sure you have lots of painkillers afterwards. You may not want to swallow big tablets, so get the soluble type.

Get yourself some soft foods, otherwise you just end up not eating. I ate lots of advocado, banana, fruit purees, tuna mayo and jelly!

You need to be very watchful about post-op infections - particularly if you have tonsils that are normally infected. I had one a week post-op & haemorrhaged really badly (blue flashing lights & re-admitted back to hospital). Speak to your consultant about prophalactic anti-biotics to be taken post op to prevent this happening.

thing1andthing2 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:50:45

I was given soluble meds. Soluble paracetamol, and voltarol, which is soluble diclofenac, little purple pills of magic, they were amazing and made me pain free for 4 to 6 hours after each one. Try and get some if you can!

PostBellumBugsy Tue 13-Nov-12 09:53:08

Oh & it was definitely the best thing I ever had done - despite the haemorrhage. My health improved immeasurably. I felt like a new woman. I hadn't realised how ill I had been with almost constant tonsillitus for about 5 years.
You'll be fine goodbyetonsils and you will be so glad you had the op.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 13-Nov-12 10:21:34

I had mine out on my 18th birthday, I was the only one over the age of 12 having my tonsills out and was last to be taken down to theatre, I watched all the children go down and come back up wide awake and they were up and about within an hour, it took me 3 hours to even come round!

It didn't hurt at all for the first 2 days, thanks to the pain killers just felt like I was swallowing around a big ball.

Day 3 it felt like I was swallowing razor blades and was agony but by day 5 I felt fine and just had a slight sore throat for about a week.

I was quite sick after the op but generally am after a GA, I ate cornflakes and toast for the first couple of days but when the hospital painkillers had worn off I couldn't face them so stuck to soft food and found that ice lollies helped to soothe the pain.

My local hospital doesn't supply painkillers so I stocked up with solouble nurofen and paracetamol before hand.

To be honest I was in more pain when I had my wisdom teeth out last year so YANBU to be worried but YABU to think its the most painful thing ever.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Tue 13-Nov-12 10:56:38

I had mine out last January and it honestly wasn't as bad as the horror stories I read online. Get yourself a humidifier and use it every night. Wake up in the night to take pain killers and to drink water. Make sure you can get lots of rest. The first few days aren't too bad, the pain peaks after day five. Try to eat as normally as you can as quickly as poss (although still soft food) - things like mashed potato, scrambled eggs and take your painkillers and let them kick in before you eat. The difference the op made to my life far outweights the pain post op. Good luck you will be fine. After a month you will barely remember it - just a bit of a sore throat for a while x

I had mine out when I was 11. I recovered quite well and had pain for a week or two and lots of ice cream but I'll tell you on Friday what happened after having the op! I had a rough time of it thanks to shite surgeons!

MadBanners Tue 13-Nov-12 11:22:00

Are you day case? On my unit we started doing tonsillectomy's as day case about 4 years ago. The minimum recovery period is 4 hours. So we would not discharge until at least 4 hours post op, and only if you had eaten toast, observations were fine etc. The first 48 hours you will feel tired and generally lethargic, due to the fact the GA can stay in your system for up to 48 hours, which is why you need someone with you for at least 24 hours, you should not drive, drink alcohol, take sleeping tablets, use a cooker/kettle etc etc for 48 hours.

Most people managed the oral painkillers fine, if we could give any on the ward, bearing in mind what you have had in surgery, but in general we would only give some soluble co codamol on the ward, very rare ppl needed more than that, occasionally we would have to get oramorph (liquid morphine) prescribed to give on the ward, but that is something we never sent them home with.

I never had to give im/iv morphine to a tonsillectomy patient (it had never been needed) but then we were day case and if you need im/iv morphine you are not going home that day. We also used to ring all GA patients after a few days to see how they were getting on. Again rarely had an issue, as long as they were taking the painkillers regularly as prescribed.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Tue 13-Nov-12 11:24:45

Mad I was given scrambled egg and advised not to eat toast. I did eat toast on around day four and it made my scab come off early and I had a bad bleed. I would stay away from the toast! grin

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Tue 13-Nov-12 11:26:30

OP, also be prepared to be bunged up as the painkillers make you quite constipated. I got tramadol as well as codamol and they really helped.

MadBanners Tue 13-Nov-12 16:39:26

On my ward you have to eat toast or they wont discharge you, there is a reason they say to eat "rough" foods.

After tonsillectomy you are left with an open wound, which fills with bacteria and slough which then leads to pain and inflammation. Rough foods debride this away from the healing site. It is more painful to eat rough foods such as toast or cornflakes but this results in fewer bacteria in the wound, hence quicker healing and recovery and less pain in between meals. The more traditional diet of ice cream and jelly, while feeling better to eat, results in a longer recovery and generally more pain in between meals. Rough foods actually reduces the chance of post op bleeding, as it is facilitating quicker healing.

So, yes eat rough food, while it is more painful while actually eating (and hence why you should try and take your pain relief about 30 minutes before a meal) it will lessen the pain in between meals and reduce the chance of post op complications such as infection and bleeding.

Also in general you want about 2 weeks off work, avoid smokers and those with cold/flu etc.

Goodbyetonsils Tue 13-Nov-12 19:09:22

Why smokers? And that bit about open wound makes me feel sick! I am really, really starting to panic now as Thursday is so close. I am terrible with pain. A lady serving me in the canteen today took delight in telling me her awful experience as a 15 y/o tonsillectomy patient. Oh god is this really worth it?! The most annoying thing is I have just broken my record for longest amount of time tonsillitis free in a year, keep thinking maybe this is it... I've outgrown it!

MadBanners Tue 13-Nov-12 19:45:57

Well, don't avoid smokers as such, just don't be standing right nest to them when they are smoking! It can increase the risk of bleeding.

I have looked after 4-5 post op tonsillectomy patients a week for about 4 years, I have only ever had to keep in maybe 2-3 in all that time as they were not well enough to go home. For uncontrolled pain or nausea or their temp being too high.

With regards to the wound, it is what it is, and one of the reason rough food is recommended, it will aid in healing and you will get over it so much quicker. They give you plenty of pain relief during the procedure, pretty much the full whack, morphine, diclofenac, pethidine etc..and they will send you home with plenty. Just make sure you take it before you eat, and even if you don't think you are in pain at that time. And drink plenty of fluids, not fizzy or fruit juices, but water, keep hydrated and keep your throat moist, hence why chewing gum is also good. It will be painful but use your painkillers and it will be bearable and after 1-2 weeks that is long has your worst bout of tonsillitis lasted? And to suffer that again and again repeatedly, or, never suffer it again.

There is always someone who has had a terrible experience with anything, when you are pregnant you get the birth horror stories, you wait for a knee op you get the knee horror stories.

On the day you will be admitted by a nurse, seen the by surgeon and seen by the anaesthetist. explain to them how nervous you are, the surgeon can go through it all if you wish it as much or as little detail as you like, before you sign the consent form. You can even ask for a bit of something before hand, to help calm you down. Something like Temazepam.

Lara2 Tue 13-Nov-12 19:56:36

I had mine out at 40. It was fine! smile I was dosed to the eyeballs with pain killers - worked like a charm! The worst bit was throwing up after the anaesthetic. I was told not to go out for at least a week and avoid crowds etc for 2 weeks - but they only gave me about 3/4 days of pain killers. This meant I had to go and sit in a surgery waiting room in December full of people coughing and spluttering! So much for avoiding crowds!
It was the best thing I ever did healthwise - I had got to the point where I was on permanent antibiotics just to keep the raging tonsillitus at bay. I was always appallingly ill with it too.
Don't worry, have the op and you won't look back smile

Goodbyetonsils Tue 13-Nov-12 21:15:30

I've heard different things about when the pain peeks too, some say the first few days whilst others say these are the easiest. I have then heard days 3, 5 and 9 are the most painful- does this just change for different people?

I'm back to the constant nausea now from the panic, can't concentrate on anything, so tempted to ring and cancel! My guilty admission is I finished my first course of anti-b's after my last bout of tonsillitis. Before that they have always upset my tummy so much I stopped taking them. So now I'm wondering if the reason I have gone 9 weeks without tonsillitis is because I am cured after finally finishing my anti-bs confused

Sparklesandglitter Tue 13-Nov-12 21:37:31

I haven't read all the posts but make sure you go the doctors if you have excessive pain, I ended up with an infection that caused the worse earache ever (the drops they give you help ease the pain) plus vomiting and a very very sore throat. Take all the painkillers you can get, I had 30mg of codiene x8 per day plus 8 diclofenac a day (plus anti sickness and antibiotics, I rattled!) and make sure you don't run out! It is well worth it though!!

cat Tue 13-Nov-12 21:39:11

I had mine out twice

cat Tue 13-Nov-12 21:39:59

Once at 15 and again at 19.

It didn't hurt either time. Just sore and drowsy afterwards

Sparklesandglitter Tue 13-Nov-12 21:40:20

BTW the infection was possibly my fault as I smoked a couple of cigs after about a week blush

MrsMelons Tue 13-Nov-12 21:44:24

Yes was awful pain but not for long really. Eating toast etc really helps to heal quicker. The pain will be over fairly quickly so nothing too much to worry about.

Goodbyetonsils Wed 14-Nov-12 19:24:11

Yes I plan on going to A&E if the pain is horrific... It's D Day tomorrow, I am beyond terrified now packing hospital bag. Read a news story on how Miley Cyrus' brother almost died from having his tonsils out recently which hasn't done much to ease my nerves. I keep thinking "this time tomorrow I will be in the worst amount of pain I have ever been in" shock. I am due at the hospital for 11.30 and then prob won't be seen until around 2 and no one is allowed to wait with me sad

When you see the anaesthetist tomorrow tell them your worries about the pain. I was worried about being sick and so I was given extra anti-emetic as soon as I woke up. They may be able to help you with extra pain meds.

It will honestly be worth it. I'm so glad I had mine out.

Well, you're definitely not BU to be scared, but YWBVU if you don't have them out!
Have bobbed back to wish you all the best for tomorrow, and the pain honestly won't be that bad- just make sure you keep on top of the drugs, you must take them regularly. The mistake is to think it's not hurting and stop...

Marzipanface Wed 14-Nov-12 19:42:33

There will be plenty of pain relief available. It really won't be that bad.

It's going to be ok.

Goodbyetonsils Wed 14-Nov-12 19:46:40

I am worried about being sick too but mainly the pain... What if I wake up in agony but can't get their attention?

Boomerwang Wed 14-Nov-12 19:54:43

Why does it hurt more as an adult? I had mine out at about age 10 and I only remember the pain when I swallowed the toast they made me eat. I remember nothing after that. I didn't even know what a tonsil was, had no idea what they'd done to me just that my throat hurt.

Diclofenac is a wonder drug, though, imo. I take it when I get RSI pains and about 3 minutes after taking one you start to feel a warm glow come over the affected area. It's lovely. Take it!

Goodbyetonsils Wed 14-Nov-12 19:58:13

Your nerves aren't fully developed there as a child confused

On the upside, my surgeon is incredibly handsome lol. Unfortunately he will see me at my worst. I bought a humidifier today, stocked up on chewing gum. Anything I am forgetting?

piglettsmummy Wed 14-Nov-12 20:04:57

oh dear me!!! i had mine out when i was six!! it didnt hurt anymore than waking up with a sore throat, and when i mean sore throat i mean the kind you get when u have a cold!!! in all honesty the pessary that they stuck up my arse twice a day hurt far more!!! theres no need to worry at all!! tbf! ive had headaches that were worse!!!

griphook Wed 14-Nov-12 20:05:29

I had mine out at 23, honestly it just a bit worse than tonsillitis.

I threw up about 15 times before my op, basically I sat outside the toliet on a chair until my name was called. I was very nervous.

But it was fine, it hurt a bit but the pain killers worked and they gave me a spray. When I woke up from the op my ears hurt and I really believed they had operated on my ears!

When you get home eat toast, soft soggy toast as scraps of the bacteria ( well that was advice given years ago)

Good luck.

FiveFlowers Wed 14-Nov-12 20:07:07

I posted on the worst pain thread and it didn't even occur to me to put my tonsillectomy on there.

I had mine out at 21 and it hurt afterwards but wasn't too bad - nothing at all like childbirth!

Just be careful and look after yourself, I tried to do too much too quickly and ended up with a throat infection which prolonged the pain a bit.

You'll be fine and it will be worth it.

Hope your doing ok and not in to much pain Goodbyetonsilsthanks

Goodbyetonsils Sat 17-Nov-12 16:17:23

Aw thank you TheInvisiblePoster, I am doing surprisingly well although I am very aware of people who warn it gets much worse! Just sleeping lots and have managed to eat normal meals- risotto and shepherds pie smile. Don't want to count my chickens though I am expecting to wake up in a lot more pain days 3/5

LivingInAPinkBauble Sun 18-Nov-12 09:05:11

Glad you are doing ok OP. I had the inevitable tonsils and adenoids out and gromits (sp!) in when I was 6, seemed to be all the rage in the 80s! I remember it all quite clearly, also the constant pains before the op, was on so much antibiotics that my adult teeth came through with little enamel, compared to so many fewer ear and throat infections. Enjoy being tonsillitis free, and hope you get well soon thanks

LivingInAPinkBauble Sun 18-Nov-12 09:05:59

Sorry, should read much fewer infections after the op!

maleview70 Sun 18-Nov-12 11:40:50

I woke up after my op at 28 thinking "what's all the fuss about"

After going back to sleep an hour or so later, I woke up in the night in agony once the painkiller had worn off. A quick top up and it went again.

I got an infection and was off work sick for 6 weeks.

It wasn't a great time that's for sure!

SkinnyMarinkADink Sun 18-Nov-12 21:43:41

goodbye glad to hear your doing ok.

Hopefully you will get lucky and have an easy recovery.

Jlee4 Fri 19-Sep-14 04:01:44

Just wanted to share my experience of having my tonsils removed for any one who is searching the net before having their tonsils removed because i did before my surgery and all i found was people saying how horrible and painful it is but now i know for myself its really not that bad at all!! I am 23 yrs old and had my very large unhealthy tonsils removed 2 days ago, i went in at 8am was in surgery room at 10:30am and put to sleep which wasnt bad, then woke up at 12pm and it was all done i woke up crying but not because of pain but coz its a side effect of waking up from anestetic and i felt fine after i fully woke up and realized where i was. They took me back to hospital room and had me on a drip all day and monitored my blood pressure and stuff and i wasnt aloud to get up until around 5pm, i ate meat and veggies for dinner and it didnt hurt a bit! My pain rating was never more then a 1 out of 10 but they still gave me pain killers just incase and a numbing liquid to swollow and also have to rinse my mouth with hydrogen peroxide. I am home now and feel fine! Just a little drowsy from medicine but pain is still a 1 out of 10 and is a lot less painful then having tonsilitis!! But everyone handles pain differently and i think i have a high tolerance for pain but i really dont think its that bad at all so dont be scared to have your tonsils out!! I just hope it stays like this for me until it fully heals smile
My doctor and nurses encouraged me to eat and drink the same day and it doesnt hurt it will help you to heal! They also recommend drinking coke believe it or not coz it helps heal the area and clean it!

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