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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.

mumof2monsters Mon 12-Nov-12 18:53:10

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.

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