Tonsillectomy recovery can be a surprisingly difficult experience, especially for adults. Many patients are not given adequate information before their tonsillectomy to prepare and manage their recovery. There are some basic facts about tonsillectomy surgery and recovery, and also about conditions related to tonsillectomy like tonsil stones, tonsillitis, and strep throat that can help you feel comfortable with your decision to undergo tonsillectomy surgery, and make your tonsillectomy recovery a little bit easier.
I was in my mid 40’s when I went under the knife. It was an experience that changed me forever. After years of battling tonsillitis, strep throat, and even sleep apnea, the surgery was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. These days I rarely get sick, I sleep better Let me suggest that the time to think about recovery is BEFORE surgery! By planning ahead you can make your tonsillectomy recovery much, much better.
Ask your doctor a million questions. Particularly, I advise discussing pain management with him or her in advance. You will be in pain during recovery. Pain management is essential to a successful recovery. Poorly executed, you’ll suffer from poor sleep, poor nutrition, and even depression. Ask for liquid medicines. I am amazed by how many patients suffer trying to swallow big pills during their recovery, or crushing them to mix with food that may be hard to swallow. Another concern may be nausea. Consider asking your doctor for an anti nausea prescription. On the topic of tonsillectomy recovery medications, talk to your doctor about swelling. Some people have such bad uvula swelling that they can barely swallow. If I were to have a tonsillectomy again, (Thank God- did it already!), I would ask my doc for a steroid to reduce the inflammation and swelling. It’s also a good idea to keep a written record of the medicines you take, as you take them. It’s easy to get confused and forget when your last dose was.
It’s also a good idea to keep drinking and eating as much as you can tolerate. Especially drinking. Swallowing fluids speeds recovery and keeps the tissues moist. Taking in food not only provides nourishment to help you recover from tonsillectomy surgery, but it also reduces the risk of nausea from taking pain medicines.
I generally advise taking no less than two weeks off from work. At a minimum, plan on ten days. It’s a good idea to also talk to family and friends and ASK FOR HELP. You’ll need support. For the first 24 hours you’ll need someone in your home to keep an eye on you. Anesthesia will still be in your system and there is a slight risk of hemorrhage. After that, I’d advise having someone. “nearby.” At the least, stopping in and checking on you, and being available to pick up items from the store or pharmacy. Be prepared to be worthless to others. If you have kids, try to get help during your tonsillectomy recovery.
A successful tonsillectomy begins before surgery is undergone.