I'm 19 and due to get my tonsils out sometime in July and I'm wondering how long I'm gonna be out of action for! I'm hoping some of you who've gone through it already can help me out? (I haven't spoken to the throat specialist yet)
As a 19 year old, how long does the recovery period usually last? I've heard that it's about 2 weeks before your throat feels normal again. And also how long before being physically back to your normal self? Is it just days? More than a week? How long does it generally take before feeling able to eat again?
And how long before I should head back to work?! (to a job that involves lots of talking and lots of lifting/carrying things!)
This isn't a medical board, liability to boards.ie and such :/
I had my tonsils out when I was 19.
The recovery is pretty quick really, although I found that the worst of it was the ferocious itchy sensation I got in my throat as the incision sites were healing. I used to use a tiny spray bottle I got in Boots to spray ice water on the back of my throat - that was heavenly! Talking isn't really a problem as the operation doesn't affect your vocal chords - the only thing is, your voice may sound a little muffled for the first couple of days due to localised swelling. It didn't really hurt as such afterwards, more uncomfortable from swelling (my cheeks were hurting from whatever they had used to hold my mouth open during the surgery) and swallowing at first will be laboured.
Physically, a day or two after the operation you'll start to feel normal again. Most of the physical recovery is from the anaesthetic rather than the tonsillectomy. Eating is okay, but you should avoid spicy foods or rich foods, and stay away from dairy products (I was told in the hospital not to eat them as they coat your throat and will encourage bacteria growth around your incision sites). Also, you are better off eating foods that are "rough" in texture, like dry toast, bran flakes with as little milk as you can manage etc. The reason for this is that eating rough foods will encourage healing faster than if you are eating softer textured foods as they create scabs which speed up the healing of your throat.
Workwise - I'd stay off for at least a week. It'll be midsummer when you have your procedure, and airborne particles (pollen, pollutants, germs etc) will carry easier on warmer air. I had mine removed in August and was told to stay indoors for a week to minimise risk of inhaling something that could irritate the incision sites or cause infection.
If you smoke, just forget about it for two weeks or so - its impossible. It made me throw up the one time I did attempt it.
I had mine out this time last year, at 25. Took about 2 weeks to recover. For me, it was very very bloody sore - the painkillers I got weren't enough and wore off far too quickly.
Initial pain is sore-ish, but about a week later it gets worse. Make sure that you get enough painkillers and if you start running through them faster than you're supposed to talk to your doc!
Eating foods like toast etc is supposed to be better as it stimulates the area and encourages healing.
Oh, and get some breath mints for week 2, you'll probably need 'em
Overall, it's well worth getting done - last winter I think I got sick once, as opposed to 4 or 5 times
Had mine out when I was 18. August, like embee, and I gave up smoking for about 2 weeks (and I immediately regretted the 1 I had at the end of that, but then twas ok after that). Physically, you're pretty much grand after a couple of days, once the anaesthetic's left your system you should be fine.
Had mine out three years ago at 20 and found recovery fine. Stayed in for 2 nights in hospital which was fine wasn't in much pain at all although I did puke blood which apparantly is normal and expected. Drove myself home from the hospital so things musn't have been that sore.
They say recovery time is much longer for adults but to be honest a week is plenty of time (imo). You'll sound like you have a cold for 2 weeks or so but other than that have some good sleep and relax in the sunshine, you'll be fine.
Slightly off topic but I was told that leaving cert stress and subsequent college exam stress may have triggered my tonsillitis as I never had it when I was young, I didn't think I was stressed at the time but I suppose my body had other ideas. Anyone else have this experience?
A friend of mine had hers out on Monday of last week and she came back to work today. She says she feels much better now and she looks it too. It's good to have her back. I think I must be sweet on her or something...
So all round it seems to be better news than I expected! Cheers for all your stories!
I don't smoke so that won't bother me. For the past two years I have suffered from god-awful bouts of tonsillitis (sometimes as often as every three weeks) that have me house-bound generally for 7 days at a time. It's bloody annoying! But I'm used to it now so I think I'll manage the tonsillectomy recovery no bother!
I appreciate the in-depth info!
i got my tonsils out last monday, i'm 17. feel ok now except the painkillers dont seem to last long enough but they gave me a mouth rinse that numbs your throat, that helps...
as for smoking, after three days i ran out of will power!! i'm not sure if smoking is slowing my recovery, if anyone has any input on that it'd be helpfull!
Got mine out at 19or20, not sure when exactly, was fine. Not the best experience, but not the worst either.
Was a bit ill directly afterward (ick: blood had seeped down my throat instead of being hoovered up) so I was on a drip for a day or so.
Afterwards I did need extra painkillers as it went mental.
Was fine for the next 2 days: deadly pain for 2 days: 3 days later it was fine.
Was advised to eat salt'n'vinegar crisps to help 'clean' the wound... stung but was fine.
Put it this way: ate a chinese about 2 days after I got them out.
You'll be grand in a week.
smoking will delay your recovery stops the amount of healthy oxygenated blood in your body plus inhaling the chemicals past your wound sites wont help.
i'm on as few a day as i can manage but i think i'm allergic to patches and stayin off them had me crawlin up the walls... thanks for the input... here's to hopin it doesn't affect recovery too much *fingers crossed*
Slight diversion here. Just want to ask all the people who have had them out how often they were getting sore throats before they were referred? I have a sore throat every 2-3 weeks. I have been having them regularly since my teens and am immune to most of them. Few painkillers and di-flam and I can function.
Got a really bad one 4 weeks ago. I'd about 8 blisters. By time I got around to seeing doctor it had improved quite a bit.
Boyf mentioned to me that I seemed to always have one and I realised he was right so I told the doctor and basically she said come back every time you have one and if I have a certain number of them in 2 years they will take them out. Does that sound right?
I was told that 5 in a year is a sure sign to go see your doctor.
I got awful tonsitilitis every couple of months for all of first year in Uni. I got the last bout in May and I was incapacitated for about a week, with a fever and everything. Haven't gotten it since though, and still have my tonsils!
You really need to ask your doctor these questions.