Is adult tonsillectomy really that bad?

My sister got her tonsils taken out when she was 19 and said it was absolutely horrible. I always figured it wasn’t a big deal prior to that, but I’ve read other anecdotal accounts and apparently it’s quite an extreme ordeal! I felt terrible for her. I’ve heard people say it was worse than kidney stones, childbirth and other things that are stereotypically the absolute worst pains you can experience.

Do you think tonsil removal recovery is worse than having open heart surgery, brain surgery, a C-section, an amputated leg and so on?

I had my tonsils out when I was 30.

It hurts but it’s not that horrible. My C-section hurt much worse.
I heard all the horror stories. I had mine out the day before Thanksgiving, and went home the next day. That sucked because I couldn’t eat. I had half a slice of bread soaked in gravy at one house and a spoonful of mashed potatoes at another.

I was back to work the following Tuesday, only because I had to go to the doctor to get a release on Monday. If I had had sick leave I’d probably had taken off a few more days.
I lived on soft foods at first. Then I wanted scratchy potato chips because the scabs in the back of my throat itched.

What really hurt was bending over or lifting things. It felt like my throat was being ripped out.

I have heard of people taking as long as 6 weeks off work. I have no idea why unless they were doing hard physical labor or if they had a job that required a lot of talking. I think it was around day 10 after the surgery that I had to take it easy because the scabs were coming off and I could have hemorrhaged.

I knew another woman who had hers out at 19. She actually felt better and was eating shorty afterwards because her throat hurt less than it had before.

It hurt to talk, it hurt to eat, otherwise I was fine.

I recovered from my c-section much faster, and found it less painful. Tonsillectomies are painful, because of the number of nerve endings in your throat, and because the back of your tongue swells. The first two days were horrific. The rest of that week was bad, but it got better every day. My doctor for some reason gave me pain pills instead of liquid. I crushed them, and took them with pudding, after spraying anesthetic on my throat.

I am very glad I had it done, though. It fixed the problem it was supposed to fix, and on top of that, I get fewer colds, and the ones I do get are shorter duration.

I got adenoids out at the same time. It probably made recovery harder, but better to have both at once, than separate recoveries.

31 flavors that you can appreciate more.

Mine were taken out when I was 34. It was the best three weeks ever; flat on my back, remote in one hand and book in the other, and pain meds in easy reach.

The surgery wasn’t bad. The day after wasn’t bad. The second day was EXCRUCIATING, because that’s when the associated ear pain kicked in. Nothing to do but suffer through that. On day four the doc’s office called to check on me, and just as my then-husband was telling them I was doing all right, I threw up all over the place. THAT hurt.

They were worried about me because I was a redhead (increased chance of bleeding) adult (increased chance of complications) working at a very physically active job. I was originally given two weeks off, but when I still couldn’t talk at the end of week two (it didn’t hurt, per se- though don’t get me wrong, it was uncomfortable- I just couldn’t produce any sound) the doc said another week would be a good idea. I wasn’t going to argue.

The itching of the scabs was really tough to deal with; you can’t have any dairy products, and you can’t have anything too hot or too cold, so it was difficult finding something to relieve the itchiness.

I didn’t have any restrictions on dairy, and Ensure, served over ice, was my best friend. That’s all I could eat, plus pudding and popsicles, for a couples of days. I added babyfood applesauce and sweet potatoes on day three. Pureed, plus very low acid. I couldn’t tolerate regular applesauce-- it stung.

I was pretty much eating a normal diet by the end of two weeks, but it was a whole month before I could have citrus fruits or juice.

Would you say the pain and discomfort is comparable to severe pneumonia? I had that 2 years ago and I threw up every day, couldn’t keep any food down and there was lots of chest and throat pain from the coughing and infection.

Had mine out when I was 33. Took the full three weeks my doctor warned me about to recover. First week wasn’t so bad - took my pain meds, ate a little soft food, watched tv, and slept. Second week was gruesome, as that’s when the scabs started to come off, and all of a sudden everything in the center of my head was throbbingly sensitive. The pain meds weren’t quite enough. I kept ice bags on my neck, but it can’t really reach the spots where the tonsils used to be. Third week was better.

Totally worth it, by the way. I’ve had maybe one sinus infection and no ear infections since, and I used to alternate between them every six months. My allergies cleared up for at least five years, though they’re back now. The doc who took them out said that they’d clearly been infected multiple times.

:eek: Jeepers Creepers. All Sahirrnee needs is a few kidney stones thrown in for the trifecta.

No thank you.
I’ll pass on those please.

C-Sections are not notoriously painful. I mean, they aren’t fun, but they are about the same as any other moderately invasive surgical procedure. It’s *childbirth *that is notoriously painful. I think you are extrapolating that because a C-section is a dramatic form of childbirth, it is the most dramatically painful type. This is not at all true.

Yeah, C-section was not too bad in the scheme of things, although I didn’t have any help, so mine took forever to heal.

I was early 20’s when I had my tonsils out. It was a complete nightmare. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t swallow the pain pills and couldn’t stop throwing up, which took everything down to square one again every time. It was three weeks of total pain. If you are considering one, please get yourself some Ensure and liquid vitamins. It was when a friend brought me those that I really started to heal. After that it got a little bit better each day, until I was finally back to normal after about eight weeks. Nothing was getting any better until I started to get some nutrition. Opening my throat properly to sing took almost two years.

Still ranks far below kidney stones, broken foot, ulceric colitis and (the very worst) Gall stones.

Having mine out when I was 14 was traumatic. I swear the local anesthetic didn’t work properly, but no one believed me. It also didn’t help that nobody prepared me for what it was going to be like.

That said, I’ve had toothaches that were far worse. Childbirth was not especially painful for me.

From what I’ve observed of others with kidney or gall bladder stones, those are way more painful.

Childbirth seems pretty variable. I guess in a way it’s kind of like sex itself … if you’re relaxed and stuff your body is gonna handle it pretty well, but if you’re not prepped it can be absolutely awful and stuff down there gets torn.

I think C-sections are vastly underrated though. I can’t say how painful they are, and being male I’ll never know but I’ve seen videos of them and they’re so gruesome! They’re basically disemboweling you and putting you back together! If I were a woman I think I’d still rather do it the normal way.

No, they aren’t. The intestines are way, way north of the uterus and are not disturbed at all. The abdominal wall is so stretched that they don’t have to cut through the muscle. I think I’d rather have a C-section than any other non-laproscopic abdominal surgery.

I had 27 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, a forceps attempt (two different types of forceps), and finally a c-section.

I had an epidural for most of labor, or I think I would have been to exhausted to push-- as it was, I’d been awake for 27 hours, and had nothing to eat other than the dextrose, or whatever the sugar was in the IV. They gave me a popsicle, but it made me puke. The pain of the early labor was bad enough. I don’t want to know what full-on labor without medication was like.

Pushing wasn’t fun, and the baby started to crown, which was pretty painful, as was the forceps insertion. They couldn’t get the epidural started in time, so I was out for the c-section. I was never in that much pain afterwards, although I had medication for it, of course, but the point was that it worked. The shot of morphine I had after the tonsillectomy barely touched the pain.

I was talking to a guy at work who is probably in his mid-40’s. He said it was horrible. Much like phouka’s experience. First day was okay, second day hurt horribly, but once he was through that, he said, well, that wasn’t too bad, I’m through the worst. Then by the end of the first week, it was just hideously painful.

I’m 52 and still have my tonsils.


I had mine out at 29 and it was pretty horrible. I got a prescription for vicodin and it really didn’t seem to help much… but it did take the edge off just enough that I could sleep (sitting up!) for a couple hours at a time.

I thought the “suggested” recovery period of 2 weeks seemed long but I assure you that it absolutely took that long for me to feel good enough to return to work. And even after 2 weeks, the first meal of solid food was … uh … not exactly pleasant.

BUT! Of course it was all worth it. I have had barely a sore throat in the decade since, whereas I used to get them at least once a month.

Are they really easier on kids, or do kids just deal with pain better?

I think kids just heal faster. I remember when I broke my foot as a kid, it didn’t hurt that much after the first couple of hours. I think as an adult it would be harder.