Tonsilectomies and ice cream (ATTN: majormd)

In December of 1992, I had my tonsils removed. In the recovery area, I requested some ice cream and was handed a cup of some sort of sorbet-type concoction (it was a frozen non-dairy product). I asked, why this nasty shit and not ice cream? (not my exact words) The nurse told me that it wasn’t good to have dairy products after surgery for some reason that I don’t recall. Needless to say, I was broken hearted. My questions:

  1. Is it really bad to have dairy products after surgery? Or was the hospital trying to cut costs by eliminating their Ben & Jerry’s budget?

  2. If it is bad to to have dairy products after surgery, then why? Like I said, I don’t recall what the nurse told me.

  3. My impression is that, as of the late 70’s, people still got ice cream (as opposed to sorbet) after tonsilectomies. When did this cease, if it ever did? Or is the whole “ice cream after tonsilectomy” thing a myth?

I think it’s a myth.

I got my tonsils out in '62 when I was 8, and not once did they give me ice cream. Loads of Coke though. (My wife has a theory that milk increases phlegm and mucous, whereas Coke is nice and syrupy. I don’t get it – mucous and phlegm are nice and syrupy too.)

I also fell for the “you can’t talk for a few days” garbage. I panicked about not being able to communicate, so I made sure to bring lots of pencils and paper with me to the hospital. Turns out I was a bit hoarse, but had no real problem talking at low volume for short periods.

I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.

Still got mine in, which explains my rich and silky baritone singing voice. “Sweet Adeline” available on request.

All I can say, if this no-ice-cream stuff is true, is that I am very, VERY disappointed with Bill Cosby.


Keeves: I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.

I had my T&A when I was 14. They did offer me ice cream, but after 1/2 a bowl my throat was very mucked-up. I stuck to Jell-O for the rest of my recouperation.

What really got me was my mom cooked up some Oven Fry chicken when I was still on Jell-O. It smelled so good, but I couldn’t have any. Years later I finally tried OF on chicken and didn’t like it. sigh

I had my tonsils and adnoids out (sorry, AWB, but T&A reminds me of OTHER body parts) in 1982 or so. I honestly don’t remember much about it, except that my brother brought me an Elfquest book that I absolutely loved, and my doctor told my mother that I had the biggest, ugliest tonsils he had ever seen. This doctor was near the end of his career, so that was quite a statement.

It must not have been too bad, because I don’t remember what I had to eat or having a sore throat or anything. I do remember that I didn’t get my twice a year tonsilitis anymore, which was WONDERFUL.

I had my tonsils removed with lasers. My mom had hers cut out when she was four. I amazed her twice: 1) When I started talking in the recovery area immediately after surgery and 2) When I was able to sing at the Christmas celebration at church a week later. I remember the first solid food I had following my tonsilectomy. After a week of Jell-O and chicken noodle soup, I forced down a roast beef sandwich at Arby’s. It was like swallowing rocks, but damn it tasted good.

My grandfather had his tonsils removed during WWII when he was in the navy. No anesthesia (general or local) and no sedative. Just open wide and snip-snip. He said it hurt like a mo-fo (not his exact words). This is when men were men.

My 2 cents: Maybe enough people are lactose-intolerant that hospitals don’t want to get sued for feeding you dairy products.

I’m not an ENT doc & neither of my 2 kids hads to have tonsillectomies, so the following is a mixture of recall from my tonsillectomy (age 8) & conjecture…

Thick liquids often stimulate throat secretions, especially if you’re not drinking enough water or other liquids. Thus ice cream can lead to repetitive throat clearing, & they may figure it’s probably not that much better than sorbet :frowning:

That being said, I sure ate a lot of the real stuff after my surgery & seem to have survived just fine.

Sue from El Paso

OOPS - My better half also reminded me that immediately after surgery, when one is still at risk for nausea & vomiting due to lingering effects of anesthesia, any fat-containing foods (including dairy products) are usually outlawed until a “meal” of clear liquids is kept down.

Sue from El Paso