What to Expect After Your Tonsillectomy

What to Expect After Your Tonsillectomy

If you’re getting ready for a tonsillectomy, you might be wondering what to expect and how to ensure a smooth recovery. While a tonsillectomy doesn’t require much downtime, you’ll definitely deserve some special treatment and attention afterward. Whether you live alone or have someone to look after you, here’s how to prepare for the procedure and what to expect in the aftermath.

At SLENT, with locations in Mandeville, Slidell, and Hammond, Louisiana, our otolaryngology specialists can treat chronic tonsillitis and other issues with a tonsillectomy.  

When tonsillectomy is necessary

In the past, removal of the tonsils was a routine procedure for many children and teenagers. This steadily declined as doctors and parents realized the low risk of keeping the tonsils intact. However, there’s a reason the procedure was considered a gold standard for children’s health for so long; tonsils were regarded as the “portal of infection” for many childhood ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, is common when you have bacterial and viral infections, such as strep throat. Both children and adults can experience tonsillitis, but it’s more common in children who are still attending school and developing their immune systems.

Tonsil infections often cause swelling, tenderness, trouble swallowing, and bad breath. In many cases, a doctor can diagnose tonsillitis simply by examining the tonsils themselves, which appear enlarged, inflamed, and even discolored with white patches or pus.

Tonsil infections typically clear up with time and antibiotics. There are a few reasons you might be recommended for a tonsillectomy. Either your reaction to an acute infection was severe enough to warrant surgery, or you’ve had multiple episodes of tonsillitis in the past year or so.

What to expect after your operation 

A tonsillectomy is a minor surgery, usually performed on an outpatient basis. The tonsils are easily accessible through the mouth, so the surgeon is in and out quickly, and you can typically go home the same day.

Following surgery, you can expect noisy breathing, swelling of the throat and jaw, and the sensation of something being stuck in the throat. Nausea and vomiting also aren’t uncommon, but your doctor can prescribe medications to help lower the risk of this happening. 

If you or a loved one is undergoing a tonsillectomy in the near future, you might be wondering how to prepare now.

Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and soft, cold foods. People associate getting their tonsils removed with ice cream for good reason; this is an excellent treat to buy yourself for recovery. You can make your life easier by purchasing ice cream, applesauce, popsicles, and other appropriate foods ahead of time.

To learn more, schedule a consultation with the team at SLENT by calling the location closest to you, or visiting the contact page for more information.

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