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getting your tonsils out

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
i get strep throat everyday.

well, not really...but i do get it alot. by alot, i mean at least eight times a year. if anyone anywhere around me has it, i WILL get it though i've never passed it to anyone (which i still don't understand.) there are alot of antibiotics that i can't take either because i'm allergic to them or they simply don't work on strep bacteria in my body anymore so the last time i had it, which was a week ago, the doctor suggested i have my tonsils taken out.

i've never had surgery before and i keep hearing that the older you are, the harder getting your tonsils out gets. i'm only twenty, but since most people get their tonsils out before they're ten (if they get them out) i feel like that "the older you are..." thing applies to me since i'm twice the age of someone who would usually get theirs out.

i'm hesitating to make the appointment because i'm just real nervous. anyone who's had it done? is it really bad? i heard you can't even have ice cream because there's milk in it...you have to have like fruit juice or jello, is that for real? because lord knows i love me some food and i don't want to be without for long...haha.
post #2 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I won't be much help with the age thing, I got mine out when I was 4. I wouldn't worry too much about the food thing though. You can eat small amounts of anything that won't irritate your throat about a day or 2 after your surgery. The fruit juice and jello thing isn't that bad. Ice cream will be available shortly. I remember eating a lot of mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and hot dogs cut into tiny pieces with the skin removed. You should talk about your concerns with your doctor. I'm sure he wouldn't have recommended the surgery if he didn't feel it was going to be more beneficial to your health. Good luck!
post #3 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Tonsillitis - MayoClinic.com


Actually, most people do not get their tonsils and adenoids out since these do play a part in helping the immune system. Wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing the happy birthday song-wash front, back and web spaces. Never eat drink, touch your eyes, face, ears or genitals before washing your hands. If you eat at restaraunts or in cafeterias care waterless handwash and rub thoroughly till it evaporates. Sore throats are not usually strep throats, only by actual throat cultures should strep throats be diagnosed, anything else is just a guess and usually a waste of antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics can set you up for a MRSA infection down the road.
post #4 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Reasons for tonsillectomy
Tonsillectomy may be performed when the patient:
  • Experiences frequent bouts of acute tonsillitis. The number requiring tonsillectomy varies with the severity of the episodes. One case, even severe, is generally not enough for most surgeons to decide tonsillectomy is necessary.
  • Has chronic tonsillitis, consisting of persistent, moderate-to-severe throat pain.
  • Has multiple bouts of peritonsillar abscess.
  • Has sleep apnea (stopping or obstructing breathing at night due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids)
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing due to enlarged tonsils (very unusual reason for tonsillectomy)
  • Produces tonsilloliths in the back of their mouth.
[edit] Common causes and demographics

Infections requiring tonsillectomy are often a result of Streptococcus ("strep throat"), but some may be due to other bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, or viruses. However, the etiology of the condition is largely irrelevant in determining whether tonsillectomy is required [1].
Most tonsillectomies are performed on children, although many are also performed on teenagers and adults. The number of tonsillectomies in the United States has dropped significantly from several million in the 1970s to approximately 600,000 in the late 1990s[citation needed]. This has been due in part to more stringent guidelines for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (see tonsillitis and adenoid). Still, debate about the usefulness of tonsillectomies continues. Not surprisingly, the otolaryngology literature is usually pro-tonsillectomy, whereas the pediatric literature has the opposing view[citation needed]. Enlarged tonsils are removed more often among adults and children for sleep apnea (airway obstruction while sleeping), snoring, and upper airway obstruction. Children who have sleep apnea can do poorly in school, are tired during the day, and have some links to ADHD [2] [3].
Tonsillectomy in adults is more painful[citation needed] than in children, although each patient will have a different experience. Post-operative recovery can take from 10 up to 20 days, during which narcotic analgesics are typically prescribed. Most surgeons advise eating soft foods after having your tonsils removed. Patients in the United States and Canada are usually advised not to eat "crunchy" or "rough" food (toast, biscuits, cookies & crackers) as these will scrape the back of the throat, increasing the risk of bleeding or infection after the operation, whereas patients in the United Kingdom are often encouraged to eat rough foods to keep the tonsillar beds clean. Some believe that dairy products tend to coat the throat causing an increase in possible infection and therefore discourage their use. Spicy and acidic foods are irritating, and should be avoided. Proper hydration is also very important during this time, since dehydration can increase throat pain, leading to a vicious cycle of poor fluid intake. At some point, most commonly 7-11 days after the surgery (but occasionally as long as two weeks (14 days) after), bleeding can occur when scabs begin sloughing off from the surgical sites. The overall risk of bleeding is approximately 1-2% higher in adults [4]. Approximately 3% of adult patients develop significant bleeding at this time. The bleeding might naturally stop quickly, or else mild intervention (e.g., gargling cold water) could be needed. Otherwise, a surgeon must repair the bleeding immediately by cauterization, which presents all the risks associated with emergency surgery (most having to do with the administration of anesthesia on a patient whose stomach is not empty). Various procedures are available to remove tonsils, each with different advantages and disadvantages. Children and teenagers sometimes exhibit a noticeable change in voice [5] after the operation [6].

[edit] Methods of tonsil removal

The first report of tonsillectomy was made by the Roman encyclopedist Celsus in 30 AD. He described scraping

This was from Wikipedia
post #5 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Hi! Im a medical assistant at an ENT clinic. (Ear, nose and throat) The doctor I work for is a Otolaryngologist, and we see many adults and children come in that need their tonsils out. The doctor also performs the surgery, and from the way he describes it, it doesn't sound that bad to me. From What i've seen the children do bounce back much faster after surgery, like the night they had the surg they are jumping up and down on their parents bed. lol The adult patients do suffer a little more. Im not gonna lie. It feels like a really bad sore throat and it will last for about a week. From what it sounds like, u get sick pretty often, whats one more sore throat gonna do?

There are two main risk factors of getting a tonsillectomy. Bleeding and the tonsils growing back. (yes in rare instances tonsils grow back) To prevent bleeding, eat soft foods that will go down easily ( u wont wanna eat hard foods anyway because ur throat is going to be hurting.), dont suck drinks out a straw, this creates negative pressure and can cause the incision area to bleed. Oh yea and you'l most likely loose weight from all this.
post #6 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Hi . .I got mine out last year nov 2007. Im 22! I would say do it I have not got sick since I got them out. It hurt me alot for a week but its not to bad. It only takes 30 min. to do it.
post #7 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I had mine taken out when I was 19, because like you I was ALWAYS getting strep throat. It wasnt that bad of a procedure. You have to eat soft foods for a little while and you cant talk or cough. I had a dry erase board to commnicate with people when I needed to. I would say do it. I know what your going through. Since I have had them out, I have had a soar throat here and there, but NOTHING like before the surgery.
post #8 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I just wanted to bump this thread as I am having surgery to get my tonsils removed on Sept. 25th. I am scared but optimistic that it will make me feel better in the long run.

Does anyone have any other experiences that they can share? I would really appreciate it! TIA!
post #9 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I'm 30 and had mine out this past December, over Christmas. I work at a school so I scheduled for the 2 weeks we were off for winter break and I needed the WHOLE 2 weeks to recuperate. Now, since you're younger it might not be that bad AND I do have to say that each person has a different experience. It only took like 30 minutes for it and I had to have mine out b/c of constant sore throats and I had a cyst on one of mine. The ENT pretty much said the only way to get rid of the cyst was to have the tonsils out and he recommended it anyway b/c of all the sore throats. After they were taken out, my dad told me the doctor said it was a good thing I had it done b/c they were very enlarged and I would have needed it done eventually.

Now for the aftermath of it. Again, keep in mind you may not have the same experience as me since you are younger. When I woke up in recovery (it's usually an outpatient procedure) I hurt pretty badly. The nurse asked me a few questions and gave me liquid Lortab which she asked if I could taste so I assumed at the time they wanted to make sure they didn't clip anything they shouldn't have. I fell back asleep and woke up in the car with my dad who was driving me home. I slept the whole way home and they gave me a BOTTLE of the liquid Lortab with 1 refill and this thing to put ice in to keep on my throat to keep the swelling down. After I had slept some, I was up and moving around and actually didn't feel horrible but I think part of that was b/c I probably still had some of the anesthesia left in my body. I was told to take the Lortab every 4 hrs regardless of whether I felt like I needed it. Well, I needed it. After about the 2nd day I had to call the doctor to find out if I could take it more b/c my throat hurt. It was talking and swallowing that was difficult and they said it would be ok if I took it every 3 hrs. By the second day I was allowed ice cream. They never told me I couldn't have it and it was in fact one of the recommened foods on the take home instructions they gave me. Little by little I was able to eat other things like finely cut up chicken and my dad even fried some catfish that I was able to manage with no problems and I was also told not to eat anything red or with red dye that might mask bleeding. The main issue I had the whole time was ear pain. They had told me to expect ear pain as that area is all connected and eventually I had to ask for something to get rid of the ear pain. I also couldn't stand to take the liquid Lortab after about the 4th day and I think it was just b/c I got sick of tasting it. I ended up taking the max amount of Tylenol or Advil gel caps that was I as able to take. Exactly one week after I had the surgery was when I had my follow up visit and I drove myself to the doctor. He said everything was healing fine and that every day I should be feeling better and better. I actually went with my friend to Houston for New Year's and while I was still a little tired and weak, I did start feeling more and more human as the days went on. By the time I had to go back to work, it had been almost exactly 2 weeks and my throat was still scratchy and it was still slightly difficult to talk but that went away literally the next day. I ended up losing about 12 lbs. from it b/c there were several times that I just couldn't eat b/c chewing made the pain in my ears worse.

Hopefully this didn't freak you out too much but just remember... not everyone has the same experience. I've known quite a few people who had almost no trouble and some who had it worse than me. Since December I literally have had almost NO trouble with sinuses, allergies or colds except for just recently but again, I work at a school and the funk has been going around and I'm pretty sure I just caught something from one of the kids and it only lasted like 2 days.

I would just be prepared to not feel that well and I'd be prepared for the ear pain possibility. I'd ask ahead of time maybe for drops like I was given that numb your ear and hopefully you won't have any issues taking the Lortab or whatever pain medicine they give you. It just seemed like after so many doses the Lortab was sickly sweet tasting and it started grossing me out. When I went on my trip to Houston with my friend, it had been barely over a week and I was able to eat most of a cheeseburger, making sure I took small bites and chewed carefully. The take home sheet actually said to eat what you think you can handle within reason and of course I wasn't supposed to eat anything crunchy or anything with sharp edges for like 3 weeks. That was rough b/c I'm a potato chip freak but I managed.

Let us know how it goes and how you're doing and good luck with it. I have a feeling since you're not an old lady like me (LOL) that you'll do fine. Just make sure you drink alot of fluids (even though it'll be rough at first) and REST. REST, REST, REST and ice for your throat to keep the swelling down. Let me know if you have any questions!! HTH!!!
post #10 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Thank you so much for your response! I am around the same age as you (I will be 29 in a few days).

I have 15 days off total for recovery so hopefully that should be enough time to get better.

Although I know that my recovery won't be the same as everyone elses I am hoping that if I stay well hydrated and rest a lot that I will have a pretty easy recovery.

Thank you again for your response. It is really helpful and encouraging.
post #11 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Quote:
Originally Posted by coachkitten View Post
Thank you so much for your response! I am around the same age as you (I will be 29 in a few days).

I have 15 days off total for recovery so hopefully that should be enough time to get better.

Although I know that my recovery won't be the same as everyone elses I am hoping that if I stay well hydrated and rest a lot that I will have a pretty easy recovery.

Thank you again for your response. It is really helpful and encouraging.

Whew! I'm glad b/c I was worried I might have freaked you out on it but I wanted to be honest. I think there are all sorts of factors involved too, like the fact mine were enlarged and I can sometimes be a weenie when it comes to pain.
On the bright side, the anesthesia was AWESOME. They hooked me up to the I.V. and I can remember the nurse telling me she just let the meds through and I said, "Yeah I know, I just felt it sting in my hand," and that's the last thing I remembered until I woke up in recovery! I do have to say too that sleeping off the rest of the anesthesia after I got home was some of the best sleep I've ever had!
post #12 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

i had my tonsils out when i was 18 (now24) and i hope my story doesn't scare you Coachkitten but i didn't have the best of times!

firstly before you go into sugery they give you pills - mine sent me loopy and i kept jumping out of my bed because i though dracula was in it with me! my mum kept pushing me back and telling me to rest so she gave me my walkman - but i started singing aloing very loudly to it.

next thing i remember was waking up in recovery. i don't remember this but they had to call my mum in because once agian i was going mental! keep screaming and crying. i felt pretty rough after the op and kept vomiting and was in alot of pain. usually they let you out the same day or day after but because i wasn't doing so good i stayed in for 3 days

then when i got home i kept getting stupidly high temperatures and seeing things again (think it was all the pills because i'm not actually mental!) my ears hurt and my jaw hurt bad too for some reason.

they advised me to try and eat some solids - so my mum cut up some chicken for me. really small bits of chicken - unfortunately lots of blood started coming out of my mouth and lots of other nasty stuff - mum called an ambulence who took me back to oxford (wasn't even my local hospital) because i had got really infected. had to be on a drip and stay in hospital for a week in total.

i finally got better but i lost lots of weight at the time which i loved because i couldn't eat anything!
post #13 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I had my tonsils out when I was aged 32 (I'm 41 now), due to recurrent sore throats and high fevers which occured every 2 weeks and made my life a complete misery and required too much time off work. I have private health insurance and so went to a private clinic.
The surgeon said that normally it is quite an easy procedure, which involves gently lifting up the tonsil and snipping. However, as mine had so much scar tissue it was complicated as my tonsils had become "welded" to the back of my throat and were inflamed. He said that you have to grab the tonsil quite firmly to remove it and mine were riddled with puss which squirted everywhere during the procedure - nice.
When I woke up in hospital I was fine. A bit difficult to speak, but I felt fine generally and even came home and mowed the lawn. What they didn't tell me was that they had given me a painkiller anally, and so the first fart came as a shock and resulted in a knickers full of lube

The next day was a completely different story. 2 days of pain and I did actually cry once. I needed to write to communicate as I couldn't speak for long. Day 4 and everything was great.

Unfortunately I was still able to eat throughout so didn't loose any weight, which came as the biggest disappointment of the entire experience I was told that I should eat foods as normal, believe it or not, in order to "scrape away" any bugs on the raw skin and to promote new skin renewal. I had lots of egg sandwiches but keeping fluid levels up was hard as there is no question about it, it hurt to swallow for 3 days - and it gave me slight earache too, drinking was harder than eating for me. It was worse than the worse sore thoat I'd ever had, but TOTALLY worth it, due to the improvements to my health overall following the procedure. After all, my tonsils had been leaking germs into my entire body due to the damage and constant inflammation which no amount of antibiotics were able to fight off completely and were bringing me down both mentally and physically and giving me a completely rotten standard of life

I've never had a sore throat or fever since!
post #14 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I had mine removed when I was 3 because of strep and swelling that would make it difficult to breath and eat. The best part of the proceedure was that I was allowed to have ice cream to soothe my throat. Good luck with your upcoming proceedure!
post #15 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

I had mine removed in College, right after Spring Break. (I wasn't missing my trip to the Keys for anything!). Anyway, the surgery went well but I got an infection. I iced too long and my Doctor thinks it hindered the blood circulation. Not really a huge problem, it was painful and I remember having to change the gauze frequently. Do it, I would get sick all the time as well and now I still suffer from Upper Respiratory infections but mainly they are atributed to my asthma.
After your surgery, comes the yummy foods you ate when you were a child! Jello, pudding, soup, anything soft. I loved popsicles and mashed potates. I tried fried rice for variety but it got lodged in my wounds. Be good to yourself during those recovery days. Get lots of magazines or beauty masks when you are feeling stir crazy. Elect a loved one to get you what you need the first couple of days post surgery, someone who can play "nursemaid" so to speak. Choose whatever things you need to make yourself feel better. It will make the time go by because it does drag. You will need every bit of one to two weeks to recover. Don't be afraid, surgery is only scary if you aren't prepared for it. Ask your Doctor all the questions you have, no matter how silly you think they are. Write them down before youy appointment so that you don't forget them. You are perfectly normal to be apprehensive about not only surgery but something that is foreign to you. Good luck. At least go for the consult with your Doctor. You have nothing to lose by hearing the details on how this surgery will ultimately improve your quality of life!
post #16 of 19

Re: getting your tonsils out

Thank you so much to all of you for your responses and experiences. I really appreciate it!! Only a little over two weeks until my surgery but I know overall it will all be worth it.
post #17 of 19

i am in the same situation kim as you i am 19 and every other day i have just mounds of puse pockets on my tonsils except i want them out this is number 15 this year

post #18 of 19

Have you tried enzymatic supplements or medicine ? And Chlorhexidine as mouth wash ( not every day though ) ?

Or an allergic reaction ?

Sometimes even when tonsils are removed you can get sore throat, so I would advise you to see at least 2 doctors before any surgery.

I still have my tonsils ( big ones lol ) I used to have terrible sore throat ( every month or more ) I got rid of it with enzymatic treatments over several years ( 3 I think ).

post #19 of 19

My tonsils get swollen and hurt at least twice a month and I have to call in sick to work.  I've asked my doctor to take them out and he said no because recovery is too hard as an adult.  So I had to go to an urgent care clinic one night for it and asked the doctor there.  I told him what my normal doctor said and he agreed saying recovery is way too hard to get over as an adult. So I guess I'm stuck with them.

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