When you know that you need tonsil surgery, you may not really know what to expect. And there’s nothing scarier than the unknown – especially when it comes to surgery. While all surgeries can be intimidating, tonsil surgery can be particularly worrisome. Due to the area in which the surgery is carried out, you may have queries as to how it will affect your everyday life. This is why it’s often a great idea to know might happen when you have your tonsil surgery and more importantly, how you can recover. Because that’s often the thing that you’re going to be most concerned about. While your ENT doctor will tell you all you need to know, let’s take a look at the recovery process after you’ve had tonsil surgery.

What is tonsil surgery?

The first thing that you might want to know here, is exactly what tonsil surgery is! Medically known as a tonsillectomy, tonsil surgery is a surgical procedure that removes the tonsils. Removing the two pads to the rear of the throat is often necessary to improve the health of those suffering with a range of health issues.

Why it’s performed

Traditionally, tonsil surgery was performed to control tonsillitis when it wasn’t responding to other treatments. However, it can also be performed to help breathing problems too. In most cases, this will only be done when necessary, as there is some downtime that can happen after the surgery. Your ENT doctor can give you more specific details, but this is what to expect from your tonsil surgery.

What to expect

The first thing you need to know is that tonsil surgery is most commonly conducted as an outpatient procedure. This means that you will be able to go home after your surgery, or later that day. If there are complications, or you have a medical condition that needs attention, you may stay overnight. While you shouldn’t be in pain during the procedure, it is likely that you will experience pain afterwards. This may even affect the ears or jaw and neck area, due to the nature of the way the body is connected. And so, it's important that you approach your recovery in the best way.

Advice for recovery

Now, the recovery period for tonsil surgery can be around 10 days to two weeks. So, you will need to rest and have time off of work or school. You ENT doctor will be able to advise your more specifically, but here are some key tonsil surgery tips.

  • Activity – Rest is essential during your recovery and it’s important not to do anything too strenuous. Riding a bicycle, for example, should be avoided. You may want to get some gentle exercise by walking, but only if you feel up to it. Your ENT doctor may say you can return to work or school when you’re sleeping and eating well, and almost pain-free.
  • Diet – To start with, stick to foods that area easy to swallow. Ice cream, yoghurt, soup, mashed potatoes and pudding are great examples here. Slowly add foods that are easier to chew when you can. Also remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Medication – If you are in pain, feel free to take pain-relief mediation after your tonsil surgery, just as long as this s approved by your ENT doctor.