Tonsillectomy is a relatively straightforward operation that removes your tonsils, which are the swollen tissue behind your ears.
Tonsils are important, though, and they’re a common source of soreness and pain, so it’s important to know how much pain you can expect after your surgery.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO), pain after tonsillectomy is a common side effect.
The AAO states that pain is usually mild and tends to occur around the site of the surgery, where the doctor makes an incision in order to remove your tonsils.
Other common symptoms of tonsillectomy include:
- Pain and swelling at the site of the surgery
- Bleeding from the site of the surgery
- A cough
- A fever
- A headache
- A sore throat
Other possible side effects of tonsillectomy include:
- Nasal and/or throat irritation
- A blocked nose
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Ear pain
With the latter, the pain may be worse in the morning than during the day.
It’s also important to know that not all tonsillectomies cause pain. In fact, the AAO notes that many people report feeling little to no pain.
If you experience a lot of pain, you may want to schedule another appointment with your doctor.
What happens after a tonsillectomy?
After your tonsillectomy and the removal of your tonsils, you may experience some pain. You may also experience:
- Painful swallowing
It’s not uncommon for people to experience soreness in the throat after their tonsils are removed. The soreness may last for three days or longer.
You may also experience:
- Bad breath
- Nasal congestion
Some people develop a sore throat after tonsillectomy that doesn’t go away.
If this is the case, you may want to see your doctor as soon as possible. They may recommend a course of antibiotics.
A sore throat that doesn’t go away is a possible symptom of a more serious condition, such as a bacterial infection.
It’s important to remember that tonsillectomy is a routine procedure that’s performed with minimal pain and a high success rate. The long-term effects of a sore throat after a tonsillectomy are rare.
What are the complications of a tonsillectomy?
If your tonsils swell up or become infected, you may experience fever and pain for several days following surgery. It’s also possible for the tonsils to become infected with a bacterial infection.
This can lead to a post-operative infection and an abscess.
Post-operative infections are rare, but they can be serious.
If you develop a fever, severe pain, or swelling of the throat, you may want to seek medical attention.
What’s the outlook for a tonsillectomy?
Your recovery time will depend on the severity of your condition. A general rule of thumb is that it takes about a week for you to recover from a tonsillectomy.
Your doctor will determine how quickly you’ll recover based on the size of your tonsils and the severity of your condition.
You’ll usually be able to return to routine activities within a few days of your surgery.
You may experience some soreness in your throat afterward, but this should subside within a few days.
Can you get a tonsillectomy later in life?
If you have a condition that affects your tonsils that isn’t a result of a viral or bacterial infection, you may want to consider surgery.
The tonsils are part of your immune system, and they play an important role in your overall health and wellness.
If you have a chronic condition affecting your tonsils, surgery can help improve your quality of life and potentially slow the progression of your condition.
You can have a tonsillectomy at any age, but you may want to schedule it earlier in life if you:
- Have a weakened immune system
- Have chronic sinusitis
- Have a chronic cough that doesn’t respond to treatment
- Have a tonsil that’s blocked
- Have a tonsil with a deviated septum
- Have an ear infection
How much does it cost for a tonsillectomy?
If you have insurance, your surgery will likely be covered. The cost of your surgery will depend on the type of procedure you choose.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists says that the average cost of a tonsillectomy is around $1,000.
If you have a deductible, you’ll need to pay the entire cost of your surgery out of pocket.
Can you prevent tonsillectomy?
You may be able to prevent your tonsils from swelling up and becoming infected. Here are some tips for preventing tonsil infection:
- Use a saline nasal rinse to prevent infection.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
- Avoid using over-the-counter medications.
When to see a doctor?
You should see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms after a tonsillectomy:
- Pain or swelling in your throat
- A sore throat that doesn’t go away
- A sore throat that lasts for more than a week
You should also see your doctor if you develop a sore throat after a tonsillectomy that doesn’t go away.
Can a tonsillectomy cause other problems?
A tonsillectomy is a routine procedure that’s performed with minimal pain. The long-term effects of a sore throat after tonsillectomy are rare.
Talk to your doctor if you have a sore throat after a tonsillectomy. You may want to schedule another appointment with your doctor if the pain doesn’t subside within a few days.
If you develop a sore throat after a tonsillectomy or have any other concerns, you should talk to your doctor.
What’s the outlook for someone who has a sore throat after a tonsillectomy?
A sore or infected throat is a common side effect of tonsillectomy, but it’s usually temporary.
The bottom line
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of your tonsils.
Tonsillectomy is used to treat chronic conditions that affect the tonsils, such as chronic sinusitis and chronic cough.
You’re likely to experience some soreness in your throat for a few days after the procedure.
Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following after a tonsillectomy:
- Tonsillectomy is a routine procedure that’s performed with minimal pain.
Images by Freepik
Generated by AI