What Is It Like to Have Your Tonsils Removed?


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Patients undergoing a tonsillectomy are usually put under general anesthesia during the procedure, notes Mayo Clinic. After the procedure, pain in the throat and ears is normal and generally persists for a few days.

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Patients undergoing a tonsillectomy are put under general anesthesia and are unconscious for the duration of the surgery. The doctor may use a combination of gas and intravenous anesthesia, according to MedicineNet. Once the patient is asleep, the surgeon removes the tonsils by cutting them off and cauterizing the wound at the base. The duration of the surgery is usually less than one hour.

After the surgery, the patient should expect a sore throat, notes Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The majority of postoperative patients also experience earache, caused by referred pain from the throat. Patients are encouraged to take an over-the-counter pain medication every four hours or as needed. A fever of up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit is sometimes a side effect of the anesthesia and may persist for up to 72 hours following surgery.

After a tonsillectomy, a patient should take care to stay well hydrated by drinking water and broth. Soft frozen foods such as ice cream and Popsicles may help to reduce the pain of swallowing during the first week after surgery, notes Mayo Clinic. Patients should avoid spicy, acidic and hard or crunchy foods until the throat is fully healed.

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