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Everything You Need to Know About Tonsil Removal

Everything You Need to Know About Tonsil Removal
Author: Posted: October 15th, 2021 Category:

Today, many people get their tonsils removed for a variety of reasons. Read on if you’re getting a tonsillectomy so you know what to expect! 

A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed. Tonsil removal can treat infections and inflammation, such as frequently-occuring tonsillitis. You may also need a tonsillectomy for breathing issues related to enlarged tonsils, or to treat rare tonsil diseases.

If you’re getting your tonsils removed, it’s important to be informed before your operation! Let Espire help you feel ready for your upcoming tonsillectomy. 

Preparing for Your Tonsillectomy

In general, avoid taking any aspirin (or medication containing aspirin) for two weeks prior to your procedure. If you take any other medication, it’s critical to communicate with your healthcare provider before your operation — you might need to stop taking your medication briefly before your tonsillectomy. You should also avoid smoking or drinking alcohol immediately before and after getting your tonsils removed.

You will undergo general anesthesia during your tonsillectomy. Initial disorientation along with soreness, headache, nausea or vomiting are all normal side effects of general anesthesia. For this reason, it’s important to make arrangements for a ride home after your tonsillectomy. Plan for at least 10 days of recovery time. After two weeks, you should be back to your usual routine.

It should be noted that as with any surgical procedure, having your tonsils removed is not risk-free. You could bleed during surgery or get an infection, both of which would need extra care. You could also have a bad reaction to general anesthesia during the operation. However, most of these issues are rare when getting a tonsillectomy.

Prior to your operation, you should find time to meet with your doctor and ask a few questions. You probably have some of your own, but here are a few helpful examples:

  • When do I need to arrive? 
  • Is there a check-in process I should follow?
  • How is the procedure done?
  • Should I stay away from any food or activities while healing?
  • If I have to stop taking medication prior to surgery, when can I start again?
  • Are there any dietary restrictions before surgery?

Usually, your doctor will ask you not to eat anything after midnight on the day of your scheduled tonsillectomy. 

What to Expect With a Tonsillectomy

A tonsillectomy is performed under general anesthesia, which means you won’t be awake or feel any pain during the procedure. Meanwhile, your surgeon will use a scalpel or a specialized tool that uses heat or high-energy sound waves to remove the tonsil tissue without excessive bleeding.

After your tonsillectomy, a white scab-like coating will appear in your throat where your tonsils used to be. This coating usually starts to come off around five days after your surgery, and you may see some blood in your saliva as it removes itself. Don’t try to peel it away or force it to come off! Avoid sharp, hard, or crunchy foods that could irritate this coating. Stick to bland, easy-to-swallow foods like broth and applesauce immediately after surgery. Avoid drinking through straws, as this can further irritate your mouth. Drinking lots of ice water and cold fluids is also critical to the tonsillectomy healing process. 

In the few weeks immediately following your tonsillectomy, you may snore or breathe through your mouth at night. You might also have bad breath, a swollen tongue or soft palate, and moderate to severe pain in your throat, ears, neck, or jaw — all of which is normal. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers to help relieve some of this discomfort. If you have any questions about getting a tonsillectomy, or if you think you might need your tonsils removed, reach out to Espire! Schedule an appointment at our Oklahoma City, OK practice today.