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Tonsils removed as adult - painful or worth it?

I'm 23 and have had multiple strep throat infections which are a total pain in the ass in the past few years. I have no idea where I keep getting the strep from, the people around me are all healthy. I thought maybe it was hookups but even when I don't hookup I just get strep.

I've noticed that my tonsils are very large, certainly larger than average, and confirmed by my doctor. No tonsil stones. I'm considering getting removed, but have heard it hurts like hell and I will be nursing scabs in the back of my throat for a week. Some docs have said that removing tonsils won't help, but people I've talked to have said they don't get sore throats/throat infections anymore after getting them removed. My doc said it's up to me.

Have any of you gotten your tonsils removed as an adult? Why? How painful was it, how long was the recovery, and was it worth it?


by Anonymousreply 4609/28/2014

Had mine out at 25 after several years of constant tonsillitis and other illness.

I'm 50 now and rarely get so much as a cold anymore.

by Anonymousreply 108/08/2013

Oh and OP, I was eating solid food the same day that I had them removed.

It will be uncomfortable at times, but Tylenol will help with the pain, and you can eat lots of ice cream.

by Anonymousreply 208/08/2013

Yes. I got my large tonsils removed because of sleep apnea. (No, I'm not overweight or fat)

It sucks. It is one of the most painful surgeries an adult can go through. Recovery sucks.

Plus side? You'll lose a lot of weight in the process. I leaned up hardcore.

by Anonymousreply 308/08/2013

yes had them out at 19 and stopped getting strep. It hurts for about 6 hours and then you feel great. For a couple of months I would randomly get food stuck in the spaces where the tonsils were and have to make a weird blowing thing to get the food out. other than that its a piece of cake. (stuck in your tonsil hole)

by Anonymousreply 408/08/2013

My brother had his removed at 30-something. No problems at all, and he's very happy he had them removed. I do believe he had the wounds in the throat cauterized (it's that the proper word? Foreigner here) which helped speed up the healing process. Or it might have been my sister who had that done. Anyway, both my siblings had their tonsils removed as adults, and neither experienced any problems or extreme pain or anything. Mine were removed when I was 11, btw.

by Anonymousreply 508/08/2013

I'm 49 and thinking of getting them taken out.

by Anonymousreply 608/08/2013

I am sick as hell right now and seriously contemplating having my tonsils removed. They are always enlarged and every time I get even a minor cold it turns into raging tonsillitis. I'm getting fed up with it but the thought of having tonsil removal surgery at age 28 is daunting..

by Anonymousreply 708/08/2013

[quote] the thought of having tonsil removal surgery at age 28 is daunting..

What's so daunting about it?

It takes less than an hour for the procedure, you may or may not even have to have in done in a hospital anymore, you're home in a few hours after the surgery, and can be back at work in a few days.

by Anonymousreply 808/08/2013

Worth it. Calcified stones appear on most tonsils. They refer to them as "pearls" and they only lead to horrendous breath problems. Get 'em removed!

by Anonymousreply 908/08/2013

I got my tonsils removed at 23. I was in a lot of pain for about a week and it felt like having really bad strep throat for that week till it healed. Didn't eat much but pudding and tuna. But perhaps your pain tolerance is better than mine? Some people react differently. I think it also depends on how they are removed. Do u know anyone personally who's had it done as adult?

by Anonymousreply 1008/08/2013

Removed mine at the age of 21, because I had puss coming out of them. Yes, it's painful after the surgery, but I rarely have colds or sore throats.

by Anonymousreply 1108/08/2013

It's harder on adults than kids and it is a painful surgery but everyone I've ever known who got it was glad they did.

My sister had hers taken at 17, when I was 8, and not only did she stop getting strep but she stopped giving it to me.

by Anonymousreply 1208/08/2013

When I had my tonsils out, it barely felt like anything happened. I was eating normally within a few hours and I refuses to take my painkiller because it was in a nasty liquid form. If they had cut them out while I was sleeping, I wouldn't have noticed.

by Anonymousreply 1308/08/2013

I had them out in my early 20's, I believe.

I lost weight because I couldn't eat anything for about 2 weeks. Didn't even want ice cream and I was miserable the entire time.

The worse pain was to my tongue. It hurt like hell and I couldn't even move it properly to speak. I was talking all nasally or something.

Since then, I rarely get a sore throat and this from someone who if somebody breathed on my wrong would get painful sore throats. Lots of ear infections as a child, too.

It did all go away.

by Anonymousreply 1408/08/2013

I had frequent throat infections as a child and as a young adult. The only time I'd get sick would be when I'd get a throat infection. In college I was told by someone at the student health service that there was a time it was standard for children to get their tonsils out; it was just something that doctors did a lot back then (I got lousy medical care as a child, so my tonsils were never removed). Then the pedulum swung the other way and doctors stopped doing routine tonsillectomies. As a result, people my age were now being plagued with throat infections that could have been avoided if the tonsils had been removed during childhood.

I asked my primary care physician if it would be feasible to have my tonsils removed now (they're very large). She said it wouldn't be a good idea; she said it would be very painful and there would be more chance of complications. It seems that if you're going to get tonsils removed the time to do it is when you're a child.

by Anonymousreply 1508/08/2013

I had mine out in my 20s. Apparently I was always one case of tonsillitis a year shy of the recommended protocol for removal. After spending my senior year of college sick for an entire year, and developing a resistance to antibiotics, I finally had it done.

Worst pain ever (compared to appendicitis, diverticulitis, multiple broken bones and surgeries). It was done on an outpatient basis and they gave me codeine for the pain, which I'd never taken before. The codeine vomit in the car ride home and I ripped the stitches out of my throat and was bleeding. And vomiting more. My mother took me right back to the hospital and they ended up admitting me. I got a shot of something and basically stopped throwing up and slept. However, I refused to take anything for pain and the only way you recover is to keep swallowing but it hurt too much. Ice water is best (reduces the swelling). It took me about 10 days to really recover.

The good news is that I rarely get sick, no more sore throats. I would do it again but experiment with pain meds before hand.

by Anonymousreply 1608/08/2013

SO PAINFUL. but i haven't had strep in years and years.

by Anonymousreply 1708/08/2013

It's a very difficult decision to make - kind of like deciding which eye to follow when watching Karen Black.

Of course THAT decision is easier these days - what with her being dead and all.

by Anonymousreply 1808/08/2013

Dear OP, You have my sympathy sir! I was plagued with all sorts of throat nastiness and I did have a major problem with tonsil stones. So at the ripe old age of 34 I said ENOUGH. I was in the hospital overnight following the surgery. REAL TALK- For 4 days the pain was unbearable. I was given the usual narco-Tylenol which helped immensely, but I would have needed double the dosage to have been truly comfortable. I was easily able to consume jello, broth etc within 36 hours. But eating was nothing compared to the pain. The bottom line is: Was it worth it? YES. I would do it tomorrow, given the benefits of being free of the nastiness and infections. Best of luck.

by Anonymousreply 1908/08/2013

I got my tonsils removed just before turning 30 and boy was it painful. And worth it. It was actually so painful that I was not able to eat anything solid for at least two weeks. Which made me lose some nearly four kilos. And I was thin to begin with. But yep, it was worth it, since I haven't had any single episode of tonsilitis ever since! And I used to have tons of them before the procedure. So yes (that's painful) and yes (that's worth it).

by Anonymousreply 2008/08/2013

Hey Op, I'm the same age and I'm about to get mine out too! (just waiting on my test results from my throat swab)

Keep us updated on your decision!

by Anonymousreply 2108/08/2013

Thanks guys for all your input! My appointment with the ENT doc is next week. I want to go through with it, because I figure that 1-2 weeks of hellish recovery is worth not being out of commission for several weeks in the year because of recurrent strep.

I'll let you guys know how tasty my scabs are when I'm hacking them up later lol

by Anonymousreply 2208/08/2013

At least you'll now be forever spared tonsil stones! THE HORROR OF DATALOUNGE!

by Anonymousreply 2308/08/2013

Also, when you guys had your tonsils removed, did you guys have to meet a certain requirement? Like X number of throat infections in Y number of years?

by Anonymousreply 2408/08/2013

They were removed when I was 22. The surgery wasn;t as painful as the strep throats I had suffered.

I didn't do well with the anesthesia...but that was 40 yrs ago.

I fell in love with fried eggs after surgery and didn't want anything made with sugar.

by Anonymousreply 2508/08/2013

OP I did not have any requirements. My ENT looked at my tonsils and I told him I had several sore throats and lots of strep in my life and he removed him. It was a good thing because my tonsils were in bad shape. It was a very painful recovery and as some other posters have said, I hated my life for about a week, but when the pain went away, I did not regret my decision. Keep us posted OP

by Anonymousreply 2608/08/2013

I had mine out when I was 7. It was pretty common surgery for kids back in the '50s. However, I've never noticed any appreciable difference in the ability to get colds, strep, etc. So I don't really know if it did any good.

by Anonymousreply 2708/08/2013

No sweat.

Outpatient and done in 3hrs.

The only thing I hated was the drool on my pillow.

by Anonymousreply 2808/08/2013

I had a UPPP and Tonsillectomy combined. Surgery goes back to 2004. I was 33 years old.

Experience was brutal. I did it to create more airway and not have to continue sleeping with a C-PAP for obstructive sleep apnea.

It worked.

My experience was brutal because it's like a shock to the body. But, ultimately, it's good that I did it. As a bonus: Even though I couldn't eat much of anything solid for about three weeks, I did lose a good amount of weight.

Good luck, OP!

by Anonymousreply 2908/09/2013

I had mine taken out 21 years ago when I was 17. I couldn't eat for several days and drinking hurt. I remember just having an appreciation for what it feels like to drink water without pain. Eventually, it got better and then I ate again and all was well. But it took several days.

by Anonymousreply 3008/09/2013

Mine were removed at age 28, as I would get bronchitis or strep throat every year. There was pain for maybe a day. I'm 51 now, and like an earlier poster said, I haven't had so much as a cold since.

by Anonymousreply 3108/10/2013

I think this thread needs a tonsil stone removal video to liven it up!

by Anonymousreply 3208/10/2013

The pain was no worse than a bad case of strep (which I had been contracting on a regular basis ), and doesn't include the body aches and fever.

by Anonymousreply 3308/10/2013

Wisdom teeth extraction hurt worse for me and the tonsillectomy improved my quality of life. A side note: a little bit of tonsil tissue grew back...

by Anonymousreply 3408/10/2013

I had one tonsil removed. I had a very crabby closeted lesbian roommate and Rhoda replaced my flannel nightgown with a sexy negligee she bought because shew wanted me to meet a doctor.

by Anonymousreply 3508/10/2013

I met with my ENT doc last week and I'm scheduled for November surgery! It's in November because I'm in school and Thanksgiving break is the first break I have. Not going to be a fun one, but hey hopefully it'll go well.

It makes me glad that there are stories of adults getting their tonsils out and happy with their decision, so thanks for sharing! If you just google "tonsillectomy recovery adult" you will be hit with pages and pages of terrible stories of adults going through horrific pain in the recovery, and just about made me shit my pants. There've also been people reporting lasting taste distortion (can't taste sweet stuff anymore), but my doctor said it's rare, and I figure that the people posting on those forums are a self-selecting group. People with positive experiences probably wouldn't take the time to go online and post.

by Anonymousreply 3608/18/2013


Tonsils removed in 1990

Outpatient. Just needed a friend to drive me home.

I was a college student. The strongest thing the doctor gave me was Tylenol with codeine.

by Anonymousreply 3708/18/2013

I'm 39 and was just told I need mine taken out. Never got strep or tonsillitis as a kid, but now that I've had strep 4 times a year for 2 years running I guess it's time.

by Anonymousreply 3808/19/2013

Hmm, there is another perspective. Not trying to change anyone's view, but tonsils are there for a reason. I had strep constantly as a kid, so bad that I begged my pediatrician for the shot that makes it go away faster and he was stunned because no kid ever asked for a shot.

I admit I do have to clean out tonsilloliths whenever I eat corn chips or other foods I'm intolerant to. And they're gross.

I have read / heard that tonsils relate to the immune system. I personally prefer to work on my immune system. I haven't had strep in 10 or 15 years, and I still have my tonsils. I'm 39.

If I was born with it and it's not an abnormality to my species, then I'm supposed to have it for some reason. Obviously I can't argue with all the posters who feel their health has improved since tonsillectomy, but I remain cautious, since you can't grow them back. I need my tonsils for some reason. If they ever get inflamed, that is showing me something about my health I need to pay attention to. I'm disinclined to cut off parts of myself. I'd rather heal them.

by Anonymousreply 3908/19/2013

Thanks for the perspective, R39. I had the exact same concerns, and I asked my doctor. Here's what she told me: Tonsils are part of your immune system because they function as lymph nodes. When you get sick, your lymph nodes do get swollen, which tells you that you are sick. However, there have been no reports of people that have had their immune system compromised because of tonsillectomy, and we have many other lymph nodes to compensate.

Also, tonsils can be chronically infected, which would then make sense for them to be removed. There are many things that we are born with that aren't there for any apparent reason, and would be better removed. For example, your appendix serves no function in your gut, and people get them removed when they get infected.

Previously doctors would systematically remove tonsils in the majority of children because people had problems with them as an adult, and because it was a simple procedure. The reason they stopped doing that is because for most, tonsils shrink as an adult and don't cause a problem. For the unlucky few, tonsils remain large or become chronically infected, and need to be removed.

by Anonymousreply 4008/19/2013

This thread is making my throat hurt.

by Anonymousreply 4109/18/2013

It helps you deep throat.

by Anonymousreply 4209/18/2013

I'm 23 and have always suffered from tonsillitis, which doesn't clear fully with anti biotics and then suffer from Chest infections along side it, seems to start with a normal cold or comes on over night. I have been told by my doctor that my tonsils are very large and I have suffered more on and off for the past 10 weeks so he is concerned and wants them out. I'm am worried about the pain but I think it'll be worth it you hear how people are feeling great after the op and id rather a few hrs to a week of pain after than have constant infections. Will let u know how it goes!

by Anonymousreply 4309/28/2014

I think it's a GRAND idea! Use a clinic!

by Anonymousreply 4409/28/2014

Removed my tonsils at 21. I constantly suffered from sore throats, bad breath, and tonsillitis, plus the nasty smelly puss coming out of my tonsils. It is painful, after the surgery, but worth not getting sore throats and puss again. After the pain from the surgery went away, my bad breath was no longer a problem.

by Anonymousreply 4509/28/2014

Had mine removed, very little discomfort. No longer have earaches, tonsillitis or throat infections.

by Anonymousreply 4609/28/2014
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