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Ear, Nose & Throat Message Board


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Hi all :)

Iím 26 and Iíve been having tonsillitis every 3 months for the past 4 years and itís been ruining my life, my career, my social life and generally making me miserable. :(

For the past 2 years Iíve been fighting with my GP be referred to an ENT to talk about getting a tonsillectomy, however the Dr's at my surgery kept refusing to reffer me saying that the procedure is ineffective and not worth it. However I finally saw an ENT on Friday who within 5 mins told me I should have a tonsillectomy. And I'm scheduled for the start of October.

Iím overjoyed and terrified at the same time :confused:. I know that it is VERY painful and Iíve read all the horror stories on this board and that coupled with my GP saying it doesnít work makes me really scared. I want to know if Iím doing the right thing by having the op, Iím willing to go through the pain as long as the procedure will ultimately make an improvement to my life.

I guess what I really want to know is despite all the pain, in the end is it worth it? Is the procedure truly beneficial, has it stopped you getting as ill? I know you can still get colds etc but if it stops the tonsillitis then to me it would be worth it. Are there any long term side effects, like being more prone to infections? Or do you generally get sick less often? Do you get infections on the scars etc? Are you pleased that you done it? Also Iím in the UK, has anyone had this procedure done in the RAH?

I would be SO grateful if anyone who has been through this could give me some feedback, it would really mean a lot to me. Thanks so much for your help! ;)
Hi lulu,

I would definately go through with it.

I am currently on NHS waiting list to do the tonsillectomy. NHS told me to wait a maximum of 15 weeks for the surgery.

You were very lucky to get a date for surgery so fast. Is it NHS?
If it is. Consider yourself lucky. I would jump at the opportunity to do the surgery if they told me to come to the hospital tomorrow.

My social life, career, family life not to mention bank account have all suffered because of me getting tonsillitis. I have developed cryptic tonsils and with that Chronic Halitosis. I cant get a job or go to job interview because my tonsils stink 24/7. I am unemployed and just waiting for my surgery date.

Go for it. It will make your life better.
Hi ya

Thanks so much for your comment Brian. Yes Iím getting it done on the NHS, he said to do it as soon as possible so I go in for it in a couple weeks time. Iím absolutely terrified with some of the posts on this site but I know that itís best that I have it done. Just hoping that my soar throat shifts in time so I can go through with it!

I really hope your situation improves soon and you get your appointment as soon as possible. Doesnít make sense to wait 15 weeks? Good luck when your time comes and Iíll let you know how I get on.

Take care :)
Hi both of you.

I'm one of the horror stories!! But I would say that if tonsillitis is ruining your lives then get them out!! you definitely need 2 weeks off work and someone to look after you, it's true the pain is bad and unrelenting... if I could turn the clock back I would have left mine alone and lived with my symptoms, but what happened to me is quite literally unheard of in the UK (or unreported)
I would say that In the two years post surgery I've been generally much healthier i've probably had 2 sore throats that have gone quickly and i've had no bad colds, but I paid the ultimate price for this in that my Glossopharyngeal nerve was permanently damaged, which means nothing taste's the same anymore, my salivary glands overwork constantly, my voice is deeper and I have to clear my throat constantly. words can't explain what I've been through mentally,(and go through daily if I try to eat anywhere other than at home) but don't be put off by stories like mine, make up your own mind, ask questions about your surgeon, how many has he done? what are the complications? etc etc 15 weeks is not a bad time to wait just make sure you are absolutely healthy before the op as puss filled tonsills will complicate matters, and make you sicker afterwards.
good luck
Liz
Hi lizf88,

Thanks for your reply. I have not done the tonsillectomy yet but just to let you know I have lost some of my sense of taste. I think brushing and scarping my tongue too hard caused damage to the taste buds. Now I cant taste most of the foods that I eat. 15weeks is a long time for me to wait especially when I need to get a job. Cant get a job because of tonsils.

lizf88. How long did you wait to get it done on NHS? Sorry to hear about your situation with the post-operation effects.

lulu. When exactly is your operation date? I hope all goes well for you too. Please keep me posted about your situation. Look at the positive side of things. You dont have to wait 15 weeks maximum to get surgery. So the sooner you do it the quicker it will be done and over with and then you will be on your way to recovery. I on the other hand will still be waiting 3 months time for the surgery. Good luck.
Hi guys :)

thanks for your comments. Brian I hope you get your date as soon as possible, your symptoms sound awful!

Liz that sounds terrible about loosing your sense of taste? Do they think it will be permenant? How long ago did you have the op?Do you get another chance to talk to the Surgeon before the op like in the morning? I had 5 seconds with mine and never asked him how many he had done. Apart from loosing your sense of taste, have you found that your overall health has been better than before the op? Can you tell me what the proceedure is like, did you get out on the same day? were you able to cook for yourself etc?

Also I just wanted to ask something. I got a throat infection again and I'm off work at the mo (my boss is thrilled not). I'm supposed to be going in on the 7the 7th to get the op, just over a week away, I'm just worried with what you said Liz, should I try to push it back a bit? I'm so upset about getting ill at this time felt like finnaly I was going to get rid of those buggers! Sounds stupid but been crying so much cause I just want it over with, but obviously I don't want to complicate it by having it done when I'm ill. :confused:

Thanks guys
It was worth it to me! :bouncing:

My tonsillectomy was in May. I felt better in a way immediately after the surgery, like my body was relieved to get all that infection out. The doctor said that my tonsils were completely full of infection and that I would be much healthier after that. He was right! I am now healthier, have more energy and sleep better at night. I notice that my throat dries out more easily now but that is a happy exchange for the huge, deteriorating tonsils I had from years of strep.

I didn't blink at getting the tonsillectomy because the last time I had strep my tonsils swelled up so badly I almost had to go to the hospital, my airway was so obstructed. I knew the next time I had strep it would be likely I would have to have an emergency tonsillectomy, so I thought I might as well plan it for a convenient time.

I agree with allowing two weeks before going back to work and having someone look after you. You will need it!

If you search the past threads on tonsillectomies, they have a wealth of info on what to expect. Mine is around here somewhere if you search my username. Many of us documented day by day what we experienced.

The thing that I learned most was the meds you are given post-tonsillectomy make all the difference. I know your health care system is different over there and I don't know what you can ask for. I had one of the smoother recoveries and I believe that much of it had to do with the meds, which kept me comfortable enough to be able to eat and drink and give my body fuel to heal. I only had about 24 hours of bad pain and was given permission to increase the pain meds for that time.

Roxicet (liquid percoset) or percoset itself is more effective than vicodin. Vicodin is better than tylenol with codeine. Plain tylenol (paracetamol) is almost useless and you can't use ibuprofen because of bleeding. I had phenergan to deal with the nausea from the roxicet but I didn't need it as long as I stayed in bed and rested like I was supposed to. What made the most difference was the prednisolone which is a steroid to keep the swelling down. It made a huge difference in the amount of pain I experienced, so between that and the roxicet I was mostly just uncomfortable and had some numbing lollies to swab the back of my throat which I used when it was worse, like right after I woke up and before I had to swallow anything. Dehydration makes the pain worse, makes the pain meds less effective, slows down the healing process and makes you more likely to have a bleed, so make sure you drink drink drink.

The thing I was most surprised about was that wanting cold things lasted only the first couple days and the rest of the recovery it was lukewarm or warm that felt good, so don't overstock on cold stuff. :)

I hope it goes well!
Hi,

I am new to this forum, I had a tonsillectomy in the UK 6 weeks ago. Although I have improved (i was in a lot of pain and had a lot of swelling) I have still the following problems -

sore throat
white tongue - doc says not oral thrush
ulsors on tongue and top of mouth
feeling tired unwell
water coming up my nose - nasal regurgitation
my whole throat looks red and sore still

Has anyone else had these problems? They say you are supposed to recover after two weeks!

I went to see my ent speacialsit who has reffered me to an oral physisit but not given me any answers.

I'm scared i will never feel well again.

Thanks
I think @ the end of the day, you have to trust your Doctor. He/she knows what's best for your particular situation / diagnosis. It's good to get a 2nd opinion, no matter what procedure you're having.

Best of luck to you and I hope all works out for you.

Ex
i just had my secon surgery in week for these tonsills. I am a 31 year old male. Well i was getting strept as achild often. then when tonsil time came it stopped until 2 years ago I started getting tonsillitus every 30 days then every two weeks. All I know is the white patches. swollen, deformed tonsils, and missed work time made my mind up for me. My ent finally said tonsills had to go. I had them removed on 9/24 no pain worse than the tonsillitus until my 4th day when my sbabs began bleeding and my uvula's sweeling had gone down a little but the clot hanging from it continued to cause me to gag. The white scabs throughout my throat began to dry and bleed pretty bad. The doc kept saying gargle with ice water but blood continued oozing. Well after taking myself to the er on 9/29 at 2 because of the blood balls i was coughing up they took me back to surgery and to my suprise the pain has ceased a little and all that white stuff is gone revealing pink with a few blood spots. To sum it up stick to the percocets. Pray u dont get addicted becuase they are narcotics and try to eat soft food as much as possible. The liquid diet feels good but in the end i think it slows healing and mixed with meds causes tougher recovery. Fatigue started along with dehydration and pain with no soft food. So get the surgery and I think in the end it will benefit u. No tonsills no tonsillitus.. No leg no chance for broken leg. same thing. they say the same tissues that heal in the tonsills can get too infected. In my case they said if i did not get them out i would have had a rough life because of the scarring from my chronic tonsillitus. good luck and get it done;)
My surgery and recovery were fine. I'm a 32-year-old female. Days 3-5 weren't great, but seriously - not a big deal. You know what is awful? I've totally lost my sense of taste. My surgery was almost 7 weeks ago. I can breathe better and I sleep better, which should have made me a happier person, but I'm absolutely miserable. I haven't lost weight (maybe 4 pounds this whole time) because I keep trying everything - thinking the NEXT bite will be [I]The One![/I] I don't know whether I'm hungry or full, I can't stop thinking about food. It's absolutely awful. If you're overweight (and I'm not really, but at 5'1" and 117lbs now could still stand to lose about 10), please don't think that not tasting food sounds just fine to you. I promise you, it's absolutely awful. If you do not really need this surgery, I do not think you should have it. I can BREATHE better, but in a second I'd rather be able to TASTE again!
hi lulu,
like you I was plagued with tonsilitis, and as a vocalist it was a complete nightmare!!! the docs at the hospital picked up on it and refered me straight away, and going through with the surgery was the best thing i could have ever done!
yes it hurt - i was wiped out for a good couple of weeks, but i havnt had any trouble at all sinse and that was a year ago.
you could be making the mistake of reading too much and freaking yourself with all the horror stories when in fact theres only a small minority of people who suffer (and if thats anyone reading this thread, my sympathies go out to you!)
Anyway, only you can decide what is right for you, so best of luck with what you do decide :)
Emecmb,


Wow, sounds like you are living a nightmare. It has been 3 weeks since I had my surgery. I still can't taste much. Anything with sugar in it is the worst though. It tastes like it was drenched with salt. Have you found anything that you enjoy the slightest bit? Have you tried hot and spicey foods? I'm sure you have probably frantically tried just about every food you can think of. I've heard that some taste can be lost because of an iron deficiancy after the surgery. Have you tried taking iron supplements? That's the only thing I can think of that might help. Meanwhile, I wish you well and I empathize with you. Sometimes it helps to know that you aren't the only one going through it. I'm only three weeks in though so hopefully I still have a chance at gaining some of it back. I know what you mean by being obsessed with food though. I can't stop thinking about what might actually taste good. Hahaha...then I'll cook the food or buy it and get disappointed. On the positive side, I can breathe genuinely for the first time in the last couple years. I also had a septoplasy and adnoidectomy because my sinus' were all inflammed. Anyways, between the tonsillectomy and that, my health feels like it has had a 60% improvement and continues to grow.
Hello Swimmer18. It sounds like you and me had/have a lot in common. If I were you, I would got to an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist. Mainly because of my experience. I had the same problem: encrypted tonsils. I also had severe sinus infection. The doctor I went to, although I am sure he meant well, did about 6 months of anti-biotics and steriods to see if the infection would leave. Of course this is after 1 year of inflammed tonsils. After about a year and a half of horrible sleep, health problems, and having a hard time breathing, I threw in the towell and went to an ENT. It took him about 2 seconds to say that my tonsils needed to be taken out and I needed a CAT scan to figure out what was going on with my sinuses. Although the surgery was hard, I do not regret it! I can finally breathe and I feel like a new person. I still can't taste very well so be warned of that but it was worth the sacrifice for sure. I am in college too and that year and a half crushed my 3.9. Friends told me to go in to an ENT but I ignored them. I wish I would have just gotten it over with ASAP. That's my personal advice.
I saw the ent yesterday and he said that i have a deviated septum, and that there are a couple of deep crypts that food is getting stuck in but other then that he said that he doesnt see anything that would be a reason for getting them out.... But teh weird thing is that its still contantly throbbing, and what i though was swimmers ear being i litteraly live in teh water (swim intructor/lifguard/competion) he said that if it really bothers me in the fact that the food is stuck then i could get them out but if i can deal with it then deal with it!
I was told almost a month ago that i didnt need to have them out but yet im still in pain adn constaly getting good stuck which is bugging the living shit out of me.... but my mother says that the insurance wont cover it beucase they were not inflammed.... so i have to decided wether or not to get them out but at teh same time i can aford to be out of work for a week or more....
Hi everyone. I'm 25, and I'm almost 2 weeks out of my tonsillectomy. I had a really swollen tonsil on one side which was cryptic and filled with tonsil stones. This started like 5 years ago. Since then, I always had a bad taste in my mouth, and I only recently put the two together. (Pretty smart cookie huh?)

Unlike most people, my doctor was not resistant at all to giving me the surgery. He took one look at my tonsils and offered me the procedure. I was scared, but I thought if it can improve my health and get rid of the bad taste and bad breath, it would be worth it. My biggest problem after the surgery was that the pain meds made me really sick. The things that helped me get through it were:

drinking a ton of ice water
I ate really well the weak before and worked out so my body would be in good shape for the trauma it would go through
taking my pain meds in a small glass of gingerale so it didn't come back up
using a humidifier at night
a great family that took care of me because you really need that at least the first few days

Staying hydrated is the best defense against bleeding and it helps you heal.

So, I'm two weeks out, and I have no bad taste in my mouth. I'm almost completely healed. (I'm not going to lie it takes a while for adults). I feel more comfortable talking close to people. Also, I had bad post-nasal drip too, and it seems to be better. I think you get excess mucus when you have an infection, and if your tonsils are constantly infected, it makes sense that you would have extra mucus. Viscious cylce sort of thing.

Anyway, I'm glad I did it. I think it's going to improve my quality of life, and it was worth the couple of weeks of pain. I have a high pain tolerance, but I really think anyone can get through this if you take good care of yourself and remember the end result.

It's too early for me to say if I'll get sick less often. I do know that I got Brochitis earlier this year and stayed sick a lot longer than I should have. Part of this is due to that fact that I'm stressed and in a really tough graduate program, but I've heard several doctors say that swollen tonsils can prolonge sickness, because the germs get stuck in there and aren't flushed out of the body as they should be. So, I'm hoping this will improve my health. I honestly did it mostly because of the bad taste/breath, but I'm pretty sure I'll be healthier as a result as well.

Just wanted to share my story in hopes that it helps someone. Good luck to everybody dealing with this





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