Tonsils & Adenoids

have left the building.

(Heavily drugged and fascinated by the monitor on his finger.  Not thrilled about the koala covered hospital gown they gave him..)

Keller had his giant streppy pus and stone infested tonsils removed yesterday.  And, once they got those suckers out of the way, they discovered that his adenoids were blocking about 50% of whatever it is that they shouldn’t be blocking (airway? throat? whatever), so they took those out too.

So far, it’s been really really really (knock on wood) really smooth sailing.  As in, “you’d have no idea the kid had just had surgery” kind of smooth sailing.

I’ve heard days 3 and 4 are where it gets ugly.  Tomorrow is day 3.  I’m bracing myself.

So, who else has been through this?  (There have got to be a lot of you!)

Any tips or secrets?

Were days 3 and 4 the worst?


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  1. You won’t like this answer but be cautious. I hemmoraged on day 10 and required blood transfusions. 2/3 of my kids have had theirs done and the only issue was that it changed their voice and they became nasal.

  2. My 3 year old had his removed in December. Days 3 and 4 were by far the worst, especially considering how easy the first two days were. Keep using the most pain meds allowed. My son didn’t like the taste and it hurt to swallow, do it was always a fight to get him to take them. However, it only got worse if we let them lapse. Good luck!

  3. belinda says:

    We just went through this last week! They are right day 3 and 4 are rough. Keep the pain meds close by and keep giving him the ice cream. =) once you get to day 5 it gets better they will try to sneek regular food but do not let him, we had a set back with chips. Argh!

  4. Pam in IL says:

    My daughter had hers out and except for the first 24 hours, she was perfectly fine. The dr told us to keep her quiet for a whole week, but that proved to be very difficult because she felt so good. Hopefully you won’t have any problems either!

  5. Had mine out at 6.. They gave me plenty of ice cream and popsicles… Soup for meals.. Hope all goes well..

  6. The only one of my 3 children to have her tonsils out is my baby – she is now 14 and had them out when she was 11. Day 3/4 was a little harder – the reason for that is that the tissue scabs during the first couple of days and then the scabs come off around the 3rd or 4th day and become sore again like any sore will when the scab comes off. I don’t remember it being really horrible though. In fact, I think she begged me to let her go to school the second day after and I was supposed to keep her home. It seems to be that her throat was not as sore as it had been before she had her tonsils out! Hoping for the best :)

  7. 3-4-5 seems rough and the thing to brace yourself for is their AWFUL breath they will have… like… never mind.. it is just awful and its from the tissue healing. Good luck!


  8. Jessica says:

    I had both out at age 14. Keep up with the pain meds….it hurts more if you fall behind, even if you skip one dose it can be awful! And even though leading experts said I could have “all the ice cream I could ever want” the dairy left me with a coated throat and it hurt more…so I had Popsicles. Good luck!
    BTW: I have had strep only once in 20 years since.

  9. My surgery was smooth sailing. My adnoids grew back though and now I need to go in and have them taken out again.

    • I was just gonna say the same thing….my husband is 35 and has already had his adenoids out twice and they are growing back for the 3rd time. This is a rarity though….they normally don’t grow back.

  10. Hope little man has a smooth sailing recovery. All I remember of my sis having hers removed was her breath smelled like a dumpster for days but she did pretty well recovery-wise. They said her adenoids were bigger than a grown man’s and were affecting her hearing.

  11. One of my boys got dehydrated and started bleeding and had to be hospitalized. The other one never had an issue and only took the pain pills the first day. Every child is different, hope you got the easy one, lol. Just make sure he’s hydrated and you should be fine!

  12. My daughter Charlotte had her tonsils and adenoids removed when she was 4. She was really fine after the second day. I hear that the older they are the worse it is.

    On day 3 she started talking kind of like a chipmunk and it was really funny, so I recorded her talking and played it back for her. She wanted to listen to it over and over again…it killed time and helped lift her spirits. She was also asking to eat hot dogs on day 3, so I guess her recovery was pretty quick.

    (((HUGS))) and prayers for an easy recovery for your little man!

  13. My son just had his out last Wednesday!! I feel like we are finally over the hump – day 4 and 5 were the worst for us – up until yesterday he was still taking his pain meds every 4 hours. I have been so grateful that he has almost made it the whole day today with out any medicine. Night time seems to be the worst – I don’t know why that is. The ice pack has been our best friend – and lots of rest. Which has been a HUGE struggle for us – he can home from his surgery and wanted to play outside!! Good luck hope the next few days are not too bad!!!

  14. P.S I wish I would have thought to take pictures – my son was throwing up after surgery though so that probably wouldn’t have been pretty. His little voice has changed too – which has made me kinda sad. It is much more high pitched and it almost sounds like he is talking through his nose!!

  15. Mine was 5 when he had his taken out. It went well but then around days 5-7 he went downhill. He was really sickly so he was out of school for a whole week. Other than that it went well. We kept his tonsils in the freezer for a whole year so he could gawk at them whenever. ;)

  16. Gum. Give him lots of gum to chew. That encourages swallowing. And the more he swallows the better he will feel.

  17. We thought having our two year olds done was a little piece of Hell on earth. She was so stubborn and wouldn’t drink anything so we ended up in the hospital for over a week. Why the doctor didn’t offer her magic mouthwash until we checked out is a question for the ages. If you don’t have any- call your doctor and demand it.

  18. If you can stay on top of the pain meds then you should be ok…but remember pain meds have side effects like constipation …for us day 8 was the worst…I’ve heard 7-10 can be the worst because that’s when the scabs fall off. Once you make it past then I’ll tell you our story

  19. Ian had his tonsils and adenoids removed in September. Recovery was not too bad except that he wouldn’t eat much even though we bought him some pretty yummy stuff, and he really couldn’t afford to lose too much weight. Life has been so much better for him since he got them yanked, though. He was getting sick WAY too often before, and we get really scared when he gets sick because of everything he went through last year. Good luck!

  20. Keep on the pain meds! My son felt great after the surgery and for a few days after, it was about day 4 that he started screaming in pain. It was horrible. I hated the way the narcotic pain killer made him act,and he seemed just fine with ibuprofen. So wrong. Your son’s tonsils sounded awful, my son had terrible sleep apnea. He was so much better after the surgery, and his behavior was too. It’s amazing what a restful night of sleep can do. Hope your son gets better soon!

  21. My 2 boys had their tonsils taken out on the same day a couple of years ago. One did amazing. The other had a tough time. My youngest (who had a hard time), hated his pain medicine & refused to take it. Day 3 was probably his worst day. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything. My older child however, had a super easy recovery & didn’t really have a bad day. I agree with the people who said keep them on the pain medicine. My little guy almost had to go back in to get on an IV. I hope that he recovers quickly! My boys have been so much better since they had theirs taken out! It is worth it!

  22. Hi! My kid was for when he took both the tonsils and adenoids. It was also a really smooth sail and I didn’t noticed any problems around day 3-4. He complained about his troat for a week and we fed him cold food (yougurt, ice cream, lots of water. He went to school a week later!

  23. Sorry, my kid wasn’t ‘for’, but FOUR, when he took his tonsils and adenoids!

  24. I had mine out when I was 25. Day 3 and 4 were the worst for me, because the pain meds made me throw up. I wasn’t taking the anti nausea medicine the doctor gave, because I didn’t know how badly I needed it. After that, the new meds they gave me didn’t help at all. So, if they’re having any nausea, give them meds for it. Throwing up is the worst and most painful thing that can happen. Also, you can’t really brush your teeth to get the taste out of your mouth. That’s my graphic disgusting story. I’m still glad I got them out though.

  25. Three of my four boys had their tonsils and adenoids removed. We had more problems with them coming out of the anesthesia. They screamed, kicked, and one even tried to remove his i.v. line. That was not fun so I didn’t notice if they were more difficult on day 3 or 4.

  26. I was 34 years old when I finally! had those suckers out. All I had was a sore throat–no fever, no achiness. I have not had a sore throat since (over 20 years). What took me so long?!!! Yes, day 3 and 4 are not the best , but liquid tylenol is a good friend to have. And let me warn ya, your (his) breath will be knock -you – flat nasty. Gargling with salt water helps and brushing your teeth and tongue, too. Good luck!

  27. Oh, I hope he feels 100% real soon!

  28. Sarah W. says:

    Yup- went through it MYSELF at 16- keep giving him the pain pills. no questions. I thought i was ok, i wasnt. Also- dont let him laugh for another week. THAT hurts so bad! my friends all came over to hang out and would make me laugh, and i’d end up crying. :( hurts!!!! dont let him talk. dont even make/let him try. it hurts!!!! white boards/paper help with ‘talking’ :D
    Good luck!!! you did a great job getting those out- My Adenoids were blocking 90% of my sinus’ (they are for the nose- same as tonsils- just for the nose )…. so it would have only gotten worse!!!! he will LOVE not being sick anymore. and being able to breathe through his nose!!!! new experiences :D

  29. I’m 26 and thinking about getting my tonsils removed. I have my consultation next week and reading all these comments, I’m getting really nervous. I’m so tired of the sore throats and strep that I’m hoping all the pain will be worth it. It is great to read all the advice though since I’ll be needing it soon!

  30. My son had his surgery when he was 5. Day 11 was the worst day for him. Best advise I was given was to pay the extra for the pain meds to be flavored-has no trouble getting him to take it and was easier to stay on top of the pain. Also, before surgery we went shopping and I let him choose ANY drink he wanted, his choice was soda. So for every soda bottle he had, he had to have a bottle of water. Real easy way to keep him hydrated.

  31. My daughter did fine with the same surgery…all will be fine

  32. Danielle says:

    Best thing we ever did for our daughter! She was so sick before, although not with strep. The dr said he didn’t know how she was breathing with her adenoids being so big. I remember around day 7 the scabs started coming off and bleeding. Also the dr said to run the humidifier 24/7 and drink lots of ice water. She lost about 5 pounds but gained it all back as soon as her throat felt better and she started eating like crazy!

  33. My son was 5 when he has his tonsils and adnoids removed and it was smoot sailing for him as well. He had bouts of sleep apnea prior to the surgery because of the size of them blocking his airway. No problems. He had them out on a Thursday and went to school on Monday. I remember the doctor said that he could eat anything that he wanted and he wanted potato chips! He said they scratched his throat for him when it itched! When the scabs started to bother him was the worst and he had one bad day, other than that it was fine-and it sure beat all the ear infections and strep infections that he was constantly battling!

  34. I thought our scabs came off around 5-6 days. It was horrible but my son was only 18 months old. Definitely try to keep him medicated and hydrated. Also mine is autistic and was pretty much non verbal at the time so it was definitely NOT FUN!

  35. well, I can only hope that he is over the big hump. If he is having pain today the one suggestion I can give you is to encourage him to eat anything that is very salty. Salt dries out the wound and has a soothing effect, which is the same sort of tx you would encourage for strep throat and other sore throats, along with when he is 16 and gets those wisdom teeth removed.
    Having two that went through all of these ordeals ages ago.
    Happy Easter

  36. Rebekah G says:

    I had my tonsils taken out when I was 13. I had outpatient surgery which went find and loved the ice cream eating I got to do. However, my issue was with he fact that when I would swallow it made my ears hurt so I stopped drinking anything. I ended up having to get admitted as an inpatient & after 5 tries was given a baby IV, since I was so dehydrated. After a couple of days I was better enough to go home & was able to swallow without pain.

    Hopefully your son won’t have the same issues I had.

  37. Plenty of fluids through two straws at a time. They get more that way. My girls were 2 when they had theirs out. Oldest daughter, no problem, ate french fries with ketchup the day after. Youngest daughter, wicked time of it. Popsicles by the dozens, two or three straws in her drinks, and lots of pain meds. 2 different doctors, 2 different girls, 2 different outcomes.

  38. I’m behind on my reading so I’m hoping your day 3 and 4 wasn’t too bad. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

  39. I had them removed as a kid. I remember two things:
    1) I was super frustrated because when they put me under I was told to count to ten, and I didn’t make it. I guess that was the first thing I thought of when I woke up.
    2) I felt really gypped b/c I had been told I could have all the jello and ice cream that I wanted after the surgery. WHAT? YES! DREAM COME TRUE! But then I didn’t feel like eating either afterwards so I was pretty out of sorts about that.

    that’s literally all I remember so it couldn’t be that bad. I do hold a grudge for a really really long time though apparently, because whenever those memories come to mind I still feel the same sense of irritation. ha. I had to be like four or something b/c I’m pretty sure it was before I was in school.

  40. Oh, I feel for you. My hubby had his adnoids, tonsils out and a deviated septum fixed. Three days after he got thrush from the liquid antibiotic. I think that grown ups are worse about it than kiddos thou, so good luck!

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  45. My son, age 5, just had his tonsils out yesterday. He kicked and screamed for about 30 mins after the surgery. Once we got home he went to sleep for a few hours, woke for a popsicle and then wanted to be Spider Man. He ate a full can of Chicken Noodle Soup and he was ready to play. All day I was giving him White Grape Fruit juice. Today is feeling fine according to him and he had oatmeal for breakfast. Reading the rest of the post, I am nervous all over again because tomorrow will be the dreaded ‘Day 3′ everyone is talking about. I shouldn’t have read these post lol

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