Getting your tonsils taken out as an adult can be an exceptionally painful experience, and require a great deal of recovery time. Where as children can often bounce back quickly from a tonsillectomy, many adults find the process much more to recover from, with recovery times ranging from a few weeks to well over a month. If you are an adult getting your tonsils out in the near future, you can do a few things to help speed along your recovery.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking plenty of cold liquids will help promote the healing process. Stock up before your surgery with plenty of fluids such as bottled water, milk and non-citrus juices. Citrus juices, sodas or other carbonated drinks will be difficult to drink after surgery and irritate the tender skin where your tonsils once were. If you need caffeine each day, consider stocking up on teas or iced coffee to drink post-op rather than sodas and hot coffee.
Take Your Meds
The antibiotics your doctor prescribes will help prevent infection and speed along your recovery. The pain medication you receive will also become your best friend after surgery. For the first few days after your surgery have a friend stay with you to help monitor your intake of medication. Keep a journal of when you take each medication to make sure you don't miss a dose, and so you have an accurate record of what you've taken should you experience any complications and have to visit the doctor or emergency room for help.
Abstain From Alcohol
Alcohol in any form will cause a fairly substantial amount of pain on your recently operated skin. Much like the pain you experience when putting rubbing alcohol on a recent scrape or cut, alcohol such as beer, liquor or wine can irritated your operated area, causing you a great deal of pain. Alcohol can also interact badly with the pain medication you will be taking after the operation. Abstain from drinking alcohol until your tonsils have fully healed.
Run a Humidifier
Run a humidifier when you are sleeping in order to keep the area where your tonsils were removed moist. Typically when you sleep most people have their mouth slightly open, causing the inside of their mouth to dry out. After surgery, a dry mouth can cause you a tremendous amount of pain. Keeping a humidifier running while you sleep can help keep your mouth moist and allow you to sleep longer without pain.
Take It Easy
Sleep can be one of your best tools in recovering from your tonsillectomy. Plan on taking at least 14 days off from work after your surgery, and use that time to do things that require a minimal amount of physical activity such as watching movies or playing video games. Trying to go back too early, or participating in strenuous activities before you're ready can cause your recovery to take longer and be much more painful.