What Are The Risks Of Getting A Tonsillectomy As An Adult?

When you were young, you probably knew someone who needed to have their tonsils removed. This is called a tonsillectomy (via WebMD). While it seems like children are more likely to need their tonsils removed, adults may find themselves dealing with this issue as well. The tonsils are two small, round pieces of tissue located in the back of your throat. They help to fight infection, but can sometimes become infected themselves. If you have had several infections or if your tonsils are constantly enlarged and causing problems, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy.

While a tonsillectomy is generally a safe procedure, there are always risks involved with any surgery. Complications from a tonsillectomy are rare, but can include bleeding, infection, and difficulty swallowing. About one in five adults experience dehydration, pain, and swelling after the procedure. In very rare cases, more serious complications can occur, such as damage to nearby structures or an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of the risks involved before having the procedure done.

How to prepare for and recover from a tonsillectomy

If you find yourself needing a tonsillectomy, your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. This will likely include instructions to avoid eating the day before your surgery and to make arrangements to have someone to pick you up after surgery (via Mayo Clinic). Your doctor will also likely recommend that you schedule at least 10 days of recovery time, as it takes most adults this long to recover.

After the surgery, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have a smooth recovery. Drink plenty of fluids in the days leading up to your surgery and afterward. This will help thin your mucus and make it easier for you to breathe after the procedure. Avoid any foods that might irritate your throat for at least 10 days after the procedure, such as spicy or acidic foods. Stick to soups, juices, and mashed foods until you are fully healed. Surgery can be taxing on your body, so it's also important to get as much rest as possible when recovering.