Why I decided to have a tonsillectomy:
I had a right tonsil that was larger than the left and had tonsil stones and swollen glands on right side.
Then from Dec of last year for 8 months I had a
soar throat every 2 months and I was extremely fatigued.
That was it . Decided the tonsils and adenoids had to come out because those
were likely cuprits.
What Procedure did I chose:
I did a a ton of research. The are 2 types of tonsillectomies. Total
tonsillectomy and subtotal (intracapsular)partial tonsillectomy(pita technique using like a thermal welder or laser)
I choose the total tonsillectomy cause could not find anyone doing
subtotal where I lived. In subtotal tonsillectomy the muscles of the throat are not
affected because a small piece of tonsil tissue is left above it to protect
it. Its much less painful therefore. In fact some people are back to work the next
day. Some argue that infection can remain but I think if done right
(using the right instruments) using the right doctor that it should be successful. However
there are patients where subtotal does not work and infection remains but the majority
of patients do well. Ask your ENT about success rates. major benefit to subotal tonsillectomy
is the pain factor.
Now I did a total tonsillectomy and there are 2 major ways to get it done
I found a doctor that does coblation and i chose it because it does not burn the
tissue off it gently seals iT AT AROUND 80 degrees.
Therefore the surrounding areas do not get burned. However make sure doctor
using the coblator is experienced or you could end up having bleeding. ITs
a new technolgy and most doctors are not yet using yet. They use elctrocuatery
which is an older method and don't want to bother learn newer techniques.
You need to ask your doctor however how many tonsillectomies he has done
using the coblator if you decide to use that technique. You don't want
a newbie practicing on you.
So for total tonsillectomy I think coblation is way to go. It will leave
virtually no pain days 1-3 and about realative same pain days 4-7 versues
electrocautery. And from day 8 onward you it probably get you back to work
faster than electrocautery.
I had multiple surgeries done at once:
I had a tonsillecotmy, adenectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery.
Now please note I told my doctor if he has to do packing (where they
stuff the nose to control bleeding ) that he was not to do the tonsillecomy.
I told him I would do the tonsillectomy on another day. Why? Cause its pure
hell having a nose full packing and having to breath through your sore mouth after tonsillecotmy.
Lucklily after he did the endoscopic surgery he did not need to pack the nose and he was able to
do the tonsillecotmy.
What happened afrer the tonsillecotmy
Day 1 - Operation
No pain. Thought things where going good. The key I was drinking continuously!
and while I felt no pain I was eating. If I felt any discomfort I woul take
my liquid Lortab which took care of everything
Everything went downhill. But this was my routine.
I would sleep upright so it might help minimize ear pain.
Every 3 hours I would take 20cc on liquid lortab.
I take the Lortab, wait 1/2 hour then drink water like crazy sipping constantly.
My food was liquid Boost nutrition drink with Carnation instant breakfast added
to give me even more portien and nutrients.
I would set the alarm when I slept to take the painkiller every three hours
during the night.
I've this filmy layer on my tongue. Danactive drinking seems to improve this.
Got worse but doing above it kept all the pain in check. No ear pain and
pain meds dulled out throat pain.
Scabs coming off. Very uncomfortable. But late in day no pain killer necessary
except when trying to drink or eat. Still keeping hydrated to scabs
do not get dried out.
Totally off pain meds. Still hurts on swallow but not that bad .
I still have not opened my mouth except to gently brush my teeth.
I want those scabs to fall of easily and with no bleeding.
Lots of pressure when I swallow. Muscles seems wacky.
Got first nights full sleep but woke up with sore throat. After an hour
it went away. It was due to the dryness of the air.
No pain meds today. Unconforatable but no pain on
Still not opening my mouth wide and still not talking to much.
Much better day. Still taking antibotics. Still drinking boost
and carnation instant breakfast and drinking. Also drinking
DanActive probiotic drink to replace good bacteria in mouth and
stomach. I have also continuously throughout used ice packs
around my neck . I have decided no solids till day 10 or 11.
I don't want to bleed.
At night though swallowing got bit more difficult again due to new
smaller scabs forming
So far I have not experience swollen uvula, ear pain, or any other
side affects. Could be because I used coblation or my doctor was good.
Coblation does not burn and inflame surrounding tissue so I think it might be
the technique used as well as skill of ENT.
Felt worse than day 8--guess more scabs falling off. No pain meds since late day 6
Continue to eat protein shakes and water.
Feel good. Swallowing pain is minimal. Ate cream of wheat , protein drinks.
Still avoid coughing, heavy clearing of throat and still using ice packs around
neck to prevent bleeding. Still not eating heavy solid food. Taking it slowly.
Woke up, throat felt a bit soar. After an hour felt great ate slice of pizza chopped up in little pieces.
Healing still occurring . Overall as each day progresses it get easier.
These days are kind of fustrating cause waiting to fully turn the corner and eat
whatever I want. Craving sushi
Lost around 12 lbs so far.
Eating more and more solids. Slowly of course. No real pain at beginning of day but towards end
of day I get a tad bit sore. Also noticed when I talk alot for long periods it throat can get a bit sore.
Can eat anything in small bites. Looking forward to the day when anything
goes and I do not have an ounce of pain or discomfort. Patience is key here....
Eating more. Went to CPK today to lunch and had indian food yesterday.
Getting bolder. Again towards end of day I tend to get sore(not pain but discomfort).
Still healing. I could probably eat anything I want but need to take it slow cause
area is still sore. Don't get the idea that on day 10 -14 it magically disappears and you are
back normal. At least this is not the case for me. It does get much better days 10 -14
but soreness still there and will take time. Perhaps in a month everything will be as it was?
I will keep you posted and let you know the day I can say that I am totally healed.
More or less I can eat anythng. I don't stuff my mouth though. Still can feel it but its
not like its painful, more of a discomfort. Will be going back to work tommorrow. I took
2 weeks off. I will report weekely now and post any highlights.
Day 15 -20
Totally healed. Feel great. Between the tonsillectomy and sinus surgery
all my issues were cured.
Would i do it again? Yes definitely! Well worth 2-3 weeks of discomfort.
Tips and Tricks
-sleep upright to avoid ear pain.
-drink, drink, drink at least 3 water bottles daily to keep scabs mosit and keep hydrated.
-take pain meds on time. Do not let them wear off. And 1/2 hour after you take pain meds eat and drink.
- up till day 11 try not strain yourself. Do not bend down such that your head goes below your heart or
you might bleed.
-no coughing, heavy clearing of throat or sneezing for fist 10 days or this might cause bleeding
Recoveries will vary.
I had coblation method so overall recovery is faster because surrounding tissues are not burned
and inflamed as it is in electrocautery(however depending on skill of doctor using cautery excessive
burning can be prevented).Doctor skill and technique is so important! Make sure doctor is well known
and is confident. For example I switched ENTS 3x. The first ENT said she could take it out but warned
me it would hurt and was hesitant. This told me she was not confident so I dumped her. Next ENT
again said he would take out but he stopped doing coblation cause he thinks there is more chance
of bleeding. This told me his coblation technique and knowledge was not solid and so I dropped him. The 3rd
and last ENT I went to was confident. He said my tonsils needs to come out, no doubt.
Had the lets do it attitude and
he would use whatever method I wanted, Coblation or Electrocautery. This told me that this ENT
was confident, knew what he was doing, did not have to many bleeders so his technique and skills
were solid. He did not hesistate or appear unsure which gave me the impression
he has done this procedure many times and has had very few complications or problems
doing this surgery...