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Old 10-06-2008, 10:57 PM   #1
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PAMELA PILLAY HB User
no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

HI COULD U HELP I GOT OPERATED ON THE 21st OF AUGUST O8 BUT TILL DATE HAV NO FEELING IN MY TASTE BUDS I JUST EAT AS I NEED TO EAT TO SURVIVE. DO NOT GET THE TASTE OF SWEET AT ALL. WHAT DO I DO TO GET BACK MY TASTE, AS ITS FRUSTRATING. PLEASE HELP.

 
Old 10-08-2008, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Loss of taste after tonsillectomy is common, especially sweet tastes. It can take 2 to 3 months for your taste to return. When it does return it may be "off" for awhile, somethings may taste metallic or not the way you expect. Everything will return to normal after a few months.

There have been some reports of zinc deficiency after tonsillectomies provoking taste disturbance; zinc def does cause loss of taste. If you take a multivitamin you may want to make sure it contains zinc.

 
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:05 AM   #3
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Thumbs down Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I had mine out September 17th, and it's now October 31 - coming up on 7 weeks. I'm a personal chef, so tasting is not only important to my well-being, but also to my livlihood!

I have had NO improvement in my sense of taste.

My doctor had his own tonsils out about 10 years ago when he was 45-(or so)-years old. I'm 32. He knew I was a chef but didn't warn me that this could happen. When I was - literally - strapped to the table, he said I might not be able to taste chocolate for about 3 weeks. No mention of any other taste-related problems.

At 5 weeks post-surgery, I called him. He suddenly said the taste-loss is normal and could last 6 weeks. His advice was to "challenge" my taste buds by eating really sweet, sour, salty, etc foods. You betcha I ate a bowl full of Splenda mixed with lime juice. But it didn't work. Not that I thought it would, but what the heck?

Anyway, in a few days I'll be at 7 weeks, and I guess I'll call him again. Maybe he can prescribe some antidepressants, because this SUCKS! From what I've learned through this and other health boards, it could be a few months or it could be never. I've read a few different places that any recovery to the lingual nerve will happen within a year - after that, there's no hope. The one hope: I've noticed that a lot of people post their misery about once a week for about 2 months, then drop off the boards. I'm hoping that's because they actually get better and forget to update. Hope so!

 
Old 11-20-2008, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Hi - I'm returning to this board after more than a year away. In the summer of 2007 I had a tonsillectomy and sinus surgery, and after surgery I had a terrible problem with loss of taste. I'm posting one of my earlier posts below for reference. I wanted to come back and let folks know that my sense of taste did finally come back. I had a baby this past May and apparently my taste came back sometime during the pregnancy; I think the pregnancy symptoms were masking the return of the taste somewhat. I would say it's about 95% back now; I really only notice it when I'm eating or drinking something very sweet, such as a Coke. I finally had come to terms with having lost my sense of taste and actually hoped it would not fully return; not having it was doing wonders for my weight as there was absolutely no incentive to overeat! Anyway, I remembered from my earlier visits here that almost no one ever comes back and gives an update, so I thought I would do that. I hope it helps someone! Here's my earlier post:

Quote:
Hi; I just found this forum and it has been such a relief. I had my surgery on 6/15 and actually felt pretty good the first couple of days after the surgery. I think it was because my nerves were "asleep" and I wasn't starved yet! I had sinus surgery at the same time, but that was a breeze, with the only real discomfort occurring the Monday after surgery when they took the cotton plugs out.

I ended up unable to tolerate the pain meds I was given (Mepergan) due to nausea (and it left me incapacitated), so after the first week I just stuck it out with Tylenol. I was extremely weak and shaky at the end of the first week and the beginning of the second. When I went to my follow-up (at 10 days) the doc said I wasn't healing very well and still had huge scabs on my tonsils. Now I'm at 13 days post-op and am feeling pretty good, mostly because I'm "cheating" and taking Aleve so I can finally get some real pain relief. It has only been in the last couple of days that I've had the strength to even go to the store. I think I would be stronger now if I'd been able to take the pain meds last week and, as a result, get more calories into my system.

For me, the hardest thing has been the loss of sense of taste. I've read a lot of the threads on this subject here. Like many others, I can taste very little sweet flavor, but my biggest problem is that, in general, I only taste the salt in things. Even the saliva in my mouth tastes salty to me. Trying to eat regular food is literally nauseating. It takes me a long time to get anything resembling a meal down, and only foods that are supposed to taste salty (like popcorn) taste normal at all. (A couple of exceptions: I can taste strawberries and broccoli pretty well.) My left tonsil is still very sore and I feel a "nervy" shooting pain down that side of my tongue frequently, especially when I drink anything cold. I'm hopeful that this is just because of the slowed healing process on that side.

The loss of taste is distressing, though, especially as I was previously something of a "supertaster" and am a very good cook. Flavor is very important to me! But if it's not permanent I will just tough it out (and even if it is, I guess!) and be happy if it causes me to lose some weight due to disinterest in food. Maybe that will help my tennis game... I have read that zinc supplements may help and I am going to get some today and give it a shot. It can't hurt, at any rate.

Oh, and yawning is absolute torture!
Last edited by cghipp : 06-28-2007 at 02:17 PM.

Last edited by cghipp; 11-20-2008 at 04:12 PM.

 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:39 PM   #5
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Thanks, CGHIPP ~ You're right, most people don't update when they get better, which makes it so frustrating for those of us still going through it.

It's been 9 weeks for me now. For the first 7 I was really, really depressed and frustrated at just not being able to taste food. The past two weeks I've kind of gotten over that. But now I'm really frustrated because I cook dinners for a living - it's hard to be suddenly "blind" like this.

On the upside, I think it's getting better. Nothing tastes better today than it did yesterday, but I feel like it's better today than it was two weeks ago. SLOOOOOOW improvement, but better than nothing.

Oh - and for anyone else reading this: maybe it is not nerve damage, as others on HealthBoards suggest.

When I went back to my doctor after 7 weeks, he said that if the nerve is damaged your tongue feels as numb as if you'd gone to the dentist & gotten a filling. For me, really hot soup only feels warm right now, so my tongue is less-sensative than before the surgery, but it's definitely not post-dentist numb.

I don't know if what my doctor said is true, but he said it really is JUST the taste buds, and that they have to regenerate. He prescribed me vitamin C and some prenatal vitamin with lots of folic acid, and he gave me a B12 shot. Maybe all of that helped a little, but 2 weeks later everything still tastes pretty bland - or bad.

Last edited by emecmb; 11-22-2008 at 12:02 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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Unhappy Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I had my tonsils out 5/22/08. It is now 12/22/08 and my sense of taste has still not returned to normal. It is very frustrating. Yes, it is mostly sweets that I cannot taste. I like to think that I am experiencing some small improvements as more time passes. But I can't be sure. Sometimes I think it's just wishful thinking.

It is very strange that this was never mentioned as a possible side-effect of the surgery. When I mentioned my loss of taste to my surgeon, he seemed surprised. He mentioned something about the clamp that they use to keep my mouth open during the procedure, and how the pressure on the tongue could create some "temporary taste disturbance". I guess my question is, "is seven months still considered temporary?"

 
Old 12-28-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Hi All taste loss post tonsillectomy suffers.
I haven't posted on here in a long time, sorry but only because i'm not better and never will be now I'm 2 years 3months post op and I had no improvment, I've been to see a neurologist who said my Uvula (the dangly bit often thought of as a tonsil!) deviates sharply to the right hand side and this is possibly significant for some of you so have a look, basically from my vague knowledge the Uvula should hang straight and a deviation indicates a nerve problem (also it points to the good side) In my case my damage is left sided so my Uvula points away. this is a good starting point I think, but I would say to all of you don't give up hope but be realistic, the worst thing for me was false hope from the various surgeons and doctors I saw, it's incredibly depressing and you do mourn your taste for ever I guess, but it gets easier to deal with, I still want to kill the people who say oh I wish I had that it would stop me from eating chocolate/puddings etc they just don't understand the devastating effects it has (on all the family) and trying to explain to people that the tasty food they love so much tastes so disgusting to me I'd have to spit it out, or in the case of my beloved chocolate, have a tiny square and wash it down with a hot cup of tea quickly... even tea doesn''t taste the same.... but wow my sense of smell is amazing, and so cruel, the smell of chocolate or a curry or well anything tasty really is awesome. anyway I will stop waffling on and say take pure zinc, loads of studies have shown it helps and anything is worth a go, and 1 year is considered permanent damage here in the UK.
good luck all of you, and by the way I still make the most amazing chocolate brownies for my friends and family, I had fine tuned the receipe and although it kills me not to be able to taste them (really sour and bitter yuk) I'm glad I can make them now, I couldn't for about a year after my op.... so I guess that meanss that I'm not as depressed as I was.

 
Old 12-28-2008, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Cghipp
I'm really really pleased your taste is back that is absolutely brilliant and hope for others in this situation.
Lizf88

 
Old 12-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Hello Lizf88...
Thank you for your post. Yes, I too am noticing that my uvula tilts slightly to one side. So I'm thinking that I also must have some nerve damage that is causing my taste sensation to have changed. It's probably a waste of time for me to see any more doctors about this. At this point, they just try to explain my current situation, since there really isn't anything that they can correct. But your post was most helpful!

Last edited by trschaefer; 12-29-2008 at 12:27 PM.

 
Old 12-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Well... it does get better eventually. I think. I had mine out 3.5 months ago. For the first 2 it was absolutely terrible, and I was pretty depressed & worried about it. The only thing that didn't taste bad was chicken top ramen, so I went through about 50 packets. Now I HATE that stuff! Somewhere during the beginning of month 3 I had a big enough improvement that I'm now confident it'll come back eventually. 6 months is pretty much what I hear. I hope so!
At month 3.5 it's about 50%. Nothing really tastes good, but at least bread, water, and other things don't taste bad anymore. I pretty much eat a little of anything.

Last edited by emecmb; 12-30-2008 at 09:32 PM.

 
Old 01-14-2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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Unhappy Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I had my tonsils out 11/1/2007. I still do not have my taste back over a year later. My surgeon suggested I try zinc. I have been taking zinc for a while with no improvement. I loved chocolate before surgery, now I cannot stand the metallic taste. Pretty much all food has little to no taste. The middle of my tongue is still numb. I really do not know what to do next. If anyone can help, please let me know. This really does affect your quality of life when you cannot even taste food. Thanks for your help!

 
Old 01-15-2009, 12:50 PM   #12
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I'm not sure your age. I am 50 years-old, and some people have suggested that there is some age-related loss of taste that is a part of what I am experiencing. However, it seems strange that I would have such a dramatic loss of taste after surgery.

 
Old 01-16-2009, 11:14 AM   #13
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

Sorry I forgot to post my age, I am 42 years old. How long has it been since you lost your taste? I'm hoping to hear from someone who has lost their taste for this long, but eventually got it back. I'm thinking about going to a different oral surgeon to find out if there is permanent damage to the nerves. Has anyone done this?

 
Old 01-17-2009, 06:56 PM   #14
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I had my surgery 5/25/08 so I'm going on 8 months. Hopefully someone else can give you some good news about recovering their taste after such a long time. I like to think that I'm taking baby-steps back toward a normal taste sensation. But sometimes I think it's just wishful thinking on my part. I would also like to hear from anyone that eventually recovered their taste after such a long period of time. I guess the upside is that I no longer have a sweet tooth. But I do miss it. I used to love Cinnabons and Dark Chocolate. Now it's just a waste of calories, since I can't really taste them.

 
Old 02-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #15
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Re: no sensation of taste after my operation of tonsils

I wish I was reporting better news for you all...however I am going on two years and I still don't have my sweet taste back. Food, overall, is a bit muted. My doctor says he has never heard of that happening after a tonsillectomy. Who knows? I guess I wonder if it is worth seeing a doctor, and if I do, what kind of doctor will deal with taste. Has anyone had any help with zinc? Is it possible to regain taste after 2 years? I have heard that is reversible in the first two years...but there is not any information about this. Help...it stinks.

 
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