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Old 02-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #1
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Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

This may come as a strange question to some, but I would like to have a couple questions answered before deciding on a tonsillectomy. I am wondering if anyone had issues with constipation from the pain meds associated with recovery. I have suffered with anal fissures and hard stools, and really don't want to put myself in a position where it could be difficult/worse for me. What are bowel habits like while recovering from a tonsillectomy? If you are drinking and eating mostly liquidy foods in the beginning, is there diarreah involved? Or do the pain meds constipate? Or is there a little of both? Any insight would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks.

 
Old 02-28-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

From the gazillions of posts I've read, some people do have constipation from the pain meds. I didn't experience that myself, though. I did not not have movements for about a week after (but that's not necessarily unusual for me), but when I did have one, it wasn't hard. If you are concerned about constipation, there are things you can take to help with that while you are on the pain meds. I think Miralax is a good option - a powder you just mix up in your drink. But you should definitely ask your doctor about what you might be able to take. I'm sure he/she can help you with that.

I didn't have any issues with diarrhea and haven't read of anyone who did. It's hard enough just to get liquids down. But even then, drinking a lot of liquids does not cause diarrhea in and of itself. It just makes you need to visit the bathroom more often. And of course, the more liquids you get down, the less likely to experience constipation or a hard movement.

Either way, if you really need the tonsillectomy, I wouldn't let this concern keep you from having it done. There are ways to deal with it - just ask your doctor about a stool softener you can take with your pain meds if it becomes necessary. I know I've read elsewhere that others have taken them after this surgery.

 
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

Thank you for your message! I really do not have to remove my tonsils, but I would like to for social reasons. I have a continuous problem with tonsil stones, and it has become such a downer with my social life, and especially hard for my husband and I. I do not have infections or anything of this sort. The only real solution to this type of problem is to just get the tonsils out. I go back and forth about whether I should do it, because it is not like I absolutely have to take them out. But it definitely has created a lot of embarrassment and bother in my life. I worry that I could suffer complications from the surgery, when I didn't really have to have the surgery in the first place. I appreciate your input on constipation, and how to manage the pain meds after surgery. I eat a high fiber diet, but not sure how I would go about this after the surgery. The idea of this surgery really does scare me quite a bit. I have read a lot of posts from people, and each story is so different. A positive attitude seems to be the biggest thing I have taken from other's messages. Are you able to eat solid foods in some form all throughout the recovery? Would I be able to blend soups and drink them? Are there days in which solid food is just not possible? I think I would also consider a glass of prune juice each day, just to keep my digestive tract running well. Thank you again for your message. I am a 31 year old woman, I have a 4 year old daughter, and a 15 month old son. If I had the surgery, I would have help from my husband and my mom.

 
Old 03-01-2011, 05:12 AM   #4
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

I think the solid foods depend mostly on your recovery. If you're in the US, the doctor will definitely advise against it for a few days at least. However, they take a different view of it in places like the UK. So it really depends on where you live what your doctor will recommend. I did not eat solid foods for 12 days. It was way too painful for me and I was very worried about bleeding because I had a little bleeding even on the soft food diet. Everyone is different, though.

If your tonsils are not too large, you may have a relatively easy recovery. You just never know until you have it done. You probably would be able to blend up soups and drink them. Keep in mind, though, that swallowing anything is very painful for much of the recovery. It was a chore just to get liquids down on some days. I don't think, either, that you would be able to tolerate prune juice very well. The acidic nature of fruits in general creates pain. But again, it depends on the person. I had a pretty rough recovery (huge tonsils!) and couldn't even eat applesauce as it was too acidic, but many people tolerate that just fine.

Have you ever tried Miralax? It's labeled as a laxative, but our GI doctor explained that it's really more like a synthetic fiber so it's not dangerous to take on a prolonged basis even. It's a powder and you can put it in basically any liquid you drink. I would think that could get you through any days that you were unable to tolerate juice or solid foods. Just a thought, though.

I hope whatever you decide works out well for you. Good luck!

 
Old 03-01-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

I'm afraid I have to take exception to a statement made by adpace regarding solid foods. (Sorry, adpace.) "If you're in the US, the doctor will definitely advise against it." This is not necessarily so. My doctor didn't advise against it at all. My instructions were to begin with clear liquids (I assume this was due to the possibility of throwing up) and advance to a regular diet as tolerated. You can pretty much tell what you'll be able to tolerate.

I only ate/drank clear liquids on the day of surgery. Then I went to soft foods like mashed potatoes and baby foods. I don't know if that qualifies as solid foods or not, but at least they weren't liquids. I ate applesauce with mashed potatoes and the applesauce didn't burn at all. Believe it or not, they tasted great together. And the mashed potatoes I ate were of normal consistency, except I made them really thin with milk for Days 7 & 8.

As for the bathroom issue...

I didn't "go" until Day 9, but I didn't feel the need to go until then. I bought a bottle of stool softener, but I never took any. I did end up with diarreah, which I thought might be caused by the antibiotics. I wouldn't hesitate to try prune juice. I'd just take a tiny sip first to see if it was going to burn. If it burned, I'd quit and try something else.

 
Old 03-01-2011, 07:29 AM   #6
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

Thanks adpace and choirgirl for your responses. My doctor told me that my tonsils were "tiny." I'm not sure why I would have this tonsil stone problem so much if the tonsils are small. I am curious if recovery would be that much easier. It makes sense to just eat whatever feels comfortable. I suppose each day is different with pain, so I could just base it off of how I feel. I have tried a laxative like metamucil, but prune juice became something I preferred. I could go back to a laxative during recovery if prune juice wasn't tolerable.
Choirgirl, it took you until day 9 to use the bathroom. Was it at that point you had the diarrhea? That seems like a very long time. I just really do not want to get bound up. I have had problems in the past with fissures (had a quick procedure done to correct that problem in 2008), and since then I have been very dilligent about high fiber, lots of water, and making sure I go every day. I am considering everything when it comes to the tonsillectomy. I'm not sure if a tonsillectomy is an absolute necessity in my life, but tonsil stones sure do make life a drag sometimes. I haven't tried those water irrigation things that I have read about.

 
Old 03-01-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: Tonsillectomy and the bathroom

You know? I really don't remember if the diarreah started on Day 9 or if it was later. (This was wa-a-ay back in July...and my rememberer isn't that good. ) I just remember not "going" until that day. I do know that I wasn't miserable. I just didn't feel the need to go until then. Don't know why. I noticed adpace didn't go for a week, so I guess I'm not alone in this respect.

 
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