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    Old 07-08-2003, 07:05 PM   #1
    ElderDruid
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    Question Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I am 32 years old and had a tonsillectomy 2 weeks ago. My sense of taste is pretty poor (foods taste bland), and I'm wondering if this is common? How long before my taste (hopefully) returns to normal? Thanks!

     
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    Old 07-11-2003, 02:26 PM   #2
    tvierra
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    I'm glad to hear someone else is going through that. I had the procedure done two years ago. My taste buds are finally starting to come back. Hang in there.

     
    Old 07-11-2003, 02:44 PM   #3
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    Thanks for the "encouragement", but I seriously hope this is a joke.

     
    Old 07-13-2003, 10:54 PM   #4
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    Your taste is strongly influenced by your nose. Deep inside your nose is a small spot that governs your smell. If that spot is damaged in anyway, like the blood supply is cut or some debri from your operation got up your nose then you can't taste very well. Normally that will return often after 6 months or so. You had lots of damage to tissue when you had your operation so probably the blood supply was damaged to the smell area. Chances are it will return but it may take months.

    In my case, it took 3 months before I could taste anything, and 6 before I would say it was normal.



    [This message has been edited by orion (edited 07-14-2003).]

     
    Old 07-14-2003, 07:03 AM   #5
    ElderDruid
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    Thanks Orion. However, my sense of smell seems unaffected. It's my taste buds that seem to be damaged in some way. I'm thinking that maybe the Vioxx I took had something to do with it? Or the antibiotics? Or the morphine?

     
    Old 04-27-2005, 11:29 PM   #6
    nevadamistermom
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I had a tonsillectomy 9 months ago and my sense of taste has still not come back. Specifically, I have lost most of my sweet sensation...the others seems to work fine. I also have difficulty swallowing...almost like nerve damage...not soreness. And a constant bitter taste in the back of my throat. It was somewhat encouraging to see that it took up to 2 years for others to get full functioning back. Helps me not to lose hope.

     
    Old 04-28-2005, 11:37 AM   #7
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Hey Nevada--You may find some information and additional help over at the the Adult Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy Surgery - Part 5. Take a look at this thread, it's very active and there are several of us at various stages of post-op. Personally I am at day 16 and my taste is fine but others have reported problems similar to yours.

     
    Old 04-28-2005, 10:41 PM   #8
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I'm curious to know how long it took tvierra to get better, what your surgeon had to say about this, and whether you also had swallowing difficulties. My surgeon has been acting as though this is all very abnormal, but the more I read, the more it seems like many adults experience this. I also have trouble swallowing in addition to loss of my sweet sensations...the others (bitter, sour, salty) seem to work OK...but not sweet. And, I have a sort of constant bitter taste in the back of my throat. It has been 10 months. I'm looking for some encouragement that this is not permanent because it is pretty crummy losing the joy of food and eating in your life. I've lost about 20 lbs, but I don't recommend this as an appetite control method. Kind of like scorched earth to control weeds.

     
    Old 07-31-2005, 06:31 PM   #9
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Hi all,

    It is good to know that others are going through this. I was starting to feel like I was going crazy. I had my tonsils out in April and I have been having problems tasting anything ever since. My ENT examined my nose and throat and said the problem was my nose was severely swollen from allergies and it was affecting my taste. He put me on Nasonex and I've been on it for almost 2 months now and I still can't taste anything. For awhile I thought it was helping, I seemed to be able to taste some things to a small degree once in a while, but for the last couple of weeks I can't taste anything at all. It is seriously starting to depress me and I don't know what to do. I do hope it will come back eventually, but for now this really sucks.

    Last edited by Ariane05; 07-31-2005 at 06:50 PM.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 05:33 AM   #10
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Funny how everyone's now speaking up about this post-tonsillectomy problem, as no one seemed to post about it before I had mine out, in April. Seems to be quite a common problem... long lasting problem.

    Hey Ariane, I can identify with you, since we had our operations at the same time. I thought you had fully recovered, though.

    Nevada.. I can also identify with you, because I have that bitter taste at the back of my throat, too. I also cannot really taste sweet things and also get a metallic taste often.

    It's a long shot, but if anyone's reading this and had this taste problem after a tonsillectomy and were like it for a LONG period of time and it DID finally return to normal, please let us know, to keep our hopes up!
    It's been 4 months now for me.

    Can anybody else not taste chocolate? I find that the most depressing part.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 11:25 AM   #11
    nevadamistermom
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    My ENT told me that part of the surgery is a device that immobilizes the tongue...sort of an extreme tongue depresser device. This can create trauma to the nerves...sort of like the tongue falling asleep. He told me that nerves typically heal at the rate of 1mm per day, and that translates to about 2 months for typical return of normal taste functioning. He can't explain why mine has not returned after 12 months...nor the problems I have swallowing (difficulting pushing down mushy foods...not painful, just gets sort of stuck). I am really hoping someone who took longer than 12 months to get their taste back will write in...to give me some hope. I too have lost my sweet receptors and chocolate tastes horrible...along with most anything that should have sweet associated with it...like ice cream. I still have a lingering bitter taste. There have been suggestions from my ENT that maybe it is "in my head" but that is definitely not the case. What is really weird is that the first 1-3 bites of sweet stuff tastes totally normal. Then it is almost like the nerve gets "fatigued" and the taste becomes blunted. So I know it is not in my head. Things taste normal initially...then quickly go south. It is maddening to have the medical establishment be so clueless about this issue...and to not advise people in advance that it is a relatively common after-effect of tonsillectomy in adults. I have talked to about 10 adults and all of them reported this after their surgery...although their's did not linger as long as mine.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 11:46 AM   #12
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Hi Charlatan! Did your palatte problem get any better? When I had a good day and could partially taste some thngs, chocolate was one thing that never tasted right. I really miss it.

    nevadamistermom, I had that same exact thing you describe when I had some taste. The first two or three bites of food would taste fine and then I could taste nothing. I've also experienced a bitter metallic taste in the back of my mouth on and off.

    The thing I don't understand is why the ENT's act like it is a very unusual problem when it apparently isn't. I've had year-round allergies for over half my life and it has never affected my taste before so I have a hard time believing it suddenly came to that right after the tonsillectomy. I wish they would come out and admit it does happen to some people and usally comes back in x amount of time. But mine treated me like it was all in my head a bit as well.

    Last edited by Ariane05; 08-01-2005 at 11:48 AM.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 02:31 PM   #13
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Hi!
    In fairness, I was kind of warned about this happening at my pre-op assessment. The Dr warned there may be a lack of taste for a short while after the surgery, but that it soon rights itself. But he DID say in some cases, taste is permanently damaged.. and when I looked scared then, he laughed and said that's very rare and that I'll be fine. But seems everyone here's describing the same symptoms.. dry throat/lack of taste/bitter metallic taste/unable to taste sweet things... so we can't all be imagining it.
    I'm just now eating Jelly Bellies and whilst I can taste the flavours, there's no sweetness at all.
    The sweet part of the tongue is on the tip, so I guess the clamp must really be harsh there, during the operation, then.

    Ariane!
    Yes, my palate improved a lot. Did yours?
    The left side is still dragged a lot lower down, due to scar tissue there, but luckily my uvula shrank up to what must be normal size, so it no longer trails on my tongue. lol
    Hope you're doing well. All the best to you.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 07:09 PM   #14
    peteyby
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    You can add me to the list as well! Same problems as everyone else. I am 31, had my surgery on June 30th. I taste my food for the first bite or two and then its gone. Sweets are a no-no and chocolate is inedible. It seems like my taste wants to skew everything to the bitter side. And yes, when I am not eating I get that metallic taste in the back of my mouth, plus my tongue gets really dry sometimes. It is nice to know that others have experienced the same thing, although it sucks for all of us!!!

    I was just wondering what method your doctor used to the surgery. I know for me it was the old fashioned knife w/ electrocaurterization (hope the spelling is at least close).

    I too encourage others who now have their taste back to share some more recovery times - it helps as our Dr's don't like to share that info. As for me, my Dr. told me that it was normal but he said that 1 week after surgery. I have a visit with him in a few weeks at the 2 month mark and I get some more info. if this continues - I'll be sure to share with all.

    Thanks again all for sharing - it allows us to have some sanity when others are trying to tell us we are experiencing something in our head.

     
    Old 08-02-2005, 10:00 AM   #15
    Ariane05
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Is anyone else's sense of smell affected as well? Mine seems a bit off. Things still smell like they are supposed to, but my ability to pick up the scent seems strange. Certain things I can't smell in the room unless I'm right on top of them. But other things have an overpowering smell from far away. I don't know what to make of all this.

    Charlatan, I wonder if we'll get used to it and think it has returned to normal too. My palate did go back up, but it is lopsided. It actually looks like it went back up higher than it was before the surgery, but I may have been so used to it being so low that I'm just imaginging that. It's hard to tell now! So glad to hear you don't feel as if you are choking on your uvula anymore!

     
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