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  • Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

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    Old 09-25-2007, 06:06 PM   #76
    egarsha333
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Hello---

    I am sad to say that I have not regained my "sweet" tastes, and I am now 5 months post operation. For me chocolate is my main taste issue, however all sugar and sweets in general are pretty bad. My doctor, who acted like he had never heard of this, recommended a zinc supplement and also said that nerves take at least 9 months to regenerate if they have been damaged. I feel sympathy for anyone going through this, and people will often tell me how lucky I am to not be able to taste sweets as if it is some breakthrough weight loss plan. However, unfortunately the cravings don't go away and are not satisfied and I find myself trying to compensate with other foods. I am sorry for everyone going through this!

     
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    Old 09-26-2007, 10:09 AM   #77
    tonsilfree06
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    Lightbulb Thank You!

    I too am 5 months post-op and still have "taste disturbance". I had my tonsillectomy in May '07 at age 37 for chronic tonsillitis, halitosis and chronic low-grade sinus infections stemming from the tonsillitis...

    My surgery went fine, but then I hemorraged in the recovery room. My ENT fixed me right up on the spot and after I threw up all that blood, I felt much better! I spent the night in the hospital to be safe, and went home the next day. At my ENT's encouraging, I ate regular foods, including a tossed salad for dinner! I was back to work in two weeks and subsequently back to normal, healthy life.

    Only in the last couple months have I noticed this awful metallic, chemical taste, esp. when I eat sweets! How frustrating! Last weekend was my 38th birthday and I could barely eat my birthday cake. It tasted so awful, I almost cried. (Now if only I could use this to my advantage and lose 10 lbs.)

    Anyway, it has made me feel better just to read all of these postings, so THANK YOU ALL. It is comforting to know that there is a chance that I will get my tastebuds back, even if its in a year or two. I will pray for that and a speedy recovery for all of you too.
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    Old 10-24-2007, 03:31 PM   #78
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I am at day 9 post-op (tonsillectomy, 29 y/o male, performed using a "lariat"--which is basically a metal wire that wraps around the tonsil and then tightens around it and eventually removes it--I know, it makes my knees hurt just thinking about it) and have noticed that in the last few days, the taste disturbance has become worse. I have healed significantly and am feeling better as far as the pain (although it would've been nice to know that you're supposed to taper off the hydrocodone, implementing a rotation of Tylenol/acetaminophen, instead of stopping it cold turkey). However, when I woke up to eat breakfast this morning (and I love breakfast), I couldn't find anything that sounded good at all. Previous to this morning, I had made "cold cereal shakes" by blending cereal, milk, banana, and enjoyed it. But today, the thought of eating anything made me want to hurl. The ENT says I have "bruised taste buds" and that it'll go away, although he sort of brushed it off and didn't give me a time table. The back of my tongue has two nodules on the left and right side that look like superficial skin abrasions. Whether the taste disturbance is a result of some sort of abrasive trauma on the surface of the tongue or deeper-down nerve injury from surgery, I do not know. My primary care doc looked at me and said that there is a 95% chance that it will improve within 6 months and a 75% chance that it will improve within 2 months. As long as there is hope of recovery, then I can bear it well and know that I won't always have a foul, salty, yucky taste from the middle of my tongue back. Like many others, I didn't expect taste disturbance following the tonsillectomy. Today I tried a turkey sandwich at work from a catered lunch, but I threw it away after only taking one bite--and tried to fight off the gag reflex. Vanilla Slim-Fast was the only major thing I've consumed today (2 cans) to keep my body nourished. I recommend this and have seen others do the same. Popcorn is also fairly tolerable. I guess while it's healing I ought to forget about myself, go to work, serve others, get involved in a project and try not to dwell on it and get all depressed. Thanks to others who have posted encouraging follow-ups. It's my hope that we can all recover soon.

    Last edited by bhall7; 10-25-2007 at 08:26 AM.

     
    Old 10-25-2007, 08:33 AM   #79
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    When I got home last night, I could barely stand it any more. I was feeling so nauseated whenever I even breathed with my mouth open or drank water. Just the thought of eating made me very sick. I took Promethazine (Phenergan) anti-nausea medicine and I was out by 9:30 p.m. It was sweet relief; however, it was very hard to wake up this morning. This morning for breakfast I had another French Vanilla Slim-Fast. In order to fill the void and get essential nourishment, I will look into getting Ensure shakes.

    Last edited by bhall7; 10-25-2007 at 08:33 AM.

     
    Old 10-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #80
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I've discovered the Equate (WalMart) brand of Ensure Plus which you can chug and get nourishment without being too grossed out by the phantom taste that can come after a tonsillectomy. This morning, for breakfast, I stopped at WalMart and picked up a case of the 8 fl oz chocolate shake which has 350 calories, 11g fat, and 13g protein. I guzzled two of them on the way to work, had a Slim-Fast for lunch, and another Ensure Plus at 4:30 in the afternoon. I bought a chocolate brownie CLIF Bar energy bar which tasted OK, but still kind of grossed me out, so there's about 2/3 of it left. It seems like it gets better every day.

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 01:37 PM   #81
    bhall7
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I'm at 2 weeks post-op, I called my ENT (yesterday) and I expressed my concern, since I had dropped to 138 lbs. He called in a prescription for prednisone steroid anti-inflammatory pills. It's a 6-day set of pills that you take in tiered doses. I am on the second day of the pills and I have definitely noticed improvement. (I have also exercised a lot of faith recently and I believe that God does work miracles).

    I have found that fried eggs are very edible, and that it is slowly getting better. I just had a conversation with a co-worker who said that she had her tonsils out at age 19 and had the same taste disturbance. She said that after a few months it improved and a year later it was completely gone. She said she had the same weird, salty taste in her mouth, and anything sweet just tasted salty. She said her taste buds had come off! Her doctors told her that since all her taste buds had been damaged (removed), that they would take time to grow back, and the taste buds that taste salty foods grow back first. Whether or not they were just feeding her a line or whether it is true, I don't know.

    My ENT said that because of the swelling in the tongue, the taste is not normal, and the anti-inflammatory medicine is intended to reduce the swelling in the tongue. I hope this information helps someone else out there. There is hope!

     
    Old 10-31-2007, 06:45 PM   #82
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I think that the ENTs really, really downplay how the clamp used in the procedure affects the tongue during the healing process. They really clamp it hard during the surgery and it does tend to cause some temporary damage to the taste buds until your tongue is able to regenerate itself. While yes in rare occaisions the damage is permanent, it's really supposed to only be temporary until the swelling improves and the taste buds get back to normal. That's why the steroids help, because it speeds the de-swelling part.

    All I can tell everyone is just try to be patient. It's a long road to recovery, but it does eventually get better!

    Last edited by Kszan; 10-31-2007 at 06:46 PM.

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 01:08 PM   #83
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    Smile Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by floret212 View Post
    i had my tonsils removed on the 6th of sept. the next day i noticed that my sense of taste had gone. i wish the consultant had warned me of this, because i would have thought twic about the surgery. i am really struggling to eat properly and just burst into tears at meal times. some people are saying 6-12 wks before it comes back. others say 1-2yrs. i am so scared because i cant really imagine living normally without being able to enjoy food. i am 25
    1 nov 2007: hi my taste is starting to come back. so releaved i can taste everything its not 100% but i can taste. bring on the mince pies, haha. how is everyone else doing?

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 12:59 PM   #84
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    Re: Loss of Taste After Tonsillectomy

    I'm a little over three weeks post-op and I am happy to report that there is significant improvement. My taste is no longer as foul and nauseating like it was 7-10 days after the tonsillectomy. I still do have an odd taste in the back of my mouth that tastes mildly sweet (sort of like it tastes after you gargle with sweet mouth wash), although, ironically, I am not tasting sweet things as strong. I love eating hot, spicy things (especially a super hot chili with habanero peppers). The heat distracts me from the phantom taste and actually tastes great. I just wanted to offer hope to those who may be struggling with this. Patience and faith will get you through.

     
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