If you or someone you care for is getting ready to receive a tonsillectomy, you might be wondering, “What is the best food for after tonsillectomy?” It’s important to understand the answer to this question because you’ll need to watch your diet right after having your tonsils removed. Here’s what to know after tonsil removal, including temporary dietary recommendations and restrictions.
Why Might I Need a Tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is a common procedure that involves surgically removing the tonsils (which are lymph tissues located at the back of the throat). There are a variety of reasons someone might receive a tonsillectomy, including:
- Chronic sore throat
- Frequent ear pain and infections
- Enlarged tonsils
- Recurrent strep throat infections
- Swollen lymph nodes due to chronic tonsillitis
- Sleep apnea from inflamed tonsil tissue
In all of these cases, an ENT doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy after carefully reviewing your symptoms.
What Can You Eat After a Tonsillectomy?
Understanding what you can and can’t eat after a tonsillectomy surgery is essential. Without this knowledge, you could end up damaging the surgical site and causing a lot of pain. You could also extend your tonsillectomy recovery time if you eat solid food too quickly. Your doctor should give you detailed recommendations regarding the types of food you can eat after a tonsillectomy, but this guide can be used as an additional resource.
A soft food diet after surgery is almost always recommended because it includes liquids and foods that can be consumed without chewing. Your ENT doctor will let you know what soft foods are allowed in the days following your tonsillectomy.
Within a few hours of surgery, your doctor may tell you to watch your fluid intake and make sure you don’t become dehydrated. You may also be given permission to consume the following types of foods and clear liquids:
- Broth-based soup
- Ice cream
- Apple sauce
- Apple juice
- Room-temperature broth
In addition to the above list, you may be allowed to consume other foods or liquids that don’t require you to chew. Cold foods and drinks are often recommended after tonsil surgery because they can help numb the pain you may be feeling in your throat.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Tonsillectomy?
Tonsillectomy recovery isn’t the same for everyone. Your general health and after-surgery care can have a big impact on your body’s healing process. If you have also received adenoid surgery, your recovery may be longer than it would be if you only received a tonsillectomy. An adenoidectomy occurs when the adenoid glands are surgically removed from the back of the throat (behind the nose). In some cases, children or adults who receive tonsillectomies require adenoidectomies as well.
Just like the tonsils, the adenoids can become chronically infected, swollen, and enlarged. Usually, adenoidectomies are performed on children, but they may occasionally be performed on adults as well. If your child tends to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose, snore, or have generally noisy breathing, an adenoidectomy may be in order. After this surgery, most children experience fewer nose and throat infections and can typically breathe easier through the nose, too.
Age is another factor impacting recovery after a tonsillectomy. A child’s throat tends to bounce back a little quicker than an adult’s after neck surgery. With proper consistent use of pain medicine as needed, your child may seem to return to normal within just a few days of undergoing surgery. However, full recovery typically takes at least 10 days. Even if your child feels pretty good in the days immediately following surgery, it’s still important to adhere to a soft or cold food diet and get plenty of rest per the doctor’s recommendations.
An adult tonsillectomy may be associated with longer recovery times and more severe pain. Throat pain should be manageable with over-the-counter medication such as liquid Tylenol or stronger pain medication that’s prescribed by your doctor. If you’re wondering, “When do tonsillectomy scabs fall off?” the answer is typically between days 5 and 10 after surgery.
Keep in mind that you may experience some bleeding when the scabs fall off. Bleeding can also occur at any point following surgery. However, if the bleeding becomes severe or constant, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away.
Can You Eat Eggs After a Tonsillectomy?
Your doctor may tell you to stick solely to foods that don’t have to be chewed at all after your surgery. But once a few days pass, you may get the green light to eat soft, chewable foods like scrambled eggs, soft bread, and (our favorite) soup!
Is Sprite Good After a Tonsillectomy?
While you can technically drink soda after a tonsillectomy, it may not be the best option to facilitate your recovery. Generally, it’s best to select foods and fluids that contain nutrients your body needs to recover from the procedure. Some people also find that the sugar content in sprite actually makes their throat pain worse. The carbonation in soda can also cause further irritation of the sensitive throat tissues after surgery.
What Foods Should You Avoid After a Tonsillectomy?
After a tonsillectomy, you should avoid certain foods for at least a week. They include:
- Spicy foods
- Hot foods
- Chips and other sharp, scratchy foods
- Lemons, tomato juice, and other acidic foods and drinks
Thankfully, there are plenty of soft and soothing foods you can eat, so it shouldn’t be too hard to stay away from the foods in the above list while you recover.
What Can You Eat 12 Days After Tonsillectomy?
Once you’ve reached the 12-day mark after tonsillectomy, you can probably return to your regular diet once again. Of course, this depends on how well your recovery process has gone and whether or not you’ve developed an infection after surgery. Always talk to your doctor first to make sure you’re cleared to return to your regular diet.
How To Take Care of Children After Tonsillectomy?
Providing good post-operative care to your child after a tonsillectomy is very important and can help facilitate a good outcome and an easier recovery process. Here are some things you can do to take care of children after a tonsillectomy.
- Monitor fluid intake to prevent dehydration
- Ensure your child gets plenty of rest
- Provide nutrient-dense soft foods
- Administer liquid Tylenol as recommended by the ENT doctor for pain
- Don’t allow your child to participate in any strenuous activities until you get the doctor’s approval
Get Well Gifts after a Tonsillectomy
Any patient getting a tonsillectomy deserves get well soon gifts—and what better than one stocked with soft foods? You can purchase soothing and nutritious soup and bread gift baskets from Spoonful of Comfort and have them delivered right to the door. There’s arguably no easier way to show your love and support for someone recovering from tonsillectomy surgery.