Foods to Eat After Tonsillectomy

A tonsillectomy refers to a surgical procedure in which your tonsils or the lymph tissue at the back of your throat is removed. This surgical is necessary if you have persistent tonsillitis, meaning your tonsils are infected or inflamed. You may experience pain in your throat after tonsillectomy. You cannot chew or swallow solid foods with this pain. Instead, you should take soft, liquid foods to get nutrition. In this article, you will know what eat after tonsillectomy.

What Foods to Eat After Tonsillectomy

Here are 6 types of foods you can eat after tonsillectomy to get enough nutrition and accelerate the healing process.

1. Liquid Foods

Ensure that you stay hydrated after the surgery because dehydration will not only increase your throat pain but also prolong the healing process.

  • You should take clear liquids immediately after a tonsillectomy such as water, popsicles and Gatorade. These liquids are easy to swallow and help in coating your stomach and reducing nausea.
  • Take the liquids while cold or warm so that they do not irritate your inflamed throat.
  • Proceed to heavier fluids such as cooked cereals, creamed soups and milk after your throat can tolerate clear liquids.
  • Avoid carbonated sodas and citric juices because they will irritate your throat tissue and intensify your pain. 

2. Grain and Bland Foods

Grains are important foods to eat after tonsillectomy because they increase the amount of fiber in your body. Grains are a good source of energy and can help relieve constipation caused by pain medication.

Take well-cooked rice, soft bread without the crust and well-cooked pasta. You can add soft fillings to bread such as smooth peanut butter, cream cheese, or egg with mayonnaise. Eat softened cereals in milk such as porridge or weet-bix with honey, sultana bran and rice bubbles.

3. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods are rich in protein, calcium and energy, which give you a healthy diet and boost your energy levels after tonsillectomy.

Consume plain or flavored milk, drinking yoghurt, cheese sticks or cheese on soft bread and ice cream. You can also take pudding, smoothies with fruits and small amounts of custard.

4. Cooked Vegetables

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals such as potassium, folic acid, vitamin C and A, and dietary fiber.

Take pureed vegetables and mashed pumpkin, potatoes or sweet potatoes with margarine and full cream milk. Steam or boil vegetables until they are soft and easy to swallow. Steaming and microwaving retains their nutrients. Puree smooth soups such as potato, pumpkin and leek with other vegetables such as carrot, mushy peas, broccoli and cauliflower.

5. Softened Fruits

Fruits provide vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, folic acid, fiber and potassium among other vitamins and minerals.

You can stew or bake pears, apples and rhubarb. Add a natural sweeter such as agave or honey to improve their taste. You can also buy pureed fruit instead of preparing the fruits at home.

6. Protein-Rich Foods

Proteins are building blocks of skin, bones, blood and muscles, repair tissues in the body and enhance the production of enzymes and hormones.

Take boiled, poached or scrambled eggs, tofu, minced pork, chicken or beef. You can combine minced meat with sauce and well-cooked pasta. Take fish before its battered. Ensure that it has no bones and is not too dry. You can also take peanut butter on soft bread in small amounts.

How to Recover Fast from Tonsillectomy

Knowing which foods to eat after tonsillectomy is one aspect of the healing process. Here are more tips to speed up recovery.

1. Take Medication

Your doctor or surgeon may prescribe pain medication to relieve your pain. Take the medication before the pain is severe. Take medication before taking a meal if you experience pain after eating. Avoid aspirin because it may increase your risk of bleeding. You may get prescribed antibiotics to prevent infections. Take full dosage of antibiotics even after feeling better.

Contact your doctors if the prescribed medicines are ineffective or have side effects, or if you are allergic to any medication. Record your intake of medicines, herbs and vitamins including the amount, dosage, and the reason for taking them. Carry your records or pill bottles during your follow visits or in case of an emergency.

2. Manage Bleeding

Some people bleed 4-8 days after tonsillectomy. Bleeding may occur any time within 3 weeks after surgery. In case you experience small amount of bleeding, take ice water, sit down, and have a rest. Return to the hospital immediately if the bleeding does not stop or if it is in large amounts. The following tips can help you prevent bleeding from your tonsils:

  • Avoid smoking and smoky areas during the recovery period;
  • Wrap crushed ice in a towel and place it on your neck;
  • Avoid bathing or washing your face with very hot water;
  • Do not take spicy, sharp (such as chips), and hot liquids and foods;
  • Do not gargle or brush your teeth roughly. Brush your teeth gently and then rinse your mouth with water;
  • Avoid sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. Inform your primary healthcare provider if you are suffering from a cold or allergy so that he or she can prescribe the right medicine.

3. Rest

Take enough bed rest for several days after surgery and avoid any strenuous activities such as bike riding and running for two weeks after tonsillectomy. You or your child can resume the normal activities when you resume a normal diet, can sleep throughout the night and do not need pain medication.

When to See a Doctor

Managing bleeding, taking medication, resting and knowing the right foods to eat after tonsillectomy will help you recover fast. Contact your doctor in case of these complications:

  • Bleeding: Small specks of dark blood in your saliva or from your nose are normal. Rush the emergency room in case you spot bright red blood.
  • Fever: Contact your doctor if you or your child has a fever of 38.9°C (102°F)or higher
  • Dehydration: Some signs of dehydration that require medical attention include thirst, dizziness, decreased urination, lightheadedness, headache and weakness. The signs in children include crying without tears and urinating less than 2-3 times in a day.
  • Breathing complications: Noisy breathing and snoring may occur a week after surgery. Call a doctor if your or child experiences difficulty breathing.
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