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Throat health after tonsillectomy
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GrowAfro posted:
Hi
I had a tonsillectomy done after being diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis. This was 9 months ago and everything has healed as it should, my doctor told me a month after surgery. However, I still have some problems with my throat.

It is often very stiff, can hurt when I swallow, is irritatingly dry, and sometimes it feels as if something is lodged down there. I have a lot of scar tissue where the tonsils were removed, and I suspect that the scar tissue is the reason for the dryness and loss of agility. I am also a singer and am interested in getting rid of the scar tissue as well doing my throat a favour by getting better throat health.
I have looked around at different forums and found that many other tonsillectomy patients have the same problems. What can I do to get rid of the scar tissue? Is there anything I can do about that which won't involve an operation? Such as drinking certain fluids, or taking herbal medicine etc? And do you have any advice for tonsillectomy patients who wish to get their throat back to normal?

I hope I can get some advice from you guys, seeing as many tonsillectomy patients experience similar problems after the operation and many may benefit from your tips.
Thanks
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
You just had your TONSILS removed. You did not have your THROAT removed, so you will still be subject to any number of conditions or diseases that can bother your throat. Any time that surgery is done, it will most likely result in some degree of scarring. There is nothing, other than time, that will magically get rid of scar tissue.

Yes, do what you can to control dryness. Drink plenty of fluids. Honey has been known to sooth a dry throat....singers love it. I am not a practitioner of herbal medicines, but you may find that some herbs could be helpful (just don't ask me which ones). You can see an practitioner of herbal medicine, but don't routinely take health advice from a lay person at a health food store.

Do you have allergies? Do you now, or have you ever smoked? Is your home or bedroom "dry"? If so, consider getting a $50 ultrasonic humidifier.
 
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Res01 responded:
I'm having the same problem. I had my tonsils removed nearly 8 months ago and, while I don't have the scar tissue problem, I have had a persistent (and/or swollen) throat since. I feel like I'm choking sometimes and others I feel the extreme discomfort of dryness. I am prone to allergies so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I will probably see another ENT soon (as my surgeon does not seem to take my concerns seriously since my throat "healed properly" - some doctors, I tell ya).

I also would like to point out that I had a mild case of oral allergy syndrome before which also became severe after having my tonsils removed (eg before only raw apples caused a mild reaction in my gums, but cooked apples and apple byproducts were fine. Now, anything with apple or apple derivatives in it closes my throat completely accompanied by stabbing pains.)

I hope we both find useful medical advice and assistance soon.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Res01's response:
Allergies play a huge role in persistent throat pain. Although I have no way of knowing if this is the case for you, there are some things you can try while you are waiting to see the ENT again....

1. Humidify your air a bit, especially when you are sleeping. People with a history of big tonsils and allergies tend to be habitual mouth-breathers that can really dry the throat by morning.

2. One of the main purposes of the nose is to humidify the air, so use saline nasal spray often...especially before bed.

3. Drink plenty of fluids. If this causes you to get up to urinate at night, so be it....just drink more water at that time, too.

4. A few teaspoons of honey taken at bedtime may help sooth the throat. Obviously, be wary of honey that may be "apple blossum".
 
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br350 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
This is very interesting. I'm a 46 yr old female and had a tonsillectomy 2 months ago. I have allergies (particularly to animal dander) but after my tonsillectomy, when spring allergies hit the Northeast I had really bad allergies (sneezing, runny nose, itchy mouth) like I haven't had since I was a kid. I cannot help but think that the tonsils being removed effected this, though by what mechanism of action it is happening is beyond me. I have looked on the web extensively and have read of a few accounts of other adults who said their allergies flared, noticeably, after tonsillectomies. Very interesting. One person said after a year or so it improved a lot. I find this a very curious post-surgical issue.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to br350's response:
Look up and study the function of the tonsils....why we have them in the first place. Tonsils are really lymph nodes, and the purpose of the lymphadetic system to to help fight infection and deal with inflammation. Allergies cause considerable inflammation in the throat and nasal passageways, so perhaps, since you no longer have tonsils, your body is having a more difficult time dealing with allergic inflammation. Incidentally, you do have plenty of auxillary lymph nodes and tissue in your neck area, so usually this is not an issue after a tonsillectomy. Apparently, it is for you....so you may have to treat your allergies more agressively now.
 
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An_255782 responded:
I had an extra tonsil ( I know freaky) I'm a normal healthy 47 year old woman. The surgery was so painful. I never want to go through that again. However, it feels like it's back! WTH? I'm assuming it's scar tissue. I was looking forward to not feeling it anymore. But it's there. It hurts sometimes and I get preoccupied with feeling it with my tongue. I'm pissed. I went through a lot. I'm scared to go back to my ENT. Do not want to hear it's back or that it's just scar tissue. Either way it sucks. Please let me know how your doing and if it gotten better Hope it has for all!

Lichi


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