After throat or tonsil surgery, there are many things to consider to promote effective healing. Here are 5 foods to eat after tonsillectomy (and 3 to avoid).
Do you know that more than half a million tonsils removal surgeries are performed each year in the US alone? Most of these surgeries are done to treat sleep apnea and recurring strep throat. After the surgery, the promise of ice cream sounds quite tempting initially, but most people don’t feel like eating anything afterward.
Following the proper diet to get adequate nutrition and hydration is critical post-surgery. It is essential to consume enough fluids, nutrients, and minerals to kick start the healing process and recover quickly.
In this article, you will find all the diet tips with the list of foods to eat after tonsillectomy, and foods you should avoid. Without further ado, let’s get started:
Foods to Eat After Tonsillectomy
– Start Eating Slow
Immediately after the tonsil removal surgery, most people experience nausea and an upset stomach. It is a common side effect of anesthesia. It is important to start slow with foods and fluids. Drink a little bit of water, one sip at a time. Do not gulp it all at once. It is completely fine if you don’t feel like eating anything on the day of the surgery. Stick to fluids instead.
– Focus More on Fluids
It is important to consume fluids as they soothe the throat and prevent dehydration. Make sure to consume 2 to 3 ounces of water each hour. It would be best to start with clear liquids like water, apple juice, grape juices, electrolyte drinks, flat sodas, ice pops, and broth.
Once you begin to tolerate clear liquids, you can proceed with milk, smoothies, ice cream, shakes, and malts. Dairy products can cause nausea and oral mucus in some individuals. If that’s the case, go back to clear liquids.
– Opt for Soft Foods
When considering the best foods to eat after tonsillectomy, stick to this one rule: start with soft foods. Your throat will feel itchy and irritated for a week post-surgery. Make sure to stick to soft, easy-to-swallow foods. Some options include applesauce, custards, creamy cereals, soup, pudding, cottage cheese, pureed fruits, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. Stick to a soft diet for the first couple of days after the surgery.
– Bland Foods Work Best
I know your mouth tastes bitter, and all you want is to taste a bit of spice and crunch to your mouth. It is important to stick to bland food items for a couple of days. Some options include soft bread, pancakes, waffles, french toast, scrambled eggs, pasta with mild white sauce, lightly seasoned chicken, fish and meat, bananas, well-cooked veggies are all great things to try.
– One Ingredient Foods
Keep it simple. Stick to soft, single-ingredient foods to eat after tonsillectomy. Avoid complex, multi-ingredient options that have a lot of sauces, spices, and oils in them. Bananas, fruit purees, yogurt are all fantastic options. They are easy to eat and don’t involve hours and hours of preparation and cooking. You can eat fruit puree or buy a bowl of yogurt. You don’t have to waste a lot of time making your food and spend it resting instead.
Foods to Avoid After Tonsillectomy
– Avoid Red Foods
Jell-O, cherry ice pops, tomato-based products, and red drinks are all a big no-no for at least a week post-surgery. You have to watch out for bleeding. If you experience any, get in touch with your healthcare specialist. The blood can drip down to your throat, stomach and can cause infections. If you have been consuming red foods all day long, it is difficult to tell red food streaks from blood streaks. We would advise you to stay clear of these foods for a while.
– Avoid Crispy, Crunchy Foods
Your throat will not be in perfect shape after a tonsillectomy. It will need some time to heal. Hence, it is important to avoid eating crunchy and crispy food items as they can cause bleeding and swelling. The jacked edges of food items can scratch and irritate the surgical site. It is best to stay clear of chips, crackers, fried items for at least a month or till your throat feels normal.
– Hot Foods are a Big-No
It is good to avoid hot meals as they can irritate your throat during the first few days post-surgery. Instead, try to eat room-temperature meals and slowly start adding warmer foods such as your tolerance builds up.
If you are used to your hot cup of joe in the morning, stick to a warmer cup of joe instead. Drinking piping hot coffee or tea will not do any good for you.
Important Points to Consider After Tonsillectomy
During your tonsillectomy recovery, there are a few things to consider:
1. Vitamins and Minerals
If you are not able to eat enough, you can also include a multivitamin in your diet. Consult your healthcare provider and see what will work best for you. Incorporating all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals is critical for healing and a smooth recovery.
2. Importance of Pain Medication before Meals
Nobody likes to eat or drink anything when it hurts to swallow even water. Health care providers advise taking pain killers around the clock for at least 2 to 3 days post-surgery. Do not skip them even when you have to wake up at night to take a dose. Most people find it easy to eat, half an hour after taking the pain killer.
3. Importance of Listening to Your Body
Most people take about two weeks to recover from tonsillectomy fully. The first three to four days would be highly uncomfortable. You will feel nausea and pain during the initial days. Hence, we advise you to initially take liquids, then move to soft foods, and then to foods you enjoy eating. Listen to how your body reacts to certain food items and then dial-up or down accordingly.
Recovery from tonsillectomy can be very smooth if you take care of yourself properly. Take your medications on time, and take understand the proper foods to eat after tonsillectomy. We get that the initial few days are going to be hard, but a little bit of care goes a long way.
Now you have a complete list of food related instructions. Listen to your body and if you face any complications, immediately contact the service provider.