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"Are there any foods I should avoid after a tonsillectomy?"

ZocdocAnswersAre there any foods I should avoid after a tonsillectomy?


I had a tonsillectomy. Are there are any foods that I should avoid now? Anything that might slow down the healing process that I should not eat?


You ask some very good questions. There are a number of different techniques that have been invented for tonsillectomy, however all of them can be lumped into two main groups. To understand these groups, you must first understand something about the anatomy of the tonsil. Pharyngeal tonsils are lymphoid tissue in the back of the oropharynx. There are located on the lateral pharyngeal walls between two sets of muscles (palatoglossus and palatopharyngeous) that are referred to as the tonsillar "pillars". There is a capsule of tissue that surrounds the tonsil and separates the lymphoid tissue from the underlying muscle. So when taking out tonsils, you can surgically removed the tonsil and capsule, or remove just the tonsillar lymphoid tissue and leave the capsule (a so-called intra-capsular tonsillectomy). The reason I mention this is that there is a theoretical value to leaving the capsule as far as post-op pain and bleeding risk. So it would be helpful to know which technique was done. None the less you are going to want to stay away from hard, or "sharp/scratchy" foods for at least two weeks. Things like potato chips, croutons, etc are not a good idea because they can scrape the scabs off of the healing surgical site while swallowing and put you at higher risk for bleeding. So liquids and a soft diet for 1-2 weeks is generally recommended. I would recommend seeing your surgeon to ask their recommendations, which will be more specific since they will know which technique was used for tonsillectomy. Best of luck with the recovery.

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