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Severe pain and difficulty swallowing after getting tonsils removed. Intense cough. Advice?

My sister is a 44 year old women that last week (April 5 2013) had her tonsils removed. In this past week she has been in a lot of pain. Her ENT gave her liquid Vicodin, as well as a liquid antibiotic. But she has had serious trouble swallowing ANYTHING. She even has trouble swallowing her pain meds. Yesterday, I took her to her first post operative appointment. The Doctor gave her a prescription for, a mouthwash that is essentially Lidocaine, and something else. The first few times she took the mouthwash it helped. But now a day after getting this medication it doesn't seem to work. Now she is coughing a lot, and she has become very concerned about two things. First, she says that she has become very weak as a result of not eating solid food She chokes on anything she puts into her mouth. She is also very concerned about the fact that she has begun coughing as much as she is, she is concerned that this hacking cough that she has developed could exacerbate the area in her throat where her tonsils were removed. Also, any suggestions as to what she might eat that won't aggravate her condition? One final point. She has tried ice cream, but it appears to generate a lot of yellow and white mucous. She and I would appreciate any suggestions you might have.
Cliff and Cheryl Harmon
Asked On : Wed, 17 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  29
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ENT Specialist 's  Response

Thanks for writing to H.C.M. for your query.

I have gone through your query regarding post-operative pain in tonsillectomy, which was performed about one week back. She is now having such agony of pain that she can't eat any thing, this is for last one week. She believes as taking ice cream will produce lot of yellow and white mucous.

Since one week had already passed and usually tonsillectomy is not an operation which gives so severe post operative pain. Post-operative pain of such severity is usually found in these conditions-

(a) Odema (swelling) in operative area and uvula.

(b) Infection.

(c) Slough in tonsillar fossa.

(d) Pain threshold of patient.

Some times I had also faced such situations in my operated cases, so here I am giving some suggestions which you may try with kind concent of your operating surgeon-

(1) Change the antibiotic to any broad spectrum group, and start giving antibiotic in injectible form.

(2) Analgesic should also be given in injectible form to get good response.

(3) If oedema (swelling) is present in tonsillar fossa, than steroid may use in stat dose.

(4) Antiseptic mouth wash or gargling should be done.

(5) Proper hydration should be maintained, if needed i/v line may be consider.

I hope this will help her.

Answered: Wed, 17 Apr 2013
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