Diet Following Tonsillectomy, Adult

You may have a sore throat for 5 to 7 days following removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy). During this time, eating food that is easier to swallow and less irritating to your throat makes your recovery easier.  

THE FIRST 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY 

A diet of clear liquids is easiest to swallow and less irritating.

  • Drink water, lukewarm chicken broth, lemon lime sodas (if opened and allowed to lose the fizz), and apple juice.

  • Try frozen ice pops and ice chips to soothe your throat.

  • Avoid rough and crunchy food; hot or highly seasoned food; hot liquids; citrus juices, such as orange juice and tomato juice; and fatty milk products.  

THE SECOND DAY AND BEYOND

  • Drink several glasses of water (lukewarm water is less irritating than cold water).

  • Add soft foods as desired. Good soft food choices include sherbet, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, pasta with butter, puddings, warm soups, gelatin, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft-cooked or scrambled eggs, custards, and ground beef in gravy or sauce. A soft diet should be continued through the third day.

  • You may benefit from a nutritional supplement like a liquid nutrition beverage.

  • Avoid citrus juices and spicy foods until 10 days after surgery.

  • Avoid roughly textured foods, such as potato chips, nuts, dry toast, popcorn, pretzels, cold cereal, and crackers, until 10 to 14 days after surgery.

  • Avoid taking aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain because they can worsen bleeding. Only take medication for pain that is recommended by your caregiver or surgeon.