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What Can I Eat After a Tonsillectomy?

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Updated July 23, 2009

Question: What Can I Eat After a Tonsillectomy?
Answer:

After a tonsillectomy, in general, foods should be easy to chew and easy to swallow. Your surgeon will give you more specific instructions after surgery which supersedes our advice. However, if you're looking to stock the fridge before the big day, here are some things you should know.

  • While ice cream is a great food post tonsillectomy, you should avoid dairy products if you are having nausea or vomiting (a side effect of anesthesia and narcotic pain medication). Instead, stick to clear liquids such as apple juice, soda such as Sprite, or soup broth.
  • Avoid food and drinks high in citric acid such as tomato juice or lemonade as they can sting and cause pain.
  • Cold food and fluids reduce swelling and pain.

    As long as you're not sick to your stomach, here are some good suggestions of things to eat and drink after your surgery:

    • ice cream
    • popsicles
    • juice
    • pudding
    • mashed potatoes
    • jello
    • soft pasta
    • applesauce

    Foods to stay away from:

    • chips
    • crackers
    • popcorn
    • carrots
    • raw apples

    This is a short list intended to help you prepare for your surgery. You will think of other foods that are acceptable after the surgery and your doctor or nurse may give you further instructions and suggestions.

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