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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why am I bleeding 2 weeks after tonsillectomy?

    Hello. I had a tonsillectomy 2 wks and 2 days ago and I have spent the last 5 days on 7 occasions coughing up blood and clots. It is the type of event that makes you jump out of bed at 1am and run to the bathroom to expel large amounts of blood and clots, it is has at times been quite violent and urgent losing quite a lot of blood. I am 43 yrs old and was in good health. My surgeon is on leave and the hospital where I had it done won't take me as they don't have an emergency dept. I do not know if this bleeding is normal and it is not slowing down and I am becoming very weak.
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  • 3

    Thanks

    Dr Sim Choroomi

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Post tonsillectomy bleeding can occur for up to 2 weeks post op and sometimes (rarely) up to 3 weeks, although uncommon.

    You definitely need to go to a hospital which has an ENT specialist as it sounds like you are having heavy bleeding and it may need to be cauterised in the operating room. If you are feeling weak your haemoglobin could be low. See your GP for contacting a local specialist and do a blood test.

    The reason why bleeding occurs after the op is that the tonsillectomy area is raw and heals over 2 weeks with a moist scab in the area where new blood vessels grow in as things heal. This area can bleed - sometimes small amounts like blood stained saliva and sometimes heavy, needing urgent surgery.  

    You should seek specialist care ASAP 

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