Consultants who perform this procedure
Learn more about tonsillectomy at King Edward VII’s Hospital
Why would I need a tonsillectomy?
The most common reason for a person to need a tonsillectomy is if they regularly experience occurrences of tonsillitis (a painful infection of the tonsils).
Tonsillitis is more common in children, but adults can experience it as well.
Another reason you might undergo a tonsillectomy is to address swollen tonsils that can affect your ability to swallow and might cause you to snore or cause difficulties breathing while you sleep.
What symptoms does a tonsillectomy address?
If you undergo a tonsillectomy, you will no longer experience occurrences of tonsillitis.
When should you speak to your specialist about a tonsillectomy?
If you have been diagnosed multiple times with tonsillitis and you find that treating it with antibiotics and pain medication is not effective and/or these occurrences of tonsillitis are impacting your day-to-day life, you might consider speaking to your specialist about the possibility of undergoing a tonsillectomy.
How is a tonsillectomy performed?
A tonsillectomy takes approximately 30-60 minutes is performed under general anaesthetic.
The surgeon will then surgically remove the tonsils through the mouth.
What is the recovery for a tonsillectomy?
Your recovery from a tonsillectomy can depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level, and the nature of your procedure.
You will likely go home on the same day and the procedure and you should rest so your body can heal. Your throat will be sore for a while after the operation, which is normal, and you can manage this by taking over-the-counter pain medications.
You will likely need to take some time off work to recover from your tonsillectomy.
You and your surgeon will decide upon your best recovery options after your surgery.
Are there any risks/complications associated with a tonsillectomy?
As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.
A tonsillectomy has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but some complications that have been associated with the procedure are:
- An ear ache
- A sore throat
- Damage to the teeth
- An infection
How can I prepare for a tonsillectomy?
Prior to a tonsillectomy you should discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as there are several that could be suggested and they vary depending on the person
Are there alternatives for a tonsillectomy?
Some people who have regular occurrences of tonsillitis decide not to undergo surgery, and instead treat their condition using over-the-counter pain medications and antibiotics.
You should discuss with your specialist whether this might be a viable option for you.