Tonsillectomy in Adults

What is it?

Tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils.

Learn more:
Read here to understand why this operation might be performed in adults.

How is it done?

This operation is performed under general anaesthesia. The tonsils are removed with a combination of scissor incisions and blunt dissection. Cautery is used to stop any bleeding at the time of surgery and sutures may also be used.  

What happens after surgery?

This procedure requires a one-night stay in hospital. This enables me to monitor for any bleeding in the first 24 hours after the operation. Also it lets us work out how much pain relief may be required. It is important to have a good understanding of when and how to take pain relief after this surgery and the nursing staff can assist with this. Maintaining a relatively normal diet is very important after tonsillectomy. This starts in the hospital. You will be discharged the day after surgery only if you’ve been able to eat a good amount of breakfast on that day.

What do I do when I get home?

Regular pain relief with paracetamol as well as stronger pain relief is really important. Unfortunately this can be a painful operation and it is important to keep on top of the pain rather than letting it build up and then trying to get it back down. You should take pain relief 30 minutes prior to meals as well as prior to going to sleep. The pain can get worse after the first few days and this is normal. It will improve from day 5 onwards.

Secondly, you should look out for any bleeding. If you cough up more than a tablespoon of fresh blood then should either call me or proceed to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Read more about detailed post-operative instructions.

When will I see you again?

Usually I see you back around 4-6 weeks after the operation