Tonsil removal (tonsillectomy)

What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is an operation to remove the tonsils, usually undertaken if they become infected regularly or if they block the airway, possibly causing obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). The tonsils are removed through the mouth while the patient is under local or general anaesthetic.

You can read more about Tonsil Removal at ENT UK.

When will I recover?

Most patients are treated on an outpatient basis and can return home after the operation, as long as they are driven by a friend or relative. Recovery will take about two weeks, with moderate pain experienced in the throat. Eating will be difficult, and a certain amount of weight loss should be expected.

What risks should I know about?

The procedure carries the general risks associated with surgery under general anaesthetic, such as infection, DVT, nerve damage and continued pain. In rare cases patients have experienced bleeding in the throat, which can require re-admission to hospital.