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For children, a tonsillectomy is recommended when the child has had at least four attacks each year for two years in a row. For adults, fewer attacks are needed before a tonsillectomy is recommended, as attacks tend to be more severe and there is less likelihood of the attacks stopping on their own.

What happens during a tonsillectomy?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about half an hour. Your surgeon will perform the tonsillectomy through your mouth. They will cut or peel the tonsils away from the layer of muscle underneath them or use heat to remove the tonsils and cauterise (stop the bleeding) in the area.

After your tonsillectomy

You should be able to go home the day after your surgery or sometimes a tonsillectomy is done as a day case (no overnight stay in hospital). The pain may last for up to two weeks. It will tend to be worse first thing in the morning. Over the counter pain killers should help.

You will need to stay off work or school and away from groups of people for two weeks after the operation. This is to help prevent throat infections while your throat is still healing.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following a tonsillectomy. As with any surgery there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wounds

Specific complications of a tonsillectomy:

  • Small pieces of the tonsils left behind
  • Lingual tonsillitis (tonsils hidden behind the tongue).
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 276 591
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

0141 334 9441
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 276 9401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 382551
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775 861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282 500
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286 991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 360 100
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531 111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715 000
Overall rating Good

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