If an adult patient repeatedly succumbs to painful, febrile tonsillitis despite undergoing treatment with antibiotics, the patient may need to consider the option of having his/her tonsils removed (tonsillectomy).
Young children that suffer from respiratory problems and have difficulty swallowing due to enlarged tonsils, may be helped by having their tonsils partially removed. In this case, only the volume of the oversized tonsil is reduced (tonsillotomy).
A tonsil operation is performed under general anaesthetic and lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes. The procedure is one of the most common in the area of ENT medicine and is a routine procedure for an experienced surgeon. Following the procedure, the patient should have a lot of cold drinks (without the addition of carbonates), in order to clean the wound in the oral cavity. The patient should not work or go to school for up to a fortnight.
Surgery may in very rare instances result in bleeding. For this reason, the patient will have to spend several days in hospital. Making changes to the resonance space may in very rare instances cause the pitch of the voice to change. General anaesthesia also entails some risks (cardiovascular problems, intolerance to medication, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting and post-surgical hoarseness).