Adult Tonsillectomy

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1072/2022
  • Departments: Day Surgery (DSU), ENT
  • Last Updated: 1 October 2022


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information about tonsillectomy. It is not meant to replace discussion between you and your doctor.  If after reading it, you require further explanation please discuss this with the relevant person who has been caring for you.

Your consultant is _____________________________

Surgery performed by __________________________

Should you need any further help or advice, please call the ENT Ward at Castle Hill Hospital. Telephone: (01482) 674870 or 676707.


If the consultant needs to see you again an, an appointment will follow in the post.

Pain relief

We will provide you with pain relief medication to take home and a regime for you to follow (paracetamol, codeine and ibuprofen or diclofenac). Pain from this operation can be at its most intense around 5 days after surgery and earache is not uncommon.

  • Crushed ice can help
  • Chewing gum can help
  • Mouthwash or spray can help

Eating and drinking

It is VERY important that you eat ‘normal’ food.

  • Chewing and swallowing helps healing
  • Toast and cereal are often good food to start with


You can return to work after two weeks but if you feel you need a little longer you may need a further sick note from your doctor.

Bleeding and other complications following tonsillectomy are most likely in patients who do not take adequate pain relief and have not eaten properly.

These problems can occur as late as 7 – 10 days after surgery


  • It is helpful to take some pain relief 30 – 40 minutes before a meal.
  • It is helpful to drink plenty of fluids.
  • It is advisable to stay indoors for 3 – 4 days immediately after surgery.
  • Avoid smoky and dusty atmospheres for two weeks.
  • You should not ‘smoke’ yourself.
  • Avoid anyone suffering from coughs or colds for two weeks.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene as it is usual to have ‘bad breath’ following Tonsillectomy.

You should call the Ward if:

  • You are having a lot of pain and the pain relief medication does not seem to help.
  • Your temperature is raised and you cannot reduce it.
  • You have bleeding from the nose or mouth.
  • If you vomit fresh (bright red) blood.
  • If you bring up black or reddish / brown vomit more than once.
  • If you are unsure about any of your aftercare.

After your operation

Should you need to visit your doctor with a problem related to the operation within three weeks of the surgery, please call the ENT Ward at Castle Hill Hospital. Telephone: (01482) 674870 or 676707.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the ENT Ward at Castle Hill Hospital. Telephone: (01482) 674870 or 676707.

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment.  As part of your care, your information will be shared between members of the healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet.  Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service and to help with research.  Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health or social organisations that provide you with care.  All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it.  If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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