What are tonsils? Tonsils are small glands in the throat, one on each side. They are there to fight germs. Your body can still fight germs without them. We only take them out if they are doing more harm than good.
Why take them out? We only take your tonsils out if you are getting lots of sore throats that are making you lose time from work or school. Sometimes small children have tonsils so big that they block their breathing at night. You may want to just wait and see if your tonsil problem gets better by itself. Children often grow out of the problem over a year or so. Only you can decide if your sore throats are so much of a problem that you want surgery.
How is the operation done? You will be asleep. We take your tonsils out through your mouth. This takes about 20 minutes but you will be in the operating department for about an hour in total.
How long will I be in hospital? You come in on the day of the operation. We will let you go home that evening if you are eating and drinking and feel well enough.
Your throat will be sore. Your throat will get better day-by-day. Take painkillers regularly half an hour before meals for the first few days.
Eat normal food. Eating food will help your throat to heal. It will help the pain too. Always have a drink with your meal. Chewing gum will also help the pain.
You may have sore ears. This is normal. It happens because your throat and ears have the same nerves. It does not mean that you have an ear infection.
Your throat will look white. This is normal while your throat heals.
Stay off work or school for 1 week. Rest at home away from crowds and smoky places. Stay away from people with coughs and colds. Ask your nurse if you need a sick note. You may also feel tired for the first few days.
Bleeding can be serious. If you have any bleeding from your throat you must see a doctor. Either call your GP, call the ward, or go to your nearest hospital casualty department.