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Performing an adenotonsillectomy is one of the most common procedures ENT surgeons perform. The procedure is very safe to perform and has excellent outcomes associated with alleviating symptoms.


As a general rule the indications for an adenotonsillectomy are as follows:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Sleep disordered breathing
  • Recurrent tonsillitis

There are other indications which are not as common as the ones mentioned.

Preoperative Instructions

Prior to the operation your child needs to cease any herbal remedies and not have any aspirin prior to the operation.


An adenotonsillectomy is performed either as a day stay procedure, or as an overnight procedure. If Dr Robinson suspects that your child has bad OSA then it is recommended that you stay in hospital overnight. The procedure is relatively fast – taking up to 20 minutes. The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and the procedure is performed through the mouth. Dr Robinson uses a low power diathermy to perform the operation, which decreases the scar tissue formation and risk of bleeding associated with the procedure.

After the operation you are able to see your child in recovery when they wake up. Whilst in recovery the recovery staff normally give your child an ice block. From there your child will usually go back to sleep. If they are able to eat and drink and take regular pain relief then you will be able to go home the same day.

Postoperative Instructions

The most important thing to do post adenotonsillectomy is to have regular pain relief and lots of fluid. Dr Robinson has a detailed post operative hand out which he will give to you after the operation, which details what sort of pain relief and what to expect each day after the operation. Dr Robinson will see you approximately one month post operatively.


The main risk associated with having an adenotonsillectomy is the risk of bleeding. This risk is highest approximately 7 – 10 days post operatively. The risk of your child having bleeding post operatively is approximately 1%. If this should be the case, contact Dr Robinson’s rooms within opening hours, or proceed immediately to the Gold Coast University Hospital after hours.

If you want to talk more about having an adenotonsillectomy, or book your child in to have an adenotonsillectomy then make an appointment with Dr Dan Robinson.