Having a tonsillectomy is a procedure which is very common. The procedure can be performed as a day stay procedure and is a very safe procedure to perform in Australia. Dr Robinson performs many tonsillectomies per year.
The indications for a tonsillectomy are follows:
- Tonsillitis 7 times per year
- Tonsillitis 5 times per year for 2 years
- Tonsillitis 3 times per year for 3 years
- Recurrent Quinsey
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Sleep disordered breathing
- Suspicion of cancer
- Recurrent tonsilloliths (cheesy material being caught in tonsil)
- Halitosis (bad breath)
Prior to the operation the only real requirement is that you ensure you cease all blood thinning medications as well as any herbal remedies as these are also blood thinners.
The procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes to perform. The operation involves a general anaesthetic. Removing the tonsils is done through the mouth using a diathermy on a low power setting. The use of a low power setting decreases the risk of bleeding as well as the pain associated with the operation. Dr Robinson routinely injects local anaesthetic into the bed of where the tonsils were removed which also decreases the pain associated with the procedure.
After the operation is performed you will wake up in the recovery section of the operating theatre. Dr Robinson recommends that you try and have an ice block as well as something to drink here. After a few hours you will sent back to the ward and unless there is a reason for you to stay overnight you will be able to go home. The most important thing about having your tonsils removed is to keep your eating and drinking going as well as regular pain relief for the first 3 days.
The pain after a tonsillectomy is usually at its most severe in the first 24 hours and then again at approximately 7 – 10 days post operatively. Dr Robinson has a more detailed handout concerning what to expect after a tonsillectomy which he will give you after the procedure.
Having a tonsillectomy is a very safe procedure. The main risk associated with the operation is a risk of bleeding which occurs 7-10 days post operatively. For this reason Dr Robinson recommends that you stay nearby for 7-10 days post operatively. The more you eat and drink post operatively the decreases the risks of bleeding after the operation. There are other less common risks associated with the procedure which Dr Robinson will discuss with you prior to the operation. If you would like to discuss having a tonsillectomy, then make an appointment to see Dr Robinson to discuss the operation.