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Tonsillectomy surgery (child)

A tonsillectomy surgery will prevent your child from getting tonsillitis and the resulting pain, fever and difficulty swallowing. Book online today.

What are the tonsils?

The tonsils are part of a group of lymphoid tissues (like the glands in your neck) that help to fight off infection from germs that are breathed in or swallowed.

Tonsillitis happens if the tonsils become infected.

For children, a tonsillectomy is recommended when the child has had at least four attacks each year for two years in a row.

What are the benefits of surgery?

A tonsillectomy will prevent your child from getting tonsillitis and the resulting pain, fever and difficulty swallowing.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Surgery is the only dependable way to stop tonsillitis that keeps on coming back. In children, a long course of antibiotics may break a cycle of frequent infections or the tonsillitis may simply stop after a few years.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about half an hour. Your surgeon will perform the tonsillectomy through your child’s mouth. They will cut or peel the tonsil away from the layer of muscle underneath it, or use heat to remove the tonsil and cauterise the area. They will then stop any extra bleeding.

What complications can happen?

1. General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound

2. Specific complications of this operation

  • Small pieces of the tonsil may be left behind
  • Lingual tonsillitis

How soon will my child recover?

Your child should be able to go home the following day. Sometimes a tonsillectomy is done as a day case (no overnight stay in hospital).

The pain will last for up to two weeks. It will tend to be worse first thing in the morning.

Your child will need to stay off school and away from groups of people for two weeks after the operation. This is to help prevent throat infections while your child’s throat is still healing.


If left untreated, tonsillitis can cause complications. Surgery is the only dependable way to stop tonsillitis that keeps on coming back.

Paying for the operation

Tonsillectomy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.


Author: Miss Ruth Capper MD FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © 2007 Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited   The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Specialists offering Tonsillectomy surgery (child)

Mr Prad Murthy

Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist


BMI The Highfield Hospital 1 more BMI The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Mark Draper

Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgeon


BMI The Saxon Clinic

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Mr Yogesh Bhatt

Consultant ENT Head Neck & Thyroid Surgeon

BSc (Hons) 1st Neuroscience, Imperial College School of Medicine 2003; MBChB (Hons), University of Manchester Medical School 2004; Intercollegiate Diploma in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh FRCS (ORL-HNS); Diploma in Child Health, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education, University of Manchester

BMI The Kings Oak Hospital 1 more BMI The Cavell Hospital

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Mr Atef Ahmed El-Kholy

Consultant ENT Surgeon


BMI The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Naveed Kara

Consultant ENT Surgeon


BMI Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Behrad Elmiyeh

Consultant ENT & Nasal Plastic Surgeon


BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital 1 more BMI Syon Clinic

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