The doctor will open the mouth. Medicine will be sprayed over the area to make it numb. A special tool will be used to hold the tonsils. The tonsils will be removed with a scalpel or electric current. Open area will be closed with stitches.
How Long Will It Take?
About 20 to 60 minutes
Will It Hurt?
Throat pain is common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care help
Average Hospital Stay
You may be able to leave after the procedure. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicine.
It will take about 2 weeks to recover from surgery. Certain foods and activities may need to be avoided during this time. You may also need to delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or discharge from the back of your throat
Nausea or vomiting
Pain that you cannot control with medicine
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
How to prepare for tonsil and adenoid surgery. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/be_ent_smart/how-to-prepare-for-tonsil-and-adenoid-surgery. Accessed December 14, 2020.
Mitchell RB, Archer SM, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in Children (Update). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Feb;160(1_suppl):S1-S42.
Tonsillectomy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/procedure/tonsillectomy. Accessed December 14, 2020.
Last reviewed April 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 4/27/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.