Patients having tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy are usually discharged the same day or within 24 hours after surgery. The general technique for removal is fairly consistent between ENT surgeons with the difference being in the instruments used to remove the tonsils and to prevent bleeding. Overall the operation is very safe with the main major risk being bleeding. This happens in less that 5% of patients and usually very easy to control, but needs to be brought to the attention of our surgeon when it happens. Other risks such as anesthesia reactions, infection, scarring, and voice change are quite unusual.
The recovery after tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy varies between patients. If tonsils are removed for breathing problems, the effects can be often noticed the first night. The main complaint after surgery is throat and/or referred ear pain. Pain medicine usually relieves this discomfort until the wound is healed, which can take up to two weeks. Patients are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration and then slowly advance their diet back to normal.