Adenoid and tonsil removal

Adenotonsillectomy

A common single procedure to remove enlarged adenoids and tonsils that are causing recurrent symptoms for your child

About adenoid and tonsil removal

If your child suffers from acute or chronic tonsillitis or other symptoms including sleep apnoea or glue ear, your consultant may recommend having your child's adenoids and tonsils removed. This combined procedure is commonly performed by our paediatric ear, nose and throat surgeons. 

In some circumstances it may be possible to have a tonsil removed independently of the adenoids

Need to know

  • What happens during an adenotonsillectomy?  icon plus

    Adenoids and tonsils are small lumps of tissue in the back of your child's throat. They form part of the immune system, helping your child's body to fight off infections. However, they can become the source of infections and may need to be removed.

    The procedure is done under general anaesthetic, meaning your child will be asleep. The adenoids and tonsils are removed through your child's mouth using specialised instruments. Sometimes dissolvable stitches are used to help the area heal. The whole procedure takes around 45 minutes.
  • How to prepare for the procedure icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. In the week before surgery, it’s important that your child stays healthy. Let your consultant know if your child has recently had a cold or a sore throat, as surgery may need to be postponed to reduce the risk of complications.

    Because general anaesthetic is used during the procedure, your child may need to fast for several hours before the operation. Your consultant will tell you how long they should avoid eating and drinking. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After the removal icon plus

    Your child should be able to return home on the same day as the surgery, although in some cases they may need to be cared for in hospital overnight. They may have some discomfort for several days after the procedure, especially when eating or swallowing. It’s also common to have a sore throat or earache during the healing process, but these symptoms shouldn’t last more than a week or two.

    You may be given a prescription for pain medication or antibiotics for your child. Your child will need to spend up to two weeks away from school or nursery. Your consultant will tell you when your child can return to their usual routine, including sports.

Our consultants specialising in adenoid and tonsil removal

Our ENT surgeons are leading experts in the field of ear, nose and throat surgery and are experienced in treating children with tonsil and adenoid problems.

Our locations

From complex ENT surgery to straightforward ear, nose and throat procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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