The information leaflet from ENT-UK below explains the procedure and common questions raised.
The operation is normally performed as a day case ( there is no overnight stay in hospital) and is under general anaesthetic.
The operation takes 20-30 minutes typically.
The operation is painful but no worse that a bad episode of tonsillitis. Your child will be given painkillers home after the operation and it is recommended that they take these regularly for the first week. It is very important that your child continues to eat and drink after they go home as this helps ease the pain, helps with healing and lessens the chance of any complications and ending up back in hospital. It will be particularly sore in the morning because of the lack of swallowing overninght and it is best to give painkillers on wakening and waiting for 20-30 minutes to let them take effect before encouraging your child to start eating again. It is best to eat little and often and to treat your child as it is a tough time. It is important that he or she eats food that requires chewing and not just soups and ice cream. It does not matter otherwise what he or she eats and drinks although some things such as citrus drinks and spicy foods are painful. The pain will often get a little worse intially over the first few days before it gets better. This is normal and does not mean anything is wrong. If your child is finding it difficult to eat and drink you should get stronger painkillers but they must not stop eating and drinking as this will just make the pain worse and they will likely end up back in hosptial.
During the healing process a yellow membrane forms over where the tonsil was, called slough- this is like a wet scab. It is normal and protective allowing the healing underneath.
Bleeding after you go home can be an issue and if more than a couple of spoonfuls you should bring your child to the local accident and emergency department for further assessment. They may need to be admitted to hospital. Occasionally patients are taken to theatre to control bleeding if it is not settling by itself.
The healing and recovery usually takes two weeks but can be quicker or longer in different individuals.