The information leaflet from ENT-UK below explains the procedure and common questions raised.
The operation is normally performed as a day case ( you do not stay in hospital overnight) 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. You will be given painkillers home with you after the operation and it is recommended that you take these regularly for the first week. It is very important that you continue to eat and drink after you 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 overnight and it is best to take painkillers on wakening and waiting for 20-30 minutes to let them take effect before attempting to start eating again. It is best to eat little and often and to treat yourself as it is a tough time. It is important that you eat food that requires chewing and not just soups and ice cream. It does not matter otherwise what you eat and drink although some things such as citrus drinks and spicy foods are painful. The pain will often get a little worse initially over the first few days before it gets better. This is normal and does not mean anything is wrong. If you find it difficult to eat and drink you should get stronger painkillers but you must not stop eating and drinking as this will just make the pain worse and you will likely end up back in hospital.
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 come to the local accident and emergency department for further assessment. You may need to be admitted to hospital. Occasionally people 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.
The information below relates to adult procedure, with many similarities to that in children.