Tonsillectomy Risks

Tonsillectomy Risks

I had to have a tonsillectomy, which is a surgical procedure where my tonsils were removed. The doctor explained to me that a tonsillectomy was necessary because my tonsils were constantly becoming infected and enlarged. In addition to removing my tonsils, the surgeon removed my adenoids, which are other glands in the throat. My doctor said that it was common to remove the adenoids along with the tonsils.

The surgery was done under general anesthesia, so I was asleep during the entire procedure. Before the surgery, the surgeon explained that he was going to use a a special device to keep my mouth open, and he would remove my tonsils and adenoids with a scalpel. He said that as long as there were no complications during the surgery, I would be able to go home the same day.

Before the surgery, my doctor told me about tonsillectomy risks. The first major tonsillectomy risk, a reaction to anesthesia, is associated with all types of surgery. General anesthesia can make patients nauseous and cause sore muscles and headaches. There is also the slight risk of more serious and long-term problems from general anesthesia. These cases are very rare.  The field of anesthesiology has advanced far beyond the days of an ether soaked ragged. Anesthesiologists of today are some of the most highly trained health care professional of our time.  While in surgery, this person will be present the entire time, monitoring your condition. Swelling is another of the tonsillectomy risks. After a tonsillectomy, the tongue and the top of the mouth can swell. This swelling can make it hard to breathe. This can occur during the first few hours after surgery. During the surgery, the patient can experience heavy bleeding that requires special treatment. Bleeding can also occur after the surgery, which may require emergency surgery. Another of the tonsillectomy risks that my doctor told me about was infection. Sometimes surgery can cause an infection, which requires medication to treat.

My doctor assured me that most patients don’t have complications from any of the possible tonsillectomy risks, but it is important to be aware of the tonsillectomy risks. Knowing about the tonsillectomy risks will help you know what is normal, and when you need to alert your doctor.

Tonsillectomy Recovery
Tonsillectomy Recovery


  1. Please can someone help me! I am on day 2 of having a tonsillectomy and I was wondering if the doctor should have given me antibiotics?! I am scared of getting an infection! Is this normal for a doctor not to prescribe antibiotics?
    The back of my throat looks like blue cheese. Its weird because all I can taste is blue cheese and fermented cabbage!
    Someone please respond.

    1. Hi Aaron- sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner.

      Some doctors do prescribe antibiotics, but others do not. If it would give you comfort, you might ask your doctor why he/she did not prescribe. I do know that, with the antibiotics come side effects like oral thrush.

      Everyone’s throat looks and smells awful during tonsillectomy- don’t worry about that.

      Take care. This is temporary!!!

  2. I know exactly what you mean! The first two nights I slept laying down and had that problem. Sleeping with my head elevated helped prevent this. I was sleeping sitting up, basically.

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