Tonsillectomy is performed to treat recurrent infections of the throat (“angina”) or disruptive snoring caused by overgrowth of the tonsils.


The operation is usually performed under general anaesthesia and lasts approximately 30 minutes. The tonsils are removed in the surgery, and the wounds are left uncovered to heal by themselves.


After the operation, the patient experiences severe pain for 7–10 days in the throat. The pain may radiate to ears, and mild fever can rise during the first days. It is recommendable to eat cool, soft foods during the first days of recovery. After the surgery, pale scabs (coating) form on the place where the tonsils were. The scabs will fall off after approximately one week. The falling of the scabs may cause temporary, light bleeding, but the bleeding can also be heavy and require treatment. The bleeding can be reduced by placing an ice bag on the throat or by sucking ice cubes. The operation can cause bad breath that lasts for about two weeks.

Sauna and physical effort should be avoided for two weeks due to a risk of bleeding. Consuming alcohol and smoking delay the healing process. It is recommended to rest for the day of the surgery, and an operated child requires adult supervision for a week.

Treatment of pain

The patient can take painkillers regularly for 7–10 days according to the hospital’s instructions to relieve the pain and to make eating easier. It is important to drink plenty of liquids. The page treatment of pain contains more information on pain relief.


  • Ear, Nose and Throat Outpatient Clinic
  • Day Surgery Unit
  • Emergency Department  
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