Tonsillectomy in Adults

What to expect

The pain associated with tonsillectomy is variable but often quite significant. It may vary from day to day. It is not unusual to improve for the first few days and then deteriorate again around days 5 to 7 as the inflammation peaks. Pain referred to the ears is also common.

The tonsil beds are left open at the end of surgery and become covered in a yellow white layer. This is normal and does not indicate infection.

Pain Management Protocol

  • Celebrex-100 or200mg as prescribed, twice daily for 10 days, take this regularly
  • Panadol 1-2 four hourly as required.
  • Endone or Tapentadol will also be prescribed on discharge. It can be taken if the above is not covering the pain. 


May be prescribed in some cases.


A normal diet following tonsillectomy is important as the roughness of food keeps the tonsil beds clean. It is also important to maintain a good intake of fluids.

Activities and Return to Work/Study

I normally recommend taking 10 days off to recover. Physical activity and sport should be avoided for two weeks. You must not drive, operate machinery or make legally binding decisions for 24 hours.

What to watch out for and when to contact me

The main concern following tonsillectomy is bleeding. Some minor blood streaking saliva is acceptable but please contact me if there is fresh ongoing bleeding.

If you have any concerns please call my rooms during office hours or my mobile number after hours. You will find it on the front of the card with your post op appointment details. If you can’t locate it please call St Andrews and they will contact me.

In the unlikely event that I can’t be contacted and the problem is urgent please proceed with out delay to the nearest public Accident and Emergency Department.

Rooms: 83630677 St Andrews : 84082111