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Tonsillitis causes sore throat and is associated with high temperature and pain when swallowing. You may also have ear ache, bad breath and notice white patches on the tonsils if you look in the mirror. Symptoms usually last a week or so but can occasionally become so severe that hospital treatment may be required.
Most infections are caused by bacteria or viruses and sometimes both. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection then antibiotics may be of benefit. Your doctor will also prescribe painkillers and mouthwashes to help manage the symptoms. If you experience several recurrences of tonsillitis, then you may consider a tonsillectomy procedure. There are other reasons to have the tonsils removed, such as abscesses or chronic sore throats.
Tonsils are part of the lymphoid system and help to fight infection in childhood. There is tonsil tissue in the back of the nose and throat. In adulthood, the role of the tonsils in fighting infection becomes less important.
If you are having recurring episodes of tonsillitis or abscesses around the tonsils (known as Quinsy), it may be suggested that you undergo a procedure called tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy involves removing the tonsils and is very successful at preventing sore throats. Other reasons for tonsillectomy include biopsy for suspicious swelling of the tonsil and also for people who snore loudly.
Sometimes infections related to the tonsils will get better on their own, and surgery may not be recommended. Your doctor will offer advice regarding the role of surgery in your case.
Tonsillectomy is typically performed as a day case procedure. You should arrange 2 weeks away from work and somebody should stay with you for at least 24 hours following the operation. Surgery takes place with a general anaesthetic and is performed through the mouth. After the surgery you will be observed in the hospital and likely discharged the same day.
At Highgate Private Hospital your surgery will be performed by the consultant who is in overall charge of your care.
Tonsillectomy can be sore and tender during recovery, but you will be provided with painkillers to manage your symptoms. Antibiotics are not normally required. You may experience earache afterwards, but this will settle as the throat heals.
Mr Paul Stimpson is a Consultant ENT Surgeon at Highgate Private Hospital with a special interest in General adult ear, nose and throat conditions including hearing problems, balance and sinonasal diseases. Lumps and bumps in the head and neck region. He also specialises in Benign and malignant diseases of the head and neck.
Mr Stimpson is available for appointments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.
A private consultation with Mr Stimpson at Highgate Private Hospital costs £200 if you are self-funding your treatment. We accept all major health insurers. To book an appointment, contact us now on 020 8341 4182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not have a referral letter, you can also see one of our Private GPs with whom appointments can be booked through the contact information above.
Copyright Mr Paul Stimpson, 2017