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NHS or private tonsillectomy? 5 things to consider

NHS or private tonsillectomy? If you need a tonsillectomy, the next big decision is where and when to have the operation. Here are five things to consider when weighing up whether to use the NHS or go private for your tonsillectomy surgery.

NHS or private tonsillectomy | Mike Dilkes ENT

1) Will the NHS do your tonsillectomy?

Currently NHS guidelines state that the procedure will not even be considered unless the patient had been to their GP seven times a year for three years with tonsillitis. Other tonsil related problems such as tonsil stones and bad breath will not be considered at all.

2) When will the NHS do your tonsillectomy?

There is quite a wait for routine surgery at the moment, waiting times are around six months or more, and often operations are cancelled due to problems with bed occupancy or availability of staff.

3) Which technique will be used in the NHS?

The NHS will almost certainly perform a traditional dissection tonsillectomy as most centres don't have the necessary equipment or staff to perform intracapsular laser tonsillectomy. Dissection tonsillectomy in adults is known for its high pain, long duration healing and bleeding risk.

4) Who will do your tonsillectomy?

In the NHS, a variety of levels of doctor, from the newly started trainee, to the experienced consultant may perform the procedure for you. Privately, it will always be a highly trained and experienced consultant.

5) Where will it be done?

NHS hospitals are busy places, with lots going on as there is a big emergency workload. Private hospitals tend to be more relaxed, often with good parking, which is free, and generally a less stressed, more helpful attitude. Plus you have your own individual room, and a menu of food and refreshments, along with free Sky TV etc.


Mike Dikes ENT Laser Surgery has a wide range of resources to help and inform you on the options available for tonsillectomy.


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