Mike Dilkes is a leading ENT consultant and laser surgeon based in London. Mike has performed thousands of tonsillectomy procedures and is acknowledged as a leading authority on the use of laser treatment.
Tonsillectomy Guide Contents
What are the tonsils?
What is tonsillectomy?
When might you need a tonsillectomy?
How do you get a tonsillectomy operation?
Options for the Tonsillectomy Procedure
Approach: How do you get a tonsillectomy operation?
If the NHS won't refer you to an ENT surgeon, there is no real option but to have it done privately. Look online for the best techniques, read feedback, blogs. Make a decision and shop around for prices. Sometimes going abroad can be cheaper. Bear in mind that if you have a traditional tonsillectomy, there may be overnight stays, re-admission and bleeding - all of which can cost extra in the private sector.
Once you have decided, telephone the Consultant’s secretary and arrange an appointment. You don't have to have a referral letter unless you are using private insurance - they may need one. Mind you, it's always good to have a GP referral if you can get one, as they can let your surgeon know about any other illnesses, problems, allergies etc you yourself may have forgotten about.
Why doesn't the NHS do tonsillectomy operations?
Just recently the NHS has decided to stop performing tonsillectomy. This is because the NHS mainly performs the traditional dissection tonsillectomy, a good procedure once it has healed, but associated with a lot of pain post-operatively, and a high bleeding risk. So it is felt the risk and discomfort outweigh the advantages - although even a traditional tonsillectomy must be better than recurrent bad tonsillitis?
A recent paper from Australia says that if you have your tonsils removed as a child, you are prone to more infections as an adult is this correct? One paper does not prove this, most of the evidence shows that tonsillectomy is almost always advantageous. However, if in doubt wait until you or your child is a little older.
Further information on tonsillectomy