This routine, outpatient procedure is used to remove the tonsils. These are the large glands at the back of the throat that normally help protect against infection. In some people who have frequent throat and ear infections, removing the tonsils can help reduce the number of infections. People who have very large tonsils may also have them removed so that they can breathe and sleep more easily.


During preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned, and general anesthesia is administered through an IV. A special guard is inserted in the mouth to hold the mouth open and allow access to the tonsils.

Removing the Tonsils

The surgeon grasps the tonsil to hold it steady and uses a scalpel or cauterizing tool to gently free the tonsil from the wall of the throat. The blood vessels that lead to the tonsil are sealed to minimize bleeding. Once the first tonsil is removed, the surgeon repeats the procedure for the tonsil on the other side of the throat.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

The patient is monitored in a recovery area after the procedure while the anesthesia wears off. The throat may bleed a small amount after surgery, and soreness may last for 5 to 10 days. Pain relievers and soft foods are recommended during recovery.