There are risks associated with any surgery. Your doctor will discuss the risks of having a tonsillectomy with you.
|You should seek urgent help if you have any of the following:
- bleeding that doesn't stop after 10 minutes of rest, elevation and sucking on ice
- a large amount of bleeding (more than 1–2 teaspoonfuls of blood)
- increasing pain that's not being controlled by your pain relief
- a temperature higher than 38.5°C for longer than 4 hours
- difficulty keeping down fluids
- vomited up red, brown or black blood more than twice
- difficulty breathing.
Other problems you may have include:
Bleeding from the area where the tonsils have been removed is the most frequent complication – it happens for about 2 in 100 people.
- If there is a large amount of blood (more than 1–2 teaspoonfuls), or if the bleeding continues for more than 10 minutes, seek urgent help
- If you do bleed, suck on some ice, have cold water to drink and rest your head on a high pillow.
- Bleeding is more common 7–14 days after the operation, but it can happen up to 21 days afterwards.
- Dehydration and too much activity after the operation can increase the chances of bleeding.
- It is best to avoid going away in the 3 weeks following the operation in case of bleeding. You should not travel overseas or to a remote area during this time.
Vomiting (feeling sick)
You might also vomit red, brown or black blood once or twice in the first day. You don't need to worry about this. But if it happens more often or if you are not able to keep down fluids, make sure you see a doctor.
Infection following the operation happens for about 5 in 100 people. Contact your doctor if you have a temperature higher than 38.5°C for longer than 4 hours.
Some patients have an earache after the operation. This is because the tonsils share some of the same nerves. This is normal and should go away in about 2–3 days.
Contact your doctor if you have ongoing pain that is not being controlled by the pain relief that was prescribed.