Removal of tonsils and/or adenoids is one of the most frequently performed throat operations. It has proven to be a safe, effective surgical method to resolve breathing obstruction, throat infections and manage recurrent childhood ear disease.
Pain following surgery is an unpleasant side effect, which can be reasonably controlled with medication. It is similar to the pain patients have experienced with throat infections, but often is also felt in the ears after surgery.
There are also some risks associated with removal of tonsils and/or adenoids. Postoperative bleeding occurs in about 2% of cases, most often immediately, although it can occur at any time during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Treatment of bleeding is usually an outpatient procedure, but sometimes requires control in the operating room under general anesthesia. In rare cases, a blood transfusion may be recommended.
Because swallowing is painful after surgery, there may be poor oral intake of fluids. If this cannot be corrected at home, the patient may be admitted to the hospital for IV fluid replacement.
Very rarely, disturbances in the sense of taste or loss of taste in one side of the tongue may take place. Although anesthetic complications are known to exist; they are quite uncommon.