January 25, 2018
Cautery / Diathermy Septum
January 25, 2018


What is is an adenotonsillectomy?

An adenotonsillectomy is the removal of the adenoids and the tonsils.

My anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic. See About your anaesthetic information sheet for information about anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, discuss these with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:
  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room.
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.
Specific risks:
  • Bleeding. This may happen either at time of surgery or in the first two weeks after surgery. Delayed bleeding may require re-admission to hospital and may require another operation to stop the bleeding. A blood transfusion may be necessary depending on the amount of blood lost.
  • Infection – ongoing bad breath, worsening throat discomfort or delayed bleeding may indicate an infection. This is usually treated with antibiotics. Delayed bleeding is treated as outlined above.
  • Incompetence of the palate. Nasal speech and leakage of food or fluids through the nose may happen in the days after surgery. This usually gets better but rarely it may not, and further surgery or speech therapy may be needed.
  • Change in sensation to tongue.
  • Pain – moderate throat pain is common during the first 2 weeks after surgery, requiring regular analgesia.
  • Injury to teeth, lips, gums or tongue or facial skin.
  • Burns from the equipment used to seal off bleeding areas during the operation.
  • Abnormal scarring may rarely occur causing narrowing of the throat or other minor irritating symptoms.

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