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Preparing for Your Tonsil Removal Surgery

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When you experience repeated bouts of tonsillitis, your GP may refer you to an ENT specialist for tonsil removal surgery. By removing your tonsils, you're likely to experience long-term relief from the problem. Your medical team will provide you with guidance on how to prepare for your surgery, but here are some tips to get you started.

Stop certain medications

If you regularly take certain medications, your ENT specialist may ask you to stop taking them in the run-up to your surgery. Such medications may include anything that thins your blood, like aspirin. If you're unsure or if you want to seek guidance from the person who initially prescribed the medication, rest assured that your ENT surgeon will liaise with an appropriate person before making any recommendations.

Watch out for coughs and colds

If you start to experience flu-like symptoms in the week before your surgery, alert your medical team. Such symptoms could act as a sign of impending tonsillitis, which may make it difficult for your surgeon to operate. Although facing a delay is frustrating, it's the best way to keep yourself safe and ensure the operation is a success. If someone in your household has a cold, try staying away from them until you're sure it's gone.

Find someone to drive you home

In many cases, it's possible to undergo a tonsillectomy and return home on the same day or the next morning. As the procedure takes place under a general anaesthetic, it's unsafe for you to drive. Because of this, you need to make sure someone is prepared to drive you home. Additionally, you may want to request for the person to stay with you for the first 24 hours after the procedure. General anaesthetics often make people feel woozy, so it's helpful to have someone assisting you at home until it's worn off.

Stop eating in the hours before your procedure

Your anaesthetist will request that you don't eat anything in the 6 to 12 hours before your procedure. They'll give you a specific timeframe when they consult you for the operation. It's important to avoid eating because if you're sick during the operation, there's a risk that the by-product will enter your lungs. To make this easier, your surgeon may schedule your operation for early in the morning. If there's a delay, it's important to stay away from food. Surgeons' schedules often change, which means your operation may be brought forward again.