• Question: Are your tonsils an important function in your body? If you get them taken out are you better off or not? Is it a dangerous operation? Are the chances of bleeding to death quite high? Is having an anastetic bad? Should it be done whilst the person is awake? I ask as my friend is getting them out, and im worried. Thank you, x

    Asked by sas6 to Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Daphne Ng

      Daphne Ng answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Tonsils are tissues located at the back of the throat. They are the body’s first defense against inhaled or ingested germs although their exact function is still unknown. If tonsils become infected, they will become painful and you may require surgery to remove them. People are usually fine after tonsil removal and suffer no ill effects!

      The surgery to remove tonsils is quite a common one and requires only 20 minutes. People usually recover from them in a week. So I don’t think it’s a dangerous operation.

      An anesthetic is to reduce pain during the operation as well as after. This is to make the patient more comfortable while the surgery is being performed.

    • Photo: Katherine Haxton

      Katherine Haxton answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Well as Daphne says, getting tonsils out is a pretty simple procedure when you’re young. It’s quite a difficult operation in adults though so best that your friend gets them out now. Like all operations, there is a small risk of things going wrong but everyone doing the operation are highly trained and know what to do. Aesthetics are great because you just fall asleep and wake up after the operation. If you have an operation while you are awake, you’d probably be given a sedative to make you feel a little sleepy or dreamy.
      And I believe that getting your tonsils out requires quite a bit of ice cream and jelly to help recover!

      I think your friend will be OK, it’s a bit scary if you’ve never had an operation before but lots of tonsils get taken out everyday so it’s pretty routine.