Tonsil surgery is a quick surgical procedure that’s performed under general anesthesia.

The purpose of this information is to help everyone who undergoes tonsil surgery to feel as good as possible after the operation and to return to normal food and normal activities as quick as possible.

The operation can be performed in two ways: Either the whole tonsil is removed, which is most common in the event of repeated throat infections, or only the protruding parts that block the airway are removed.

The ear, nose and throat (ENT/Otolaryngology) doctor who will perform the surgery decides which surgical procedure is best suited. The decision depends on the problems the tonsils are causing your child.

During the operation, the tonsils are removed through the mouth. The wound where the tonsil used to be is left open, and the bleeding is normally minor. The child is very tired after the operation and needs to rest and sleep.

What’s next?

If you haven’t already been given a date for your child’s surgery, you will be notified by post, telephone or e-mail. You and your child may have the opportunity to visit the clinic in advance in order to get used to the hospital environment and not find it so overwhelming or intimidating.

Information about pain management

Do you want information about pain management for your child, on how to assess the pain of your child, clues on how to see that your child is in pain, or do you want to learn more about pain-relieving medication and usage of correct dosage?

Common questions

We collected some answers to the most frequent asked questions on the following pages.

What do I do if my child gets tonsillitis?

What happens during the day of the operation?

Can I, as an immediate family member or friend, be present?

When can my child go home?

Food and drink?

How long does my child need to stay at home?

Are there any risks involved with the operation?

When are the adenoids behind the nose operated on?

How to help your child to get the best experience possible when having tonsil surgery?

You can avoid any unnecessary stress/anxiety by thoroughly preparing your child before his/her tonsil operation. A calm, well-prepared child with a positive attitude towards what will happen, experiences less pain, handles pain better and recovers more quickly. There are several things that you can do together with your child in order to make the experience as positive as possible.

Before surgery

Use the informative material and the stories about Elias and Moa on to help your child understand why the operation needs to be done.

You can also visit the Anaesthesia Web website at where you can get more information and will be able to prepare yourself as well as your child of what to expect at the hospital, during anaesthesia and surgery

Explain that he/she will feel a lot better after having had the tonsils and possible even the adenoids behind the nose operated on.

Help your child by walking him/her through all the steps that will happen before, during and after the surgery. The more your child knows, the less worried he/she will be.

Explain that you’ll be with your child at the hospital during the visit. Let the child know that you’ll be there when he/she falls asleep and wakes up.

He/she will sleep during the entire operation and wake up when it’s over. Assure your child that he/she will never be alone. Everyone will explain what they are going to do, to make it feel as comfortable as possible. Tell your child to let the staff know if he/she is worried about something. Then the staff can explain the procedure and help your child to be less anxious.

During the day of operation

Make sure that your child brings along a favorite book, a stuffed animal, a blanket or anything else that may help them feel safe.

Be prepared that there may be waiting times at the hospital.

Bring something along to help your child stay occupied and busy whilst waiting.

Try to manage your own anxiety.

A worried parent can easily transfer his/her anxiety to the child. Act calmly and confident.

After the surgery

After the surgery, it’s always good to talk about your child’s experience at the hospital, how he/she felt, and why.

The child can explain through drawing a picture. Preferably use the stories on or

In addition to receiving painkillers, it’s important that the child receives more attention than usual.

By reading, playing games and watching TV together, the child is distracted from the pain in their throat.