Tonsillectomy, like other surgeries, has certain risks:

  • Reactions to anesthetics. Medication to make you sleep during surgery often causes minor, short-term problems, such as headache, nausea, vomiting or muscle soreness. Serious, long-term problems are rare, though general anesthesia is not without the risk of death.
  • Swelling. Swelling of the tongue and soft roof of the mouth (soft palate) can cause breathing problems, particularly during the first few hours after the procedure.
  • Bleeding during surgery. In rare cases, severe bleeding occurs during surgery and requires additional treatment and a longer hospital stay.
  • Bleeding during healing. Bleeding can occur during the healing process, particularly if the scab from the wound is dislodged too soon.
  • Infection. Rarely, surgery can lead to an infection that requires further treatment.
Jan. 12, 2018