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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is having a tonsilectomy risky aged 50?

    I would like to have my tonsils removed but am frightened by the horror stories of haemorrhage , infection and pain.
    Many GP's seem reluctant to encourage this but I wish I had done it a long time ago.
    My throat infections are getting worse and more frequent and quickly develop into full blown tonsillitis. I have had quinsy 3 times in my life but strep throats about 8 times in the last 2 years. I am on antibiotics each time.
    I have young children so I don't want a risky operation but would love to get through the year without these awful throat infections. My brother had constant problems with his tonsils and said, while it was unpleasant, it was one of the best decisions he has made…. He was an adult but only in his 20's at the time.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dr David McIntosh

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    David McIntosh is an Australian trained ENT surgeon with international experience. His areas of interest are paediatrics, nose and sinus disease, and providing access to … View Profile

    Any operation has risks and benefits. All surgeons should go through this with you. Make sure you bring a list of questions that you need to be answered. Make sure you are comfortable and don't underestimate the value of a second opinion. Also, Dr Google is not the most reliable for information or perspective. 

  • 1


    Dr Sim Choroomi

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Adult tonsilectomy has a slightly higher post op secondary bleed rate and is typically associated with more pain than with paediatric tonsilectomy. That said you will have to discuss with your specialist the risks and benefits for your particular case, as having numerous quinsy's and infections you have described is also not particularly "risk free". 

    As a general guide if you have had more than 2 quinsy's then this is an indication for removal of your tonsils. 

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