Phone: 973-940-3166
Fax: 973-940-3170
Billing: 570-386-2366

Adult Vs. Pediatric Tonsillectomy


Tonsillectomy is a procedure performed at Specialty Surgical Center by our ear, nose, and throat team. No matter how old someone is, anyone can get frequent throat infections, which is why both children and adults could need a tonsillectomy. Fortunately, this means that our physicians regularly perform this surgery, as it is very common. However, adults and children experience tonsillectomies in a different way.

The procedure for both adults and children is the same. The patient first stops taking all of his or her medication and fasts the night before surgery. The next day, the patient comes in and is put under general anesthesia. This completely makes the patient unconscious and they are asleep for the whole procedure. Then, using a scalpel, the surgeon removes the patient’s tonsils. Overall, the procedure takes about 20 minutes to an hour for patients both big and small.

The difference between adult vs. pediatric tonsillectomy lies in the recovery stage. Children only need a week or so to recover while an adult may need around two weeks before they can go back to work. This is because children heal faster than adults do. Studies have also shown that children are less likely to develop late-term bleeding days after their procedure. Post-operative bleeding is not a common side effect for adults, but it can happen a few days to a couple weeks after the procedure. Our physicians recommend drinking plenty of water and sticking to soft foods during recovery. Adults are generally prone to additional surgical complications like pain and dehydration after a tonsillectomy.

Some researchers believe that adults have surgical complications more than children because children are more likely to recover for the full amount of time. An adult, on the other hand, may need to return to their daily activities like working and speaking frequently to family members.

In order to manage pain, our surgeons may give you pain medication to take every few hours as directed. The pain will be worse the first few days after surgery and should lessen towards the end of the first week. Aside from medication, patients can suck on ice cubes, drink smoothies, or eat any other soft food that will allow them to stay hydrated.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey, and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal CarePodiatryUrologyPain ManagementENTHand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN, and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page