Has a doctor, like one at Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head, advised that you get your tonsils removed? If you've been suffering from frequent throat infections or tonsil stones, the surgery is sure to make you more comfortable. However, the prospect of having your tonsils removed from your body can be a bit intimidating. Knowing what to expect will calm your nerves and help ensure the process goes smoothly.

Before the procedure.

Tonsil removal surgery is usually done on an out-patient basis now. That means you will not have to stay in the hospital after your surgery. You will, however, need to find someone to drive you to and from the appointment since you will be put under anesthesia, which can take a while to wear off. Your doctor will give you instructions for preparing for the surgery, which will include avoiding food for a certain number of hours before your appointment. If you take any medications, make sure your doctor advises you whether to stop taking them before the surgery or not. Some medications, like aspirin, should be terminated several days prior to surgery.

During the procedure...

When you arrive at the hospital or surgeon's office, they will begin taking your vital signs and preparing you for surgery. In most cases, you will not have to change into a hospital gown or anything. You will lie back in surgical chair, and your doctor will insert an IV into your arm. The anesthetic will be added to the IV. You'll be asked to count down from ten, and you'll doze off.

While you're under anesthesia, your surgeon will remove your tonsils. These days, this may be done with a laser instead of a standard scalpel. The laser will cauterize the tissue as it removes your tonsils, which will minimize bleeding.

After the procedure...

Once you wake up, your doctor will check your vital signs to ensure everything is okay, observe you for an hours or two, and then release you to go home with your driver. You'll be given detailed after-care instructions as well as a prescription for a pain relieving medications.

When you first wake up, you may not feel pain right away. Many surgeons apply a topical anesthetic to the surgical site to keep you comfortable as you awake. Within an hour or so, you will notice that your throat will begin to feel increasingly sore. Taking the pain relievers you were prescribed will help, as will sucking on ice pops or other frozen treats.

Your pain will slowly subside after the surgery. You'll want to rest for a few days, but most patients are mostly back to their normal routines after a week or so.