Questions for yoursurgeon and anaesthetist

Before going ahead with a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.

Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It's imperative your doctor explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.

Questions for your surgeon


  • Is the surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
  • Is there anything I can do to delay it?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome (such as losing weight)?


  • What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you'll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’) Learn about the costs


  • How should I prepare for surgery?


  • Will I have a choice of anaesthetist?
  • Will I be able to meet the anaesthetist before the day of surgery?
  • Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?


  • What happens during and after surgery?
  • What method will you use to remove my tonsils and/or adenoids?

Your surgeon’s skills

  • How many tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies do you perform each year? 
  • What percentage of your patients are satisfied with the results of the tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies you perform? 
  • What is your complication rate for this procedure? (Average is 1.5% to 14%)


  • How soon can I go back to work/school or travel?
  • Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your surgeon)

Tell your doctor if you have any cough or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before surgery.

Most medication should be taken as usual, but some, especially medications to thin the blood, may interfere with the operation. Your doctor will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop taking, or stop giving your child.

Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too. Also, if there’s a history of bleeding problems in the family or you’re someone who bleeds or bruises easily, always inform your doctor.

If you have religious objections to a blood transfusion you must discuss this with your surgeon before the operation.

Questions for your anaesthetist

There'll be time before your surgery for you to speak to your anaesthetist and ask any questions. 

  • What type of anaesthesia are you planning to use?
  • Will you be prescribing a pre-med? (Medication given before the anaesthetic to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or relax you)
  • How will my pain be managed after the surgery? (The anaesthetist is responsible for this)

Print out this page to take to your appointment with your surgeon and anaesthetist.

Preparing for surgery

Pre-operative tests and advice on preparing a child for the procedure.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.