Youranaesthetic options

While you probably won’t have a choice of anaesthetist for your tonsillectomy, you may be able to plan the type of anaesthesia and post-op pain relief that will suit you best.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for any pre-medication before the surgery, your anaesthesia and wellbeing during surgery, any blood transfusions you may need, and your post-operative pain relief.

Ask your surgeon if you can meet with the anaesthetist before the day of surgery. This way you won’t be hurried or stressed, and can be involved in the planning.

For tonsillectomy, a general anaesthetic is normally used. Your general health, pre-existing medical conditions, age and the anaesthetist’s preferences will affect the choices available.

If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with anaesthesia.

Even though a child may become frightened when their anaesthetic is given, after the operation they usually don’t remember anything.


You may be offered medication to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax. If you think you’ll be feeling anxious before the surgery, ask if you can have something to relax you.

General anaesthetic

You’ll be unconscious for the procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. General anaesthetics often cause post-operative nausea and vomiting. A general anaesthetic may be combined with local anaesthetic to provide pain relief after surgery.

Pain relief after surgery

You’ll be given pain relief prescribed by the anaesthetist. By enabling you to drink fluids without too much discomfort, good pain relief can help reduce your risk of dehydration.

  • Injections of pain-relieving medication can be delivered by cannula or into a muscle.
  • Pills, tablets or liquids can be given at regular times. Don’t wait until the pain is bad before taking painkillers; take them regularly, as prescribed.

Print this page to take when you meet with the surgeon and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your 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.