Dr KH Lim ENT Clinic

Tonsillitis Treatment Singapore: Tonsil Removal Surgery

What are Tonsils?

Tonsils are lymphoid tissues situated in the back of the mouth, one on each side, just before the mouth continues into the throat.

Tonsillitis Causes

Most tonsillitis are due to a virus or bacterial infection of the tonsils. Common virus are the common flu and flu virus (influenza)  One of the common bacteria is the Group A streptococcus species. Recurrent tonsillitis is usually due to a ‘unhealthy’ tonsils with trapped bacteria and debris which precipitate frequent infections.

Tonsillitis Symptoms

Throat Pain from Acute Tonsillitis

Common signs and symptoms of tonsillitis are 

  • swollen and red tonsils
  • white or yellow patches on the tonsils
  • painful neck swelling due to enlarged and inflamed lymph node
  • difficulty eating and drinking 
  • dehydration from poor oral intake
  • muffled voice 
  • bad breath
  • headaches
  • abdominal pain in children 

Occasionally, a collection of pus may form next to the infected tonsils.  This is known as quinsy or peritonsillar abscess. The typical symptoms are severe one sided throat pain with difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty eating and drinking, drooling, neck swelling, muffled voice and fever. 

Tonsil Diagnosis

The diagnosis of tonsillitis is clinically, meaning your doctor makes the diagnosis after listening to your history and a physical examination. Occasionally a throat swab may be done to identify the organism causing the infection. A blood test may be done to determine the severity of disease.

Tonsillitis Treatment in Singapore

Tonsillitis may be acute or chronic or recurrent. Most acute infections recovered within a week.  If the infection lasts longer than usual or it is recurring, it is considered chronic. Recurrent tonsillitis are tonsillitis that happens several times a year with well-interval. Some guidelines used 4 times per year before calling it as recurrent tonsillitis.


Acute tonsillitis is treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain killers and adequate hydration and rest.  Gargles, lozenges and throat sprays help to alleviate the pain. 


In chronic tonsillitis, on top of the usual medication to treat each flare-up, it is important to address all precipitating factors such as diet, post-nasal drip and oral hygiene. 


Hospitalisation is recommended if the condition becomes severe.


For example, when it did not respond to oral antibiotics and intravenous antibiotics were needed; poor oral intake with dehydration; complications of tonsillitis. 

Tonsil Stone Remvoal Singapore

Surgery is recommended if the tonsils become a nuisance i.e. infected frequently. Some guidelines suggest seven infections a year, five infections a year for 2 consecutive years or 3  infections a year for 3 years. Generally, surgery may be considered if the infection is very severe and patients do not want another similar episode.

Surgery is also indicated if there was a tonsillar abscess.  These abscesses are drained in the clinic under local anaesthesia. Surgery is recommended when the patient has fully healed.   

Occasionally, tonsillectomy is recommended if it is suspicious of cancer or lymphoma.  

Large tonsils also cause airway obstruction. Such tonsils may be removed to improve the airway. This is a form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea especially among children.

There is no perfect time to remove the tonsils. The indication for surgery is a clinical judgement.  However, children tend to recover faster than adults.  Children experience less pain and the wound heals completely within a shorter time.

The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. You will experience throat pain when you wake up from anaesthesia. You are still able to talk as per usual.  Swallowing will be painful. Pain killers will be prescribed to control the pain.  Most patients are able to eat and drink after the surgery.

The risks are bleeding and  dehydration if you do not eat or drink after the surgery due to pain.  Complications are pain, bleeding, infection and in very large tonsils, the voice may change after removal.  Generally, this is rare.   Side effects are throat tightness, foreign body sensation and sandpaper sensation.

Keep yourself well hydrated to reduce the pain.  Eating and swallowing prevent stiffness of the throat muscles and hence pain.  Avoid spicy, oily and deep fried food.  Avoid citrus and acidic drinks such as pineapple juice.  Avoid  crowds to catch a cold or viral infection.  Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol.  

Why Choose Dr KH Lim ENT Clinic

Our clinic is a practice that is built upon decades of mutual trust and sincerity with our patients. We cherish close partnership in treatment with our patients to achieve desirable outcomes. All treatment are customised after hearing our patient’s concern and expectation.  

Sinus Doctor in Singapore - Dr Lim Keng Hua

In additional, our practice is anchored by Dr Lim Keng Hua, an experienced ENT surgeon who had additional training in the management of complex sinus disease and nose allergy. His added expertise is in the area of difficult sinus and skull base surgery. 


Lastly, our ethos is sincerity, patient focus and integrity. The well-being of our patients is our purpose. Sincerity is the best prescription we offer, and integrity is our core value.


Hence, you can be assured to receive a high standard of care and speedy recovery.


The most common symptoms of tonsillitis are a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, bad breath, and fever. Other symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes in the neck, pain when moving the jaw or tongue, redness and swelling of the tonsils, white patches on the tonsil surface, and headache. 

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.

Yes, many insurance plans do cover the costs associated with tonsillectomy operations. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine the exact coverage and any additional requirements that may need to be met.

Before having a tonsillectomy, it is important to consult with a doctor for pre-operative instructions. These may include stopping certain medications, stopping smoking, not eating or drinking the night before the procedure, and following any other instructions given by the doctor. 

Additionally, it is important to make arrangements for transportation after surgery and arrange for someone to stay with you during recovery.

Yes, it is normal to experience pain and discomfort after tonsillectomy surgery. Common symptoms include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, pain with speaking or eating, and earache. 

It is important to remember that these are all part of the healing process and should gradually improve over time. Your doctor may recommend some methods for managing this discomfort such as taking medications or gargling with salt water.

Generally, a full recovery from tonsillectomy surgery can take around two weeks. During this time, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and get plenty of rest as this will help the healing process.

Yes, after undergoing a tonsillectomy procedure it is recommended to avoid overexertion and reduce strenuous activities for several weeks. It is also important to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids. 

Eating soft foods will also help reduce the pain associated with the healing process, as well as take medications prescribed by your doctor if needed. Additionally, it is important to keep the surgical site clean to aid in the recovery process.

No, a tonsil infection will not go away on its own. Some cases of tonsillitis may improve without treatment, but sometimes the infection persists and requires medical intervention.

Yes, tonsillitis can be very serious and requires medical attention. If left untreated, it can cause complications such as abscess formation, sleep apnea, airway obstruction, septicemia and even an inflammation of the heart valve.

You should be concerned about tonsillitis if you experience frequent or severe sore throats. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to prevent complications as mentioned above. 

Treatment for tonsillitis includes antibiotics or other medications to reduce pain and swelling as well as surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy).

The best methods for preventing recurrent episodes of acute or chronic tonsillitis are as follows:

  • avoid smoking
  • reduce exposure to allergens and irritants
  • limit contact with individuals who have colds or other infections
  • practice good hygiene by washing hands regularly
  • eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • get enough rest and exercise each day
  • avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible
  • manage stress levels

Additionally, it is important to seek medical treatment promptly if symptoms develop.

Have a question? Call us today

When it comes to tonsils, our ENT specialist clinic is your best choice for effective tonsillitis treatment in Singapore. Utilizing the latest equipment and technologies, we are able to provide accurate diagnoses and offers you a personalized treatment tailored to your needs.

Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need – contact us today! We look forward to helping you on your journey toward recovery.

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