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AIBU or should hubby request a tonsillectomy?

(37 Posts)
LongLiveTheChief Tue 03-Jan-17 21:27:40

Hubby and I have been together 10 years and he's always had problems with his tonsils.

We worked out that, by eliminating crisps from his diet, he was able to reduce the amount of times he contracted tonsillitis. The doctor said this is because his tonsils are so scarred from previous infections that food sits in the scars and causes a new infection.

Last September he was hospitalised with Quinsy which is quite nasty and he was struggling to eat and breathe, needed antibiotics through an IV as couldn't swallow anything.

The NHS website says quinsy is usually an infection through the tonsils so when DH became ill again a few months later with just tonsillitis, he asked if his tonsils could be removed...they've said no!

He's now had tonsillitis 3 times since being in hospital and is currently recovering from Quinsy again now, but our doctor won't recognise the Quinsy as a tonsil related problem so has said he's not had this 'quota' of infections?

Reading the symptoms of Quinsy, I'm quite worried and I want him to be seen by someone but how do you get past a GP that won't help?

Thanks for any advice!

CactusFred Tue 03-Jan-17 21:38:50

Oh no your poor hubby!

I had a quinsy a few years ago and nearly died because. I one diagnosed it. Another one a few months later.

I've never felt so ill as that first time.

Tonsils removed not long afterwards and now I barely even get colds!

He really needs them gone and quinsy absolutely tonsil related.

If NHS won't do it - they try to avoid removing tonsils these days - can you afford private?

CactusFred Tue 03-Jan-17 21:39:43

I'd also say ask to see another GP.

seriouslyenoughalready Tue 03-Jan-17 21:40:47

Where I am the criteria for tonsillectomy on the NHS are 7 or more episodes of tonsillitis in one year or 2 episodes of quinsy. i had mine out after 2 quinsys and 3 tonsillitis in a year. Having them removed was the best thing ever.
He should push for it. he's likely to have another quinsy. The scarring from a quinsy makes a great site for festering infection.
The operation is horrible. my wounds got infected and started bleeding and had to go back in to hospital for IV antibiotics (Said it was because there was such bad scarring form my quinsies )
It was like having a quinsy on both sides at the same time!However, totally worth it now!Best thing I could have done

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 03-Jan-17 21:42:51

What is the NICE clinical guidance on what necessitates a tonsillectomy now?

I had my operation cancelled twice in the early 2000's after a number of deaths during surgery caused a halt to all planned operations. They technique used then left people at risk of bleeding out,as the cauterisation wasn't working properly. I know they reviewed the guidelines back then.

Does he fall into the clinical criteria?

Getnakedorgohome Tue 03-Jan-17 21:44:05

I paid to go and see a private ent surgeon and then for the op to be done privately when I was 21 (it was a huge priority for me, affecting my studies etc but not meeting the criteria for nhs). Is that an option for you? It was well worth the money for me and the luxury of a private room afterwards was great!

seriouslyenoughalready Tue 03-Jan-17 21:45:49

see a different GP. Quinsy completely tonsil related.

lionsleepstonight Tue 03-Jan-17 21:50:04

I suffered lots of bouts of tonsillitis and one quinsy. When I explained to my gp that I was in trouble with work due to having so much time off (at least 2 weeks twice or more a year) he referred me for the op. Might be worth a try.

Boffered1 Tue 03-Jan-17 21:50:42

Where I am it's 5 episodes of tonsillitis in a 12 month period. I too had quinsy and was hospitalised for a week They removed my tonsils a few months later following an outpatient appointment with te ENT specialist. Is there another doctor in the practice who might help?

LongLiveTheChief Tue 03-Jan-17 21:54:40

Private isn't really an option for us, although I'm 100% sure his parents would meet us half way with the money as they hate to see him this poorly. Does anyone know roughly how much the surgery would be?

In relation to the NICE guidelines, is that how many times he would have to have it to have them removed? I'm assuming that's what I've attached below? He's certainly had 4 bouts in the last 18 months, we just need to ask the doctor (which we will do on the 23rd, at the next available doctors appointment!!!!!!!) how many it's actually been. It feels more, but we stupidly didn't think to record every time he's been treated x

LongLiveTheChief Tue 03-Jan-17 21:55:03


AliTheMinx Tue 03-Jan-17 21:56:23

In my mid 20s I asked my GP to refer me to a private ENT consultant and he took out my huge tonsils. He was great but I did have a big bleed 4 days later and was rushed back into hospital. Apparently haemorrhaging is very common in adults.

Fairylea Tue 03-Jan-17 21:56:55

Definitely see another gp.

I think it just depends on who you get to be honest. I'm just recovering from the worst tonsillitis I've ever had - 3 weeks of it, tonsils so swollen they were purple and blue and looked like they had become septic, had iv antibiotics and now on my third batch of antibiotic tablets. Still hasn't gone completely. When I saw the gp just after I'd come out of hospital he said to me to get well and then go back and see him and he would refer me to have them out as it was such a serious bout of it (I've only ever had two episodes previously many years ago).

I am in Norfolk, uk by the way.

Definitely push for better treatment.

STARE2016 Tue 03-Jan-17 22:02:27

It may be worth getting a consultation with a private ENT. They can then refer back to NHS for the operation. This is what I did when DD needed tonsils out due to recurrent infection leading to sleep apnoea. NHS referral times were beyond ridiculous & the gp was reluctant as she wasn't old enough according to guidelines! She had the same surgeon as we saw privately, although you still need referral letter from gp. Ours was happy to write one once I mentioned it was for a private consultation although had previously refused.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 03-Jan-17 22:02:42

Ask for a different GP. I spent 3 years in taking useless antibiotics for tonsillitis that never went away, just improved or got worse. I had bloody medical insurance and they wouldn't refer me. I moved a year ago and the first doctor I saw at my new surgery wouldn't refer me either, but the second one agreed that it was not acceptable to be ill constantly and referred me. Had them out, no more swallowing glass AND I stopped snoring overnight.

Tell your DP to prepare for the mother of all chest infections after the tonsillectomy once his body realises that it no longer has any tonsils. That wasn't much fun but I've been absolutely fine apart from that.

ny20005 Tue 03-Jan-17 22:08:47

I would ask to see the gp again & explain your concerns. Quinsy is absolutely related to tonsillitis.
If still no joy, ask to see another gp for a second opinion.

If no joy - make a complaint to practice manager !

I had my tonsils out at 21 & was told at the time that 8 infections requiring antibiotics over a 2 year period gets a referral to ENT

Backingvocals Tue 03-Jan-17 22:09:21

Those NHS guidelines are ridiculous. Who could sustain a job with seven bouts of tonsilitis a year? Each episode means you are basically bedbound for a week. And two quinsies sounds like dicing with death to me. Tonsils out at 30 here - after probably four bouts in a year. But I was living abroad at the time so it was done because it needed to be done.

It sounds like this is the next step for your DH. I'd start by finding a better gp.

Agree about the shocking chest infections though. I had terrible ones afterwards - but not as bad as tonsilitis.

Aftertheraincomesthesun Tue 03-Jan-17 22:09:40

We paid £1500 for a private tonsillectomy. Well worth it.

Chippednailvarnishing Tue 03-Jan-17 22:10:26

It was under £2k for DH to have his removed privately. Bupa and other large private healthcare groups will give you an all in price. Or pay for a private appointment with a surgeon who also does NHS work and they might see you at an NHS clinic.

QueSera Tue 03-Jan-17 22:13:01

This is a tough one. I started getting chronic tonsillitis, poorly over and over, really knocked me out each time, always on antibiotics, they stopped working so id be put on different ones. Desperate to have tonsils removed (tipped over the edge when my baby started catching it from me each time and being given so many antibiotics). But a friend who is a gp said think very carefully, adults are very prone to haemorrhaging after this operation. Well i went ahead with it, haemorrhaged badly, passed out, had to have blood transfusions etc. I'm glad to be alive. If your dh ever gets it done, and bleeds after, make sure they deal with it immediately, not wait til youre in full-on haemorrhage. Staff wouldnt let my dh in my hospital room as it was covered in blood.

LongLiveTheChief Tue 03-Jan-17 22:13:11

Thank you all for your help.

I feel awful as DH has gone back to work today after being in hospital Sunday blushsad He's self employed and is charged a lot of money if he doesn't work. I'm a SAHM and 8 months pregnant so I know he feels he needs to be at work and I don't think we could financially afford for him not to be. Especially as he's taken unpaid time off for Christmas which we have budgeted for but it's still not ideal x

PasDevantLesElephants Tue 03-Jan-17 22:13:33

I was told two lots of quinsy and you qualify - the ENT dr in A&E literally said, as he extracted a load of gunk from behind my tonsil with a big old needle, 'There's pus back here, congratulations you've won the right to a tonsillectomy!'

PasDevantLesElephants Tue 03-Jan-17 22:16:49

He also said something like with tonsillitis its 7 times in a year, 8 times in two years, 10 times in 3 years etc. Not sure numbers are right exactly, but if it's been going on a few years then he may already technically qualify. I did, but my Dr never said....

velocitykate Tue 03-Jan-17 22:17:23

It isn't up to the GP whether or not he needs a tonsillectomy, but would be up to an ENT surgeon - Has he seen one? He should have done if he truly has had a quinsy twice.

The GP needs to refer him back to ENT - if the ENT surgeon isn't helpful, then he can request a second opinion. As far as I'm aware, two episodes of quinsy would be an indication for tonsillectomy

QueSera Tue 03-Jan-17 22:18:00

PS it was minimum of 7 bouts in a year requirement for removal, OR 'repeated episodes are disrupting normal activities' eg work or raising children

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