There are several factors that influence the total cost of having your tonsils removed (tonsillectomy) as a private patient in the UK. The cost can vary significantly depending on whether you have private medical insurance or are self-paying. Tonsillectomy is covered by most insurance policies, but may not be covered in all circumstances, so it is worth confirming this with your insurer. If you do have private medical insurance, there may be an excess to pay, and you may have limits on your cover. If you are self-paying, there are several aspects of the treatment that you need to consider:
Outpatient appointments: your surgeon will want to see you before you have a tonsillectomy on at least one occasion. This is to discuss the problems you have had with your tonsils, examine your throat and talk about treatment options. Sometimes a telescope examination of the throat (nasendoscopy) is required as part of this, which will likely be an extra cost on top of the appointment. If you do decide to proceed with tonsillectomy, your surgeon may also want to see you in the outpatient clinic.
Hospital fees: these usually the most expensive part and form the majority of the cost of tonsillectomy. There can be significant differences in the hospital costs. Many surgeons operate at different private hospitals, so it is worth enquiring about the different costs.
Investigations: whilst they are not usually required, sometimes other tests need to be performed as part of your treatment, for example, blood tests, x-rays or scans or tracings of the heart.
Surgeon’s fees for performing the procedure.
Anaesthesia: The operation is performed whilst you are asleep under a general anaesthetic. The anaesthetic is administered by an anaesthetist who will bill for her services.
Whilst it is unusual, occasionally complications can occur following tonsillectomy. If these are dealt with in a private hospital, there are usually associated fees.
Don’t forget, there are also personal the costs that vary from person to person. For example, if you are self-employed, and not earning whilst recovering or if you need to pay for childcare costs.
When enquiring about costs, make sure that you ask about all of them so you know what the total cost is likely to be. Many private hospitals offer fixed-price packages which can help remove uncertainty around the cost, which it is often worth enquiring about. Financing options to help spread the cost of the procedure are often available.
If you are a UK resident, tonsillectomy is also available as an NHS patient, if you meet certain criteria. These criteria vary from area to area, and waiting list times are variable