Case Study: Negligent Tonsillectomy Leads to Soft Palate Scarring

Compensation: £12,500

Leslie, 29 years old, Manchester

This case study outlines how JMW helped Leslie to claim £12,500 in compensation after suffering negligent care while undergoing a routine tonsillectomy.

If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you to make a claim yourself you can go directly to our ear, nose and throat department negligence claims page here, and if you are looking for information on tonsillectomy procedures please visit the NHS website here.

Leslie had a long history of recurrent tonsillitis and she was keen to have her tonsils removed. She was referred to hospital and was prepared for surgery. The consent form mentioned only bleeding and infection as the possible risks associated with tonsillectomy. The operation was considered to be routine and straightforward.

Four days after the operation, Leslie attended the A&E department with bleeding from the right tonsil bed and a high fever. She was admitted for IV antibiotics and then discharged 2 days later.

Nasal regurgitation of fluids

Four months later, at routine follow up, it was noted that Leslie was experiencing nasal regurgitation of fluids, but it was felt that this would settle down once the tonsil beds had fully healed.

At the next follow up appointment six months later, Leslie stated that she was now regurgitating food as well as fluids through her nose. She had limited movement of the soft palate during speech and she was referred to a speech therapist.

Soft palate scarring

The problem continued despite intensive speech therapy and over a year after the original operation a flexible nasendoscopy (examination of the nose and upper airways) was performed, which showed a very significant degree of scarring of the soft palate. There was also some suggestion that the posterior faucial pillars (the membranous folds enclosing the tonsils between the soft palate and the base of the tongue) may also have been excised.

A medical expert concluded that due to the significant degree of scarring evident and the fact that tonsillectomy was not noted to have been difficult, the procedure was probably performed below an adequate standard of care.


Leslie also suffers from a persistent runny nose (rhinorrhoea) and bad breath (halitosis), the latter becoming a social problem and which has impacted upon her ability to change her job.


Following negotiation settlement was agreed and JMW Solicitors successfully obtained £12,500 compensation for Leslie.

Have you also suffered negligence during a tonsillectomy?

If you would like further information on claims of this type, contact our specialist solicitors today. You can do this by calling for free on 0800 054 6512 or by filling in the enquiry form for a call-back.

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