Healthcare Cost

How Much Does a Tonsillectomy Cost Without Insurance in 2023?

Michelle Fleming
Michelle Fleming19 Dec 2022

A tonsillectomy is the removal of the tonsils, which are part of the immune system and located in the back of the throat. The cost of a tonsillectomy without insurance ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. Tonsillectomies are commonly performed in children, but there are situations in which adults may need to consider one as well.

The Cost of a Tonsillectomy at Different Clinics & Locations

The cost of a tonsillectomy without insurance for ages 12 and over (considered an adult tonsillectomy) ranges from $1,500 to $3,500. The price for ages under 12 ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. These numbers vary depending on whether additional costs, such as diagnostic tests and prior consultations, are included and their location.

Below is a table with the self-pay prices for an adult tonsillectomy, for ages 12 and over.

LocationClinicAdult Tonsillectomy (12+) Cost Without Insurance
New York, NYCortland Surgical Center$1,500
Atlanta, GANorthwest ENT Surgery Center$2,800
Chicago, ILWiesman Nasal & Sinus$3,500 
Miami, FLMemorial Healthcare System$2,130
Dallas, TXNTTC Surgery Center$3,465

Below is a table with the self-pay prices for a pediatric tonsillectomy for ages under 12. Mira does not cover patients under the age of 12. Some of these prices include anesthesia and laboratory costs along with the surgery.

LocationClinicPediatric Tonsillectomy (<12) Cost Without Insurance
New York, NYCortland Surgical Center$1,500
Atlanta, GANorthwest ENT Surgery Center$3,480
Chicago, ILAMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital $12,915 (everything included except prior consultation)
Miami, FLMemorial Healthcare System$2,130
Dallas, TXBaylor Scott and White Health$7,063 (everything included except prior consultation and laboratory testing)

Additional Costs

Prior consultation with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist is not included in the surgery price. It is necessary to be recommended for a tonsillectomy. Diagnostic studies and laboratory fees are sometimes included in the surgery price but are usually not required to diagnose tonsillitis. Anesthesia is generally included in the price of a tonsillectomy but depends on the surgery center. Below is a table of an average range of additional costs that may or may not be included in the tonsillectomy price.

Additional costs of a tonsillectomy without insurance

ServicesCost without insurance
Prior Consultations$170-350
Diagnostic Studies$400-1,500
Pathology and Lab Fees$100-$1,200
Anesthesia (if not included)$200-$3,500

Factors that Influence the Cost of a Tonsillectomy

The cost of a tonsillectomy is dependent on factors such as age and geographic location.

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The age of the patient getting a tonsillectomy may influence the surgery cost. Generally, adult tonsillectomies are more costly due to the frequency they are performed. Pediatric tonsillectomies are more common. 


Your geographic location may influence the cost of a tonsillectomy because healthcare rates tend to be higher in major metropolitan areas. The tables above give a rough estimate of the price variation among different cities. There are significant differences in cost in specific locations for pediatric tonsillectomies. Our research found this to be due to them being estimated costs rather than flat self-pay rates.

Tonsillectomy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are frequently asked questions about tonsillectomies. 

When Do I Need to get a Tonsillectomy?

While tonsillectomies are most often done in children, there are cases in which an adult may need one. Below is a list of the most common reasons a tonsillectomy is performed:

  1. Chronic throat infection- characterized by frequent sore throats or 3+ month long infection.
  2. Obstructive sleep apnea due to tonsillitis (swollen tonsils).
  3. Other complications and rare tonsil diseases. One of the most common reasons is a chronic throat infection, which is characterized by frequent sore throats within 1-3 years, or a 3+ month-long infection.
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How Do I Prepare For a Tonsillectomy?

Prior to your surgery, your doctor may ask about any medications you are taking or issues you may have with anesthesia. The night before, you may not be able to eat or drink anything, but this is dependent on your doctor’s request. The surgical procedure itself takes 30-45 minutes and is done under general anesthesia. You also need to plan for about 2 weeks of recovery time.

What Can I Expect After a Tonsillectomy?

After a tonsillectomy, stomach aches and vomiting are common as the anesthesia wears off. You will usually be sent home within a few hours, but if any complications occur, you may need to stay overnight. 

Adult recovery after a tonsillectomy takes about 2 weeks, during which you can expect to feel a sore throat and other pain around the face. A slight fever is also normal, but if you notice any abnormal symptoms, such as continuous nausea or lightheadedness, it is important to call your doctor immediately.

What Risks Are There After a Tonsillectomy?

Like all surgeries, tonsillectomies have some risks that are involved during and after the procedure. General anesthesia could cause short-term reactions. Swelling of the throat can cause minor breathing issues immediately after surgery. Bleeding during and after surgery is possible, and severe bleeding may require you to stay at the hospital. Finally, it is rare but still possible for an infection to occur.

Bottom Line

A tonsillectomy without insurance ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. These costs depend on the type of tonsillectomy and are influenced by your geographic location. You will need to go through a consultation with a doctor who will diagnose you and recommend a tonsillectomy. Afterward, it can take around two weeks to recover from your surgery.

Mira offers health benefits for an average of $45 per month with access to exclusive discounts on urgent care visits, lab testing, and prescriptions. Our team can also help you find affordable services in your area. Start saving on healthcare today.

Michelle Fleming

Michelle Fleming is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Public Health, focusing on biostatistics and informatics and minoring in Health Communications. Michelle is passionate about bridging the gap in health inequalities through advocacy and policy, especially within minority groups.