Lauren Stirling suffered from severe tonsillitis and tonsil stones for over three years. Making her ill for weeks at a time, it meant she had a high level of sick absences from work. After one final bout, Lauren decided to do something about it and fortunately for her she knew just the place go to. She tells her story here:

“I had suffered from tonsillitis and tonsil stones for a number of years. I’d constantly be prescribed antibiotics from my GP, which would work, but then a couple of weeks later it would return and I’d be twice as poorly and off work again. I asked my GP about having them removed but unfortunately he would not refer me.

“Luckily I have private medical insurance through my job, which happens to be at Spire Washington Hospital, so I decided to look into having my tonsils taken out that way. I’m a customer service adviser and communicate with patients every day so it was somewhat strange being on the other side.

“I spoke to a member of the team who booked me in for an appointment for just a few days later, with one of the ear, nose and throat specialists – Mr Leontsinis. I explained how many episodes I had and told him that I had been suffering with tonsil stones. I also told him that on some occasions I would even lose my voice – not ideal when the main part of my job is speaking to patients every day. As soon as he examined me, he explained that my tonsils needed to be removed and that I also would require vocal therapy.

“Following my consultation, surgery was booked for two weeks later. I received all of the relevant paperwork that explained everything about my surgery and what would happen on the day. When I arrived I was greeted at reception and taken to my own private room.

“Prior to surgery, both the consultant and anaesthetist came to see me to check I was okay and ready for surgery. I was then taken down to theatre and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. It was over just like that.

“Before surgery I didn’t want to stay in hospital overnight – I thought I’d just want to get back to the comfort of my own home. But due to the nature of the surgery I was required to stay, and I don’t know why I was so concerned. The staff continued to check on me and they looked after me with great care.

“I had breakfast the next day – despite some difficulty swallowing it - and was discharged and home by 10am after a chat with the nurse and pharmacist.

“I’m now fully recovered and back to work. As I work at the hospital I’m fully aware of how brilliant our staff are but being on the other side as a patient has made me fully appreciate it even more. Having my tonsils removed was definitely the right decision and the process was made so much easier by coming to Spire Washington Hospital.”

Mr Leontsinis said: “Lauren had been concerned about her tonsils for some time and booked in for a consultation using her private medical insurance. It was here I examined her throat and identified very small tonsil stones or so called 'tonsilloliths'.

“I recommended that Lauren undergo a tonsillectomy which is the only effective treatment for this condition, which can be painful, embarrassing and a nuisance.

“Lauren had surgery, recovered well and was back to work in within two weeks. She was pleased with the outcome when she visited me for her follow up appointment. This is always a huge relief - especially when the surgeon is operating on a work colleague in the same hospital!”