The objective of this study was to determine the benefits of tonsillectomy in adult patients with chronic tonsillitis with special emphasis on the influence of age and gender. Cross-sectional survey analysis of patients at least 1 year after undergoing adult tonsillectomy at a university department. We used the Glasgow Benefit Inventory and a specifically constructed illness inventory (Specific Benefits from Tonsillectomy Inventory). One hundred and nine patients completed the survey. Significant improvements were demonstrated in three out of four GBI scores ['total score' (+16.9), 'general health' (+12.9), 'physical functioning' (+46.6), all P<0.0001] and in all SBTI scores ['symptom change' (+58.3), 'reduced use of resources' (+70.9), 'general benefit' (+52.1), all P<0.0001]. Gender did not play a significant role in benefit evaluation whereby younger patients evaluated the surgery as more beneficial than older patients. Adult patients with chronic tonsillitis definitely benefit significantly from tonsillectomy. Younger adult patients perceived greater surgical benefits than older adult patients. Patient gender did not significantly influence tonsillectomy benefit evaluation.