Leona Lewis is set to have an operation on her throat.

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The Bleeding Love singer – who shot to fame when she won British TV talent show The X Factor in 2006 – has been told by surgeons the only way to beat her frequent throat infections is to have her tonsils removed.

A source close to the singer told The Sun: “Leona has been consulting top throat surgeons in Britain and America. She has been told she could need an operation to put an end to the problem for good.

“Any operation is scary, but for a singer to have a throat operation is particularly terrifying.”

Leona – who is attempting to break America with the help of her manager Simon Cowell – told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey earlier this month she was having trouble performing live because she was suffering from a particularly nasty bout of tonsillitis.

She said: “I’ve had tonsillitis for the whole of the past week. I’ve been desperately trying to get better.”

A representative for the 22-year-old singer has confirmed she may be forced to have surgery, adding: “Leona would like to reassure fans this is a routine operation which will not affect her voice. She has sought specialists’ advice.”

Meanwhile, Leona – who has enjoyed success in the US thanks to the help of Simon and the backing of world famous stars including Whitney Houston – could make history today by becoming the first British woman to top the US charts in over 20 years.

Industry insiders say Bleeding Love is likely to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart when it is announced in New York today.