A patient may be referred to an ear, nose, and throat surgeon (ENT) to have the tonsils and adenoids removed. This surgery is called a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Often the tonsils and adenoids are removed at the same time. But sometimes only one or the other is removed.
A tonsillectomy may be recommended if a patient has throat infections that keep coming back. A throat infection involves a sore throat with fever. Or he or she also has swollen neck glands or drainage from the tonsils. Or the patient also has a positive strep test.
The patient has any of the following:
- Seven or more throat infections in one year
- Five or more throat infections in each of two years
- Three or more throat infections in each of three years
A tonsillectomy may also be recommended if the patient has recurrent throat infections and any of these:
- Is unable to take antibiotic medicine or has antibiotic medicine allergies
- Has episodes of fever, sores in the mouth, sore throat, and swollen neck glands
- Has had an infected area near the tonsils
A tonsillectomy may also be recommended if your child has:
- Abnormal breathing while sleeping with enlarged tonsils. This might be brief episodes where the patient stops breathing.
- Very large tonsils that block breathing through the nose or cause difficulty swallowing.