Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

What is a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy?

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.


ENT (Otolaryngology) and Audiology

Main Line Health otolaryngology and audiology experts treat and manage conditions affecting your ears, nose and throat at locations in the Philadelphia area.