Tonsillectomy is a surgery to remove the tonsils. The tonsils are glands at the back of your throat. The tonsils are often removed along with the adenoid glands. That surgery is called adenoidectomy and is most often done in children. The surgery is done while the child is under general anesthesia. Your child will be asleep and pain-free.
• The surgeon will place a small tool into your child’s mouth to hold it open.
• The surgeon then cuts, burns, or shaves away the tonsils. The wounds heal naturally without stitches.
After surgery, your child will stay in the recovery room until he or she is awake and can breathe easily, cough, and swallow. Most children go home several hours after this surgery.
The tonsils help protect against infections. But children with large tonsils may have problems breathing at night. The tonsils may also trap excess bacteria which can lead to frequent or very painful sore throats. In either of these cases, the child’s tonsils have become more harmful than protective.
You and your child’s health care provider may consider a tonsillectomy if:
• Your child has infections often (7 or more times in 1 year, or 5 or more times each year over the last 2 years).
• Your child misses a lot of school.
• Your child has trouble breathing and does not sleep well because the tonsils block the airway (sleep apnea).
• Your child has an abscess or a growth on the tonsils.
• Your child gets frequent and bothersome tonsil stones.