Tonsillitis - Surgery
tonsillitis is generally used for children who have
serious complications or recurrent infections that do not respond to other
treatment, especially when they interfere with daily life. But
tonsillectomy should only be done after you and your doctor
carefully consider your child's medical history and overall health.
Researchers in a recent study concluded that tonsillectomy may be no
better than watchful waiting for children who have mild symptoms, which was defined
as tonsillitis occurring fewer than 3 times a year.2
But for some children, tonsillectomy can greatly improve their
quality of life. Children who are most likely to benefit from tonsillectomy are
those who have:
- 7 or more episodes of tonsillitis in 1 year, or 5 or more episodes a year for the past 2 years, or 3 or more episodes a year for the past 3 years.
Tonsillectomy is more likely to be considered as treatment when some of these
episodes result in missing school, trouble sleeping, or having other problems with
normal daily life.2
- Tonsillitis lasting longer than 3 months,
- Obstructed air passages.
- Difficulty talking because of nasal
- Tonsils that bleed heavily.
Tonsillectomy for strep throat may be
done in cases of recurring tonsillitis that do not respond to antibiotics or if
an infection threatens the child's well-being.
- Tonsillitis: Should My Child Have a Tonsillectomy?
What to think about
Tonsillectomy is still the most
common major surgical procedure done on children in the United States. But it
is not done as often as it was in the past.
infections and tonsillitis usually occur less frequently as a child gets
older. Consider whether your child's tonsillitis
infections are manageable until you can wait to see if he or she outgrows them.
A child who has tonsillectomy will need special care and close
monitoring for at least a week after the surgery. Consider your ability to
provide this care for your child before deciding on tonsillectomy.