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When should I have surgery for my tonsils?

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You usually get your tonsils taken out only if tonsillitis keeps coming back:

your doctor may suggest it if you have tonsillitis at least:

You also might have them taken out if tonsillitis causes other problems, such as sleep apnea, a common disorder in which you briefly stop breathing many times a night, or if the area around your tonsils gets infected and forms a pocket of pus, it’s called an abscess.

  • 7 times in 1 year
  • 5 times a year for 2 years in a row
  • 3 times a year for 3 years in a row

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Tonsils and Adenoids.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tonsillitis.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health: “Tonsillitis: Should my child have a tonsillectomy?”

Piedmont Healthcare: “When should your tonsils be removed?”

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “What is Sleep Apnea?”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 25, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Tonsils and Adenoids.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tonsillitis.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health: “Tonsillitis: Should my child have a tonsillectomy?”

Piedmont Healthcare: “When should your tonsils be removed?”

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “What is Sleep Apnea?”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 25, 2018

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