Tonsillectomies and children
Toggle: English / Spanish
Children and tonsillectomies
Today, many parents wonder if it is wise for children to have the tonsils taken out. Tonsillectomy may be recommended if your child has any of the following:
In most cases, inflammation of the tonsils can be successfully treated with antibiotics. There are always risks associated with surgery.
You and your child's doctor may consider a tonsillectomy if:
- Your child has frequent infections (7 or more times in 1 year, 5 or more times over 2 years, or 3 or more times over 3 years)
- Your child misses a lot of school
- Your child snores, has trouble breathing, and has sleep apnea
- Your child has an abscess or growth on their tonsils
Baugh RF, Archer SM, Mitchell RB, et al. Clinical practice guideline: tonsillectomy in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;144(1 Suppl):S1-30. PMID: 21493257. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21493257.
Goldstein NA. Evaluation and management of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. In: Lesperance MM, Flint PW, eds. Cummings Pediatric Otolaryngology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 5.
Wetmore RF. Tonsils and adenoids. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 383.
- Last reviewed on 1/11/2016
- Liora C Adler, MD, Pediatric ER, Joe DiMaggio Childeren’s Hospital, Hollywood, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.