Make an appointment:
Specialty
(i.e. Dermatologists)
Choose a Specialty
No Results
Location

Is it too late to have my tonsils removed?

I'm 41 years old and had a bad case of tonsillitis last year. I don't want it to happen again. Can I willingly have my tonsils removed or am I too old? Is there an age cut off where they won't take your tonsils out?
Sorry to hear that you had such a bad episode of tonsillitis last year, and that you are worried it might happen again. You ask a good question about age limits for getting your tonsils out...the short answer is there isn't really a limit. However, the tonsils are lymphoid tissue, and in children their immune systems are ramped up, and they are exposed to so many "germs" so all of their lymphoid tissue seems to hypertrophy (over grow). This is why most tonsils/adenoids are taken out in children. The most common reason for taking out tonsils now is actually for sleep apnea which is where the tonsils get so large that they actually obstruct the airway while sleeping. In adulthood, lymphoid tissue tends to shrink back down, and doesn't cause problems, thus if you make it through adolescence with your tonsils, usually you keep them for the rest of your life. There are reasons we take them out in adults as well however. If you get multiple episodes of strep positive tonsillitis (6-7 in 1 year, or 2-3 a year for a couple years in a row), if for some reason they stayed large and may be contributing to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), if you have had 1-2 episodes of developing a peri-tonsillar abscess, or if they are asymmetric, and there is worry that there may be a lymphoma. Since adults have had their tonsils longer, and thus had more infections over their lifetime, it tends to hurt much more to get them out as an adult. Kids usually bounce back in 3-4 days, adults in about 2 weeks. I would recommend making an appointment with an ENT more information about having you tonsils removed, and to obtain their opinion. Best of luck.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

Nearby Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors

  • Dr. Gennady Ukrainsky
    Dr. Gennady Ukrainsky DDS, MD
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    310 East 14th Street
    New York, NY 10003
  • Dr. Ed Shin
    Dr. Ed Shin MD
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    310 East 14th Street
    New York, NY 10003
  • Dr. Navin Mehta
    Dr. Navin Mehta MD, FACS
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    303 Second Ave
    New York, NY 10003

Other Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors

  • Dr. Evan Ransom
    Dr. Evan Ransom MD
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    450 Sutter Street
    San Francisco, CA 94108
  • Dr. Pradeep Sinha
    Dr. Pradeep Sinha MD
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    5670 Peachtree Dunwoody
    Atlanta, GA 30342
  • Dr. Steven Miller
    Dr. Steven Miller MD
    Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    22 S 900 E
    Salt Lake City, UT 84102