Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are the downsides to having your tonsils removed?"
I had my tonsils removed when I was a young boy due to consistently getting tonsilitis. My 7 year old daughter seems to be having problems with her tonsils and I was just wondering if their are any downsides to having your tonsils removed or if it really has no affect on anything. If there's no real side effect then I'm thinking of scheduling an appointment with my doctor to have the surgery done.
I highly recommend talking to your daughter's pediatrician about this problem. The tonsils, as you know, are gland like tissue in the back of the throat that is involved in fighting off infections in that area. Removing the tissue, however, does not cause an immunity problem because there are plenty of other parts of the body with the same function. The main reason to remove the tonsils include cases of recurrent bad throat infections, or cases in which the tonsils become so large and chronically inflamed that they are uncomfortable. Sometimes large tonsils can make sleeping difficult (they can cause snoring and choking during sleep) and so this is another indication to have the tonsils out. Your pediatrician will be able to help you determine if your daughter has an indication to have her tonsils out. If so, they will be able to make the necessary referral to an ear, nose, and throat surgeon to have the procedure scheduled. The surgery is a relatively simple one and has minimal risks. Usually the hospital stay is short and recovery at home requires a week or two, during which time the throat can be quite sore and soft foods may be required.
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