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"Should I get my tonsils out?"


I am in my mid 20's. For the past 4 years, every winter I have gotten tonsilitis. Prior to these last 4 years, I never got it. My doctor has suggested that I should get them taken out, but there is a chance that I could grow out of it. How long is too long for this to happen? I don't want to have to go through the surgery, but I don't want to be getting this every year either. Is there something I can do to prevent from getting it again?


Sorry to hear that you are having to deal with tonsillitis every winter. That is a real pain. In general there are 2 (maybe 3) main reasons that tonsils are taken out.

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The first reason to take tonsils out is when they are so large that they are obstructive and contributing to OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). It doesn't sound like this is the case for you just from your brief history. Tonsillectomy as a singular procedure for OSA is typically performed in the pediatric population which you obviously do not fit into. However, it is almost always part of a number of surgical procedures that are done in combination when surgically addressing OSA in the adult patient (i.e. trimming the palate, taking off the uvula, etc). But that goes beyond the realm of this discussion. The second main reason to take tonsils out is for recurrent strep infections. (Strep is a gram positive bacteria that can cause pharyngitis and recurrent tonsillitis, and can potentially have other detrimental sequelae). From your answer, I don't know for sure if your sore throats have been strep positive or not. I would recommend you go get examined by an ENT to see if they think it is reasonable to take your tonsils out or not. As far as prevention of getting the tonsillitis every year...since it is affecting you so infrequently there are not specific things that you should need to change to prevent it from recurring. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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