Our doctor has suggested that my son get a tonsillectomy. Will removing his tonsils make him more susceptible to other throat infections?
The tonsils are two glands located on either side of the back part of the throat. Tonsils are also known as lymphoid tissue. Their main function is to help stop bacteria from getting farther down the throat. However, a tonsillectomy doesn't put kids at risk for more infections. In fact, some kids get fewer throat infections after tonsillectomies. When the tonsils are removed, other tissues in the body take over their role to help prevent infection.
Thanks to successful antibiotic treatments and a more conservative approach, tonsillectomies are less common than they used to be. However, they may still be recommended in cases of frequent bacterial infections or airway obstruction (such as obstructive sleep apnea), which may occur due to enlarged tonsils.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. Call: (800) CDC-INFO|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
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|Tonsillitis You wake up and your throat is swollen and you have a fever. Could it be tonsillitis? Find out what tonsillitis is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.|
|Enlarged Adenoids Often, tonsils and adenoids are surgically removed at the same time. Though some kids need surgery, enlarged adenoids are normal in others.|
|All About Adenoids Just what are adenoids? And why do kids sometimes have to get their adenoids removed? Get the answers here.|
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