Children and tonsillectomies

Alternative names 
Tonsillectomies and children


Many parents wonder whether it is wise for children today to get their tonsils removed. Tonsillectomy may be recommended if your child has any of the following:

  • obstructed breathing during sleep  
  • difficulty swallowing  
  • recurrent throat infections (seven in one year, five a year for two years, or three a year for three years)  
  • recurrent serious throat infections (abscesses)

In most cases, inflammation of the tonsils can be successfully treated with antibiotics. There are always risks associated with surgery. However, if your child shows symptoms of loud snoring, restless sleep, poor growth, or mouth breathing accompanied by recurring tonsillitis, consult your physician about a tonsillectomy.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by David A. Scott, M.D.

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