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Tonsil Surgery - When Is It Required?

Reviewed by
Dr. Indranil Banerjee. 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO)
ENT Specialist, Kolkata  •  34 years experience
Tonsil Surgery - When Is It Required?

Tonsillitis is an affliction that plagues a fair share of people. Located at the back of your throat, tonsils are essentially two small glands which contain white blood cells to defend your body against infection. However on account of germ attacks, sometimes the tonsils get infected and this results in the swelling of the tonsil glands which in turn causes sore throat and aligned maladies. 

Tonsillitis may be cured through surgical procedures. However, an isolated case of the inflammation of the tonsils need not warrant a surgery. Tonsillectomy or the surgical method of curing tonsillitis is only recommended for extreme cases of tonsillitis. Only the frequent sufferers of tonsillitis take recourse to tonsillectomy for a durable and effective solution. Surgeries are only done on those who have had at least seven bouts of strep throats within a span of a year. 

Tonsillectomies essentially involve surgical removal of the tonsils either using a scalpel or burning the tissues in the tonsils with the use of ultrasound vibrations. Usually performed under anesthesia, it is a fairly painless and a non-hazardous procedure. Tonsillectomies generally last for about an hour. However, the recovery period sometimes entail a few physical discomforts. Sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, pain in the jaws and ears are common symptoms of post-tonsillectomy conditions. While there are palliative medicines available in the markets, adequate rest and proper diet speeds up the recovery. 

Tonsillectomy generally leaves no side effects and the success rate of this surgery is quite heartening. That aside, tonsillectomy has also known to cure several other associated health problems in the likes of breathing troubles, sleep apnea, bleeding of the tonsil glands or cancerous developments in the tonsil glands. That aside, tonsillectomy is only performed on acute cases of tonsillitis and often regarded as the lender of last resort when medicines stop according any relief to the patient.

Tonsillectomy, done for recurrent infections, are quite rarely required nowadays, thanks to the advent of numerous antibiotics. A high and rising ASO titre sometimes clinch the decision.

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