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Could tonsillitis require surgery?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

While most cases of tonsillitis will clear up in about a week, surgery may be required in others. A tonsillectomy is an option when your child suffers from repeated bouts of tonsillitis. Repeated infections, such as strep throat, could weaken the tonsils, and it becomes a smarter option to take the tonsils out surgically to help keep a child from getting sick over and over again. If an abscess develops with tonsillitis, that may need to be treated surgically to drain the abscess to prevent more problems. Another reason tonsils may need to be removed, in children or adults, could be that the tonsils may be bigger than normal even in the absence of tonsillitis. Oversized tonsils can cause breathing and swallowing problems, even chronic sleeping issues may arise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.