Tonsillectomy (ton-sih-LEK-tuh-me) is the surgical removal of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat — one tonsil on each side.
A tonsillectomy was once a common procedure to treat infection and inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis). Today, a tonsillectomy is usually performed for sleep-disordered breathing but may still be a treatment when tonsillitis occurs frequently or doesn't respond to other treatments.
A tonsillectomy may also be necessary to treat breathing and other problems related to enlarged tonsils and to treat rare diseases of the tonsils.
Recovery time for a tonsillectomy is usually at least 10 days to two weeks.
Aug. 04, 2012
- Fact sheet: Tonsils and adenoids. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsilsAdenoids.cfm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Fact sheet: Tonsils and adenoids: Postop. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsilsAdenoidsPostop.cfm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Tagliareni JM, et al. Tonsillitis, peritonsillar and lateral pharyngeal abscesses. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America. 2012;24:197.
- Tonsillopharyngitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear_nose_and_throat_disorders/oral_and_pharyngeal_disorders/tonsillopharyngitis.html. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Fact sheet: Tonsillitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsillitis.cfm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Q & A: What you should know before surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. http://www.asahq.org/Lifeline/What-To-Expect/QA-What-You-Should-Know-Before-Surgery.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2356. Accessed April 30, 2012.
- Fact sheet: Tonsillectomy procedures. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsillectomyProcedures.cfm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Combating antibiotic resistance. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm092810.htm. Accessed April 27, 2012.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 15, 2012.
- Baugh RF, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tonsillectomy in children. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2011;144:S1.
- Orvidas LJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 15, 2012.