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