Ear Nose + Throat

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis overview

The tonsils are small round orbs of tissue, located above and behind the tongue, on each side of the throat. They are part of the body's immune system and help fight against infection. When they become inflamed or infected, sometimes caused by a virus or bacteria, it is called tonsillitis.

Treating tonsillitis

Antibiotics and home remedies are often used to treat a sore throat when the tonsils are inflamed. In some cases, the problem keeps recurring and surgery may be needed. Most patients with tonsillitis are under 18 years old, which can make treatment more complicated. Surgery to remove the tonsils (called a tonsillectomy) is usually only recommended for serious cases, where repeated infections are hindering the patient's ability to live a normal life.

Surgery options

A tonsillectomy involves surgically removing the tonsils and sometimes the adenoids, which, like the tonsils, are part of the lymph system and help the body fight infections .While adults may only need a local anesthetic, a child will always be put under with a general anesthetic.

If your doctor thinks surgery is the right option for you (or your young one), it's important to gather as much information as you can about the procedure. Depending on how your surgeon performs the procedure, there may be options available that can reduce pain and scarring from the operation and may speed the recovery.

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