Tonsillectomy

Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, MI

Few things are more difficult for a parent than watching their child struggle with the pain of inflamed and swollen tonsils. The specialists at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center work with you and your child to determine when a tonsillectomy can eliminate recurrent tonsil infections or problems due to enlarged tonsils. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, Michigan, or book online today.

Tonsillectomy Q & A

What are tonsils?

Tonsils are part of your immune system, and they're your first line of defense against disease. They consist of lymph tissue that traps germs and viruses entering your throat and then produce antibodies to help fight infection.

Although tonsils help your immune system develop, and they’re essential for fighting disease in children, their protective action declines around puberty. In fact, they naturally shrink with age. By the time you reach your 30s, chances are your tonsils are hardly noticeable.

 

What causes tonsillitis?

With their prominent positions — one on each side of the tongue at the back of your mouth — tonsils are exposed to many microorganisms. As a result, they can get packed with bacteria or viruses and cause a sore throat or infection, rather than preventing the problem.

Tonsillitis occurs when your tonsils are infected and become inflamed. Children are especially susceptible to developing tonsillitis because their immune system is still maturing.

Common symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow patches on tonsils
  • A sore throat
  • Fever
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Ear pain

Tonsillitis is common in children, but it seldom develops before the age of 2. Bacterial tonsillitis is usually found in children ages 5-15, while kids ages 2-5 are more likely to develop viral tonsillitis.

 

When does my child need a tonsillectomy?

The Lakeshore ENT specialists may recommend a tonsillectomy (surgical removal of your tonsils) if your child has persistent or recurring tonsillitis or obstruction due to enlarged tonsils.

Enlarged tonsils

Children can have large tonsils even if they seldom have tonsillitis. Enlarged tonsils can cause nasal obstruction, obstructive sleep apnea, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Recurrent infections

Your child may need a tonsillectomy if they have recurrent episodes of tonsillitis or strep throat. Frequent tonsillitis is broadly defined as:

  • More than seven infections in one year
  • More than four to five infections in each of the preceding two years
  • More than three infections a year in each of the preceding three years

Most children have one or two tonsil infections a year. If your child has three or more infections in successive years, their tonsils should be examined. Call the specialists at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center or book an appointment online.