What is Tonsillectomy?

What is tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils, two small glands located at the back of the throat. The procedure is mainly performed to treat recurrent throat infections and inflammation and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Medical Uses

Tonsillectomy is a common procedure to treat tonsillitis. Today, it is also undertaken for treating sleep-disordered breathing. It can be applied in the treatment of:

  • Recurring, chronic or severe tonsillitis
  • Complications of enlarged tonsils
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Periodic fever
  • Aphthous stomatitis
  • Guttate psoriasis

For children, the procedure is usually in the combination of the removal of adenoids.

Risks and Complications

Although tonsillectomy is a relatively safe surgery, risks may occur during the procedure and complications do occur after the surgery.

Risks of the procedure include:

  • Reactions to anesthetics
  • Swelling of the tongue and soft palate
  • Bleeding during surgery and healing
  • Infection

Complications of a tonsillectomy may include vomiting, throat pain, trouble eating and talking.


Almost everyone would get a sore throat and experience significant pain for about 2 weeks after a tonsillectomy. You can take medications to reduce pain and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. It is also suggested that you eat bland food and have enough rest.

Keywords: tonsillectomy; medical uses; risks and complications; recovery

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.